12 Things You Should Know about the Florida Advanced Building Code

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Contractors must learn all the changes made to the Florida Advanced Building Code. Using a preapproved online contractor school is convenient and cost-effective.

Many changes were made in the 2014 Fifth Edition of the Florida Building Code from previous editions. Knowing what these changes are is important for building contractors, engineers, architects, and others employed in the Florida construction industry. Just as keeping up with changes in code is important, keeping up with the requirements for licensure is important too. This can be aided by finding a contractor license school online to fulfill continuing education requirements.

Code Modifications

In 2014, Florida adopted a modified version of the international codes of 2012. Older editions are no longer accurate with up-to-date information.

Chapter 1: Changes in Administration

Chapter 1 shows significant changes by clarifying standards. For example, the code should be used instead of the standard reference if a conflict is present in Section 102.4. A new section was added and labeled Section 102.2.3 that relates to egress. Construction documents must contain the location, size, construction, and all points of egress. A new section has been added for exterior wall envelopes. Plans should now include broad details, including weather resistance of the penetrations and openings. New requirements for site plans, approvals, and submittals are addressed as well.

Chapter 2: Definitions

Definitions were previously located in another area of the Florida Advanced Building Code. Some new definitions have been added while others have been changed, so reading through this chapter is a good idea to note those changes.

Chapter 3: Classification of Use and Occupancy

Classifications were changed in some categories such as assembly spaces and smaller restaurants with occupancy of fewer than 50. Group A-2 was changed to include cafeterias, casinos, and dining facilities that are similar in nature. Section 305.2 was expanded to add daycare facilities. A change was made in the business title that formerly said “personal care.” It now reads “custodial care.” Under Institutional Group, Section 308.3.1, care facilities with five or fewer residents now require the installation of a fire sprinkler system. Group D for care facilities has been changed to Section 308.6. Group E, which formerly designated daycare facilities, has been changed to Section 308.6.1. Other changes in this chapter have been made, so care must be taken to review the material.

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Chapter 4: Use and Occupancy

This chapter adds new criteria in areas of special occupancy. It has been heavily reorganized with Reserved Sections located in Sections 415 to 428. As contractors know, this section covers everything from ambulatory healthcare and educational facilities to schools, universities, and colleges to office-based surgery suites.

Chapter 5: General Heights and Areas in Buildings

This chapter has significant changes from the earlier editions. It focuses on ancillary uses within buildings with mixed occupancy or single occupancy.

Chapter 6: Construction Types

The first two tables that were present in this chapter are deleted. The base code is now consistent with rating requirements for fire resistance.

Chapter 7: Features for Protection From Fire and Smoke

This chapter contains a new section on automatic sprinklers. Identification and marking of wall assemblies located above ceiling spaces are also changed. A table was added to make it simpler to determine fire separation distance and allowable projections. It also includes sections on double firewalls and partitions.

Chapter 9: Sizes for Pump and Riser Rooms

This chapter focuses on sizes, layouts, and designs for pump and riser rooms. Attention focuses on fire alarms, smoke detections systems in colleges and universities, and emergency alarms and communications.

Chapter 10: Egress

Stairways for groups now have an exception for all groups, excluding Group G and Group I-2. The capacity has been changed to 0.2 for buildings that have a system of emergency communications and/or alarm system. Other revisions are included in this chapter and are important to review.

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Not keeping up with changes in Florida building codes can mean costly mistakes.

Chapter 14: Exterior Walls

This chapter covers flame propagation and testing of flame spread for buildings higher than 40 feet. It also contains information on polypropylene siding.

Chapter 15: Roof Assemblies

Chapter 15 exhibits changes to previous requirements for underlayment and screening of mechanical equipment. Material used to screen mechanical equipment must now be made of materials for outer walls that comply with the outer construction of the building.

Keeping Up With Code

PDH Contractor Academy is a preapproved contractor license school for courses that teach the Florida Advanced Building Code. With multiple changes in Florida building codes, taking a course with the updates is imperative. We offer an online two-hour course on Advanced Building Code and a 12-hour course on Florida Contractor Essentials. Reasonably priced and convenient, the two courses can be bundled together to save even more money. After successfully completing your chosen course, we send the results to the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board for you and supply you with a completion certificate for your own files. It’s fast, easy and convenient. Browse courses by state to choose Florida Advanced Building Code and get started today.

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