Florida Governor Rick Scott recently signed into law House Bill 1021 to modify the code adoption process for Florida. This law provides that the Florida Building Commission continue to update the Florida Building Code on a three-year cycle and adopt updates based on the International Code Council's family of model codes (International Codes or I-Codes) and the National Electrical Code. The Commission also finalized the sixth edition of the Florida Building Code. The new edition of the state code is based on the 2015 I-Codes and will be effective on December 31.
House Bill 1021 is intended to simplify the code adoption process in Florida by allowing the Florida Building Commission to avoid the need to amend requirements not applicable to Florida that were addressed in the previous update cycle, such as the deletion of snow loads. In addition, wind and flood provisions will continue to be updated in order to comply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) policies for public disaster assistance, and the Commission will consistently review and adopt updates based on the latest International Energy Conservation Code to maintain the Florida Energy Efficiency Code for Building Construction. The bill also ensures that the Commission shall adopt any updates necessary to maintain eligibility for federal funding and discounts from the National Flood Insurance Program, FEMA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.