After slipping to second place in the 2015 Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s ratings of hurricane building codes, Florida has passed measures to strengthen the code, which will likely return Florida to a #1 rating. These updates to the building code, which take effect on June 30th, are meant to make Florida homes and commercial buildings safer, stronger, and more resilient.
Life safety provisions are not the only things impacted by the changes. Some of the code amendments may decrease building efficiency due to increases in project cost and reduction of saleable square footage. Builders who have projects currently under development but for which no building permit has been obtained should consult with the architect as soon as possible to identify how the new building codes impact the project.
The City of Miami has been proactive in responding to the amendments. They will allow projects in process to move forward under the soon-to-expire Florida Building Code by making use of the phased permit process. Any project with a plans process number for either a Class I or Class II Phased permit that has been pulled by July 29, 2015, and for which the applicable up-front fees have been paid may make use of the City’s allowance. Anyone wishing to pursue Class I and Class II Phased Permits. Should keep a few ideas in order:
The Class I Phased Permit is for works for which the design has been finished but the project are not yet under construction. Any plans process number for a Class I Phased Permit vests the project under the current Florida Building Code. The plans process number for the Class I Phased Permit is valid for 180 days, during which time the Class I Permit must be pulled. Building Officials may approve an extension of an additional 180 days if the builder has been diligent in obtaining a Master Permit.
In order to acquire a plans process number, applications for both the Master Permit and the Class I Phased Permit must be filed simultaneously. Builders should submit the application forms, four (4) sets of plans including architectural plans and complete construction drawings, the $1,500 Class I Permit fee, and the upfront fee for all work subject to the Class I Phased Permit in order to obtain a plans process number.
The Class II (Foundation) Phased Permit is granted to projects for which the design is still in development. Any work below grade (the foundation of the building) may commence under the Class II Phased Permit, although no vertical construction is permitted. The Class II Phased Permit plans process number is valid for 180 days, during which time the Class II Permit must be pulled. An extension of an additional 180 days may be granted at the Building Official’s discretion, so long as the builder is working toward obtaining the Master Permit or the Class I Phased Permit.
Builders must submit the Master Permit and the Class II Phased Permit applications simultaneously in order to acquire a plans process number. To acquire the number, builders must submit application forms, four (4) sets of plans including architectural plans and foundation construction drawings, the $1,500 Class II ermit fee, and the upfront fee for all foundation work.