Florida Building Codes and Standards
The Florida Building Commission (Sections 553.76 and 553.77, F.S.) is a 25-member technical body responsible for the development, maintenance and interpretation of the Florida Building Code through a consensus-building process. The Chair is appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Other Commission members appointed by the Governor represent architects, engineers, contractors, building owners, insurance, public education, local governments, building and fire officials and persons with disabilities. The Commission also approves products for statewide acceptance and administers the Building Code Training Program.
The Florida Building Code (Section 553.73, F.S.) replaced Florida's patchwork of codes and regulations that were developed, amended, administered and enforced by more than 400 local jurisdictions and state agencies with building code regulation responsibilities. The current Code is a single statewide code based on national model codes and consensus standards, amended for Florida specific needs for the design and construction of buildings. The Code is designed to make the local building process more efficient, increase accountability, bring new and safer products to the market, increase consumer confidence, and better protect the residents of this natural-disaster prone state.
IMPORTANT CHANGES TO THE FLORIDA BUILDING CODE, ENERGY CONSERVATION
There are important changes to the 2010 Florida Building Code, Energy Conservation, that impact the criteria for replacement of existing heating and air conditioning (HVAC) units for residential buildings. The Florida Building Commission has entered rulemaking to limit the applications of Sections 126.96.36.199.1 and 188.8.131.52.2 of the Florida Building Code, Energy Conservation, to residential buildings only. These provisions will no longer apply to replacement of HVAC in commercial buildings. Further discussion regarding this subject will take place at the August 6, 2010 Energy Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) in Tampa. The agenda for the Energy TAC can be accessed at: www.floridabuilding.org > Upcoming Meetings.
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The Product Approval System (Section 553.842, F.S.) provides an optional statewide approval for seven identified building envelop and structural frame products (panel walls, exterior doors, roofing products, skylights, windows, shutters, structural components) that are intended to be replicated during the manufacturing process. The Product Approval System, in coordination with the Florida Building Code, insures safe product technologies are used in building construction and encourages development of new products and technologies that increase safety or meet safety requirements less expensively.
The Manufactured (Modular) Building Program (Section 553, Part I, F.S. ) insures structures built in a manufacturing facility are in compliance with the Florida Building Code. The primary benefits of modular buildings are fast delivery, ease of relocation, low-cost reconfiguration and flexibility. Site work can occur while the modular is being constructed in the plant, resulting in earlier building occupancy and reduced labor, financing, and supervision costs.
The Building Code Information System (BCIS), www.floridabuilding.org, is a multi-functional database that provides building professionals, general public, local governments, businesses and manufacturers with a single-point access to the Florida Building Code, Manufactured Building Program, Product Approval System, local code amendments, and the interested parties list.