You need this Florida code if you are doing any building construction or renovation in Florida.
The 2004 Florida Building Code is based on the 2003 International Building Code, but with particular modifications for Florida.
From the Florida Building Code Preface History
The State of Florida first mandated statewide building codes during the1970s 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 2004 edition of the Florida Building Code include: the International Building Code, 2003 edition; the International Plumbing Code, 2003 edition; the International Mechanical Code, 2003 edition; the International Fuel Gas Code, 2003 edition; the International Residential Code, 2003 edition; the International Existing Building Code, 2003 edition; the National Electrical Code, 2002 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 90.1-2001. 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 six 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; and the Florida Building Code, Residential. 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 55.73 F.S.
Nine 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. The TACs include: Joint Building Fire (a joint committee of the Commission and the State Fire Marshall); Building Structural; Plumbing and Fuel Gas; Mechanical; Electrical; Energy; Accessibility; Special Occupancy (state agency construction and facility licensing regulations); and Code Administration/Enforcement.
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 then the Florida Building Commission takes first action. Draft Declaratory Statements are subject to public comment and 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 next code cycle.
Vertical lines in the margins within the body of the Florida Building Code indicate a change from the requirements of the base codes. Sections deleted from the base code are designated "Reserved."
Throughout the text of the code, short horizontal lines in the margins indicate where there is a change from the requirements of the base codes, except where a change was minor. Dotted lines in the margins indicate a change from the 2001 Florida Building Code to a revision. Deletions are indicated where a paragraph or item listing has been deleted if the deletion resulted in a change of requirements.
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.
Author: Florida Building Commission Format: Looseleaf Copyright: 2004
Florida Building Code, Building, Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Administration 1.1.
Chapter 2: Definitions 2.1.
Chapter 3: Occupancy Classification 3.1.
Chapter 4: Special Occupancy 4.1.
Chapter 5: General Building Limitations 5.1
Chapter 6: Construction Types 6.1.
Chapter 7: Fire Resistant Materials and Construction 7.1.
Chapter 8: Interior Finishes 8.1.
Chapter 9: Fire Protection Systems 9.1.
Chapter 10: Means of Egress 10.1.
Chapter 11 Part A: Florida Accessibility Code for Building Construction 11.1.
Chapter 11, Part B: Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines.
Chapter 11 11.93; Part C: Request for Waiver from Accessibility Requirements 11.112.
Chapter 12: Interior Environment 12.1.
Chapter 13: Energy Efficiency Code for Building Construction 13.3.
Subchapter 1: Administration and Enforcement 13.3.
Subchapter 2: Definitions 13.11.
Subchapter 3: Referenced Standards and Organizations 13.23.
Subchapter 4: Commercial Building Compliance Methods 13.31.
Subchapter 5. (n/a)
Subchapter 6: Residential Building Compliance Methods 13.79.
Appendix A: Jurisdictional Data 13.119.
Appendix B: Supplemental Information for Subchapter 4 13.129.
Appendix C: Supplemental Information for Subchapter 6 13.139.
Appendix D: Code Compliance Forms 13.161.
Appendix E: Florida Standards 13.209.
Chapter 14: Exterior Wall Covering 14.1.
Chapter 15: Roofs and Roof Structures 15.1.
Chapter 16: Structural Loads 16.1.
Chapter 17: Structural Tests and Inspections 17.1.
Chapter 18: Foundations and Retaining Walls 18.1.
Chapter 19: Concrete 19.1
Chapter 20: Light Metal Alloys 20.1.
Chapter 21: Masonry 21.1.
Chapter 22: Steel 22.1.
Chapter 23: Wood 23.1.
Chapter 24: Glass and Glazing 24.1.
Chapter 25: Gypsum Board and Plaster 25.1.
Chapter 26: Plastic 26.1.
Chapter 27: Electrical Systems 27.1.
Chapter 28: Mechanical Systems 28.1.
Chapter 29: Plumbing Systems 29.1.
Chapter 30: Elevators and Conveying Systems 30.1.
Chapter 31: Special Construction 31.1.
Chapter 32: Construction in the Public Right of Way 32.1.
Chapter 33: Site Work, Demolition and Construction 33.1.
Chapter 34: Existing Buildings 34.1.
Chapter 35: Reference Standards 35.1.
Chapter 36: Florida Fire Prevention Code 36.1.
Appendix A: Weights of Building Materials A.1.
