The 2007 Florida Building Code is based on the 2006 International Building Code. Included in this code is the 2007 Florida Accessibility Code (Chapter 11)
and the Chapter 13 (2007 Florida Energy Code).
Tabs are also included.
The Florida Building Codes are based on the International Codes, published by the International Code Council (ICC) and other national consensus standards, which are amended where necessary for Florida's specific needs. The code incorporates all building construction-related regulations for public and private buildings in the state of Florida other than those specifically exempted by Section 553.73, Florida Statutes.
The Florida Building Code is part of the Florida Administrative Code adopted through Rulemaking as governed by Chapter 120 Florida Statutes. The adoption of the Florida Building Code by the Florida Building Commission as a Rule is mandated by the Florida Legislature. The Code is not adopted statutorily. The Code goes into effect automatically, the 2007 edition becoming effective March 1, 2009. Local jurisdictions do not need to adopt the Code locally.
These regulations shall be known as the Florida Building Code hereinafter referred to as "this code."
The provisions of this code shall apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings or structures.
1. Detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress and their accessory structures shall comply with the Florida Building Code, Residential.
2. Existing buildings undergoing repair, alterations or additions and change of occupancy shall comply with Chapter 34 of this code.
Provisions in the appendices shall not apply unless specifically adopted.
The purpose of this code is to establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength, means of egress facilities, stability, sanitation, adequate light and ventilation, energy conservation, and safety to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.
From the Florida Building Code Preface
The State of Florida first mandated statewide building codes during the 1970s at the beginning of the modern construction boom. The first law required all municipalities and counties to adopt and enforce one of the four state-recognized model codes known as the "state minimum building codes." During the early 1990s a series of natural disasters, together with the increasing complexity of building construction regulation in vastly changed markets, led to a comprehensive review of the Florida building code system. The study revealed that Florida building code adoption and enforcement was inconsistent throughout the state and those local codes thought to be the strongest proved inadequate when tested by major hurricane events. The consequences of the building codes system failure were devastation to lives and economies and a statewide insurance crisis. The response was a reform of the Florida building construction regulatory system that placed emphasis on uniformity and accountability.
The 1998 Florida Legislature amended Chapter 553, Florida Statutes, Building Construction Standards, to create a single State of Florida building code that is enforced by local governments. As of March 1, 2002, the Florida Building Code supersedes all local building codes which are developed and maintained by the Florida Building Commission. It is updated every three years and be amended annually to incorporate interpretations and clarifications.
The Florida Building Code is based on national model building codes and national consensus standards which are amended where necessary for Florida specific needs. The Florida Building Code incorporates all building construction-related regulations for public and private buildings in the State of Florida other than those specifically exempted by Section 553.73, Florida Statutes. It has been harmonized with the Florida Fire Prevention Code, which is developed and maintained by the Department of Financial Services, Office of the State Fire Marshall, to establish unified and consistent standards.
The base codes for the 2007 edition of the Florida Building Code include: the International Building Code, 2006 edition; the International Plumbing Code, 2006 edition; the International Mechanical Code, 2006 edition; the International Fuel Gas Code, 2006 edition; the International Residential Code, 2006 edition; the International Existing Building Code, 2006 edition; the National Electrical Code, 2005 edition; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fair Housing Guidelines; and substantive criteria from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1-2004. State and local codes adopted and incorporated into the code include the Florida Energy Efficiency Code for Building Construction, the Florida Accessibility Code for Building Construction and special hurricane protection standards for the high-velocity hurricane zone.
The Florida Building Code is composed of seven main volumes: the Florida Building Code, Building, which also includes Chapter 13 (energy efficiency) and Chapter 11 (accessibility) as well as state regulations for licensed facilities; the Florida Building Code, Plumbing; the Florida Building Code, Mechanical; the Florida Building Code, Fuel Gas; the Florida Existing Building Code; the Florida Building Code, Residential; and the Florida Building Code, Test Protocols for High-Velocity Hurricane Zones. Chapter 27 of the Florida Building Code, Building, adopts the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70, by reference. Chapter 33 of the Florida Building Code, Residential adopts the National Electrical Code Requirements for One- and Two-Family dwellings, NFPA 70A by reference.
Under certain strictly confined conditions, local governments may amend requirements to be more stringent than the code. All local amendments to the Florida Building Code must be adopted by local ordinance and reported to the Florida Building Commission then posted on the www.floridabuilding.org web site in Legislative format for a month before being enforced. Local amendments to the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code may be obtained from the Florida Building Commission web site, or from the Florida Department of Community Affairs or the Florida Department of Financial Services, Office of the State Fire Marshall, respectively.
Adoption and Maintenance
The Florida Building Code is adopted and updated with new editions triennially by the Florida Building Commission. It is amended annually to incorporate interpretations, clarifications and to update standards. Minimum requirements for permitting, plans review and inspections are established by the Florida Building Code, and local jurisdictions may adopt additional administrative requirements that are more stringent. Local technical amendments are subject to strict criteria established by Section 553.73, F.S. They are subject to commission review and adoption into the code or repeal when the code is updated triennially and subject to appeal to the Commission according to the procedures established by Section 553.73 F.S.
Ten Technical Advisory Committees (TACs), which are constituted consistent with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Guidelines, review proposed code changes and clarifications of the Florida Building Code and make recommendations to the Commission. These TACs whose membership is constituted consistent with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Guidelines include: Accessibility; Joint Building Fire (a joint committee of the Commission and the State Fire Marshal); Building Structural; Code Administration/Enforcement; Electrical; Energy; Mechanical; Plumbing and Fuel Gas; Roofing; and Special Occupancy (state agency construction and facility licensing regulations).
The Commission may only issue official code clarifications using procedures of Chapter 120, Florida Statutes. To obtain such a clarification, a request for a Declaratory Statement (DEC) must be made to the Florida Building Commission in a manner that establishes a clear set of facts and circumstances and identifies the section of the code in question. Requests are analyzed by staff, reviewed by the appropriate Technical Advisory Committee, and sent to the Florida Building Commission for a first action. Draft Declaratory Statements are subject to public comment and are finalized by the Commission at its next meeting. These interpretations establish precedents for situations having similar facts and circumstances and are typically incorporated into the Florida Building Code in the next code amendment cycle.
Vertical lines in the margins within the body of the Florida Building Code indicate a change from the requirements of the base codes to the 2007 Florida Building Code effective March 1, 2009. Sections deleted from the base code are designated "Reserved."
The Florida Building Code is produced through the efforts and contributions of building designers, contractors, product manufacturers, regulators and other interested parties who participate in the Florida Building Commission's consensus processes, Commission staff and the participants in the national model code development processes.