The Case for Preserving Florida’s Building Code System

Florida Senate Bills 1312 and 1372 would critically weaken the built environment in Florida in ways that are not immediately obvious. On its face, it appears to streamline the process of updating the Florida Building Code (FBC), but in effect, it creates a system that blocks the regular incorporation of updated consensus-based, industry building codes and standards and, in turn, leaves Florida behind on building and weather science and safety innovations. After Hurricane Andrew, Florida learned the lessons of an inadequate building code system. This bill will leave Florida, a uniquely populous and catastrophe-exposed state, back in a pre-Andrew system and vulnerable to the next tropical storm or hurricane to again prove the value of strong minimum construction standards.