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Florida legislature updates code adoption process with three-year cycle

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has  signed into law House Bill 1021 to modify the code adoption process for the state.

This law provides that the Florida Building Commission (FBC) continue to update the Florida Building Code on a three-year cycle and adopt updates based on the International Code Council’s (ICC) family of model codes (International Codes or I-Codes) and the National Electrical Code, the ICC says in a news release.

Also in late June, the FBC finalized the sixth edition of the Florida Building Code. The new edition of the state code is based on the 2015 I-Codes and will be effective on Dec. 31.

House Bill 1021 is intended to simplify the code adoption process in Florida by allowing the FBC to avoid the need to amend requirements not applicable to Florida that were addressed in the previous update cycle, such as the deletion of snow loads. In addition, wind and flood provisions will continue to be updated in order to comply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s policies for public disaster assistance, and the Commission will consistently review and adopt updates based on the latest International Energy Conservation Code to maintain the Florida Energy Efficiency Code for Building Construction.

The bill also ensures that the FBC shall adopt any updates necessary to maintain eligibility for federal funding and discounts from the National Flood Insurance Program, FEMA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The Code Council has long advocated for state adoption processes that are simple and effective and provide users and enforcers of the code time to prepare and adjust to code updates,” said ICC Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims. “Over the past few months, we worked closely with members and stakeholders to ensure that the new process would continue to result in a Florida code that meets or exceeds the I-Codes while taking into consideration the unique needs of the state.”

The FBC has begun work on the rulemaking to implement the changes, and the Code Council will continue to work closely with Florida’s legislators, the FBC, the code administration community and all stakeholders to ensure that Florida’s building codes are strong, its residents are protected and its communities are resilient, the ICC said.

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