Upcoming Code Changes | 7th Edition Florida Building Codes

The Florida Building Code 7th edition (2020) will not go into effect until January 1, 2021.
Click Here to view code resources. Download below to view Forefront’s cheat sheet of code changes. This Code is as solid and complete as most and will provide the citizens of Florida the level of public safety in regards to how we build, that they have come to expect from Design Professionals and Code Officials.

7th Edition 2020 Residential Code Highlights

Analysis of Changes 7th Ed 2020 FBCR (Residential)

After Hurricane Andrew pummeled South Florida in 1992, one positive development that came from the widespread destruction was the development of a statewide building code and tougher inspections to stop the kind of inferior construction that can’t stand up in the face of hurricane winds. The Florida Building Code, adopted statewide in 2002, replaced a hodgepodge of building codes and regulations that were enforced by more than 400 local municipalities and state agencies.

Forefront Professionals Review Code Changes

Forefront’s staff have been involved with the adoption of the 2020 Code from the onset.  We have had hard copies of the new code for several weeks now and began a review of  ASCE/SEI 7-16 over a year ago as to how its significant changes could affect our Architectural & Engineering details & our clients designs and builders in the Florida market as a whole.

This Code is as solid and complete as most and will provide the citizens of Florida the level of public safety in regards to how we build, that they have come to expect from Design Professionals and Code Officials.

The 7th Edition (2020) Florida Building Code (FBC) was derived a bit different this code cycle as legislatively it was directed that the base code for this cycle would be to essentially, adopt the 6th Edition (2017) FBC as the base code, rather than the traditional method of using the International Code(s) (ICC) as the base or model code.  

By doing so much of the information was carried over to keep to a minimum the “New Code Learning-Curve” that is usually associated with the introduction of any new code.  
The process was essentially the same whereby Committees and TACS met as usual and did review(s) over the last 3 years, as to what should be brought over and what should be updated.  

The reference standard of the ASCE/SEI 7-16 (American Society of Civil Engineers/Structural Engineering Institute) brought about some of the changes that will be seen as they pertain to wind speed(s) and effects on structures as more climatic data has been introduced & gathered using the ASCE/SEI 7-16, and with the next ASCE/SEI 7 not planned till 2022, this gives the most information about loads that occur in structures.

The Building Commission site has 3 specific papers on what has changed, 2 of them associated with ASCE/SEI 7-16 Wind Loads & Roof Assemblies (see links above) and 1 specifically for the Significant changes to the Energy Conservation Code (See link above)Additionally on the Commission’s website are 3 documents that list an analysis of changes for Building, Residential and Energy codes specifically (See link below)


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