(1)(a) The commission shall adopt, by rule pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, the Florida Building Code which shall contain or incorporate by reference all laws and rules which pertain to and govern the design, construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, and demolition of public and private buildings, structures, and facilities and enforcement of such laws and rules, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(b) The technical portions of the Florida Accessibility Code for Building Construction shall be contained in their entirety in the Florida Building Code. The civil rights portions and the technical portions of the accessibility laws of this state shall remain as currently provided by law. Any revision or amendments to the Florida Accessibility Code for Building Construction pursuant to part II shall be considered adopted by the commission as part of the Florida Building Code. Neither the commission nor any local government shall revise or amend any standard of the Florida Accessibility Code for Building Construction except as provided for in part II.
(c) The Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code shall be referenced in the Florida Building Code, but shall be adopted, modified, revised, or amended, interpreted, and maintained by the Department of Financial Services by rule adopted pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54. The Florida Building Commission may not adopt a fire prevention or lifesafety code, and nothing in the Florida Building Code shall affect the statutory powers, duties, and responsibilities of any fire official or the Department of Financial Services.
(d) Conflicting requirements between the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code and Life Safety Code of the state established pursuant to ss. 633.022 and 633.025 shall be resolved by agreement between the commission and the State Fire Marshal in favor of the requirement that offers the greatest degree of lifesafety or alternatives that would provide an equivalent degree of lifesafety and an equivalent method of construction. If the commission and State Fire Marshal are unable to agree on a resolution, the question shall be referred to a mediator, mutually agreeable to both parties, to resolve the conflict in favor of the provision that offers the greatest lifesafety, or alternatives that would provide an equivalent degree of lifesafety and an equivalent method of construction.
(e) Subject to the provisions of this act, responsibility for enforcement, interpretation, and regulation of the Florida Building Code shall be vested in a specified local board or agency, and the words “local government” and “local governing body” as used in this part shall be construed to refer exclusively to such local board or agency.
(2) The Florida Building Code shall contain provisions or requirements for public and private buildings, structures, and facilities relative to structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, energy, and gas systems, existing buildings, historical buildings, manufactured buildings, elevators, coastal construction, lodging facilities, food sales and food service facilities, health care facilities, including assisted living facilities, adult day care facilities, hospice residential and inpatient facilities and units, and facilities for the control of radiation hazards, public or private educational facilities, swimming pools, and correctional facilities and enforcement of and compliance with such provisions or requirements. Further, the Florida Building Code must provide for uniform implementation of ss. 515.25, 515.27, and 515.29 by including standards and criteria for residential swimming pool barriers, pool covers, latching devices, door and window exit alarms, and other equipment required therein, which are consistent with the intent of s. 515.23. Technical provisions to be contained within the Florida Building Code are restricted to requirements related to the types of materials used and construction methods and standards employed in order to meet criteria specified in the Florida Building Code. Provisions relating to the personnel, supervision or training of personnel, or any other professional qualification requirements relating to contractors or their workforce may not be included within the Florida Building Code, and subsections (4), (6), (7), (8), and (9) are not to be construed to allow the inclusion of such provisions within the Florida Building Code by amendment. This restriction applies to both initial development and amendment of the Florida Building Code.
(3) The commission shall use the International Codes published by the International Code Council, the National Electric Code (NFPA 70), or other nationally adopted model codes and standards needed to develop the base code in Florida to form the foundation for the Florida Building Code. The Florida Building Commission may approve technical amendments to the code, subject to subsections (8) and (9), after the amendments have been subject to the following conditions:
(a) The proposed amendment has been published on the commission’s website for a minimum of 45 days and all the associated documentation has been made available to any interested party before any consideration by a Technical Advisory Committee;
(b) In order for a Technical Advisory Committee to make a favorable recommendation to the commission, the proposal must receive a three-fourths vote of the members present at the Technical Advisory Committee meeting and at least half of the regular members must be present in order to conduct a meeting;
(c) After Technical Advisory Committee consideration and a recommendation for approval of any proposed amendment, the proposal must be published on the commission’s website for at least 45 days before any consideration by the commission; and
(d) A proposal may be modified by the commission based on public testimony and evidence from a public hearing held in accordance with chapter 120.
The commission shall incorporate within sections of the Florida Building Code provisions which address regional and local concerns and variations. The commission shall make every effort to minimize conflicts between the Florida Building Code, the Florida Fire Prevention Code, and the Life Safety Code.
