Florida Building Code change after Hurricane Andrew

Hurricanes in South Florida

Hurricanes are highly expected when you live in Florida or South Florida. The state has been hit with many that have shaken them up and caused many rebuilds to have to occur. In this time the state has had to reevaluate the codes for building in an attempt to prevent any more losses as Hurricane Andrew caused. At the time, Hurricane Andrew was the first major hurricane to affect the Florida peninsula in more than 25 years. However, more than 250,000 people were left homeless, 82,000 businesses were destroyed or damaged, and about 100,000 residents of south Dade County permanently left the area in Andrew’s wake. A total of 44 people lost their lives in the state, with Andrew causing over $25 billion in damage to the area. In all 65 people died and the storm caused an estimated $26.3 million in damage, making it the costliest storm in history at that time. Twenty-nine years ago, Hurricane Andrew, a category five hurricane packing winds of over 165 miles per hour, plowed ashore. Having rapidly intensified from a tropical storm to category five in just 36 hours, many residents had less than a day to prepare for such a major hit.

After this massive hit that the people of Florida took from this hurricane the state decided to change up the building codes, and with good reason. In this article, we will discuss some of these changes and how they could affect the build of your business or home in Floride and South Florida, let’s get started!

Code Changes for Builders in Flordia

The main purpose of the Code is to regulate new construction or proposed modifications to existing structures to give the occupants the highest level of safety and the least amount of defects. The codes apply to an existing building if that building undergoes remodeling or modification, or if the occupancy use changes. Three main pillars emerged from the Hurricane Andrew grand juries that would go on to form the basis of Florida’s significantly different building regulations: new building codes, particularly as they related to wind resistance; product approvals for the construction materials manufactured and installed in homes; and education and certification for inspectors, building officials and plans examiners. Windows alone were a big concern to many, Each property is required to have hurricane protection on all the windows and doors. Investing in impact windows and doors is necessary for each building, as it provides the best protection against hurricane-force winds that often impact South Florida each year. The law creating the Florida Building Code was enacted by the Florida Legislature in 1998 and became effective on March 1, 2002.

Florida Building Codes

  • 2020 FBC – Building, 7th edition. adopts the IBC 2018 with amendments. 2020 FBC – Residential, 7th edition.
  • 2017 FBC – Building, 6th edition. adopts the IBC 2015 with amendments. 2017 FBC – Residential, 6th edition.
  • 2014 FBC – Building, 5th edition. adopts the IBC 2012 with amendments.

Florida’s building code is strict and growing more so.  Florida building code continually evolves to afford better protection against winds, debris, and flooding. But many homes were built under less strict codes. And no matter how dangerous, more homes and commercial properties are built-in at-risk locations every year. The International Code Council (ICC) promulgates a new International Building Code every 3 years through the ICC Code Development Process. As such, the current version of the IBC is the 2021 edition, also known as ICC IBC-2021. As of March 1, 2002, the Florida Building Code, which is developed and maintained by the Florida Building Commission, supersedes all local building codes. The Florida Building Code is updated every three years and may be amended in the interim in accordance with criteria set out in section 553.73, Florida Statutes.

Tay Builders FL; Up to Code

Taylor Builders FL has many years of experience in building homes in Florida and South Florida. They are up to date on the new coding laws that have been placed and they are mindful of weather conditions when building for you. If you are looking for the top company to handle your project with care, contact us today!