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When did the first Florida Building Code (FBC) begin and become effective?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The law creating the Florida Building Code was enacted by the Florida Legislature in 1998 and became effective on March 1, 2002. Here’s how the Florida Building Commission explains why the motivation for the first state-wide building code was Hurricane Andrew, that devastated South Florida on August 24, 1992: 

When Hurricane Andrew tore apart South Florida, it exposed more than the interiors of thousands of homes and businesses. The storm also revealed a serious statewide problem: our antiquated system of locally-administered building codes and building code compliance and enforcement.

   Thousands of homes and other structures simply didn't stand up to the storm as well as they should have, and the effects quickly rippled out from South Florida to the rest of the state.

    Andrew broke all records for insurance losses, and was the direct cause of Florida's worst insurance crisis in history. Insurers suddenly realized that all of their worst-case predictions were grossly understated - Florida was seriously underinsured and overexposed. 

    In the aftermath, many insurers simply pulled out of Florida and those that stayed felt it necessary to raise rates to staggering new levels in order to avoid the very real risk of sudden bankruptcy following another huge storm. Homeowners all over Florida were affected as they saw their rates rise drastically and found a lack of available new insurance threatening to pull the plug on development in every part of the state.

    The secret was out. Building codes and their administration and enforcement was a statewide issue, with statewide implications. Poor compliance or enforcement in a single county could (and did) wreak havoc with homeowners, developers and commercial interests in every corner of the state.

    Effective dates of later versions of the code are shown in the graphic below, and the latest version is the 2014 Florida Building Code (5th Edition), which went into effect on June 15, 2015; except that implementation of a few sections of the new code was delayed by the Legislature until June 15, 2016.    Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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