Construction Codes in Florida
It is mandatory that Individuals and companies comply with the various Florida building codes. These building codes describe different scientific and safety standards for building structures and analyze the specifications for fire safety, construction practices, electrical systems, disaster mitigation, plumbing fixtures, etc. Contractors and builders should be well informed about significant developments and modifications in the codes arena and regulations. Building codes offer minimum standards for safety, health, and general welfare including structural integrity, mechanical integrity including water supply, sanitation, ventilation and light, fire prevention and control, and energy conservation.
The 2008 Legislative session updated Florida Statute 255.252 and has incorporated as a policy the energy efficiency and the use of sustainable materials in the construction of new buildings and renovation or remodeling of existing buildings. The buildings should adhere to the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code. Consulting the authority having jurisdiction for the adopted versions of these codes as well as any other applicable codes is important.
The building codes that apply include design intent & summary for design professionals. This comprises of the expectations, design policy, design philosophy, applicable building and site plan & zoning codes, general construction knowledge, design oversights and construction administration. The contractor must be aware of the sitework norms aswell, which includes information on walkways, site improvements, irrigation systems, thermal & moisture protection, building envelope information, roofing design information, air barriers, insulation & acoustical treatment, membrane systems etc.
The codes also apply to doors and windows and it must be considered if the building will have steel doors & frames, wooden doors, entrances & storefronts, metal windows, hardware and glazing. The finishes also significant and it includes room finishes, exterior soffit & vents, stucco, gypsum board, tile, suspended acoustical ceilings, resilient flooring & base, carpeting, paint etc.
The contractors require to follow codes for elevators, mechanical systems, HVAC design criteria that has HVAC design development & presentation, mechanical rooms, ventilation & exhaust systems, general pipe & fitting requirements, mechanical insulation, valves, pumps, cooling towers, fans, motors, etc.
For the safety, security and longevity of the building energy management & control system (EMCS) which deals with general EMCS requirements and minimum EMCS control point requirements like air handling units & outside air units (AHU), Hydronic fan/coil units (FCU), air terminal units (VAV terminals), general exhaust fans, boilers, HVAC pumps, domestic water, elevator rooms, lighting control, building electrical usage, etc should also be taken into consideration.
The contractor qualification for medium voltage work is also very crucial. codes for wires & cables, data & telecommunication cables, wiring devices, emergency power, transformers, panelboards, interior lighting, lamps like roadway & parking area lighting, emergency lighting, hazardous location fixtures, lightning protection, etc should be followed and maintained by the contractors.
Another code followed for building constructions in Florida include building soil, waste, sanitary, vent, & interior storm systems, plumbing fixtures, backflow preventers, water meters, fire extinguishing systems, fire alarm systems, etc.