Miami-Dade Building Recertification Program
Miami Dade County is constantly reviewing and adapting their laws and regulations for the safety and wellbeing of the community. These laws and regulations include anything that has to do with the buildings and structures that are located within the county. Due to the Champlain Towers collapse in 2021, these laws and regulations have been revised and will be strictly enforced moving forward. In this article, we will be discussing information intended for building owners, condominium and cooperative associations, and managers of buildings, such as: condominiums, cooperatives, apartments, commercial buildings, industrial buildings, retail buildings, etc., that are located within Miami-Dade County.
Origins of the Miami-Dade Building Recertification Program
In 1974, a building leased to the DEA located in Miami, collapsed and killed 7 people and injured 16 others. This was the origin of the Miami-Dade Building Recertification Program. Up until last year (2021), this program consisted of the requirement of all buildings, that were not single family residences, duplexes or minor structures, that were 40 years or older, to be recertified as to their structural safety. The DEA building had just turned 40 years old and this is why they picked 40 years. After this 40 year recertification, they would require subsequent recertifications at 10-year intervals. They developed this program to inspect aging structures within Miami Dade county.
To learn more about this process, read our article dedicated to the 40 Year Recertification.
Recertification Program Changes
The purpose of the 40 Year Recertification Inspection is to make sure a structure is safe for continued use. However, the new Miami-Dade Recertification Program changed the time in which they need to perform this first recertification. Miami-Dade adopted a strengthened milestone inspection program that reduced the inspection cycle from 40 to 30 years, among other changes. Florida recently enacted a new law that created a milestone inspection program across the entire state, and it is currently limited to condominium buildings and cooperative association buildings that are 3-stories or taller. Additionally, there are some condominium and cooperative law changes that include: Not being able to waive reserves, and providing a reserve study every 10 years to set maintenance reserve amounts.
Condominium associations and cooperative associations will be receiving written notices that will state that a certain building needs to go through a Milestone Inspection, before a specific date. Such associations are responsible for costs relating to this milestone inspection. Once the property manager/owner finds a professional to inspect the property, the recertification program requires that the engineer submits a sealed copy of the inspection report and a summary that includes specified findings and recommendations.
25 Year Milestone Inspection
For buildings that are located within three miles of a coastline, there is a new requirement which specifies that condominium and cooperative association buildings that are three or more stories in height have to go through a 25 Year Milestone Inspection. The Miami-Dade Building Recertification Program also requires a reinspection for these buildings 10 years thereafter. Similarly to the inspections mentioned above, the condominium associations and cooperative associations will receive a written notice from the local enforcement agency. Once received, phase one of the milestone inspection must begin within 180 days.
Structural Integrity Reserve Study
This addition to the Miami-Dade Building Recertification Program is a requirement for condominium associations and cooperative associations. It consists of the completion of a structural integrity reserve study every 10 years for each building within the association that is three stories or higher. The study must include a visual inspection, a statement of the estimated remaining useful life, and the estimated cost of any maintenance that could be over $10,000. The performance of the visual inspection must be by a an engineer or architect with a license. However, any person with the right qualifications may perform the other components of the structural integrity reserve study. To read in detail all the requirements of this study, please refer to this Document written by the Florida Senate.
Basic Purpose of This Building Recertification Program
The basic purpose of this program, is to get a set of trained eyes to inspect and determine how the building is aging. During this inspection, structural engineers are able to identify any structural distress, any electrical issues, and if necessary, recommend structural repairs so that the building can continue to serve its purpose and stay safe for the current occupants. The purpose of this inspection is not to determine compliance with the Florida Building Code, however, any elements that are replaced because of deterioration, need to follow the current building code. To learn more about all the specific requirements that were brought by this program, read the 2022 legislature at this link: 2022 Legislature Relating to Building Safety.
Our Experience with the Miami-Dade Building Recertification Program
Eastern Engineering Group has completed an extensive amount of 40-year recertification inspections and reports since its establishment. With our experience we will be able to provide you with high quality services and we always focus on the safety of our clients. Additionally, our firm is covered with all the appropriate business insurances to have a backup and take care of the safety of our services, employees, and clients. Our insurance coverage includes: Professional Liability Insurance, Commercial General Liability, Workers Compensation and Employer’s Liability, Automobile Liability.
Please note that this article is specific for unincorporated Miami-Dade county. While the process should be similar for other municipalities, please contact your local building department for minor differences in their program. If at any point while reading this article you felt like this information applies to you, do not hesitate to contact us for answers. Additionally, Eastern Engineering Group performs all the Inspections that follow the new Miami-Dade Building Recertification Program, and we have extensive experience within this field.
©️ 2022 Eastern Engineering Group wrote and published this article. All rights reserved.