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Florida Building Code


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Florida Building Code

Reference: www.floridabuilding.org

The newly adopted Florida Building Code replaces 470 local codes that crisscross the state. With the adoption of the new code come changes that may impact the cost of construction: 1) General changesthose changes that are not building specific 2) Wind load requirementschanges related to changes in hurricane resistance a) Wind speed b) Exposure classification (Near Atlantic or Gulf Coast vs. Inland) c) Wallswood or masonry d) Windows and sliding glass doors e) Wind-Borne Debris protection (if used) f) Doors: entrance and garage doors g) Roof covering h) Roof structure (trusses and tie-down connections) 3) Termite treatments and related roof downspout and condensate discharge requirements. 4) Concrete slab construction 5) Gable end-wall construction 6) Screen enclosures 7) Energy Code changes 8) Mechanical Code changes 9) Plumbing Code changes

General Changes
General changes are those changes that are not building specific, such as plan review time and newly required inspections that may require an increase in fees by the local government. However, contacts with several Building Officials found that they do not anticipate any fee increase based on the FBC. Some fees may increase based on current operating costs, but those increases are not based on anticipated future costs prompted by the FBC. A Fort Myers builder allows one month for the building department to issue a building permit. For each additional month delay in issuing the permit, they estimate a cost of approximately $1,400. Only time will tell if this type of cost materializes. Although the information required on drawings increases modestly, the change is not expected to increase costs from design professionals. All the information that is required on the plans must have been determined during the design of the house. Adding it to the plans does not require the development of extra information. Required inspections. The building official shall determine the timing and sequencing of when inspections occur and what elements are inspected at each inspection.

Florida Building Code


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1. Foundation inspection - While not a new inspection, code stipulates elements to be inspected during foundation inspection: stem-wall, monolithic slab-on-grade, piling/pile caps, footers/grade beams 2. Framing inspection - Was called Frame Inspection and now includes elements to be inspected: window/door framing, vertical cells/columns, lintel/tie beams, framing/trusses/bracing/connectors, draft stopping/fire blocking, curtain wall framing, energy insulation, and accessibility. 3. Sheathing inspection (new inspection) - To be made either as part of a dry-in inspection or done separately at the request of the contractor after all roof and wall sheathing and fasteners are complete and shall at a minimum include the following building components: roof sheathing, wall sheathing, sheathing fasteners, and roof/wall dry-in. 4. Roofing inspection (new inspection) - Shall at a minimum include the following building components: dry-in, insulation, roof coverings, and flashing. 5. Final inspection - No difference. To be made after the building is completed and ready for occupancy. 6. Swimming pool inspection (new inspection) - First inspection to be made after excavation and installation of reinforcing steel, bonding and main drain and prior to placing of concrete. Final inspection to be made when the swimming pool is complete and all required enclosure requirements are in place.

Wind Load Requirements

Wind load requirements refer to code changes related to improvements in hurricane resistance. Wind speed by itself, does not control design requirements for construction, wind load does! Implementation of the Florida Building Code requires many new considerations to be taken into account to properly determine wind loads on buildings. A look at the wind speed map for the Southern Building Code (SBC-97) shown below has three contour lines for the entire State. Wind speeds on this map are measured using the Fastest Mile measurement system and ranges from 110 mph in the south down to 90 mph in the north.

Florida Building Code


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However, the wind load provisions of the Florida Building Code are based on the American Society of Civil Engineers Standard ASCE 7-98 (Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures) that uses a different wind speed measurement system called 3-second peak gust. As a result, changes in design methods are required. The equivalent "3-second-peak-gust" wind speed is about 20 mph higher than the fastest-mile wind speed. The ASCE 7-98 3-second-peak-gust wind map for Florida is also shown below with wind speeds ranging from 100 mph to 150 mph.

There also are two new definitions in the FBC that warrant discussion with respect to wind loads. The first is the FBC definition of exposure categories and the second is the "wind-borne debris" region.

