We never want to see another Champlain Towers tragedy
DeSantis signs the condo reform bill — a response to the Surfside building collapse — into law
On June 24, the entire South Florida region commemorated one year since the fateful day Champlain Towers South collapsed, killing 98 people. It was one of the deadliest construction failures in US history.
While nothing can bring the victims back to their families, as a society we can move forward and use this tragedy as a learning experience to ensure it never happens again.
From the beginning of the Champlain South Towers collapse, the construction industry has been involved in identifying what went wrong to cause such a catastrophic event. Early findings showed that a lack of proper maintenance was the main contributing factor. No matter how well a building is designed, engineered and constructed, maintenance is arguably most important to its long-term viability.
In the aftermath of the Surfside tragedy, it also became very apparent that Florida needed tougher laws regarding condominium maintenance. The Governor and Florida Legislature agreed and called a special session for May 25. As a result, SB 4-D was passed, calling for more stringent requirements for the inspection and maintenance of condominiums and other multi-story buildings statewide.
It was signed into law by Governor DeSantis.
The recently passed law will require inspections of tall buildings, three stories or more located within three miles of the coast at 25 years and for those more than three miles inland, at 30 years.
Finally, the new law also requires inspections every 10 years thereafter, with inspection records made available to buyers, renters and owners of individual units.
For buildings occupied before July 1, 1992, the first inspection must be completed no later than December 31, 2024. Very importantly, after December 31, 2024, associations of co-owners will be prohibited from forgoing the collection of reserve funds for pay current or additional expenses. maintenance and repairs.
I commend the Florida legislature for coming together to pass these important reforms. The construction industry looks forward to working with building owners, management and condominium associations during the recertification process to ensure the maximum safety and structural integrity of these structures.
Ultimately, we never want another Champlain Towers tragedy to happen again and I believe that with the measures taken, we are doing our part to help prevent any future disasters.
Peter Dyga, President and CEO, Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter.
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