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Building Codes

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Stephanie Bonilla

on 9 September 2014

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Transcript of Building Codes

Outline of Presentation
1. History of the Florida Building Code
2.Overview of the Florida Building Codes Act and the Florida building code
3.Product Approvals
4.Florida Building Code Updates (Wind Loads)
5.Interpreting the Florida Building Code
6.Florida Building Commission
Building Codes Seminar
presented by Salvador A. Jurado Jr., Esq., P.E.
2000 B.C.
Code of Hammurabi which stated:
If a builder builds a house for someone, and
does not construct it properly, and the house
which he built falls in and kills its owner,
then that builder shall be put to death.
1600’s through 1800’s (United States)
The first building codes in the United States were developed to address fire safety
In 1630, Boston outlawed chimneys made of wood and thatch roof coverings.
1900’s (United States)
Different model codes developed in different regions of the United States:
(BOCA Code): Building Officials Code Administrators (East Coast and throughout the Midwest)
(Standard Building Code): Southern Building Code Conference International (Southeast)
(Uniform Building Code): International Conference of Building Officials (West Coast)
Pre-1950’s (Florida)
1. Prior to 1950, Counties and municipalities had their own building codes or they adopted a model code.
2. Example: the city of Miami Beach building department was established in 1925 and the city had its own building code until the 1950’s when the city adopted the South Florida building code.
1950’s (Florida)
1. Hurricanes during the 1950’s led to the development of the South Florida Building Code (“SFBC”) (Model Code)
2. A series of studies revealed that the current model codes were not adequate.
3. The model codes at that time addressed problems such as snow loads and seismic forces. However, none addressed severe wind loads
4. SFBC Adopted by Dade County (12-31-1957)
1970’s (Florida)
In 1974, Florida first mandated statewide building codes. This law required all municipalities and counties to adopt and enforce one of the four state-recognized model codes known as the “State Minimum Building Codes”.
F.S. 553.73
1. Standard Building Code
2. EPCOT Code
3. One and Two Family Dwelling Code
4. The South Florida Building Code
Hurricane Andrew (8-24-1992)
65 Deaths
$26.5 billion in damages
Unlike most hurricanes, the vast majority of damage was due to wind
In Dade County alone, 90% of homes had roof damage
International Code Council (1994)
1.Created by:
1.Building Officials and Code Administrators International (BOCA)
2.International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO)
3.Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCC)
2.Established to develop a single national model code
Florida Building Codes Study Commission (July, 1996)
1. Established to evaluate the existing system and to recommend ways to improve or reform system.
1.Did Florida need a stronger code?
2.Or, was the problem code compliance?
2.Commission found a complex and confusing patchwork system of different codes administered and enforced differently, by more than 400 local jurisdictions.
3.It became clear that Florida needed a single, statewide building code system.
1998 Florida Legislature
1. Legislature mandated development of a new building code system through HB 4181
2. HB 4181 directs the development of:
1. Florida Building Code
2. Florida Building Commission
3. Statewide system for product approvals.
1. First edition of the International Building Code is published

2. Several codes were Discontinued

March 1, 2002
1. Florida Building Code Implemented
2. Chapter 553 (Florida Building Codes Act) of the Florida Statutes was amended to create a single statewide building code.
3. Adopted International Building Code
4. Model Codes are developed by different organizations (i.e. International Building Code was developed by the International Code Council) and are adopted by jurisdictions (Florida has adopted the International Building Code)
March 15, 2012
2010 Florida Building Code takes effect
Overview of The Florida Building Codes Act and the Florida Building Code
What is the Florida Building Codes Act?
Florida Statute 553
Governs the uniform adoption, updating, amendment, interpretation, and enforcement of the Florida Building Code.
What is the intent of the Florida Building Codes Act?
The purpose and intent of this act is to provide a mechanism for the uniform adoption, updating, amendment, interpretation, and enforcement of
a single, unified state building code
, to be called the Florida Building Code, which consists of a single set of documents that apply to the design, construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, or demolition of public or private buildings, structures, or facilities in this state and to the enforcement of such requirements
Florida Statute 553.72(1) (2013)
What is the intent of the Florida Building Codes Act? (Continued)
The Florida Building Code shall be applied, administered, and enforced
uniformly and consistently from jurisdiction to jurisdiction
Florida Statute 553.72 (2013)
What is the intent of the Florida Building Codes Act? (Continued)
It is the intent of the Legislature that local governments shall have the power to
inspect all buildings, structures, and facilities
within their jurisdictions in protection of the public health, safety, and welfare.
Florida Statute 553.72(2) (2013)
What is the intent of the Florida Building Codes Act? (Continued)
It is the intent of the Legislature that the Florida Building Code be adopted, modified, updated, interpreted, and maintained by the
Florida Building Commission
in accordance with ss.