(4)(a) All entities authorized to enforce the Florida Building Code pursuant to s. 553.80 shall comply with applicable standards for issuance of mandatory certificates of occupancy, minimum types of inspections, and procedures for plans review and inspections as established by the commission by rule. Local governments may adopt amendments to the administrative provisions of the Florida Building Code, subject to the limitations of this paragraph. Local amendments shall be more stringent than the minimum standards described herein and shall be transmitted to the commission within 30 days after enactment. The local government shall make such amendments available to the general public in a usable format. The State Fire Marshal is responsible for establishing the standards and procedures required in this paragraph for governmental entities with respect to applying the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code.
(b) Local governments may, subject to the limitations of this section, adopt amendments to the technical provisions of the Florida Building Code which apply solely within the jurisdiction of such government and which provide for more stringent requirements than those specified in the Florida Building Code, not more than once every 6 months. A local government may adopt technical amendments that address local needs if:
1. The local governing body determines, following a public hearing which has been advertised in a newspaper of general circulation at least 10 days before the hearing, that there is a need to strengthen the requirements of the Florida Building Code. The determination must be based upon a review of local conditions by the local governing body, which review demonstrates by evidence or data that the geographical jurisdiction governed by the local governing body exhibits a local need to strengthen the Florida Building Code beyond the needs or regional variation addressed by the Florida Building Code, that the local need is addressed by the proposed local amendment, and that the amendment is no more stringent than necessary to address the local need.
2. Such additional requirements are not discriminatory against materials, products, or construction techniques of demonstrated capabilities.
3. Such additional requirements may not introduce a new subject not addressed in the Florida Building Code.
4. The enforcing agency shall make readily available, in a usable format, all amendments adopted pursuant to this section.
5. Any amendment to the Florida Building Code shall be transmitted within 30 days by the adopting local government to the commission. The commission shall maintain copies of all such amendments in a format that is usable and obtainable by the public. Local technical amendments shall not become effective until 30 days after the amendment has been received and published by the commission.
6. Any amendment to the Florida Building Code adopted by a local government pursuant to this paragraph shall be effective only until the adoption by the commission of the new edition of the Florida Building Code every third year. At such time, the commission shall review such amendment for consistency with the criteria in paragraph (9)(a) and adopt such amendment as part of the Florida Building Code or rescind the amendment. The commission shall immediately notify the respective local government of the rescission of any amendment. After receiving such notice, the respective local government may readopt the rescinded amendment pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph.
7. Each county and municipality desiring to make local technical amendments to the Florida Building Code shall by interlocal agreement establish a countywide compliance review board to review any amendment to the Florida Building Code, adopted by a local government within the county pursuant to this paragraph, that is challenged by any substantially affected party for purposes of determining the amendment’s compliance with this paragraph. If challenged, the local technical amendments shall not become effective until time for filing an appeal pursuant to subparagraph 8. has expired or, if there is an appeal, until the commission issues its final order determining the adopted amendment is in compliance with this subsection.
8. If the compliance review board determines such amendment is not in compliance with this paragraph, the compliance review board shall notify such local government of the noncompliance and that the amendment is invalid and unenforceable until the local government corrects the amendment to bring it into compliance. The local government may appeal the decision of the compliance review board to the commission. If the compliance review board determines such amendment to be in compliance with this paragraph, any substantially affected party may appeal such determination to the commission. Any such appeal shall be filed with the commission within 14 days of the board’s written determination. The commission shall promptly refer the appeal to the Division of Administrative Hearings by electronic means through the division’s website for the assignment of an administrative law judge. The administrative law judge shall conduct the required hearing within 30 days, and shall enter a recommended order within 30 days of the conclusion of such hearing. The commission shall enter a final order within 30 days thereafter. The provisions of chapter 120 and the uniform rules of procedure shall apply to such proceedings. The local government adopting the amendment that is subject to challenge has the burden of proving that the amendment complies with this paragraph in proceedings before the compliance review board and the commission, as applicable. Actions of the commission are subject to judicial review pursuant to s. 120.68. The compliance review board shall determine whether its decisions apply to a respective local jurisdiction or apply countywide.
9. An amendment adopted under this paragraph shall include a fiscal impact statement which documents the costs and benefits of the proposed amendment. Criteria for the fiscal impact statement shall include the impact to local government relative to enforcement, the impact to property and building owners, as well as to industry, relative to the cost of compliance. The fiscal impact statement may not be used as a basis for challenging the amendment for compliance.
10. In addition to subparagraphs 7. and 9., the commission may review any amendments adopted pursuant to this subsection and make nonbinding recommendations related to compliance of such amendments with this subsection.
