On February 24, 2023, the Florida Building Commission Special Occupancy Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will meet to discuss proposed changes to the state’s building code. The TAC will make recommendations that will be considered at the March 14, 2023 rule development workshop being held “for the purpose of reviewing comments received regarding the proposed 8th Edition (2023) Update to the Florida Building Code.” If the proposed changes are implemented as written any applicable construction, both new construction and additions or significant repairs to current facilities, are likely to be prohibitively expensive.
Specifically, the proposed rule requires that the allowable height of the “lowest finished floor of all construction of new facilities and additions, substantial improvements to, or restoration of substantial damage to existing facilities” must be higher than:
- “Two feet above the base flood elevation as defined in the code”
- The height of a hurricane Category 5 surge inundation elevation, as described by the FEMA/USACE/NWS developed SLOSH model
- The design flood elevation as defined in the building code
- The 500-year flood elevation as described in ASCE 24
Past editions of the Florida Building Code have used Category 3 surge inundation elevation.
We have heard from a number of our members that these changes would make it nearly impossible to develop additions to existing facilities or conduct repairs if necessary. We believe the costs imposed would also make new construction too expensive for most hospitals and health systems. We ask that you review these changes and provide feedback to FHA on their impact on your hospitals and health systems.
If you are interested in participating in the TAC meeting on February 24th at 10:00 am you may join using the information below:
- Via webinar, clicking here
- By conference call, dial 1-866-4679 – use access code/Meeting ID 533-378-925
A copy of the current building code may be found by clicking here.
If you would like to share information on this change’s impact, please email [email protected].
Mary C. Mayhew
President & CEO