Florida Building Code


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Exposure Categories
Exposure is the term used to describe the area surrounding the building in question with regard to the ability of wind to blow directly on the structure without disruption from surrounding structures. ASCE 7-98 provides definitions for Exposures A, B, C, and D; however, Florida has adopted a different definition of Exposures B and C than appears in the text of ASCE 7-98. Exposure C (known as the open country exposure in ASCE 7-98) is used in the FBC as applicable only to Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the barrier islands, and land areas within 1500 ft of the coastline in the rest of the state. All other buildings will be designed for Exposure B, (known as urban and suburban areas with many single-family or similar sized buildings within a distance of 1500 feet) regardless of whether the structure is in the middle of a field or in the middle of a suburban setting.

Wind-Borne Debris Region

The Florida Building Code defines the wind-borne debris region as any area with a 3-second-peak-gust wind speed at 30 feet (10 meters) above ground of 120 mph or higher. This area is shown on the 3-Second-Peak-Gust map as the shaded area around the coastline of the southern portion of the state. There are two exceptions to this definition: 1. Areas within one mile (1.6 km) of the coastal mean high water line where the basic wind speed is 110 mph (49 m/s) or greater. 2. Areas where the basic wind speed is 120 mph (53 m/s) or greater. Because of the changes in the wind speed contour lines for "fastest-mile" vs. "3-secondpeak-gust", some areas of Florida will have design wind speeds and loads that will be lower in relation to current Building Code requirements, some will remain the same, and some will see increases ranging from minor to major. Presented in the following table are examples of the changes for various locations in Florida.
County Alachua Bay Brevard Broward Clay Collier Duval Duval Hernando Hillsborough Indian River Lake Lee Martin Miami-Dade Miami-Dade Location name Gainesville Lower Grand Lagoon Cocoa West Fort Lauderdale Bellaire-Meadowbrook Golden Gate Bloomingdale Jacksonville Wicki Wachee Gardens Town N Country Vero Beach Mid Florida Lakes Lehigh Acres Indiantown Miami Miami Island SBC Wind Speed (FM*) 90 100 95 110 90 110 100 90 100 100 100 95 100 100 120 120 Equivalent 3-sec. gust 110 120 115 130 110 130 120 110 120 120 120 115 120 120 140 140 FBC 3-sec. gust 100 130 120 140 110 130 110 120 110 120 140 100 120 130 146 146 Change -10 +10 +5 +10 0 0 -10 +10 -10 0 +20 -15 0 +10 +6 +6 Exposure category B C B C B B B B C B C B B B C C

Florida Building Code


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Monroe Okaloosa Palm Beach Palm Beach Santa Rosa Santa Rosa Sarasota St. Johns Wakulla Wakulla

Key West Niceville Palm Beach Royal Palm Beach Gulf Breeze Jay South Venice St. Augustine Lighthouse Point Woodville

120 95 110 110 95 90 110 90 100 95

140 115 130 130 115 110 130 110 120 115

150 130 145 140 140 120 130 120 120 110

+10 +15 +15 +10 +25 +10 0 +10 0 -5


*Footnote: FM = "fastest-mile" wind speed.

Estimated Cost Impact

A study conducted jointly by the Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing and Applied Research Associates, Inc., of North Carolina compared the cost of constructing homes under the Standard Building Code and the Florida Building Code. The key results are summarized below. As may be seen, the primary differences among the cost grouping are based on wind-related factors rather than the general changes in the code. The estimated cost increase per square foot for masonry homes ranges from $0.23 to $7.45 and the increased cost for wood-frame construction ranges from $0.24 to $4.10 per square foot.
*WBDR Wind-borne debris region

Site conditions Non-WBDR* In WBDR In WBDR

Opening protection None Shutters Impact resistant glass

Wind speed (3-sec gust) 100-120 mph 130-140 mph 120-130 mph 140-150 mph 120-130 mph 140-150 mph

Cost increase per square foot Masonry Wood-frame $0.23-$0.73 $0.24-$0.71 $0.79-$1.28 $0.76-$1.02 $1.06-$1.67 $1.04-$1.59 $1.55-$2.49 $1.35-$2.00 $3.27-$6.71 $3.25-$3.65 $3.64-$7.45 $3.43-$4.10

Source: Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing and Applied Research Associates, Inc. 2002. Florida Building Code Cost and Loss Reduction Benefit Comparison Study. Florida Department of Community Affairs, Tallahassee, FL. Contract Number 01-RC-11-12-00-22-002.