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New 2010 Florida Building Code

2010_Florida_Buiilding _Code_Wind_Bebri_RegionsThe new 2010 Florida Building Code will be implemented on March 15, 2010, and it includes significant changes to areas of South Florida. Specifically, the High Velocity Hurricane Zone Areas have been increased to include a much larger land mass and now covers areas that were not in the 2007 Florida Building Code. How will these changes affect contractors, manufacturers and permitting in South Florida? Until the changes are fully implemented nobody really knows for sure.

Tom Johnston, president of the International Hurricane Protection Association has the opinion that, “this adoption of ASCE 7-10 places an unnecessary burden on manufactures to update their product approvals to reflect a new code version when very little material differences have occurred. In addition, a net result of slightly less stringent design pressures is not a step in the right direction. All of this occurring during these difficult economic times makes this code modification even more of an ill conceived decision.”

According to the Home Builders Assocition, for central and south Florida the WBDR is increased and now will include all of the following; Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River, Brevard, Volusia, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk, Charlotte, Lee, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Okeechobee, and Highlands. The result of these changes will mean there will be new areas with requirements for opening protection in accordance with Chapter 16 of the code.

There are also changes to the Energy Code which will affect Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, but it seems, that the largest impact of the new Code from a cost and procedural stand point, will affect Central Florida more so than South Florida. By no means does that diminish the increased costs for building permitting. Procedural changes that building departments will institute will require contractors to produce additional paperwork and forms, and then there is  the increased costs incurred by manufactures that will be pasted on to consumers. Let’s not forget the additional costs that the local architects and engineers will need to pass on the their Clients.

To summarize, it is a good thing that the HVHZ areas have been increased. Yes! The Wind Born Debri Regions in the 2007 and earlier Codes never made any sense, but have the other changes made buildings any safer? Or, have the changes just added more costs to the consumer, created more bureaucratic procedures and paperwork, and made the process of designing, building and permitting a construction project more of a nightmare that it already is, in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties? Only time will tell!

Contractor’s Permitting Database

Contractor_Municipal_Database_Permitting

We are pleased to announce that phases I and II of the Permit Source Contractors Permitting Database are operational. Phases I and II includes the municipal Building Departments in Broward  and Miami-Dade Counties.  This is our new resource for contractors permitting their construction projects in the South Florida area. A “One Stop Shop” for the contractor’s building permitting needs. No more wasting valuable time sifting through municipal websites looking for forms and permitting information. We have done the work for you, and in addition, we offer our permit processing knowledge database for our member Clients. This service is designed for contractors but it can be useful to developers, engineers architects, and home owner’s applying for Owner/Builder permit.

The photo above is a screen shoot of the Contractors Permitting Municipal Database main page. In addition to the building permit forms and permitting information, you get inspection information and procedures. Notices on closings, new forms or changes in permitting procedures. You can even follow us on Twitter to get this information sent to you in real time. If you are a specialty contractor we are adding tips and procedures on your specific permitting needs.

We are offering this service at a low monthly cost of only $6.00. That is less than $100 per year. As we add additional phases and services that monthly fee will increase, but not for existing member Clients. Please visit  our Permit Source Municipal Permitting Database to take advantage of our new service.