(1) and
and enforced by authorized state and local government enforcement agencies.
Florida Statute 553.72(3) (2013)
What is the Florida Building Code?
1. F.B.C. part of the Florida Administrative Code
2. Adopted through Rule making as governed by Chapter 120, Florida Statutes
3. Adoption of the F.B.C. by the Florida Building Commission is mandated by the Florida Statutes.
Florida Statute 553.73(1)(a)

4. The Florida Building Commission shall use the International Codes to develop the base code in Florida

Florida Statute 553.93(3)

What is the Florida Building Code?
1.Florida Building Code, Building
2.Florida Building Code, Residential
3.Florida Building Code, Existing Building
4.Florida Building Code, Plumbing
5.Florida Building Code, Fuel Gas
6.Florida Building Code, Mechanical
7.Florida Building Code, Test Protocols
8.Florida Building Code, Energy
9.Florida Building Code, Accessibility
10. Incorporated Codes
Incorporated Codes
1. Florida Fire Prevention Code
1.Based on NFPA 1 and NFPA 101
2.Administered by the State Fire Marshal
2.ASCE-7 (Wind Loads Code)
3.ACI-318 (Concrete Code)
4.NFPA 70 (National Electrical Code)
5.The other codes and standards referenced in the F.B.C. shall be considered part of the F.B.C.
F.B.C.102.4 (2010)
Who does the Florida Building Code apply to?
1. Building Officials
2. Architects
3. Engineers
4. Contractors
5. Subcontractors
6. Owners
What does the Florida Building Code apply to?
Use and occupancy
Of every building or structure or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings or structures.
F.B.C. 101.2
Detached one and two family dwellings and multiple single family dwellings (town homes) not more than 3 stories tall with a separate means of egress shall comply with the Florida Building Code, Residential.
Existing buildings undergoing repair, alterations or additions shall comply with Existing Building Code.
1. Building and structures specifically regulated and preempted by the federal government;

2. Railroads and ancillary facilities associated with the railroad;

3. Nonresidential farm buildings on farms.;
4. Temporary buildings or sheds used exclusively for construction purposes;

5. Mobile or modular structures used as temporary offices;

6. Those structures or facilities of electric utilities, as defined in Section 366.02, Florida Statutes, which are directly involved in the generation, transmission or distribution of electricity;
7. Temporary sets, assemblies or structures used in commercial motion picture or television production;

8. Chickee huts constructed by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida or the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
What building code applies?
The building code that is in effect on the date of the building permit
is the building code that applies.
F.B.C. 105.3

What if there is a conflict between different sections of the code?
Where there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement, the specific requirement shall be applicable. Where, in any specific case, different sections of this code specify different materials, methods of construction or other requirements, the most restrictive shall govern.

F.B.C. 102.1(2010)
Chapter 1-Administration
Chapter 1-Administration
1. Maintaining “due process of law” in enforcement
2. Scope and Intent of F.B.C.
3. Applicability
4. Permit Procedure
1. When permits required
2. Exemptions (i.e. minor repairs)
3.Permit Application requirements
4. Conditions of the permit (i.e. 6 month duration)
Chapter 1-Administration (cont.)
5. Inspection requirements (local governments may enact stricter inspection requirements
F.S. 553.79(4)
6. Certificate of Occupancy and completion requirements
7. Construction Documents
1. Minimum plan review criteria
2. Information on Construction Documents
Chapter 1- Administration (Permits)
When required:
Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any required impact-resistant coverings, electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done,
shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit
F.B.C. 105.1 (2010)
Work exempt from permit
. Exemptions from permit requirements of this code
shall not be deemed to grant authorization
for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code.
F.B.C. 105.2 (2010)
Application for permit.
To obtain a permit, the applicant shall first file an application therefor in writing on a form furnished by the building department for that purpose. Permit application forms shall be in the format prescribed by a local administrative board. Each application shall be inscribed with the date of application, and the code in effect as of that date. For a building permit for which an application is submitted prior to the effective date of the Florida Building Code,
the state minimum building code in effect in the permitting jurisdiction on the date of the application governs the permitted work for the life of the permit
and any extension granted to the permit.
F.B.C. 105.3 (2010)
Submittal documents.
Construction documents, a statement of special inspections and other data shall be submitted in one or more sets with each application for a permit.
The construction documents shall be prepared by a registered design professional where required by

