Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hurricane Andrew disaster brought statewide system of building codes

Hurricane Andrew's greatest impact on the building industry wasn't stronger nails or bigger trusses.

It was a statewide building-code system.

Florida now regulates the inspection and enforcement of building codes and requires training and licensing for building officials and contractors. Continuing education is also required.

Building officials and contractors can now be disciplined for not meeting requirements — something not done in 1992.

"This is the most fundamental change," said Douglas Buck, a director at the Florida Home Builders Association. "It's not just the building codes. It's whether you are complying with the codes."

On July 1, 2001, after fierce debate, the state adopted the stricter building codes with special provisions for new homes near the coast. The statewide system covers everything from roofing requirements to inspections to window protection.

It also required that many new coastal homes and buildings include hurricane shutters, impact-resistant glass or special internal construction designed to strengthen walls. The new code system unified hundreds of local building codes throughout the state.

Miami-Dade and Broward counties also adopted a stricter building code after Hurricane Andrew.

The tougher requirements now stand out.

In January, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety recognized Florida for having one of the best code systems in the county. The group examined 18 hurricane-prone states along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Texas.

Florida shared the top ranking with Virginia. Mississippi ranked last.

Prior to Andrew, Buck said it was common for building inspectors to not know the construction standards needed in their jurisdictions.

While working in state government, Buck helped create the licensing, education and training for the industry.

Still, he said, there is room for improvement.

"Your code is only as good as your system to make sure you're compliant," Buck said. "Once you're compliant, you can ask if we need more codes."

Mark Puente can be reached at mpuente@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8459. Follow him at Twitter at twitter.com/markpuente.

Hurricane Andrew disaster brought statewide system of building codes 05/18/12 [Last modified: Friday, May 18, 2012 12:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Men of Vision get to work after Hurricane Irma

    K12

    Answering the call to action after the departure of Hurricane Irma, they cleaned up fallen branches in mid-Tampa neighborhoods and in Rowlett Park, where they toiled alongside Tampa city workers, and they came out in force to clean up the Hillsborough River, pulling out gas cans, trash cans, old tires and even a …

    hillsmov092217: The Men of Vision helped clean up Rowlett Park in the wake of Hurricane Irma last week. Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Public Schools.
  2. Visitors get in free Saturday at Tampa Bay History Center

    Visitors get in free Saturday at Tampa Bay History Center

    Education

    Times staff

    TAMPA — Nothing to do Saturday? Go back in history.

    Machine gun at the ready, a paratrooper of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Brigade advances cautiously  near Hue, South Vietnam on April 3, 1968.
  3. Howard Altman: Base chuckling as UFO website reports 'flying triangles' at MacDill

    Macdill

    My Twitter feed on MacDill Air Force Base has been out of this world lately.

    Literally.

    Michael Salla, who runs an extraterrestrial research website, claims these are images taken of UFOs near MacDill Air Force Base earlier this month. [Exopolitics.org]
  4. Pittman: Why Irma drained the water from Tampa Bay

    Columns

    Nobody could believe it. As Hurricane Irma approached Florida, Tampa Bay suddenly went dry. People hopped down onto the bay bottom, now a vast sandy expanse, and walked around, stunned.

    Scores of people walk on the sand of Tampa Bay along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa on Sept. 9. As Hurricane Irma approached, the water temporarily receded to an extreme level allowing people to walk on what used to be the waters of Tampa Bay. Tampa police later asked people to leave for their safety. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]
  5. SEC says hackers may have profited from stolen info

    Business

    The Securities and Exchange Commission says its corporate filing system was hacked last year and the intruders may have used the nonpublic information they obtained to profit illegally.

    In this file photo, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman nominee Jay Clayton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. The SEC says a cyber breach of a filing system it uses may have provided the basis for some illegal trading in 2016. [AP file photo]