What are Floodplain Management Construction Certificates?

“Construction Certificates” is a general term for all floodplain-related certificates that are required by county building codes and/or floodplain management regulations. Local officials utilize construction certificates to assist in determining compliance with flood damage reduction regulations set forth in county codes. Some construction certificates may also be used by insurance agents to determine if a more favorable flood insurance premium can be achieved.

The following is a list of floodplain management construction certificates that the county may require as part of its building and/or floodplain development permit processes:

  • Elevation Certificates,
  • Non-Residential Floodproofing Certificates,
  • V Zone Certificates, and
  • Engineered Opening Certificates.

In addition to construction certificates, other technical documentation (i.e. no-rise certification, topographic survey, etc.) may be required to verify compliance. Submittal requirements can be found in each county’s floodplain development regulations.

To learn how construction certificates can impact a CRS community’s ability to receive flood insurance premium discounts, read page A-17 in FEMA’s 2021 addendum to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) 2017 Community Rating System’s (CRS) Coordinator Manual.

Elevation Certificates

An Elevation Certificate (EC) is an important administrative tool used to document surveyed elevation data and other related information for new and substantially improved structures in the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs).

Each county may require submittal of proposed building elevations and surveyed elevations at different stages of the building permit and construction process. The elevations must be documented on the county’s flood hazard certification form and FEMA’s EC. The completed “Finished Construction” EC will assist local officials in determining a building’s compliance with county floodplain management regulations.

Each county’s building elevation submittal requirements can be found below.

Although an EC is required for floodplain development, it will no longer be required to purchase flood insurance coverage. FEMA has updated the National Flood Insurance Program‘s (NFIP) risk rating methodology through the implementation of a new pricing methodology called Risk Rating 2.0 that leverages industry best practices and cutting-edge technology. This new rating methodology will allow FEMA to provide individualized flood insurance premiums that are specific to a building’s unique characteristics and flood risk. However, a property owner may choose to provide an EC to their agent to determine if it will lower their insurance premiums.

Building Elevation Requirements by County

Elevation Documentation for SFHA Development for City and County of Honolulu
FAQ Construction Drawing Building under Construction Finished Construction
Are construction certificates required to document proposed and as-built elevations in a SFHA? YES YES YES
Statement of Acknowledgement for Submission of As-Built Elevation Certifications ROH Chapter 21A section 21A-1.14 ROH Chapter 21A section 21A-1.14
ROH Chapter 16, subsections 110.3.1, R109.2.1 [ORD20-007]
ROH Chapter 21A, section 21A-1.14
A Zone Construction
What forms should be used for A-Zone development? Flood Fringe Certification FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33) FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
Who is allowed to certify the forms? Licensed Engineer or Architect [ROH 21A-1.14(a)(2)] Licensed Land Surveyor [ROH 21A-1.14(b)] Licensed Land Surveyor, Civil Engineer, or Architect [ROH 21A-1.14(c)]
Floodway Construction (AEF Zone)
What forms should be used for floodway (AEF) development? Floodway Permit FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33) FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
Who is allowed to certify the forms? Licensed Engineer or Architect [ROH 21A-1.14(a)(2)] Licensed Land Surveyor [ROH 21A-1.14(b)] Licensed Land Surveyor, Civil Engineer, or Architect [ROH 21A-1.14(c)]
V Zone Construction
What forms should be used for NEW CONSTRUCTION or SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENTS? Coastal High Hazard Area Certification FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33) FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
What forms should be used for UNSUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENTS? Coastal High Hazard Area “No Impact” Certification FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33) FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
Who is allowed to certify the forms? Licensed Engineer or Architect [ROH 21A-1.14(a)(2)] Licensed Land Surveyor [ROH 21A-1.14(b)] Licensed Land Surveyor, Civil Engineer, or Architect [ROH 21A-1.14(c)]
Is the issuance of a “Certificate of Occupancy” contingent upon submittal of a Finished Construction (As-built) EC? n/a n/a YES [ROH 21A-1.14(c)]
How can I get a copy or information on a finished construction Elevation Certificate for a specific property? http://resilientoahu.org/elevation-certificates