Chapter 471, Florida Statutes
Chapter 481, Florida Statutes.
F.B.C. 107.1

Permit intent.
A permit issued shall be construed to be
a license to proceed with the work and not as authority
to violate, cancel, alter or set aside any of the provisions of the technical codes, nor shall issuance of a permit prevent the building official from thereafter r
equiring a correction
of errors in plans, construction or violations of this code. Every permit issued shall become invalid unless the work authorized by such permit is commenced within 6 months after its issuance, or if the work authorized by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 6 months after the time the work is commenced.
F.B.C. 105.4 (2010)
Chapter 1- Administration (Permits)
No enforcing agency may issue a building permit for construction of any threshold building except to a licensed general contractor, as defined in Section 489.105(3)(a), Florida Statutes, or to a licensed building contractor, as defined in Section 489.105(3)(b), Florida Statutes, within the scope of her or his license.
The named contractor to whom the building permit is issued shall have the responsibility for supervision, direction, management and control of the construction activities on the project for which the building permit was issued.

F.B.C. (2010)
Chapter 1- Administration (Permits)
Action on Application
The building official shall examine or cause to be examined applications for permits and amendments thereto within a reasonable time after filing. If the application or the construction documents do not conform to the requirements of pertinent laws, the building official shall reject such application in writing, stating the reasons therefor. If the building official is satisfied that the proposed work conforms to the requirements of this code and laws and ordinances applicable thereto, the building official shall issue a permit therefor as soon as practicable.
F.B.C. 105.3.1(2010)
Placement of permit.
The building permit or copy shall be kept on the site of the work until the completion of the project.
F.B.C. 105.7 (2010)
Amended construction documents
Work shall be installed in accordance with the approved construction documents
, and any changes made during construction that are not in compliance with the approved construction documents shall be resubmitted for approval as an amended set of construction documents.
F.B.C. 107.4 (2010)
Chapter 1- Administration (Permits)
Construction or work for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by the building official and
such construction or work shall remain accessible and exposed for inspection purposes until approved. Approval as a result of an inspection shall not be construed to be an approval of a violation of the provisions of this code
or of other ordinances of the jurisdiction.
Inspections presuming to give authority to violate or cancel the provisions of this code or of other ordinances of the jurisdiction shall not be valid.
It shall be the duty of the permit applicant to cause the work to remain accessible and exposed for inspection purposes.
Neither the building official nor the jurisdiction shall be liable for expense entailed in the removal or replacement of any material required to allow inspection.
(FBC 109.1)
Required inspections.
The building official upon notification from the permit holder or his or her agent, shall make the following inspections, and shall either release that portion of the construction or shall notify the permit holder or his or her agent of any violations which must be corrected in order to comply with the technical codes. The building official shall determine the timing and sequencing of when inspections occur and what elements are inspected at each inspection.
(FBC 109.3)
Chapter 1- Administration (Inspections)
Chapter 1- Administration (Inspections)
Threshold Buildings:
The enforcing agency shall require a special inspector to perform structural inspections on a threshold building pursuant to a structural inspection plan prepared by the engineer or architect of record. The structural inspection plan must be submitted to the enforcing agency prior to the issuance of a building permit for the construction of a threshold building. The purpose of the structural inspection plans is to provide specific inspection procedures and schedules so that the building can be adequately inspected for compliance with the permitted documents.
The special inspector may not serve as a surrogate in carrying out the responsibilities of the building official, the architect or the engineer of record. The contractor's contractual or statutory obligations are not relieved by any action of the special inspector.
F.B.C. 110.3.7 (2010)
Approval required.

Work shall not be done beyond the point indicated in each successive inspection without first obtaining the approval of the building official.
The building official, upon notification, shall make the requested inspections and shall either indicate the portion of the construction that is satisfactory as completed, or notify the permit holder or his or her agent wherein the same fails to comply with this code.
Any portions that do not comply shall be corrected and such portion shall not be covered or concealed until authorized by the building official.

