If you live in Florida and have made any renovations or improvements to your home you have most likely seen references to the Florida Building Code. For instance we mention it with all of our hurricane shutters and impact window products. But what exactly is the code, and why is it so important when buying products for your home? Because of its importance we think it’s helpful for people to understand what it is from a high level. So in this article we discuss what the building code is and answer some common FAQs about it.
Also, please note: The information in this article is for general, informational purposes only, is based on publicly available information, and is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for the official Florida Building Codes or professional advice, consultation, or service related to it. Individuals and entities should reference the official Florida Building Codes or contact the Florida Building Commission for additional information or with questions.
Overview: What is the Florida Building Code?
At a high-level it is a state-wide building code written and adopted by The Florida Building Commission. It governs a wide range of items, including (but not limited to) building permit requirements, code compliance, building safety, fire safety, building design, construction, materials and more.
It is based on the International Building Code (IBC), which is used by many states in the United States. However, Florida’s code includes amendments and additions written to account for Florida specific conditions like hurricanes, flooding, etc. In turn, the code addresses items around wind loads, flood zones, and more.
In their document entitled Overview of the Florida Building Code FloridaHousing.org wrote “the code governs the design, construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, and demolition of public and private buildings, structures, and facilities in the state.”
So the building code includes (but may not be limited to) the following activities:
And it covers the following types of properties within the state of Florida:
- Public and private buildings
- Public and private structures
- Public and private facilities
Codes Included in the 7th Edition FBC
Florida’s building code contains many specific codes, including the following:
- Building Code
- Residential Code
- Test Protocols For High Velocity Hurricane Zone
- Plumbing Code
- Mechanical Code
- Fuel Gas Code
- Energy Conservation Code
- Existing Building Code
- Accessibility Code
As of 2022, the latest edition of the FBC is the 7th edition. It was released in 2020.
The effective date for the current, 7th edition was December 31, 2020.
The Florida Building Commission uses a Triennial Code Cycle. So it is updated every 3 years.
The Florida Building Commission is responsible for updating the code.
The 7th edition is based on the International Building Code 2018 (IBC 2018). However it is amended to account for issues specific to the state of Florida.