Main difference between NOA and OTA?

On our engineering blog we want to explain the difference between an NOA and OTA:

An NOA or Notice of Acceptance is an approval obtained by a manufacturer from the Miami Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER), Board and Code Administration Division, Product Control Section, for specific models of their products. NOA’s can be issued to a variety of products including windows, doors and roofing shingles. Having an NOA for a specific product means it can be widely used throughout the state including in High-Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ), as defined in the Florida Building Code (FBC), without undergoing additional testing, as long as the specifications for the NOA are met. Some of the specifications that are usually included in NOA’s are product configuration, fasteners (including type, size, embedment, and specific location), and hardware and installation procedures.

The first step to obtaining an NOA is to have a product design or configuration to test Eastern Engineering Group, as a structural engineering firm in South Florida can aid manufacturers with the Design and Development process of the product, as well as with Product Design Assistance. This includes having an engineer run the preliminary calculations and mock-up testing calculations, to make sure the product has a successful testing outcome. Products must then undergo testing in a Miami-Dade County Certified Laboratory for different categories including large and small missile impact testing, air infiltration testing, water infiltration testing and cyclic testing. The test results must be signed and sealed by the testing facility’s Florida Licensed Professional Engineer (FLPE).

Once the series of test have been completed, the manufacturer must submit the test results (which may not be older than 2 years from time of submittal), along with product specifications and shop drawings by a FLPE structural engineer in addition to signed and sealed statements by the structural engineer stating that the product conforms to the current Florida Building Code, that he/she has no financial interest with the laboratory performing the test or with the engineer sealing the test report, and others which one of our qualified structural engineers here at Eastern Engineering Group can provide.

Once an NOA is ready to be used, an FLPE will annotate the NOA for the model being used given the specific project design and will make sure the conditions are within the minimum and maximum requirements and conditions of the NOA. NOA’s may expire or be superseded by a revision done by the manufacturer or by Miami Dade County. It is important that the engineer that will be doing the markups on the NOA’s is aware of the most up-to-date version for the system, being used. The contractor for the project must submit the marked documents for permitting in a timely manner to avoid the unfortunate circumstance of finding out the NOA’s that were marked have expired. If you have a project waiting for permit approval because the NOA’s have expired or have been superseded, Eastern Engineering can help you by completing the current NOA for submittal.

Difference between NOA and OTA

An OTA or One Time Approval is very similar to an NOA in the sense that it is an approval by Miami Dade County to use a certain product in a specific manner. A manufacturer may decide to file for an OTA instead of an NOA if he/she plans to only use the product in one project. However, OTA’s still requires the product to undergo testing in a Miami Dade Certified Laboratory and has similar requirements as those of an NOA, which must be completed by an engineer.

Eastern Engineering will gladly assist manufactures or contractors with creating NOA’s or OTA’s as well as marking and/ or verifying them for ongoing or future projects.