F.B.C. 110.6 (2010)
Chapter 1- Administration (Certificates of Occupancy)
Use and occupancy.
No building or structure shall be used or occupied, and no change in the existing occupancy classification of a building or structure or portion thereof shall be made until the building official has issued a certificate of occupancy therefor as provided herein.
Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as an approval of a violation of the provisions of this code or of other ordinances of the jurisdiction.
Florida Building Code111.1 (2010)
Temporary occupancy.
The building official is authorized to issue a temporary certificate of occupancy before the completion of the entire work covered by the permit, provided that such portion or portions shall be occupied safely. The building official shall set a time period during which the temporary certificate of occupancy is valid.
Florida Building Code111.3

The building official is authorized to, in writing, suspend or revoke a certificate of occupancy or completion issued under the provisions of this code wherever the certificate is issued in error, or on the basis of incorrect information supplied, or where it is determined that the building or structure or portion thereof is in violation of any ordinance or regulation or any of the provisions of this code.
Florida Building Code111.5

Chapter 9-Fire Protection Systems
Chapter 9-Fire Protection Systems
1. Florida Fire Prevention Code incorporated
2. Conflicts among the different codes shall be decided in favor of the strictest interpretation.
F.B.C. 102.1
3. Example: Florida Building Code vs. Florida Fire Prevention Code
1. Requirement that offers the greatest degree of life safety.
Florida Statute 553.73(1)(d) (2013)
Chapter 10- Means of Egress
Chapter 10- Means of Egress
1. Florida Fire Prevention Code Incorporated
2. Stairways:
1.Width of Stairways
2. Headroom of stairways
3. Dimensions of stair treads and risers

1. Height of handrails (between 34” and 38”
2. Graspability (between 1.25” and 2”)

1. Height of guardrails (not less than 42”)
2. Where required (drop of more than 30”)
3. Opening limitations (4” sphere rule
Chapter 16- Structural Design
1. Scope. The provisions of this chapter shall govern the structural design of buildings, structures and portions thereof regulated by this code.
Buildings and structures located within the high-velocity hurricane zone shall comply with the provisions of Sections 1615 through 1626.

2. High Velocity Hurricane Zone: Miami-Dade and Broward County
Chapter 16- Structural Design
Chapter 16- Structural Design (cont.)
Incorporated codes:
1. American Concrete Institute, Building Code Requirements and Commentary for Structural Concrete (ACI 318)
2. American Institute of Steel Construction, Manual of Steel Construction (AISC 360)
3. American Society of Civil Engineers, Minimum design loads for buildings and other structures (ASCE-7)
Chapter 16- structural design (cont.)
Two major design requirements (Performance Code):
1. Strength
1. Buildings and other structures, and parts thereof, shall be designed and constructed to support safely the factored loads in load combinations defined in this code without exceeding the appropriate strength limit states for materials in construction (Load and Resistance Factor Design)
2. Alternatively, buildings and other structures, and parts thereof, shall be designed and constructed to support safely the nominal loads in load combinations defined in this code without exceeding the appropriate specified allowable stresses for the materials of construction (Allowable Stress Design)
F.B.C. 1604.1 (2010)
2. Serviceability
1. Deflection limits – Adequate stiffness to meet deflection limits.
F.B.C. 1604.3 (2010)
Chapter 16- structural design (cont.)
1. Dead Loads:
1. Permanent Loads (I.E. weight of materials)
2. Live Loads:
1. Loads produced by persons or movable objects
2. Example: Handrails and Guardrails to be designed to withstand a load of 50 plf or a 200 # concentrated load, the worse of the two.
F.B.C. 1607.7 (2010)
3. Wind Loads:
4. Snow Loads
5. Earthquake Loads
Florida Building Code, Residential
Use and Occupancy
Of detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories above grade in height with a separate means of egress.
F.B.C. R101.2 (2010)
Florida Building Code, Residential
Existing buildings undergoing repair, alteration or additions, and change of occupancy shall comply with the Florida Existing Building Code.
Florida Building Code, Residential
Performance Code vs. Prescriptive Code
1. Performance Code: Florida Building Code, Building

Refers you to other codes (i.e. AISC 360, ACI 318)