(c) Any amendment adopted by a local enforcing agency pursuant to this subsection shall not apply to state or school district owned buildings, manufactured buildings or factory-built school buildings approved by the commission, or prototype buildings approved pursuant to s. 553.77(3). The respective responsible entities shall consider the physical performance parameters substantiating such amendments when designing, specifying, and constructing such exempt buildings.
(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4), counties and municipalities may adopt by ordinance an administrative or technical amendment to the Florida Building Code relating to flood resistance in order to implement the National Flood Insurance Program or incentives. Specifically, an administrative amendment may assign the duty to enforce all or portions of flood-related code provisions to the appropriate agencies of the local government and adopt procedures for variances and exceptions from flood-related code provisions other than provisions for structures seaward of the coastal construction control line consistent with the requirements in 44 C.F.R. s. 60.6. A technical amendment is authorized to the extent it is more stringent than the code. A technical amendment is not subject to the requirements of subsection (4) and may not be rendered void when the code is updated if the amendment is adopted for the purpose of participating in the Community Rating System promulgated pursuant to 42 U.S.C. s. 4022, the amendment had already been adopted by local ordinance prior to July 1, 2010, or the amendment requires a design flood elevation above the base flood elevation. Any amendment adopted pursuant to this subsection shall be transmitted to the commission within 30 days after being adopted.
(6) The initial adoption of, and any subsequent update or amendment to, the Florida Building Code by the commission is deemed adopted for use statewide without adoptions by local government. For a building permit for which an application is submitted prior to the effective date of the Florida Building Code, the state minimum building code in effect in the permitting jurisdiction on the date of the application governs the permitted work for the life of the permit and any extension granted to the permit.
(7)(a) The commission, by rule adopted pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, shall update the Florida Building Code every 3 years. When updating the Florida Building Code, the commission shall select the most current version of the International Building Code, the International Fuel Gas Code, the International Mechanical Code, the International Plumbing Code, and the International Residential Code, all of which are adopted by the International Code Council, and the National Electrical Code, which is adopted by the National Fire Protection Association, to form the foundation codes of the updated Florida Building Code, if the version has been adopted by the applicable model code entity. The commission shall select the most current version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as a foundation code; however, the IECC shall be modified by the commission to maintain the efficiencies of the Florida Energy Efficiency Code for Building Construction adopted and amended pursuant to s. 553.901.
(b) Codes regarding noise contour lines shall be reviewed annually, and the most current federal guidelines shall be adopted.
(c) The commission may modify any portion of the foundation codes only as needed to accommodate the specific needs of this state. Standards or criteria referenced by the codes shall be incorporated by reference. If a referenced standard or criterion requires amplification or modification to be appropriate for use in this state, only the amplification or modification shall be set forth in the Florida Building Code. The commission may approve technical amendments to the updated Florida Building Code after the amendments have been subject to the conditions set forth in paragraphs (3)(a)-(d). Amendments to the foundation codes which are adopted in accordance with this subsection shall be clearly marked in printed versions of the Florida Building Code so that the fact that the provisions are Florida-specific amendments to the foundation codes is readily apparent.
(d) The commission shall further consider the commission’s own interpretations, declaratory statements, appellate decisions, and approved statewide and local technical amendments and shall incorporate such interpretations, statements, decisions, and amendments into the updated Florida Building Code only to the extent that they are needed to modify the foundation codes to accommodate the specific needs of the state. A change made by an institute or standards organization to any standard or criterion that is adopted by reference in the Florida Building Code does not become effective statewide until it has been adopted by the commission. Furthermore, the edition of the Florida Building Code which is in effect on the date of application for any permit authorized by the code governs the permitted work for the life of the permit and any extension granted to the permit.
(e) A rule updating the Florida Building Code in accordance with this subsection shall take effect no sooner than 6 months after publication of the updated code. Any amendment to the Florida Building Code which is adopted upon a finding by the commission that the amendment is necessary to protect the public from immediate threat of harm takes effect immediately.
(f) Provisions of the foundation codes, including those contained in referenced standards and criteria, relating to wind resistance or the prevention of water intrusion may not be modified to diminish those construction requirements; however, the commission may, subject to conditions in this subsection, modify the provisions to enhance those construction requirements.
