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Contact: Gary Ehrlich
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Building Codes

Following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, building codes in Florida were updated and made more stringent. The first post-Andrew code, the South Florida Building Code, was enacted in 1994. In 2002, the Florida Building Code or FBC, which is based on the 2000 IBC and IRC, was adopted statewide. The FBC includes special provisions for a High-Velocity Hurricane Zone that apply to Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and the Florida Keys. The current edition of the FBC was adopted in 2017 and is based on the 2015 IBC and IRC.

Damage Assessment Results

A relatively small percentage of the 1,100 Florida homes included in the analysis suffered a complete loss of roof framing, wall framing, wall sheathing or windows. Roof and wall coverings sustained the most damage; the level of damage to those components was charted based on the year the homes were built.

The analysis found that homes in Florida constructed after 1994 had significantly lower levels of damage to roof and wall coverings than homes built earlier.

On average, the roof covering damage in the Florida homes ranged from no/minimal damage to minor damage. The average degree of damage generally decreased for homes constructed after 1994. (See Figure 3.)

On average, the wall covering damage in the Florida homes ranged from no damage to minor damage. Homes built before 1994 performed worst, yet more than 80 percent of these homes had no/minimal damage. No homes constructed after 1994 had wall damage classified as total or complete and no homes constructed after 1999 had wall damage classified as either severe or total. Almost 95 percent of the homes constructed after 2008 sustained little or no damage, and a few percent had minor damage. (See Figure 4)

Window damage was not a significant component of overall damage to homes in Florida. This may be a result of the greater use of windows rated for design wind pressures that are consistent with hurricanes or the installation of impact-resistant windows or hurricane shutters.

Figure 3. Histogram of damage to roof cover forYear-of-Construction subsets in Florida

Florida Roof Damage

Figure 4. Histogram of damage to wall cover forYear-of-Construction subsets in Florida

Florida Wall Damage
Damage Assessment Summary Report  Download a copy of the full summary report detailing damage assessment from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.