Elevation Documentation for SFHA Development for Maui County
FAQ Construction Drawing Building under Construction Finished Construction
Are construction certificates required to document proposed and as-built elevations in a SFHA? YES NO YES
MCC 19.62.060.A.5 MCC 19.62.060.A.3.a and 19.62.060.A.3.b
A Zone Construction
What forms should be used for A-Zone development? Flood Hazard Area Certification n/a FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
Who is allowed to certify the forms? Licensed Civil Engineer, Land Surveyor, or Architect n/a Licensed Civil Engineer or Land Surveyor [MCC 19.62.060.A.3.a and 19.62.060.A.3.b]
V Zone Construction
What forms should be used for V-Zone development? Coastal High Hazard Area Certification n/a FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
Who is allowed to certify the forms? Licensed Civil Engineer, Land Surveyor, or Architect n/a Licensed Structural Engineer or Land Surveyor [MCC 19.62.060(G)(6)(b)]
Is the issuance of a “Certificate of Occupancy” contingent upon submittal of a Finished Construction (As-built) EC? n/a n/a YES for commercial construction only
How can I get a copy or information on a finished construction Elevation Certificate for a specific property? www.mauicounty.gov/2203/Elevation-Certificates-by-TMK

Elevation Documentation for SFHA Development for Kauai County
FAQ Construction Drawing Building under Construction Finished Construction
Are construction certificates required to document proposed and as-built elevations in a SFHA? YES NO YES
[KCC 15-1.3] see definition of “Violation”
A Zone Construction
What forms should be used for A-Zone development? Flood Hazard Area Certification n/a FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
Who is allowed to certify the forms? Licensed Engineer or Architect [KCC 15-1.5] n/a Licensed Civil Engineer or Land Surveyor [KCC 15-1.5]
V Zone Construction
What forms should be used for V-Zone development? Coastal High Hazard Area Certification n/a FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
Who is allowed to certify the forms? Licensed Engineer or Architect [KCC 15-1.5] n/a Licensed Civil Engineer or Land Surveyor [KCC 15-1.5]
Is the issuance of a “Certificate of Occupancy” contingent upon submittal of a Finished Construction (As-built) EC? n/a n/a YES [KCC 15-1.4(b)]
How can I get a copy or information on a finished construction Elevation Certificate for a specific property? Email pwengineering@kauai.gov or call (808) 241-4883

Elevation Documentation for SFHA Development for Hawaii County
FAQ Construction Drawing Building under Construction Finished Construction
Are construction certificates required to document proposed and as-built elevations in a SFHA? YES NO YES
HCC 27-17 HCC 27-17
A Zone Construction
What forms should be used for A-Zone development? Special Flood Hazard Area Certification (Zone A, AE, AH or AO) n/a FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
Who is allowed to certify the forms? Licensed Structural Engineer or Land Surveyor [HCC 27-17] n/a Licensed Civil Engineer, Land Surveyor, or Architect [HCC 27-17]
V Zone Construction
What forms should be used for V-Zone development? Special Flood Hazard Area Certification (Zone V or VE) n/a FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
FEMA EC (Form 086-0-33)
Who is allowed to certify the forms? Licensed Structural Engineer or Land Surveyor [HCC 27-17] n/a Licensed Civil Engineer, Land Surveyor, or Architect [HCC 27-17]
Is the issuance of a “Certificate of Occupancy” contingent upon submittal of a Finished Construction (As-built) EC? n/a n/a YES (non-residential buildings only) [HCC 27-17(c)]
How can I get a copy or information on a finished construction Elevation Certificate for a specific property? www.dpw.hawaiicounty.gov/divisions/engineering/floodplain-management

Want to learn how to correctly fill out an EC?

FEMA has developed an 8 part training video series posted on the Community Rating System’s YouTube page. Five of the videos focus on how to complete each section of the form. While the remaining three, are companion videos which highlight general issues and ways to correct the form.

Non-Residential Floodproofing Certificates

Section Under Construction

V Zone Certificates

Section Under Construction

Engineered Opening Certificates

Section Under Construction