The design, fabrication and erection of structural steel for buildings and structures shall be in accordance with AISC 360.
F.B.C. 2205.1
2. Prescriptive Code: Florida Building Code, Residential

Specifically tells you what you must do
Florida Building Code, Building (Performance code)
The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided that any such alternative has been approved. An alternative material, design or method of construction shall be approved where the building official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provisions of this code, and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety.
F.B.C. 104.11 (2010)
Florida Building Code, Residential (Prescriptive code)
Foundation Minimum size.
Minimum sizes for concrete and masonry footings shall be as set forth in Table R403.1 and Figure R403.1(1). Minimum sizes for concrete and masonry footings shall also be as required to provide adequate resistance to uplift and overturn of the building as determined from Table 401.1. The footing width, W, shall be based on the load-bearing value of the soil in accordance with Table R401.4.1. Spread footings shall be at least 8 inches (152 mm) in thickness. Footing projections, P, shall be at least 2 inches (51 mm) and shall not exceed the thickness of the footing. The size of footings supporting piers and columns shall be based on the tributary load and allowable soil pressure in accordance with Table R401.4.1.
Product Approvals
The commission shall adopt rules under F.S. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to develop and implement a product evaluation and approval system that applies statewide to operate in coordination with the Florida Building Code.
Florida Statute 553.842(1) (2013)
Purpose of Product Approvals
1. Establishes a protocol to evaluate products used in construction.
2. Links the gap between the very distinct industries of manufacturing and construction
3. Facilitates permitting
4. Facilitates installation
5. Facilitates inspections
Product Approvals
1. Manufacturers allowed to apply for local product approval or statewide product approval.
1.Statewide Approval shall preclude local jurisdictions from requiring further testing, evaluation, or submission of other evidence as a condition of using the product so long as the product is being used consistent with the conditions of its approval.
Florida Statute 553.842(4) (2013)
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade)
1. Doors
2. Shutters
3. Windows
4. Curtain walls
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade)
1. Miami-Dade County Regulatory and Economic Resources.

2. Notice of Acceptance (NOA) is the medium used to convey approval of a product.

3. All products with a product approval in Miami-Dade County Florida are listed at
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade)
1. Proposed product (i.e. window, door)
2. Testing Proposal submitted to County

Testing load

Location of large missile impacts (if required)

Dimensions of product to be tested

Location/type of anchors
3. Test product at certified testing laboratory

Very expensive
4. Conduct engineering analysis on tested product

Final product size and connections limited to tested size
5. Submit application package to County

$4,000 Application Fee

NOA’s are valid for five (5) years
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade)
Product Control Process
application submitted:
Initial review. It is determined if submittal is complete
Technical Review
Notice of Proposed Action is issued (last chance to make changes)
Customer reviews Notice of Proposed Action
Customer Accepts Notice
NOA is issued
Quality Assurance Program required to be implemented by manufactures
Quality Assurance audits conducted yearly by Miami-Dade
If there is a change in the code, the NOA needs to be evaluated.
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade)
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade)
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade)
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade)
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade)
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade)
Product Approvals (Miami-Dade)
1. Large Missile Impact (F.B.C. 1626.2):

Required between 0-30 feet in elevation

2”x4”x7’ piece of timber

Fired at 50 ft/sec

Two impacts per test specimen
Three (3) test specimens (real life size)

If all three (3) specimens pass, then cyclic load test applied (+/- pressure)
2.Small Missile Impact (F.B.C. 1626.3):

Required above 30 feet

Solid steel balls (2 grams each)

Fired at 130 feet/sec

Thirty (30) impacts per test

Three (3) test specimens (real life size)
Product Approval (State)
Product Approvals (State)
Similar to Miami-Dade County procedure

1. Third Party (Validation Entity) reviews your submittal

You pick Validation Entity from list of approved entities
2. Third Party Quality Assurance Entity

You pick Quality Assurance Entity from list of approved entities
3. Less thorough than Miami-Dade procedure

