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Florida state building professionals call for mandatory high-rise building inspections

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Codes and Standards

Florida state building professionals call for mandatory high-rise building inspections

Group recommendation comes in wake of Surfside condo collapse.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | November 9, 2021
Miami skyline

Courtesy Pixabay

The Surfside Working Group, a coalition of seven Florida engineering and building professional associations, has recommended that the state impose mandatory building inspections for aging high-rise buildings.

The group was formed following the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium buildings in Surfside. The 12-story building collapsed in a matter of seconds, killing 98.

The building needed costly repairs, but no statewide inspection laws or building code requires structural and safety re-inspections for aging high-rises. The panel’s recommendation is for all Florida buildings greater than 2,000 sf with more than 10 occupants to have mandatory structural inspections. Recertification would be required after 30 years, and every 10 years thereafter.

If the building is close to saltwater, it would have to be inspected after 20 years with re-inspections every seven years. The report is now in the hands of state lawmakers, but they are not obligated to act on it. The panel is hopeful, though, that the report will spur action.

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