New Building Codes Effective Today

Twenty First Century Engineering Reminds Homeowners New Florida Building Codes Go Into Effect Today

Vero Beach, Florida – Twenty First Century Engineering, based in Vero Beach, Florida, with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Lakeland, reminds homeowners that the new Florida Building Codes go into effect today. The 5th Edition of the Florida Building Codes is based upon 2012 International Codes and includes updates from the International Code Council (ICC) and the Florida Building Commission.

The Florida Building Code is comprised of nine components:  Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014) Accessibility; Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014) Building; Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014) Energy Conservation; Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014) Existing Building;  Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014) Fuel Gas; Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014) Mechanical; Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014) Plumbing; Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014) Residential; Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014) Test Protocols. New Florida Building Codes can be accessed via http://codes.iccsafe.org/Florida.html#2014.

Following Hurricane Andrew, in July, 1996, the Florida Building Codes Study Commission was established to study existing codes and in 1998, the Florida Legislature authorized the Florida Building Code to incorporate standards adopted by all enforcement agencies and state agencies that license facilities and the Florida Building Code Commission as the body responsible for development of the code and implementation.

John M. Carroll, P.E., President of Twenty First Century Engineering stated, “Changes to the Florida Building Code are made to strengthen existing code to protect Floridians, both homeowners and businesses alike.”  Mr. Carroll added that, as engineering standards evolve, the Florida Building Commission is tasked to adopt new standards into the building code. State law requires the Commission to assess new engineering standards and emerging technology and report findings to the Legislature every three years.

Some of the changes in the 5th Edition, Florida Building Code, Residential, include, but are not limited to:

  • Alternative design method for screen enclosures related to wind loads. Alternative method for designing screen enclosures that relies on the screening material to be removed, retracted, opened, or cut to reduce the anticipated loads on structure,
  • Exterior walls, requires greater fire separation distances in buildings not equipped with an automatic sprinkler system,
  • Opening protection between the garage and residence, requires doors between garage and residence to be equipped with self-closing devices,
  • Floors and landings at exterior doors, exception permits landing to be less than 36 inches in the direction of travel for exterior balconies less than 60 square feet and only accessible from a door. Landing slope now limited to 2%,
  • Exception has been revised to remove physical interconnection requirement of all alarms where listed wireless alarms are installed and all alarms are installed and all alarms sound upon activation,
  • Fire protection of floors requires minimum ½ inch gypsum board or 5/8 inch wood panel on the underside; exceptions provided for sprinklers and certain crawl spaces,
  • Design wind pressure rating–vinyl siding installed over foam plastic sheathing, lower vinyl siding pressure adjustment to 0.27,with or without gypsum board on inside, for ultimate wind speeds greater than 130 mph and less than 140 mph. Where ultimate wind speeds are equal to or greater than 140 mph, foam sheathing has to be installed over a sheathing material designed and attached to separately resist 100% of the wind load,
  • Ventilation openings to open directly to the outside air. New exception permits omission of venting when determined not necessary by the code official due to atmospheric or climatic conditions,
  • Underlayment application requirement applications have been significantly revised. Roof slopes of 2:12 to less than 4:12, a two layer system is required. For roof slopes of 4:12 and greater, a single layer is permitted by underlayment is required to be ASTM D 226 Type II, ASTM D 4869 Type IV, or ASTM D 6757–all are equivalent to a 30 lb. underlayment. Required fastening of underlayment to roof has been significantly enhanced. Self-adhered underlayment complying with ASTM D 1970 is also permitted.

Given the complexity of the evolving building code, Carroll recommends homeowners proposing modifications to new or existing structures contact a professional to assure plans comply with changes to the building code.

http://www.floridabuilding.org

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About Twenty First Century Engineering

Twenty First Century Engineering provides cost-effective solutions for civil, structural and MEP design projects for public and private sector clients throughout Florida, the Southeast United States, Texas and Caribbean. The company holds dual licenses in engineering and general contracting which means an efficient, turn-key process for its clients. Contact Twenty First Century Engineering toll free at 1-877-778-5821 or http://www.21st-centuryengineering.com.

Twenty First Century Engineering’s trusted team of professionals boasts 120 years of combined engineering experience. The company is uniquely positioned to provide forensic engineering consultations, inspections, litigation support, peer reviews and expert witness testimony for construction companies, property owners, developers, insurance companies and legal firms.

Professional Affiliations

American Board of Forensic Engineering & Technology; American Indoor Air Quality Council; American Society of Civil Engineers; Building Inspection Engineers Certification Institute; Construction Association of South Florida; Florida Board of Professional Engineers; International Building Code Congress; National Association of Home Builders; National Society of Professional Engineers; Texas Board of Professional Engineers. Treasure Coast Builders Association; Indoor Air Quality Association, Inc.; Windstorm Insurance Network.

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