In their June 2012 meeting, the Florida Building Commission approved through the 2012 "Glitch Amendment" process a revision to Chapter 1612, FBC, adding Section 1612.4.1, FBC, "Modification to ASCE 24-05" to allow dry flood proofing in Coastal A-Zones for nonresidential and non-residential portions of mixed-use buildings. Flood proofing may be provided in lieu of elevation "provided wave loads and the potential for erosion and local scour are accounted for in the design." Building officials can immediately reference/apply the code as amended.
RESIDENTIAL single-family and small townhome structures in a COASTAL A-ZONE must have the lowest floor elevated 1 foot above BFE/DFE. This means that an addition to a house in a COASTAL A-ZONE may be required to be built at a higher elevation than the existing structure. Municipalities have the authority, pursuant to Section 553.73(5), F.S., to adopt provisions/procedures in their local code under which they can issue VARIANCE to Chapter 1612 of the FBC (provided there is no inconsistency with minimum federal standards).
Municipal code review as part of the building permit process will require that the design team confirm/certify that proposed structures are designed in compliance with Chapter 1612. THE GOOD NEWS is that a SITE- SPECIFIC COASTAL A-ZONE ANALYSIS by a QUALIFIED COASTAL ENGINEER can delineate the limits of both the Coastal A-Zone and the area where flood velocities are greater than 5 ft/sec, thus allowing basement construction and flood proofing of non-residential and mixed use-structures if outside the latter zone.
A site-specific engineering analysis can often document a proposed structure is outside of the Coastal A Zone and DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BUILT TO THESE LIMITING DESIGN STANDARDS.
COASTAL SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL'S highly qualified coastal engineers have experience completing SITE-SPECIFIC COASTAL A-ZONE ANALYSES that meet FBC/FEMA standards under a variety of site conditions, and our project managers will help you through the process. For more information or an initial consultation regarding a particular site, please contact: Laura Shepherd at (305) 669-6233; firstname.lastname@example.org or
Christy Brush at (305) 669-6231; email@example.com.