Appendix B: Chapter 9B-52 Florida Standard for Passive Radon-Resistant New Residential Building Construction B.1; Appendix C: Standard for Mitigation of Radon in Existing Buildings C.1.
Appendix D: Standard for Rehabilitation D.1.
Appendix E: Chapter 9B-67 Florida Standard for Radon-Resistant New Commercial Building Constructions E.1.
Appendix F: Reserved F.1.
Appendix G: Reserved G.1.
Appendix H: Reserved H.1.
Statehood: Mar. 3, 1845; the 27th state.
Nickname: Sunshine State.
Flower: Orange blossom.
Tree: Sabal palmetto palm.
Motto: In God We Trust.
Song: "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River").
Area: 155,214 sq mi (59,928 sq km); rank: 23d.
Largest city: Jacksonville.
Elevations: highest: 105 m (345 ft), in Walton County; lowest: sea level, at the Atlantic coast.
Electoral college votes: 25.
State legislature: 40 senators, 120 representatives.
The Florida coast along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico was very different 12,000 years ago, when people first arrived there. The sea level, for example, was so much lower that the peninsula was more than double its present size. The land was populated by many of the same animals that are there today, but also by camels, giant armadillos, mastodons, and saber-toothed tigers. Today, the land is populated with giant SUVs, as well as native animals and RVs with Minnesota plates.
In 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon arrived on the northeast coast of Florida—and there is where we begin to have a written record of Florida history. He named the land Florida after Pascua Florida, which was the Feast of the Flowers—Spain’s Easter celebration.
In 1521, de Leon landed on the southwestern coast. He brought with him 200 people and 50 horses, in hopes of colonizing the area. These hopes came to ruin, in the face of attacks from native inhabitants. But, de Leon brought fame to the area, and it soon became a destination for explorers, fortune-seekers, and missionaries.
In 1539, Hernando de Soto launched an expedition in search of gold and silver, trekking through Florida and on westward for four years. In 1542, De Soto died near the Mississippi River. Four people did survive this journey, and they pushed on into Mexico.
In 1559, Tristán de Luna y Arellano took a stab at colonizing Florida. He established a settlement at Pensacola Bay, but that failed after a series of small disasters.
In 1562, the French began to try their hand at colonization. First, it was Jean Ribault. Two years after his mission failed, René Goulaine de Laudonnière established Fort Caroline at the mouth of the St. Johns River. Activity from the French was enough to motivate Spain to up the ante.
In 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés arrived in Florida, with the intention of removing the French and creating a Spanish settlement. He accomplished his goal of expelling the French, attacking and killing all settlers except for non-combatants and Frenchmen who professed belief in the Roman Catholic faith. Menéndez renamed Fort Caroline San Mateo.
Two years after this, the French sent Dominique de Gourgues, who recaptured San Mateo killed the Spanish soldiers. Yet, the Spanish continued to build forts and Roman Catholic missions establish Spanish missions. The English, of course, weren’t sitting idly by.
In 1586, the English captain Sir Francis Drake looted and burned the tiny village of St. Augustine. But, the English feared the Spanish and did not seek an all-out contest for Florida. In fact, early English settlers purposely avoided the Spanish by settling far north, in Virginia and Massachusetts. The English push on Spanish control was gradual. Simultaneously, the French explorers were moving east from the Mississippi River. Spain eventually caved under this pressure.
In 1763, the Brits exchanged Havana, Cuba (which they captured from Spain in 1763) for Florida. When Spanish settlers evacuated on the heels of that agreement, Florida was practically free of European occupation.
The first act of the Brits was to split Florida into East Florida and West Florida. They also tried to develop relations with the Seminole Indians, who were moving into the area from the north. However, British rule lasted only two decades.
From 1776 to 1783, The War for American Independence raged. But, the two Floridas were not among the 13 original colonies and so remained under British rule during that time.
In 1781, Spain (now an ally of France) captured Pensacola from the British.
In 1784, Spain regained control of the rest of Florida as part of the peace treaty that ended the American Revolution. This time, it was the Brits who were forced to evacuate. When they did, settlers from Spain and the new United States flocked there. Many of the new settlers responded to favorable Spanish land grants. Others were just escaped slaves.
In 1821, after many skirmishes and a cultural invasion from the U.S., Florida changed hands again. Spain formally ceded Florida to the United States, per the Adams-Onís Treaty.
