All new construction and renovation of State buildings must follow the guidelines of LEED or other green building rating systems, including Green Globes and the Florida Green Building Coalition standards. The bill requires the same of the following public entities in the State of Florida entering design after July 1, 2008: counties, municipalities, school districts, water management districts, state universities, community colleges, and Florida state courts. The bill further requires that all new leases of state-occupied office space must meet Energy Star (HB7135, 2008).
The Florida Building Commission is directed to adopt, revise, update, and maintain the Florida Building Code in accordance with Chapter 120 of the state statutes. The code is mandatory throughout the state and need not be adopted by a local government to be applicable at the local level. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation is responsible for supporting the Florida Building Commission.
Local building departments enforce compliance as part of the building regulatory programs. Technical assistance is provided by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
To obtain a building permit, the building owner or the owner's designated agent must certify compliance. If design and/or construction modifications are made that would diminish the building's energy performance, an amended compliance certification must be submitted to the local enforcement agency. All work requiring a permit is subject to inspection by the local building official. The builder must make available Energy Performance Level Display Cards, HVAC Efficiency Cards, and Insulation Certification Cards. The building official must also forward a copy of the front page of the compliance certification to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation on a quarterly basis.
In response to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (Public Law 94-163), the 1977 Florida legislature passed two laws requiring local adoption of an energy code for certain building categories for which building permits were issued after March 15, 1979. The two laws enacted by the Florida legislature were the driving force behind the "Florida Thermal Efficiency Code" and the "Florida Lighting Efficiency Code," which were combined in 1980 as the FEECBC.
The Florida legislature, through Chapter 81-226, Laws of Florida, and Chapter 553, Part VII, Florida Statutes, established the state energy code. Originally, this state law referenced minimum standards for construction to meet or exceed model standards such as those of ASHRAE/IES 90-1975. However, nationally recognized energy codes or standards such as ASHRAE standards were designed primarily for climates where heating, rather than cooling, is dominant. The FEECBC was developed to be climate-specific for Florida.
The state energy code became effective on March 15, 1979, and was updated in 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993,and 1997, 2001, 2004, and 2007. The 2007 Florida Building Code was based on the 2006 IECC, which is published by the International Code Council. The Florida Building Commission decided to postpone the effective date of the 2007 Florida Building Code from December 31, 2008 to March 1, 2009.
As of November 2006, the Florida Energy Office (FEO) developed an Automated Energy Code Compliance System, a program proposed by the University of Central Florida's Florida Solar Energy Center. This system is a building standards database allowing designers and builders to access the most up-to-date building energy requirements and to apply for authorization.
On June 17, 2008, Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed HB 697, which outlined the state legislature's mandate to select the most current version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as a foundation code. The law directs the Florida Building Commission to include provisions in the 2010 edition of the Florida Energy Efficiency Code for Building Construction necessary to increase the energy performance of new buildings by at least 20 percent. See the status of the 2010 Florida Energy Code modifications at Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at www.floridabuilding.org .
The 2010 Florida Building Code became effective on March 15, 2012.
Amendment include but not limited to:
- New mandatory minimum requirement for ceiling insulation
- One change to the prescriptive requirements table (fenestration U-factor, Climate Zone 1)
- Air handling units not allowed to be installed in attics unless they meet certain provisions
- New language for heat traps
- Water heater efficiencies, storage water heater temperature controls and equipment (mandatory language)
- Heating and Cooling equipment sizing limitations
- Swimming pools and spas have new requirement language
- Insulation installation provisions including compressed insulation and substantial contact
- Energy Performance certificate changes (REScheck provides a link for the Florida EPL certificate)
- Common ceilings, floors, or walls (party walls) must be insulated to a minimum of R-11 (new requirement checklist provision to be added)
- Duct sealing and tightness to meet the provisions of the commercial code to include meeting RESNET standards
- Ventilation must meet ASHRAE 62 provisions
- Amendments to the performance path requirements
- New alterations exception for window films