Once you get Miami-Dade NOA you can automatically get State Approval (fee)
One Time Approvals
Only for specific condition (You will not be able to use one-time approval anywhere else)
Test Report for specific condition
Calculations for specific condition
Wind Loads
Wind Loads (ASCE 7-10)
Changes to ASCE 7:
1. Removal of the Importance Factor which is replaced by risk categories.
2. New wind speed maps for risk categories
3. Revised load factors
4. Reinstating Exposure D in hurricane prone regions
New Wind Speed Maps
Maps vary by risk category
Separate maps are provided for each of the following risk categories (I,II, III, and IV)
Category 1:
Buildings that represent a low hazard to human life (screen enclosures, farms)
Category II:
Buildings except those listed in Categories I, III and IV.
Category III:

Buildings that represent a substantial hazard to human life (schools)
Category IV:
Buildings designated as essential facilities (emergency shelters)
Wind Loads (ASCE 7-05 vs. ASCE 7-10)
ASCE 7-05:
Qz = .00256 Kz*Kzt*Kd*V2*
QZ = velocity pressure evaluated at mean roof height (psf)
Kz = velocity pressure exposure coefficient
Kzt = topographic factor
Kd = wind directionality factor
V = basic wind speed from ASCE 7-05 maps (
mph for Miami-Dade)
I = Importance factor

Design Pressure = Qz(Gcp-GCPi)

ASCE 7-10:
QZ = .00256 Kz*Kzt*Kd*V2
QZ = velocity pressure evaluated at mean roof height (psf)
Kz = velocity pressure exposure coefficient
Kzt = topographic factor
Kd = wind directionality factor
V = basic wind speed from ASCE 7-10 maps (
mph for Miami-Dade)

Design Pressure = Qz(GCp-GCpi)
x .6
(used to convert from strength design to allowable stress design)
Wind Loads (Wind borne debris region)
Areas within hurricane prone regions located:
Within 1 mile of the coastal mean high water line where the ultimate design wind speed is Vult = 130mph, or greater.
In areas where the ultimate design wind speed Vult = 140 mph, or greater.
Wind Loads
In Miami-Dade the new wind load maps with revised formula will give you a lower wind pressure than before, for Exposure C and very similar loads for Exposure D.
The Wind Borne Debris region has been expanded throughout state.
In Miami-Dade the wind velocity (3-second gust) used in structural calculations shall be as follows (HVHZ):
Risk Category I: 165 mph
Risk Category II: 175 mph
Risk Category III and IV: 186 mph
It is the intent of the Legislature that the Florida Building Code be interpreted by:
Building officials
Local Enforcement Agencies, and
Florida Building Commission
In a manner that protects the public safety, health, and welfare at the most reasonable cost to the consumer by ensuring uniform interpretations throughout the state and by providing processes for resolving disputes regarding interpretations of the Florida Building Code which are just and expeditious.
F.S. 553.775(1)

1. Local enforcement agencies, local building officials, state agencies, and the commission shall interpret provisions of the Florida Building Code in a manner that is consistent with declaratory statements and interpretations entered by the commission.
Florida Statute 553.775(2)

2. Conflicts among the different codes shall be decided in favor of the strictest interpretation.
F.B.C. 102.1

Example: Florida Building Code vs. Florida Fire Prevention Code

Requirement that offers the greatest degree of life safety.
Florida Statute 553.73(1)(d) (2013)
1. Non-Binding Opinions

2. Binding Opinions

3. Declaratory Statements
Non-Binding Interpretations
1. Florida Statute 553.775(3)(h)
2. Issued by the Building Official's Association of Florida (“BOAF”)
3. Interpretations are non-binding and advisory only.
4. Local Building Official not required to accept .
5. Issued within 21 days from completed question.
6. Posted on website
7. Free
Binding Interpretations:
Upon written application by any substantially affected person, contractor, or designer, or a group representing a substantially affected person, contractor, or designer, the commission shall issue or cause to be issued a formal interpretation of the Florida Building Code.
Florida Statute 553.775(3)(d)
Binding Interpretations
Binding Interpretations (cont.)
Issued by Building Officials Association of Florida

