Condominium Structural Safety Inspections, in June of 2021, the Champlain Towers Condominium in Surfside, Fla. partially collapsed killing 98 people. The collapse was not caused by an earthquake, explosion, or another recognizable trigger. The tragedy was blamed on over forty years of inspection shortcuts and poor construction efforts. According to published reports, had every design flaw been recognized through adequate inspections, the collapse may have been predicted or even avoided.
Prior to the new condominium safety law, condo buildings across Florida weren’t technically required to be inspected by a licensed architect or engineer after being built and occupied. Required inspections and recertifications by technical professionals are essential to ensure building safety.
Policy of New Condominium Safety Law
Policy changes of new condominium safety law from Senate Bill 4-D will specifically focus on greater, more recurrent inspection processes. With the help of Florida condominium engineers, the bill was written to ensure that condominium buildings are properly maintained as they age.
The bill requires condominium associations and developers to set aside funds to cover structural safety inspections of any three stories or taller buildings throughout Florida and keep enough funds to repairs when necessary. This will ensure that no shortcuts are taken due to inadequate budgeting or funding. These reserves must be reassessed every ten years and are intended to cover large maintenance costs.
Senate Bill 4-D also requires mandatory statewide inspections through a new program. A condo building that is taller than three stories requires one inspection every decade after its certificate of occupancy reaches 30 years of age. The bill requires condominium and cooperative associations to conduct a “structural integrity reserve study” that includes waterproofing, exterior painting, the roof, load bearing walls, floor, foundation, fireproofing and fire protection systems, plumbing, and any item with a deferred maintenance or replacement cost that exceeds $10,000.
Condominiums that are located within three miles of the Florida coast require inspections known as “milestone inspections.” These inspections are required to begin after 25 years of building occupancy and every 10 years thereafter.
All inspection reports must also be published online and shared with owners and tenants. If an inspection uncovers a need for any structural repairs or maintenance, this work is required to be performed no later than a year following the report.
How Change Will Help
Call EMA Engineers to schedule your structural inspections of your condominium buildings at (321) 355-6052 or visit us at https://constructionsiteonline.com