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FL Building Code?

FL Building Code?

FL Building Code?

We are currently working with a client who has locations through out the country.  We have worked on a number of projects already and have been asked to adapt the "typical" for a possible building site in Florida.

We have started a preliminary process of checking out the design against the 2010 Florida Building Code.  In running through the code, I noticed at the end of chapter 16 they make reference to some additional requirements for High-Velocity Hurricane Zones.  However, I can't seem to find a definition of a High-Velocity Hurricane Zone in the code.  Are there requirements required to be applied throughout the state of FL or am I completely missing something?

RE: FL Building Code?

HVHZ is another way to say South Florida Building Code. Applies to Broward and Miami-Dade Counties only.

When the state went to a one code for the state approach the folks in Broward/Dade couldn't agree to the new code language so to save face they put the structural portions of the old South Florida Building Code in the new code and called it the High Velocity Hurricane Zone. So in effect two codes in one book.

Local politics in the building code. Nice huh?


RE: FL Building Code?

Thank you.

While that is nice, how do I know this by looking at the code that these sections only apply to those two counties?

The proposed site is in Palm Beach County.  The part of the code I am questioning is 1620.3 which requires all structures to be designed for exposure category C.

We may not end up designing the building, however we have some material suppliers asking us questions and I would like to get them the correct answers.

RE: FL Building Code?

The extent of the HVHZ is defined in chapter 2 as Broward and Dade counties.

RE: FL Building Code?

For the most part I believe the entire FBC code applies to all the counties in FL. At the end of each chapter (for example the masonry or wood chapter) there are additional provisions (and perhaps exceptions) that apply only to the HVHZ counties. I believed that each section is labeled as such (HVHZ).


RE: FL Building Code?

charliealphabravo it is an either/or type of deal. You could take the HVHZ sections out of the Florida Building Code and have a seperate structural code.

Like UcfSE said HVHZ is defined as Broward/Dade.

RE: FL Building Code?

Just double your price..  You will eventually figure out the details and they are not pretty!!

RE: FL Building Code?

Thanks ron for the clarification. I see that the HVHZ sections of say chapters 13 through 26 are written to be independent. I don't see where the earlier or later chapters can be separated. I haven't done much work down there so maybe someone could elaborate.

RE: FL Building Code?

At best, the FBC is a bastardization of the IBC.  It is based on the IBC, one cycle removed.

As ron9876 noted, HVHZ refers only to Dade and Broward Counties.  This comes from the fact that until 2001, Florida had two model building codes...the Standard Building Code and the South Florida Building Code.  The South Florida Building Code was based on the predecessor of the IBC....the Standard Building Code was just that...produced separately by the Southern Building Code Congress International (a weirdly confusing name I might add). When the national model codes were consolidated, Florida decided to institute its own code (as did other states) and make it a statutory requirement.  The compromise to allowing SF to keeps its provisions (which were admittedly stronger..particularly for wind loading) was the inclusion and definition of the HVHZ.

RE: FL Building Code?

charliealphabravo it applies particularly to the structural sections of the code.

RE: FL Building Code?

why only those two counties, and not Monroe county?

RE: FL Building Code?

Because it has always been thus.

RE: FL Building Code?

Because nobody even tries to ride out a hurricane in Monroe County; they just leave.  ... and stay with their friends in Miami-Dade or Broward County.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: FL Building Code?

Mike has it right...besides...Monroe County's population is miniscule compared to Broward-Dade....it also stretches over a hundred miles....so population density is low!

RE: FL Building Code?

Well, 105 miles long ..... but only 300 feet wide.   8<)

RE: FL Building Code?

What's your first impression on the upcoming changes on the new Florida Building Code (FBC-10)?

I mean 175 mph for the lowest risk building? 185 for most? Has anything significantly failed during any of the recent hurricanes or in general? Don't get me started on the 3.1 factor - above and beyond ASCE 7's 1.9 for rooftop mounted structures.

Who comes up with these things? It's not like FIU is a powerhouse like Cornell or MIT. Are they trying to completely kill off the construction industry here?

<end rant> but would love to hear your opinions.

RE: FL Building Code?

Let me clarify my above post:

Yes I read the article from Florida Home Builders that the net effect in pressures is supposed to be a wash from one code to another. However, the 3.1 increase for Rooftop Structures? Based on what recent failures?

RE: FL Building Code?

Ironically I bought the 10 code but the design was carried out under the previous version of the code.  I am not registered in FL so the job was completed and given to the client to find an engineer in Florida.  Client found an engineer and we had a meeting (client, new engineer and I).  The new engineer had no clue about the 10 code or the ASCE 7-10 requirements.  My project was not in Broward or Dade counties so my wind loads would have been 170 mph (if I recall correctly).

I'm not sure if you noticed this, but the wind loads are calculated on the strength level now not the service level (similar to the seismic code).  Strength load combinations are all 1.0W and service load combinations are all 0.7W (or something).  I believe the code was written to arrive at the same loadings as the previous versions of the code.  I don't know why they needed 6x as many chapters and 2x as many pages but I am just a dumb engineer not an academic.

Funny thing is, as I was cleaning out my office because of a STB layoff, I found an old ACI 318-72 code.  It was 36 pages long.  Go figure.

RE: FL Building Code?

SteelPE "I don't know why they needed 6x as many chapters and 2x as many pages but I am just a dumb engineer not an academic."
It is because engineers get paid for doing engineering and academics have to be changeing things to keep their jobs.

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: FL Building Code?


now, now, the academics have a very tough job trying to figure out how everything works.  It's a job I wouldn't want to do.  However, sometimes, I wish they would at least try to make my life easier.

RE: FL Building Code?

I took some training put on by the FES (Florida Engineering Society) on the new code. It's pretty intimidating until you realize that most of the items they're "punching" (flood loads, wind loads, energy codes, ADA, etc.) were always in there, but just not as emphasized.
There's some changes that appear to implement a wind load based importance factor (actually hihger wind loads for important structures, especially in Miami-Dade and Broward) but the instructor showed that they pretty much were consistent with current practice.

RE: FL Building Code?

I am waiting for my 2010 crate to arrive next week. We have to buy all of them because we are multi- disciplinary firm. I hate updating so many codes.

Sometimes I see value added to the updates, most of the other times, all I see and hear us cash registers ringing sales for the good folks who publish and print these codes. Am I the only one with this opinion here?


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