These interpretations are binding statewide

1. Local Building Official makes decision,
2. Appeal to Local Board of Rules and Appeals,
3. Appeal and get binding interpretation from BOAF
4. Appeal to Florida Building Commission
5. Decisions of the commission are subject to judicial review pursuant to
F.S. 120.68
Binding Interpretations (cont.)
Procedure is set forth in
Florida Statute 553.775(3)(c) (2013)
Building Official renders decision
Board of Rules and Appeals renders decision
Petitioner completes online form and provides copy to Building Official
Building Official needs to respond to petition and return to Petitioner, within (5) business days. (If B.O. does not respond, Petition can file petition after 10 days)
Petitioner files petition with BOAF.
BOAF renders a decision within 21 days of receipt.
This interpretation shall be binding upon the parties and upon all jurisdictions subject to the Florida Building Code, unless superseded by a Declaratory Statement.
Interpretations(Declaratory Statements)
Upon written application by any substantially affected person or state agency or by a local enforcement agency, the commission shall issue declaratory statements pursuant to F.S. 120.565
Florida Statute 553.775(3)(a) (2013)
Submit petition, public hearings, findings of fact, conclusions of law.
Decisions rendered in 90 days.
Applies to Petitioner’s specific facts.
Declaratory Statements supersede Binding Interpretations.
Interpretations(Declaratory Statements)
Submit Petition
Staff research
First Hearing by Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
Taken up at next Commission Meeting
Final Order issued
Appeal within 30 days (1st DCA).
Florida Statute 120.68 (2013)
Interpretations By Local Board of Appeals
Section 8-4 of the Miami-Dade County Code
1. The Board of appeals shall hear all appeals from the decisions of the Building Official wherein such decision is on matters regulated by the Building Code from any person aggrieved thereby.
2. The Board shall have the power to affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the Building Official wherein such decision is on matters regulated by the Building Official.
3. The Board of Rules and Appeals may interpret the provisions of the Building Code to cover a special case if it appears that the provisions do not definitely cover the point raised, or that the intent of the provision is not clear, or that ambiguity exists in the wording; but it shall have no authority to grant variances where the Building Code is clear and specific.
Local Board of Appeals
Comprised of:
1. 19 members (i.e. 2 Architects, 2 General Contractors, 1 Roofing Contractor, 1 Structural Engineer, etc…)
2. Members appointed by County Commission
Florida Building Commission
The Florida Building Commission is created and shall be located within the Department Business and professional regulation
F.S. 553.74 (2013)
Florida Building Commission Members
1. Members shall be appointed by the Governor subject to confirmation by the Senate.
2. Accountable to Governor
3. Four (4) year terms
4. The commission shall be composed of 25 members
Florida Building Commission Duties and Responsibilities
1. Responsible for the development of the Florida building code
2. Update the Florida building code every three (3) years.
F.S. 553.73 (2013)
Commission shall use the most current version of the International Building Code.
Florida statute 553.73(7)(a) (2013)
Florida Building Commission Duties and Responsibilities
1. Commission may amend the code once each year to incorporate technical amendments.
Florida Statute 553.73(9)(a) (2013).
2. Amendments reviewed and approved by Technical Advisory Committees
Building Structures Committee
Joint Building Fire Committee
Code Administration Committee
Electrical Committee
Florida Building Commission Duties and Responsibilities
1. Updates and amendments automatically adopted by cities.
Florida Statute 553.73(6) (2013)

Local governments may adopt amendments to code which shall apply solely within said jurisdiction
Florida Statute 553.73(4)(b) (2013)
More stringent
Once every six (6) months
Failure to Comply with Florida Building Code
Any person or party, in an individual capacity or on behalf of a class of persons or parties, damaged as a result of a violation of this part or the Florida Building Code, has a cause of action in any court of competent jurisdiction against the person or party who committed the violation.
Florida Statute 553.84 (2013)
Failure to Comply with
Florida Building Code (cont.)
Safe Harbor :

However, if the person or party obtains the required building permits and any local government or public agency with authority to enforce the Florida Building Code approves the plans, if the construction project passes all required inspections under the code, and if there is no personal injury or damage to property other than the property that is the subject of the permits, plans, and inspections, this section does not apply unless the person or party knew or should have known that the violation existed.
Florida Statute 553.84 (2013)

Cohen v. Hartley Bros. Const, Inc., 940 So.2d 1251 (Fla. 1st DCA 2006) (Safe Harbor applied)
Failure to Comply with
Florida Building Code (cont.)
1. Custom and usage is not a defense to a building code violation. Henry v. Britt, 220 So.2d 917 (Fla. 4th DCA 1969)

2. Economic Loss Rule does not prevent a cause of action under Florida Statute 553.84. Comptech Inter, Inc. v. Milam Commerce Park, Ltd, 753 So.2d 1219 (Fla. 1999)
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