BUILDING CODE COMPLIANCE

GFA International brings our renowned reputation for superior client service and thorough knowledge and complete understanding of Florida’s Building Code(s). Our Code Compliance team members have decades of experience providing expert Inspections and Plan Review solutions to complex projects of all sizes, whether public or private.

Our Building Code Compliance Services include:

  • Municipal Support Services
  • Private Provider Plan Review and Inspection Services
  • Third-Party Peer Plan Review Services
  • Blower Door & Duct Leakage Testing Services
  • Balcony Inspections

Municipal Support Services

GFA has assisted many counties, cities, school districts and universities with outsourcing Building Department Services to meet the fluctuating demands of the building industry.  Our team of Code Compliance Professionals can provide support staff to augment existing municipal operations or provide the entire staff needed to manage and operate every aspect of a building department. At GFA, we pride ourselves on having the ability to custom tailor our support services to the exact needs of each government agency that we serve.

GFA’s team of Code Compliance Professionals experience and background is unparalleled.  GFA’s Plans Examiners, Inspectors and Building Code Administrators are certified by the State of Florida Code Administrators, Inspection Board, by the State of Florida Board of Professional Engineers and by the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Our Code Compliance team members have many years of experience providing Building Code Inspections and Permit Plan Reviews for many municipal and educational institutions across the state.

We bring our renowned reputation for superior client service and thorough knowledge and complete understanding of Florida’s Building Code. Our team of qualified to perform professional building code services per Chapter 553 and 468, Part XII of the Florida Statutes, the Florida Building Code and all relevant laws and codes.

Because of their many years in the construction industry, GFA’s staff has extensive experience with a wide range of new and existing construction including commercial structures, residential developments, single family homes, multi-family residential projects, mixed-use buildings, high-rise, universities, K-8 and high schools, as well as hospitals, and government facilities.

Private Provider Plan Review & Inspection Services

Florida Statute §553.791 allows the fee owner of a proposed building to use a private provider to perform building code required plan reviews and/or minimum mandatory building code required inspections for compliance with the Florida Building Code and Local Amendments. The Statute allows the private provider to perform these services on the building components that are within the disciplines covered by that person’s licensure and is further limited to the structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and accessibility components of the building.  GFA’S Private Provider Services also offers checks and balances from Florida Registered Professional Engineers who oversee the duties of our Florida Statute §468 Plan Reviewers and Inspectors.

GFA Private Provider Services

Third-Party Peer Plan Review Services

GFA offers comprehensive, multi-disciplinary third-party Peer Plan Review Services. GFA’s Plan Review Services provide an examination of proposed construction documents (independent from design professionals) that identifies design deficiencies, improves constructability, eliminate costly errors, minimizes liability, and expedites the building department’s review process.

Our team of expert and experienced professional engineers, master code professionals and certified plan examiners identify code and design deficiencies. We take pride in supporting design professionals and owners in developing safe, constructible and efficient buildings that comply with all applicable building codes.

Through the implementation of our Peer Plan Review, we are confident that we can assist you in producing a superior set of construction documents and a high-quality product

GFA Third-Party Peer Plan Review Services

GFA’s Plan Review typically includes:

  • Building Code Compliance Review
  • Vertical Alignment Checks
  • Constructability Reviews
  • Check for Completeness of Design Details and/or Specifications
  • Verify Dimensions & Check for Dimensional Conflicts
  • Check for Design or Specification Code Violations or Conflicts
  • Check for Applicability of Specified Systems, Equipment, Materials & Finishes

40 Year and Older Building Safety Inspections

The 40-Year or Older Building Safety Program was established in the mid-1970s in Miami; then, it expanded to Broward County around 2005. Currently, these are the only two counties that require these inspections, that will most likely change as the discussion for a statewide requirement has been buzzing for a while. Under the Florida Building Code of 2001, the 40-Year or Older Building Safety Program requires commercial and specific residential properties, 40 years old or older to undergo a property assessment by a professional engineer. The main objective is to ensure all buildings reaching 40 years of age are still “safe” in terms of their structural and electrical systems. 

While most buildings meet the requirements for this inspection, there are some exemptions including:

  • One- and two-family dwellings
  • US government buildings
  • Buildings owned by the State of Florida
  • Schools under the jurisdiction of the country school board
  • Buildings built on Indian reservations
  • All buildings under 3,500 square feet
  • Minor structures with an occupancy load of 10 or less
  • Non-residential farm buildings on farms

Why Do I Need a 40/50 Year Inspection?

As the property owner or manager, it is your responsibility to acquire a professional service company to perform the 40-Year Recertification, once you have receive the “Notice of Required Inspection” by the city’s code compliance section. 

Failure to submit the Recertification Report results in a Civil Violation Notice without notice and referral of the issue to the Unsafe Structures Unit to initiate condemnation proceedings. Not seeking your Recertification Report makes you liable for a hefty fine and all costs incurred by the department once the enforcement proceedings start. Finally, in most extreme cases, if your building receives an issuance of an unsafe structure Notice of Violation, the building must be vacated, and you may have to demolish the building. 

Most commercial real estate property owners are aware of the importance of this inspection. However, the same applies to homeowner association managers and anyone in charge of a qualifying building. 

What Are the Mandatory Inspections?

These inspections are enforced to keep buildings safe. Within each inspection, there’s a list of specific items the county requests to investigate and check. Of course, inspectors are looking for serious structural damage, faulty electrical systems, and other life-threatening items that need to be addressed to ensure the building’s safety. 

Notice of Required Inspection

The moment a qualifying property hits the 40 years old threshold, the owner will be sent a “Notice of Required Inspection” by the county the property is located. From that point forward, the owner has 90 days to find a certified structural engineer to conduct the inspection and provide a “40 Year Certification Report” for the relevant country government office. 

Recertification Submittal

The report gives a complete overview of the state of the property and identifies anything that needs repairs or replacement. If the engineer suggests repairs, the owner has up to 180 days to complete the work. After all repairs and replacements are complete, the engineer must reinspect the property and issue a new report confirming all the necessary work to categorize the building as safe has been done. 

If everything is in order, then the recertification submittal is sent to the country, and the property is recertified as meeting all the safety requirements. Another inspection and Recertification will need to take place in ten years, to be followed by a new one each decade after that. 

Remember, failure to submit the Recertification can result in several financial and legal penalties, which will also be attached to the property’s public record. 

Although 40-Year or Older Building Safety Recertification is a straightforward process, you need a qualified and expert professional to ensure everything is addressed according to code guidelines. People still have questions regarding the 40/50 Recertification Inspections. 

Have you received a “Notice of Required Inspection?” At GFA we can help you with your building’s safety inspection to get your 40/50 recertification. To get started, contact us today and speak with one of our team members

For more information on the Broward County Building Safety Inspection Program and an inspection checklist, visit: https://www.miamidade.gov/permits/library/electrical-recertification.pdfBroward County Building Safety Inspection Program

The Miami-Dade County Minimum Inspection Procedural Guidelines for Building Recertification are available online at the following links: https://www.miamidade.gov/permits/library/structural-recertification.pdf

https://www.miamidade.gov/permits/library/electrical-recertification.pdf