The Florida Building Commission has adopted the latest version of the Florida Building Code, the “2010” edition. There are some significant differences from the 2007 version but they are mostly in semantics.
How this code change effects Southwest Florida is more fluff than anything else. The 2010 edition adopts the new ASCE 7-10 version of the Ultimate Design Wind Speeds. These wind speeds are 30mph faster than those of ASCE 7-05 (see the charts below). However, the way that the actual design pressures are calculated from these wind speeds, allows for a reduction factor for residential and commercial impact protected openings. The bottom line is that while the wind speed mph goes up, the design pressures that products are required to meet stay virtually the same and in some cases go down slightly. Only in structures very close to the beach (within 600 feet in most cases) have design pressures gone up.
Below is the new version of ASCE 7-10
Below is the graphic for ASCE 7-05 (the version used under the old code).
Another difference with ASCE 7-10 is that some structures further inland will be required to have impact protection on their glazed openings, where no such requirement was in place before.
Tom Johnston, president of the International Hurricane Protection Association has the opinion that, “this adoption of ASCE 7-10 places an unnecessary burden on manufactures to update their product approvals to reflect a new code version when very little material differences have occurred.”
The bottom line is that if your shutters were designed to 140mph under the Florida Building Code (2001, 2004 or 2007 versions), they meet the same design pressure requirements as shutters designed to 170mph under the 2010 version of the code.
Naturally, it will take the insurance companies some time to understand what has transpired and it will be up to the homeowner to stay vigilant in obtaining the premium credits they so justly deserve.
Sentinel Storm Protection
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