Florida Roofing Magazine - April 2022

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Don’t Look Now, But the New 2023 8th Edition of the Florida Building Code is Already Taking Form Mike Silvers, CPRC, Owner of Silvers Systems Inc. and FRSA Technical Director Recently I was told of an apartment reroof project with multiple buildings where the contractor may be faced with reroofing them again. For many of us, this is one of the worst possible situations we can imagine. For the contractor, who would need the net profit from as many as 10 to 20 similarly priced projects to cover the cost of the second roof, it is a nightmare. The reason the contractor is in this predicament isn’t because his work is subpar, it is because they were not aware of changes in the building code and other pertinent installation requirements. Anytime I hear of a situation like this, regardless of the size of the roofs involved, I can’t help but feel a little ill. This is a hard business to survive in and no one should have this additional burden to overcome. Today, it’s just not going to work using the “but we’ve always done it that way” excuse. Or the old “we always do more than the code requires.” Are you sure? If you don’t know what is required how can you assume you exceed it? Like it or not, things in our industry and elsewhere are changing at a very rapid pace. We need to take advantage of available technology and the information it allows us to access to stay abreast of the changes. Fortunately, FRSA has many volunteers and staff members who are working hard to influence the changes that could negatively impact our members. We are also doing our best to inform you of both current and upcoming changes as well. The current 2020 7th Edition Florida Building Code (FBC) may have been one of the most impactful in several recent triannual code cycles. One of the primary reasons for this was the adoption of the then new American Society of Civil Engineers standard, ASCE 7-16, that added more roof zones (either 4 or 5 depending on roof configuration) and increased uplift

pressures. Another was the new underlayment requirements of the so-called sealed roof deck changes, as well as many others. FRSA offered multiple online and live seminars, in addition to many articles outlining those changes. We hope you have been paying attention. No sooner was the ink dry on the nine new code books, than we began working on the 2023 8th Edition of the FBC. This code cycle is different than the last several. It now has two separate phases: phase one brings in changes from the International Building Code (IBC) only. During that process, FRSA volunteers and staff accomplished the following: ■ Reviewed approximately 1,200 modifications (changes) brought over from the IBC looking for roofing-related content ■ Pulled 137 roofing-related modifications for the Codes Subcommittee to review ■ Tagged 47 of those modifications and rated them at three different levels of concern ■ The Codes Subcommittee took positions on 79 of the 137 modifications they reviewed ■ During FBC Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Commission meetings, 65 out of 79 modifications achieved outcomes that favored our positions ■ Only 5 of the remaining 14 were originally tagged for concern and only 1 of those 5 was rated at a mid-level concern. None at the highest level of concern went against our preferred position. We are now in phase two of the 2023 8th Edition code cycle. This phase was open to anyone who wanted to propose a code modification. This is when FRSA had the opportunity to submit our code modifications. Volunteers and staff have recently: ■ Produced and submitted 29 modifications on 20 different subjects; all of these have now been verified by FBC staff ■ Started the process of reviewing 619 modifications submitted by other parties during phase two to pull any roofing-related modifications for Codes Subcommittee review ■ Began preparing new spreadsheets with pertinent information and FRSA’s positions taken by the Codes Subcommittee during their ongoing meetings