(g) Amendments or modifications to the foundation code pursuant to this subsection shall remain effective only until the effective date of a new edition of the Florida Building Code every third year. Amendments or modifications related to state agency regulations which are adopted and integrated into an edition of the Florida Building Code shall be carried forward into the next edition of the code, subject to modification as provided in this part. Amendments or modifications related to the wind-resistance design of buildings and structures within the high-velocity hurricane zone of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties which are adopted to an edition of the Florida Building Code do not expire and shall be carried forward into the next edition of the code, subject to review or modification as provided in this part. If amendments that expire pursuant to this paragraph are resubmitted through the Florida Building Commission code adoption process, the amendments must specifically address whether:
1. The provisions contained in the proposed amendment are addressed in the applicable international code.
2. The amendment demonstrates by evidence or data that the geographical jurisdiction of Florida exhibits a need to strengthen the foundation code beyond the needs or regional variations addressed by the foundation code, and why the proposed amendment applies to this state.
3. The proposed amendment was submitted or attempted to be included in the foundation codes to avoid resubmission to the Florida Building Code amendment process.
If the proposed amendment has been addressed in the international code in a substantially equivalent manner, the Florida Building Commission may not include the proposed amendment in the foundation code.
(8) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (3) or subsection (7), the commission may address issues identified in this subsection by amending the code pursuant only to the rule adoption procedures contained in chapter 120. Provisions of the Florida Building Code, including those contained in referenced standards and criteria, relating to wind resistance or the prevention of water intrusion may not be amended pursuant to this subsection to diminish those construction requirements; however, the commission may, subject to conditions in this subsection, amend the provisions to enhance those construction requirements. Following the approval of any amendments to the Florida Building Code by the commission and publication of the amendments on the commission’s website, authorities having jurisdiction to enforce the Florida Building Code may enforce the amendments. The commission may approve amendments that are needed to address:
(a) Conflicts within the updated code;
(b) Conflicts between the updated code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code adopted pursuant to chapter 633;
(c) Unintended results from the integration of previously adopted Florida-specific amendments with the model code;
(d) Equivalency of standards;
(e) Changes to or inconsistencies with federal or state law; or
(f) Adoption of an updated edition of the National Electrical Code if the commission finds that delay of implementing the updated edition causes undue hardship to stakeholders or otherwise threatens the public health, safety, and welfare.
(9)(a) The commission may approve technical amendments to the Florida Building Code once each year for statewide or regional application upon a finding that the amendment:
1. Is needed in order to accommodate the specific needs of this state.
2. Has a reasonable and substantial connection with the health, safety, and welfare of the general public.
3. Strengthens or improves the Florida Building Code, or in the case of innovation or new technology, will provide equivalent or better products or methods or systems of construction.
4. Does not discriminate against materials, products, methods, or systems of construction of demonstrated capabilities.
5. Does not degrade the effectiveness of the Florida Building Code.
The Florida Building Commission may approve technical amendments to the code once each year to incorporate into the Florida Building Code its own interpretations of the code which are embodied in its opinions, final orders, declaratory statements, and interpretations of hearing officer panels under s. 553.775(3)(c), but only to the extent that the incorporation of interpretations is needed to modify the foundation codes to accommodate the specific needs of this state. Amendments approved under this paragraph shall be adopted by rule after the amendments have been subjected to subsection (3).
(b) A proposed amendment must include a fiscal impact statement that documents the costs and benefits of the proposed amendment. Criteria for the fiscal impact statement shall be established by rule by the commission and shall include the impact to local government relative to enforcement, the impact to property and building owners, and the impact to industry, relative to the cost of compliance. The amendment must demonstrate by evidence or data that the state’s geographical jurisdiction exhibits a need to strengthen the foundation code beyond the needs or regional variations addressed by the foundation code and why the proposed amendment applies to this state.
(c) The commission may not approve any proposed amendment that does not accurately and completely address all requirements for amendment which are set forth in this section. The commission shall require all proposed amendments and information submitted with proposed amendments to be reviewed by commission staff prior to consideration by any technical advisory committee. These reviews shall be for sufficiency only and are not intended to be qualitative in nature. Staff members shall reject any proposed amendment that fails to include a fiscal impact statement. Proposed amendments rejected by members of the staff may not be considered by the commission or any technical advisory committee.
(d) Provisions of the Florida Building Code, including those contained in referenced standards and criteria, relating to wind resistance or the prevention of water intrusion may not be amended pursuant to this subsection to diminish those construction requirements; however, the commission may, subject to conditions in this subsection, amend the provisions to enhance those construction requirements.
