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Substantially Improved/Substantially Damaged Buildings

COURSE NO: S02-026
Substantially Improved/Substantially Damaged Buildings
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course outlines many of the ways to determine if a building has been substantially damaged or substantially improved.  This course also outlines how to determine the cost of improvements/repairs in difficult situations such as dealing with donated materials and labor.


The national flood insurance program (NFIP) has a primary goal of protecting buildings from flood damage.  In order to meet this goal, the federal emergency management agency (FEMA) has specific design requirements for new construction, as well as substantially damaged or substantially improved structures within special flood hazard areas. FEMA has set requirements meant to balance the needs for maintaining and improving existing structures while managing the risk associated with allowing improvements in the floodplain. FEMA has established a methodology to evaluate when improvements to buildings trigger the requirement to bring the entire structure into compliance with all requirements of the NFIP.  FEMA requires that the value of the structure and improvements be calculated in an equitable consistent manner.


This 2 PDH online course is intended for practicing civil, structural and geotechnical engineers, contractors, developers, governmental agencies, regulators, and all other personnel involved with the permitting, design, and approval of improvements to structures in the floodplain.
Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:


  • Knowing why the substantial damage threshold has been set at 50%
  • Learning how to calculate the value of a structure and the cost of improvements
  • Understanding how substantial damage requirements are used in a disaster
Course Document
In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the FEMA Publication titled, “Answers to Questions about Substantially Improved/Substantially Damaged Buildings” (FEMA Publication 213, August 2018).
To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Substantially Improved/Substantially Damaged Buildings (775 KB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of ten (10) questions to earn 2 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on this FEMA publication.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: