Designing Roof Tile Assemblies Throughout Florida Manny Oyola, Jr., Technical Manager Eastern Region FL, Eagle Roofing Products Tile roofs provide a bold aesthetic appeal like no other roof system. Combined with tile’s natural insulation properties and lifelong protection from the elements, it’s no wonder that they are the system of choice for discerning customers who want to combine beauty, prestige, protection and, ultimately, value to cover their home or professional building. Most professional roofing contractors are creatures of habit: applying the skills and knowledge gained from previous experience to choose the components for each new roof tile assembly. However, we must also remember that each project – its location, neighborhood constraints, potential hazards, budget and more – is unique and requires our ingenuity as we design the system. A roofing contractor can design roof systems? Yes. Designing a roof system best suited to each project falls under the scope of a Florida-licensed roofing contractor. In order to design systems that will meet code requirements, match customer expectations and perform well during Florida’s common high wind events, licensed contractors must be careful to pay attention to the array of options available, choosing components that play well together and are code-approved.
Geography: The “Standard Florida Building Code Region” and the “HVHZ”
Since the statewide enforcement of the initial Florida Building Code (FBC) in March 2002, South Florida (Miami-Dade and Broward counties) has maintained its own version of the code in that region, which is referred to as the High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ). The HVHZ code is often perceived as being more robust and providing greater protection to its residents. However, recent articles in Florida Roofing (see Florida May Have a Flaw in its Roofing Code Armor, May 2021 and FRSA Tile Underlayment Testing Confirms Concerns, October 2021) have questioned the appropriateness of such a perception, specifically in response to Miami-Dade officials’ ongoing exclusion of a tile roof system that uses a direct to deck, self-adhered tile underlayment that offers the highest wind uplift resistance values and a proven secondary water barrier. This system is permitted in the rest of the state, but not in the HVHZ. FRSA continues to hope that South Florida officials will “see the light” and permit its citizens this option but, as of now, they remain entrenched against the system. 14
FLORIDA ROOFING | December 2021
For the rest of this article, I will use “standard FBC region” to refer to the code applicable in 65 counties throughout Florida (but not in the HVHZ) and “HVHZ” to refer to the code enforced in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Keep in mind that both of these regions fall under the Florida Building Code.
Standard Florida Building Code Region: Selecting Components for a Roof Tile Assembly
In the 65 counties included in the standard FBC region, the Florida Building Commission has adopted the FRSA-TRI Florida High Wind Concrete and Clay Tile Installation Manual, currently in its sixth edition, as a reference standard. This manual provides a flowchart to guide a roofing professional who is designing a roof tile assembly. It also includes a series of tables that allow the contractor to find ASCE 7 values depending on mean roof height, exposure category, roof slope, roof zone and local wind speed requirements
Standard FBC Region HVHZ