(10) The following buildings, structures, and facilities are exempt from the Florida Building Code as provided by law, and any further exemptions shall be as determined by the Legislature and provided by law:
(a) Buildings and structures specifically regulated and preempted by the Federal Government.
(b) Railroads and ancillary facilities associated with the railroad.
(c) Nonresidential farm buildings on farms.
(d) Temporary buildings or sheds used exclusively for construction purposes.
(e) Mobile or modular structures used as temporary offices, except that the provisions of part II relating to accessibility by persons with disabilities apply to such mobile or modular structures.
(f) Those structures or facilities of electric utilities, as defined in s. 366.02, which are directly involved in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electricity.
(g) Temporary sets, assemblies, or structures used in commercial motion picture or television production, or any sound-recording equipment used in such production, on or off the premises.
(h) Storage sheds that are not designed for human habitation and that have a floor area of 720 square feet or less are not required to comply with the mandatory wind-borne-debris-impact standards of the Florida Building Code. In addition, such buildings that are 400 square feet or less and that are intended for use in conjunction with one- and two-family residences are not subject to the door height and width requirements of the Florida Building Code.
(i) Chickees constructed by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida or the Seminole Tribe of Florida. As used in this paragraph, the term “chickee” means an open-sided wooden hut that has a thatched roof of palm or palmetto or other traditional materials, and that does not incorporate any electrical, plumbing, or other nonwood features.
(j) Family mausoleums not exceeding 250 square feet in area which are prefabricated and assembled on site or preassembled and delivered on site and have walls, roofs, and a floor constructed of granite, marble, or reinforced concrete.
(k) A building or structure having less than 1,000 square feet which is constructed and owned by a natural person for hunting and which is repaired or reconstructed to the same dimension and condition as existed on January 1, 2011, if the building or structure:
1. Is not rented or leased or used as a principal residence;
2. Is not located within the 100-year floodplain according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s current Flood Insurance Rate Map; and
3. Is not connected to an offsite electric power or water supply.
With the exception of paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (f), in order to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the public, the Florida Building Commission may, by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 120, provide for exceptions to the broad categories of buildings exempted in this section, including exceptions for application of specific sections of the code or standards adopted therein. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall have exclusive authority to adopt by rule, pursuant to chapter 120, exceptions to nonresidential farm buildings exempted in paragraph (c) when reasonably necessary to preserve public health, safety, and welfare. The exceptions must be based upon specific criteria, such as under-roof floor area, aggregate electrical service capacity, HVAC system capacity, or other building requirements. Further, the commission may recommend to the Legislature additional categories of buildings, structures, or facilities which should be exempted from the Florida Building Code, to be provided by law. The Florida Building Code does not apply to temporary housing provided by the Department of Corrections to any prisoner in the state correctional system.
(11)(a) In the event of a conflict between the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code as applied to a specific project, the conflict shall be resolved by agreement between the local building code enforcement official and the local fire code enforcement official in favor of the requirement of the code which offers the greatest degree of lifesafety or alternatives which would provide an equivalent degree of lifesafety and an equivalent method of construction.
(b) Any decision made by the local fire official and the local building official may be appealed to a local administrative board designated by the municipality, county, or special district having firesafety responsibilities. If the decision of the local fire official and the local building official is to apply the provisions of either the Florida Building Code or the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code, the board may not alter the decision unless the board determines that the application of such code is not reasonable. If the decision of the local fire official and the local building official is to adopt an alternative to the codes, the local administrative board shall give due regard to the decision rendered by the local officials and may modify that decision if the administrative board adopts a better alternative, taking into consideration all relevant circumstances. In any case in which the local administrative board adopts alternatives to the decision rendered by the local fire official and the local building official, such alternatives shall provide an equivalent degree of lifesafety and an equivalent method of construction as the decision rendered by the local officials.
(c) If the local building official and the local fire official are unable to agree on a resolution of the conflict between the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code, the local administrative board shall resolve the conflict in favor of the code which offers the greatest degree of lifesafety or alternatives which would provide an equivalent degree of lifesafety and an equivalent method of construction.
(d) All decisions of the local administrative board, or if none exists, the decisions of the local building official and the local fire official, are subject to review by a joint committee composed of members of the Florida Building Commission and the Fire Code Advisory Council. If the joint committee is unable to resolve conflicts between the codes as applied to a specific project, the matter shall be resolved pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1)(d).
(e) The local administrative board shall, to the greatest extent possible, be composed of members with expertise in building construction and firesafety standards.