Andrew Jackson, who had commanded troops during the First Seminole War in 1818, returned to Florida in 1821 to establish a new territorial government—which merged the two Floridas into one entity. This territory consisted of a wilderness sparsely dotted with settlements of native Indians, Africans, and Spaniards. Plantation folks began to arrive in large numbers.
In 1824, Tallahassee became the capital because it was halfway between the existing governmental centers of St. Augustine and Pensacola.
With the influx of white folks, pressure to remove the Indians (who lived on desirable land) grew. Seminoles, already noted for their fighting abilities, won the respect of U.S. soldiers for their bravery, fortitude, and ability to adapt to changing circumstances during the Second Seminole War (1835–42).
In 1840, Florida had 54,500 people and the citizens wanted statehood.
On March 3, 1845, Florida became the twenty-seventh state. William D. Moseley was the new state’s first governor, and David Levy Yulee, one of Florida’s leading proponents for statehood, became a U.S. Senator.
In 1850, the population was 87,445. This included about 1,00 free blacks, but also 39,000 black slaves. Slavery became a major issue in the state’s politics. Plantation owners, concentrated in the middle of the state, vehemently opposed an end to slavery. At this time, blacks did not have the right to vote. No Floridian voted for Lincoln, but right after his election a special convention drafted an ordinance of secession.
In 1861, joined other southern states to form the Confederate States of America. No major Civil War battles took place in Florida, though Florida provided about 15,000 troops. When the Union defeated the south, only then did federal troops occupy Tallahassee. Florida also provided massive amounts of supplies to the Confederates—and about 2,000 troops to the Union Army.
During the 1876 presidential election, federal troops still occupied Florida. The state’s Republican government and new black voters helped put Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House.
In the waning years before the 20th century, large-scale commercial agriculture became important in Florida. In fact, it became a mecca for cattle-raising and to this day has more cattle than any other state.
Beginning in the 1870s, residents from northern states visited Florida as tourists to enjoy the state’s natural beauty and mild climate. Steamboat tours were quite popular.
In 1855, the legislature passed the Internal Improvement Act, which afforded public land to investors, especially folks involved in transportation, for little or no money. Between the Civil War and World War I, railroad construction went on at a blistering pace.
Development projects had a huge impact on agriculture and manufacturing. For example, citrus farmers could pick oranges in south Florida and have them in New York markets in a matter of days.
In 1898, the Spanish-American War began. This was a war to liberate Cuba from Spanish rule. Florida played an essential role, due to its proximity.
Following World War I, automobile-owning tourists flocked to Florida. Visitors often stayed, and this spurred development. The Real Estate market went nuts. With land being sold from buyer to buyer rapidly, and price inflation became ugly.
In 1926, money and credit ran out. As in the dotcom implosion of 2001, banks and investors suddenly stopped trusting "paper millionaires.” That year, and in 1928, severe hurricanes compounded the damage to the economy.
In 1929, the rest of the country sank into the Great Depression.
In 1929, the Mediterranean fruit fly invaded Florida and the resulting 60% drop in Florida’s citrus production dealt another blow to the economy.
World War II then arrived. Florida’s year-round mild climate made it a major training center for soldiers, sailors, and aviators of the United States and its allies. The training facilities required roads and airports, so when the war ended Florida had an efficient transportation system in place for existing and incoming residents.
Since World War II, migration from within the U.S. and from western countries such as Cuba and Haiti made it a major force in the electoral college. In fact, Florida rapidly moved up through the ranks to become the fourth most populous state in the U.S. This influx of people has resulted in a diversity of culture and industry.
Code Compliance Tips
Obviously, you need to know what the regulations and requirements are. That's why you should buy this standard.
As you apply a requirement, look at the principle behind it. If you satisfy the principle, you won't be subject to "interpretation revisions" being forced on you later.
To understand a particular provision, understand its context. So rather than look up a sentence and try to parse out its meaning, look at the entire code and how it's arranged. Where does the provision fit within this framework, and what is that chapter or section trying to accomplish?
Remember that members of all code-making bodies write the codes in respect to the laws of physics, and to the body of knowledge in the respective trade or skill area addressed by the code. If you also understand these things, then you will be able to more properly apply a given code requirement.
Codes are nearly always written as minimum requirements. You may need to go beyond the code requirements for optimum operational efficiency or to satisfy engineering requirements based on best practices. The codes almost never limit you from going beyond the requirements.