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Building Code Update – Ensure Your Projects Remain Compliant!

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Building Code Update – Ensure Your Projects Remain Compliant

In case you missed it, the 8th edition of the Florida Building Code has been in effect since December 31, 2023. Please note the following highlights below as related to structural components under the current Code. Bryntesen Engineering continuously monitors and reviews code updates to remain current with industry requirements. Bryntesen is here to help you navigate these changes to help ensure your projects remain compliant.  

Here are the highlights as well as things to consider:

110.9 Mandatory structural inspections for condominium and cooperative buildings 

This section includes all structures except 1 or 2-family dwellings.

  • Largely, any building that is three stories or more in height must have a structural “milestone inspection” performed by December 31st of the year in which the building reaches 30 years in age and every 10 years thereafter.

This provision is subject to other factors such as vicinity to the coastline and local jurisdiction.

The entire section can be found here.

1607.7 Live loads on passenger vehicle garage

“Floors in garages or portions of a building used for the storage of motor vehicles shall be designed for the uniformly distributed live loads indicated in Table 1607.1 or the following concentrated load”:

  1. For garages restricted to passenger vehicles accommodating not more than nine passengers, 3,000 pounds (13.35 kN) acting on an area of 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches (114 mm by 114 mm).
  2. For mechanical parking structures without slab or deck that are used for storing passenger vehicles only, 2,250 pounds (10 kN) per wheel.

Things to consider:

Although the increased load may not be significant, these updates may affect connections and thickness of slab edges.

1609.5 Tornado loads

The design and construction of Risk Category III and IV buildings and other structures shall be in accordance with Chapter 32 of ASCE 7, except as modified by this code.”

Things to consider:

  • This section applies only to Risk Category III (high occupancy, churches, community centers, etc.) and Risk Category IV (essential facilities, hurricane shelters, power stations, etc.)
  • Largely throughout the state of Florida, hurricane wind speed is much greater than captured tornado wind speeds. Additionally, the code requires design standards to consider the high end of hurricane wind loads and tornado loads, but not both simultaneously.

Since all wind speeds in Florida are calculated per hurricane standards, the inclusion of tornado loads won’t affect most design loads in the state of Florida.

Table 2002.4 Design Wind Pressures on Screened Enclosures

  • “Vertical pressures on solid surfaces” have increased by 20% to 27% of their values from the previous edition.
  • In Table 2002.4A, height adjustment factors for Exposure B have reduced by 6% to 19% of their values from the previous edition.

Things to consider:

An increase in the vertical pressures on solid surfaces will directly affect the design of screened enclosures with solid roofs, including but not limited to:

  1. Roof panel sizing
  2. Beam & post sizes
  3. Connection design
  4. Footer sizes

This effect will be less pronounced for structures in Exposure Category B.

2002.8.2 Design of Operable Louvers

Operable louvers shall be repositioned and locked in the vertical open position when wind speeds are predicted to be 75 mph (34 m/s) or greater. The contractor shall post a legible and readily visible permanent decal or sign indicating the operable louvers are to be locked in the vertically open position when wind speeds are predicted to be 75 mph (34 m/s) or greater, and during a hurricane warning or alert as designated by the National Weather Service.”

The precise text of the decal/warning label can be found here.

Referenced Standards

The following standards have been updated from the previous edition.

  1. 2023 Florida Building Code, Building, Eighth Edition
  2. 2020 Aluminum Design Manual
  3. ACI 318-19: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete
  4. ASCE 7-22: Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures

The entire body of the 2023 FBC can be accessed here.  

Residential

This section relates to 1 or 2-family dwellings.

Table R301.2(2) Component and Cladding Loads

  • The range of wind speed has been expanded from “115 mph to 180 mph” in the previous edition to “90 mph to 180 mph” in the current edition.
  • Wind Zones have been simplified to only include Zones 1, 2, and 3.
  • Table R301.2(3) Height & Exposure Adjustment Coefficients for heights between 40 ft and 60 ft in Exposure Category B have been reduced by 2% to 3%.

Things to consider:

  • On a general basis, roof pressures have not changed significantly. However, taller structures in Exposure Category B would have to be designed for marginally lower pressures.
  • The simplification of wind zones will help with calculations and illustration of engineering plans.

R301.2.1.1.1.2.2 Design of Operable Louvers

Operable louvers shall be repositioned and locked in the vertical open position when wind speeds are predicted to be 75 mph (34 m/s) or greater. The contractor shall post a legible and readily visible permanent decal or sign stating words to the effect that the operable louvers are to be locked in the vertically open position when wind speeds are predicted to be 75 mph (34 m/s) and during a hurricane warning or alert as designated by the National Weather Service.”

The precise text of the decal/warning label can be found here.

Table R301.5 Minimum Uniformly Designed and Concentrated Live Loads on Guardrail Components

In addition to the uniformly distributed loads from the previous edition, concentrated live loads have been added in the current edition.

Things to consider:

The increased load is not significant, but it may affect certain connections and thicknesses of members.

Elevation Requirements for Flood-Resistant Construction R322.2.1 (Zone A)

Attached garages and carports that have not been elevated to “1 ft above BFE” or “DFE” are permissible, provided:

  • Their floors are at or above grade on at least one side,
  • Code-compliant flood openings have been provided, and
  • They are used for parking, building access or storage only.

Detached accessory structures and garages in flood hazard zones (Zone A) that have not been elevated to “1 ft above BFE” or “DFE” are permissible, provided:

  • Their floors are at or above grade on at least one side,
  • Code-compliant flood openings have been provided, and
  • They are used for parking, building access or storage only.

                                                    OR

  • They are used for parking or storage only,
  • Code-compliant flood openings have been provided, and
  • They are one story and not larger than 600 square feet.

Other applicable criteria can be found here.

R322.3.2 (Zone V and Coastal Zone A)

Attached garages that have not been elevated to “1 ft above BFE” or “DFE” are permissible, provided:

  • Their floors are at or above grade on at least one side.
  • Code-compliant breakaway walls have been provided.
  • They are used for parking, building access, or storage only.

Detached accessory structures and garages in flood hazard zones (Zone A) that have not been elevated to “1 ft above BFE” or “DFE” are permissible, provided:

  • They are used for parking or storage only.
  • They are one story and not larger than 100 square feet.

Things to consider:

This section expands on the restrictions of certain structures that are constructed below flood elevations. Site-specific calculations may be required for such structures.

Table R507.5 Deck Beam Span Lengths

  • “Deck joist span” as called out in the previous edition might be adjusted by a “joist span factor” as tabulated in the current edition to provide an “effective joist span”.

Things to consider:

The inclusion of a “joist span factor” effectively reduces the joist spans, thus allowing us to design beams more economically.

For example, consider a (2) 2X8 SYP beam supporting 10’ joists with no cantilever.

Per 2020 FBC-R, such a beam can span 6’-9”.

Per 2023 FBC-R, such a beam can span at least 7’-7”.

Referenced Standards

The following standards have been updated from the previous edition.

  1. 2023 Florida Building Code, Residential, Eighth Edition
  2. 2020 Aluminum Design Manual
  3. ACI 318-19: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete
  4. ASCE 7-22: Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures

The entire body of the 2023 FBC-R can be accessed here 

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