(f) All decisions of the local building official and local fire official and all decisions of the administrative board shall be in writing and shall be binding upon all persons but shall not limit the authority of the State Fire Marshal or the Florida Building Commission pursuant to paragraph (1)(d) and ss. 633.01 and 633.161. Decisions of general application shall be indexed by building and fire code sections and shall be available for inspection during normal business hours.
(12) Except within coastal building zones as defined in s. 161.54, specification standards developed by nationally recognized code promulgation organizations to determine compliance with engineering criteria of the Florida Building Code for wind load design shall not apply to one or two family dwellings which are two stories or less in height unless approved by the commission for use or unless expressly made subject to said standards and criteria by local ordinance adopted in accordance with the provisions of subsection (4).
(13) The Florida Building Code does not apply to, and no code enforcement action shall be brought with respect to, zoning requirements, land use requirements, and owner specifications or programmatic requirements which do not pertain to and govern the design, construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, or demolition of public or private buildings, structures, or facilities or to programmatic requirements that do not pertain to enforcement of the Florida Building Code. Additionally, a local code enforcement agency may not administer or enforce the Florida Building Code to prevent the siting of any publicly owned facility, including, but not limited to, correctional facilities, juvenile justice facilities, or state universities, community colleges, or public education facilities, as provided by law.
(14) The general provisions of the Florida Building Code for buildings and other structures shall not apply to commercial wireless communication towers when such general provisions are inconsistent with the provisions of the code controlling radio and television towers. This subsection is intended to be remedial in nature and to clarify existing law.
(15) An agency or local government may not require that existing mechanical equipment on the surface of a roof be installed in compliance with the requirements of the Florida Building Code until the equipment is required to be removed or replaced.
(16) The Florida Building Code must require that the illumination in classroom units be designed to provide and maintain an average of 40 foot-candles of light at each desktop. Public educational facilities must consider using light-emitting diode lighting before considering other lighting sources.
(17) The provisions of section R313 of the most current version of the International Residential Code relating to mandated fire sprinklers may not be incorporated into the Florida Building Code as adopted by the Florida Building Commission and may not be adopted as a local amendment to the Florida Building Code. This subsection does not apply to a local government that has a lawfully adopted ordinance relating to fire sprinklers which has been in effect since January 1, 2010.
1Note.—Section 19, ch. 2012-13, provides that:
“The Florida Building Commission shall establish a workgroup to assist the commission in developing a rule for implementing an alternative design method for screen enclosures which allows for the removal of a section of the screen to accommodate high-wind events consistent with the provisions of the Florida Building Code.
“(1) The workgroup shall be comprised of the following representatives:
“(a) Two members who represent the screen enclosure manufacturing industry;
“(b) Two members who represent the aluminum contractors industry;
“(c) One member who represents the Florida Home Builders Association;
“(d) One member who represents the Florida Swimming Pool Association;
“(e) Three members who represent the Building Officials Association of Florida;
“(f) One member who represents the building products industry; and
“(g) One member who is employed as a structural engineer.
“(2) The workgroup shall address the following factors to be included in the rule:
“(a) An alternative design method for a screen enclosure that is site-specific engineered;
“(b) A screen enclosure design using the alternative method that serves as a barrier that is required for a swimming pool and remains in place at the minimum height required for the barrier;
“(c) A screen enclosure design using clear, highly visible labels for panels that can be cut, retracted, or removed when winds are forecasted to exceed 75 mph;
“(d) A design for a screen that can be removed, cut, or retracted without the use of a ladder or scaffolding;
“(e) A requirement that the contractor provide replacement screen at the initial point of sale to repair the screen enclosure for designs that require cutting; and
“(f) An alternative design for a screen enclosure that requires the contractor to provide notice to the homeowner and the local building department that the homeowner must cut, retract, or remove a panel or panels of the screen enclosure in accordance with engineering or manufacturer’s instructions when wind speeds are expected to exceed 75 mph.
“(3) The Florida Building Commission shall appoint the workgroup no later than 15 days after the effective date of this act to draft a proposed rule. Rulemaking must be initiated pursuant to chapter 120, Florida Statutes, as soon as practicable after appointment of the workgroup. The commission shall file a notice of pro-posed rule by October 1, 2012. The Florida Building Code Commission shall file the rule for adoption by January 2, 2013, unless the commission files a letter on or before that date with the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee explaining the reasons for not completing rulemaking. Upon final adoption of the rule, the Florida Building Commission shall incorporate these requirements into the next version of the Florida Building Code. This section expires upon adoption of the rule and its inclusion in the Florida Building Code.”