Florida Building Code upgrades are mandatory changes. The state of Florida has instituted many of these building code upgrades in response to natural disasters that have occurred during the past two decades. Florida Building Code (101.3) states that the upgrades are intended to “establish minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength… and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.”
For both insurance and legal reasons, it is important for a building owner to ensure that any restoration, renovation, or construction completed on his/her building complies with the latest building code upgrades. We can help.
Our experts, at The Aerial Companies, Inc., are very familiar with the latest Florida Building Code requirements and have been complying with changing building codes for over 3 decades. They can ensure that your building complies with the latest building code upgrades.
The most common building code upgrades to existing structures built before the code changes are:
• Installment of Impact Resistant Windows - New building codes require higher resistance to wind. The process of upgrading typically includes replacement of buck assemblies as well as window and door assemblies.
• Upgraded Roofing Systems – New roofing systems, underlayment, and fastening requirements have been adjusted to accommodate the building codes’ modified requirements for higher resistance to wind loads.
• Upgraded Building Envelope Systems – These upgraded systems improve impact resistance, moisture intrusion control, energy management, and in some cases, fireproofing.
Savings on Property Insurance
In addition to creating a safer building, compliance with the upgraded codes enables insurance discounts that provide some financial incentives for homeowners to strengthen their existing homes, and for new construction to be built to the strongest specifications in the Florida Building Code. These new insurance rate discounts in Florida began to take place in 2003. They apply to both existing construction (houses built prior to 2002), and new construction built to the new statewide Florida Building Code (FBC). To qualify for these discounts, most insurance companies require a certification of the key existing structural elements through a Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection.
History of Florida Building Code Upgrades
The State of Florida first mandated statewide building codes during the 1970’s, at the beginning of the modern construction boom. The first 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.” During the early 1990s a series of natural disasters (including Hurricane Andrew), together with the increasing complexity of building construction regulation in vastly changed markets, led to a comprehensive review of the state building code system.
The review led to a study which revealed that building code adoption and enforcement was inconsistent throughout the state, and worse, those local codes thought to be the strongest proved inadequate when tested by major hurricane events. The consequences of the building code system failures were devastating to lives and economies and led to a statewide property insurance crisis. The resulting reforms of the state building construction regulatory system placed emphasis on uniformity and accountability.
Florida Building Code (102.2) applies to the construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every public and private building, structure or facility or floating residential structure, or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings, structures or facilities.
Have any questions for our team? Contact Us today!