Important changes in regulations create more necessity for structural inspections for Condominium Associations in Florida. In May of 2022, the “SB 4D-Building Safety Act for Condominium and Cooperative Associations” Bill was passed unanimously through both House and Senate after 98 people perished during the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Miami on June 24th, 2021.

In 2018 an engineer warned managers of Champlain Towers to major structural damage at the complex. After waiting three years to begin the work, the building collapsed before it got underway. The report was sent to Surfside’s building department in November 2018, but no follow-up was made. Timely repair could have prevented this tragedy. As a result, elected officials worked to make regulations to ensure building departments follow up when such reports are filed.

The new legislation includes a framework of rules that associations must abide by:

Condominium Associations must complete mandatory structural inspections.

These inspections, known as “Milestone Inspections”, includes a determination of any necessary maintenance, repair, or replacement of any structural component in the building.

Milestone Inspections consists of 2 phases:

  • Phase 1 : A licensed architect or engineer performs a visual examination of the building and provides a qualitative assessment of the building conditions.
    – If the architect or engineer finds no signs of substantial structural deterioration, phase 2 is not required.
  • Phase 2 : Must be performed if any substantial structural deterioration (substantial structural distress that negatively affects a building’s general structural condition and integrity) is identified in phase 1.
    – May involve destructive or non-destructive testing at the inspector’s direction.
    – May be as extensive or as limited as necessary to fully assess areas of structural distress in order to confirm that the building is structurally safe for its intended use and to recommend a program for thoroughly evaluating and repairing distressed and damaged portions of the building.
    – Inspector who completes a phase two milestone inspection shall prepare/ submit an inspection report.

Upon completion of phase 1 or 2 milestone inspection, the architect or engineer who performed the inspection must submit a sealed copy of the inspection report with a separate summary of, at minimum, the material findings and recommendations in the inspection report.

Condominiums must-have milestone inspections for buildings 3 stories or more in height by December 31 of the year in which the building reaches 30 years of age, based on the date the certificate of occupancy for the building was issued, and every 10 years thereafter.

    – If the building is within 3 miles of a coastline, milestone inspection must be performed by December 31 of the year the buildings reach 25 years of age, based on the date the certificate of occupancy for the building was issued, and every 10 years thereafter.

Associations will have two years to comply with this requirement.

Here at Belt Engineering, we offer the services needed to meet the new “Milestone Inspections” requirement by providing a thorough damage assessment inspection, completing a report of findings for repair recommendations, as well as preparing drawings and specifications for permitting and construction.

Contact us today to schedule your association’s milestone inspections.