The State of Florida has just mandated compliance with a brand new version of the Florida Building code. As of March 15, 2012, all new plans submitted for a building permit must meet the requirements of the 2010 Florida Building Code. Maronda Homes builds in many different areas of the state and is constantly working on ways to improve it’s designs and methods to stay in compliance with these changes.
The State of Florida first mandated statewide building codes in the 1970’s and at that time local municipalities were required to adopt one of the four state recognized model codes known as the “state minimum building codes“. Each local jurisdiction would decide on which code to adopt and how it would be enforced. Some areas, especially near the coasts, were strongly enforced, while others were weak and in some cases non-existent. Then, on August 24, 1992, everything changed! Hurricane Andrew caused $26.5 Billion in damages in south Florida and it was the most costly disaster on record. In July of 1996, the “Florida Building Codes Study Commission” was established. During this 16 month study, it was determined that the main problem was not the lack of adequate codes, but the lack of uniform enforcement of the existing codes. A statewide uniform code, known as the “Southern Standard Building Code”, was authorized by the 1998 Florida Legislature. This Code went into effect March 1, 2002, and it was required to be updated every three years. The first “Florida Building Code” (2004) was based on the Southern Standard Building Code (SBCCI 1997 edition), The current 2010 Florida Building Code is based on the “International Building Code” (ICC 2009 edition). This new code is the result of the required three year update cycle.
Maronda Homes has been building homes in Florida since 1972 and has seen many changes over the years, but has remained dedicated to quality affordable construction methods. Maronda builds homes using exclusively reinforced concrete block construction, even in markets that have become traditionally frame construction markets, such as the Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida, areas.
The most significant changes to this code involve the way homes are designed to resist the force of wind that is present in major storm events. All design criteria up to now was determined based on assumptions of what the actual wind speeds would be at ground level. These assumptions were based on calculations that adjusted the readings taken at high altitudes, as that was the only data available at the time.
In recent years, ground level sensors have been deployed to gather actual readings, enabling the design to be tailored to the actual or “ultimate wind speed” encountered during a storm. This new data revealed that Maronda Homes had been designing their homes to resist higher wind speeds than what were actually being experienced in many cases. Since Maronda builds in many different areas of the state, all of it’s homes are designed to resist the strongest wind speeds experienced in the areas where they build. As a result of this standardization, homes built in some areas, such as North Florida and South Georgia, are actually designed to resist higher wind speeds than required.
Another key component of the code review and update process is a mandate that homes built under these new codes be increasingly more energy efficient. There is a separate section of the code specifically dedicated to this initiative. Energy conservation is a key factor in considering the purchase of a new home, and Maronda’s “Energy Star Partner” status has kept their homes in compliance with these code requirements.
Buying a new home has always been a smart choice due to the fact that they are covered by builder’s and manufacturer’s warranties. It also affords the luxury of choosing your own colors and features, enabling you to make it uniquely “your own”. But now, buying new is even more crucial, due to the fact that these homes are built to much more stringent codes and energy efficiency standards.
If you would like to tour one of Maronda Homes’ great communities and see first hand these quality built homes, there are decorated model homes located all over the North Florida and South Georgia area. Please visit Maronda Homes online today!