An act relating to energy efficiency in building
construction; amending s. 553.77, F.S.; providing
discretionary power to the Florida Building Commission to
implement recommendations regarding cost-effective,
energy-efficiency standards for construction of all new
residential, commercial, and government buildings by
amending the Florida Efficiency Code for Building
Construction; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Section 553.77, Florida Statutes, is amended to
553.77 Specific powers of the commission.--
(1) The commission shall:
(a) Adopt and update the Florida Building Code or
(b) Make a continual study of the operation of the Florida
Building Code and other laws relating to the design,
construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, or
demolition of public or private buildings, structures, and
facilities, including manufactured buildings, and code
enforcement, to ascertain their effect upon the cost of building
construction and determine the effectiveness of their provisions.
Upon updating the Florida Building Code every 3 years, the
commission shall review existing provisions of law and make
recommendations to the Legislature for the next regular session
of the Legislature regarding provisions of law that should be
revised or repealed to ensure consistency with the Florida
Building Code at the point the update goes into effect. State
agencies and local jurisdictions shall provide such information
as requested by the commission for evaluation of and
recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the system of
building code laws for reporting to the Legislature annually.
Failure to comply with this or other requirements of this act
must be reported to the Legislature for further action. Any
proposed legislation providing for the revision or repeal of
existing laws and rules relating to technical requirements
applicable to building structures or facilities should expressly
state that such legislation is not intended to imply any repeal
or sunset of existing general or special laws governing any
special district that are not specifically identified in the
(c) Upon written application by any substantially affected
person or a local enforcement agency, issue declaratory
statements pursuant to s. 120.565 relating to new technologies,
techniques, and materials which have been tested where necessary
and found to meet the objectives of the Florida Building Code.
This paragraph does not apply to the types of products,
materials, devices, or methods of construction required to be
approved under paragraph (f).
(d) Make recommendations to, and provide assistance upon
the request of, the Florida Commission on Human Relations
regarding rules relating to accessibility for persons with
(e) Participate with the Florida Fire Code Advisory Council
created under s. 633.72, to provide assistance and
recommendations relating to firesafety code interpretations. The
administrative staff of the commission shall attend meetings of
the Florida Fire Code Advisory Council and coordinate efforts to
provide consistency between the Florida Building Code and the
Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code.
(f) Determine the types of products which may be approved
by the commission for statewide use and shall provide for the
evaluation and approval of such products, materials, devices, and
method of construction for statewide use. The commission may
prescribe by rule a schedule of reasonable fees to provide for
evaluation and approval of products, materials, devices, and
methods of construction. Evaluation and approval shall be by
action of the commission or delegated pursuant to s. 553.842.
This paragraph does not apply to products approved by the State
(g) Appoint experts, consultants, technical advisers, and
advisory committees for assistance and recommendations relating
to the major areas addressed in the Florida Building Code.
(h) Establish and maintain a mutual aid program, organized
through the department, to provide an efficient supply of various
levels of code enforcement personnel, design professionals,
commercial property owners, and construction industry
individuals, to assist in the rebuilding effort in an area which
has been hit with disaster. The program shall include provisions
1. Minimum postdisaster structural, electrical, and
plumbing inspections and procedures.
2. Emergency permitting and inspection procedures.
3. Establishing contact with emergency management personnel
and other state and federal agencies.
(i) Maintain a list of interested parties for noticing
rulemaking workshops and hearings, disseminating information on
code adoption, revisions, amendments, and all other such actions
which are the responsibility of the commission.
(j) Coordinate with the state and local governments,
industry, and other affected stakeholders in the examination of
legislative provisions and make recommendations to fulfill the
responsibility to develop a consistent, single code.
(k) Provide technical assistance to local building
departments in order to implement policies, procedures, and
practices which would produce the most cost-effective property
(l) Develop recommendations for local governments to use
when pursuing partial or full privatization of building
department functions. The recommendations shall include, but not
be limited to, provisions relating to equivalency of service,
conflict of interest, requirements for competency, liability,
insurance, and long-term accountability.
(2) For educational and public information purposes, the
commission shall develop and publish an informational and
explanatory document which contains descriptions of the roles and
responsibilities of the licensed design professional, residential
designer, contractor, and local building and fire code officials.
The State Fire Marshal shall be responsible for developing and
specifying roles and responsibilities for fire code officials.
Such document may also contain descriptions of roles and
responsibilities of other participants involved in the building
(3) The commission may provide by rule for plans review and
approval of prototype buildings owned by public and private
entities to be replicated throughout the state. The rule must
allow for review and approval of plans and changes to approved
plans for prototype buildings to be performed by a public or
private entity with oversight by the commission. The department
may charge reasonable fees to cover the administrative costs of
the program. Such approved plans or prototype buildings shall be
exempt from further review required by s. 553.79(2), except
changes to the prototype design, site plans, and other site-
related items. Changes to an approved plan may be approved by the
local building department or by the public or private entity that
approved the plan. As provided in s. 553.73, prototype buildings
are exempt from any locally adopted amendment to any part of the
Florida Building Code. Construction or erection of such prototype
buildings is subject to local permitting and inspections pursuant
(4) The commission may produce and distribute a commentary
document to accompany the Florida Building Code. The commentary
must be limited in effect to providing technical assistance and
must not have the effect of binding interpretations of the code
(5) The commission may implement its recommendations
delivered pursuant to subsection (2) of section 48 of chapter
2007-73, Laws of Florida, by amending the Florida Energy
Efficiency Code for Building Construction as provided in s.
(6)(5) A member of the Florida Building Commission may
abstain from voting in any matter before the commission which
would inure to the commissioner's special private gain or loss,
which the commissioner knows would inure to the special private
gain or loss of any principal by whom he or she is retained or to
the parent organization or subsidiary of a corporate principal by
which he or she is retained, or which he or she knows would inure
to the special private gain or loss of a relative or business
associate of the commissioner. A commissioner shall abstain from
voting under the foregoing circumstances if the matter is before
commissioner shall, before the vote is taken, publicly state to
the assembly the nature of the commissioner's interest in the
matter from which he or she is abstaining from voting and, within
15 days after the vote occurs, disclose the nature of his other
interest as a public record in a memorandum filed with the person
responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting, who shall
incorporate the memorandum in the minutes.
Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.