Florida Building Commission Meets, Looks at Multitude of Issues

The Miami Herald reported last week that the Florida Building Commission (FBC) rejected stricter building standards for the Florida Panhandle (CLICK HERE to read the article), but the FBC did more than just that.

In addition to the public hearings regarding rule 9B-3.047, the Commission heard presentations conducted through the Hurricane Research Advisory Work Group, voted on recommendations that resulted from the Panhandle study, reviewed and updated its work plan and heard reports from the Windows Work Group and the Product Approval Validation Work Group.

From the Hurricane Research Advisory Work Group, Freddie Cole, president of the Fenestration Manufacturers Association (FMA), Sigi Valentin, regional director of the Southeast chapter of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (SE AAMA), and Dr. Larry Twisdale with Applied Research Associates Inc. each made a presentation to the commission.

Cole presented the FMA 200-06 protocol for installation of windows into a masonry substrate, while Valentin presented the second draft of SE AAMA's research into fenestration products' capability of preventing water penetration when subjected to severe wind-driven rain. One of the conclusions to the study so far is that door and window products are available that can prevent water intrusion, but those products that have that capability are costly. The study is scheduled to be presented again at the SE AAMA Conference in August.

Twisdale presented the findings of the first phase of the Florida Panhandle Wind Borne Debris Study in the mathematical modeling of a "treed" environment. His recommendation is that wind-borne debris be drawn at the 130 mph isotach and that Florida create an exposure category specifically for a "treed" environment.

The Windows and Water Intrusion Work Group presented its growing list of parameters regarding supplemental labels required for windows and sliding glass doors. The group currently recommends 14 guidelines for the labels, but discussions are continuing.

The public hearings, the part of the meeting on which the Miami Herald reported, was considered the "hot button" issue. Representatives of the insurance industry attended, as did others involved in the decision making process. Commissioner Ed Carson, a builder from Pensacola, testified that "he did not need window protection when pine trees keep falling through [his] roof."

When called to vote on the windstorm debris requirements, the 130 mph limit held sway with a vote of 15 to three.
The issue will be heard again, for the third and final time, at the Commission's August meeting, August 21-23 in Miami Lakes. If the 130 mph wind-borne debris requirement passes, it will become effective in May 2007.

CLICK HERE to read FMA executive director Dick Wilhelm's report of the meeting.


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