In Miami-Dade County, Florida, building recertification is a critical process aimed at ensuring the safety and structural integrity of buildings. With the integration of new state law and the amended Miami-Dade ordinance, building safety programs have undergone significant changes, impacting all existing buildings in the county. In this article, we will explore the latest requirements for building recertification in Miami-Dade County, the inspection timeline, and the key components involved in the process.
New Building Safety Law and Its Impacts
After the devastating Surfside building collapse, there have been multiple changes on a statewide and countywide level to ensure building safety. As of May 26, 2022, a new state law has come into effect, introducing new requirements for milestone inspections for all condominium and cooperative association buildings in Florida that are three stories and taller. Aside from this, the Miami-Dade County building recertification program, established in 1975, was amended on June 1, 2022, and changes have brought about new timelines and guidelines for recertification inspections in the county.
Recertification Schedule for Existing Buildings
Existing buildings that have already undergone an initial recertification inspection through Miami-Dade’s 40-year program will continue to follow the established schedule. However, coastal condominiums and cooperative buildings three stories or taller built between 1983 and 1997 and located within three miles of the coastline must now undergo a recertification inspection by December 31, 2024, and every ten years after that. Additionally, buildings constructed between 1983 and 1992 must also be recertified by the same deadline.
Recertification Requirements for Newer Buildings
For newer buildings, the recertification timeline is determined by their construction date. Condominium and cooperative association buildings that are three stories or taller and located within three miles of the coastline, built on or after 1998, must undergo a recertification inspection when the building age reaches 25 years and every ten years after that. For all other buildings constructed on or after 1993, a recertification inspection is required when the building age reaches 30 years and every ten years.
Strengthening the Recertification Program
Strengthening the recertification program in Miami-Dade County involves enhancing existing requirements and expanding inspections to include additional building components. Notably, Miami-Dade County already imposes more stringent criteria than Broward County, with requirements for guardrail inspections and illumination inspections that Broward County is exempt from. Now, Miami-Dade County is taking further steps to enhance the program with the following changes aimed at bolstering building safety:
Updated Recertification Timeline:
Miami-Dade County now mandates recertification when a building reaches 30 years of age or 25 years if it’s located within 3 miles of the coast. This is a shift from the previous 40-year requirement, with subsequent recertifications required every ten years thereafter.
Threshold Building Inspections:
For buildings considered threshold buildings, a threshold special inspector is now required. Threshold buildings are those exceeding three stories or 50 feet in height OR those with an assembly occupancy classification exceeding 5,000 square feet AND an occupant content of over 500 persons. Think stadiums, conference centers, and gymnasiums.
Electrical Systems Inspection:
Buildings with electrical systems operating at or over 400 amps now necessitate a level II thermographic inspector for evaluation.
Initiating the Recertification Process
Each year, new properties become subject to the recertification process at 30 years old, or 25 years if within 3 miles from the coast, and every ten years thereafter, as per Section 8-11(f) of the Code of Miami-Dade County. Property owners receive a Notice of Required Recertification to commence the process. The recertification reports, prepared by a Florida-registered Professional Engineer or architect, must be submitted within 90 days from the date of notice.
Exclusions from Recertification
Certain types of residences, including single-family homes, duplexes, and buildings with ten occupant loads or less and 2,000 square feet or less, are exempt from the recertification process.
Building recertification in Miami-Dade County is a crucial step in maintaining the safety and structural soundness of properties. The recent changes in the law and the strengthened recertification program demonstrate the county’s commitment to ensuring public safety and compliance with building codes. By adhering to the new regulations and promptly conducting recertification inspections, property owners can proactively protect their investments and ensure the well-being of their occupants.
For reliable building recertification services in Miami-Dade County, Polikar Engineering Solutions (PES) and our team of licensed and insured Professional Engineers are well-versed in the latest regulations and guidelines, providing comprehensive recertification inspections and reports. Contact us today to schedule your building recertification and ensure the safety of your tenants, property, and investment.