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Top ten building code violations in Florida

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TOP TEN BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS IN FLORIDA By KYLE McCOLLUM A THEISIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

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Copyright 2004 by Kyle McCollum

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS There are many people I would like to recognize for their contribution to making this thesis a reality. Dr. Robert Cox, Dr. Raymond Issa, Dr. Leon Wetherington, and Dr. Robert Strohs years of experience, ideas, advice, patience, encouragement, and generosity with their time were indispensable. The Building Officials, Plan Reviewers and Site Inspectors from participating building departments were instrumental in aiding my data-collection process. Without their interest and contributions, this thesis would not have been possible. My friends Liz Benz, Matt Wojo Olszewski, Shawn T Thompson, Kendal Powell, Bob Horodyski, Mark Thompson, Bob Gearhart, Buchholz basketball players over the past 3 years, and all of my softball teammates kept me sane by listening to my bellyaching, giving unsolicited advice, sharing a few laughs, and always keeping me humble. The love and support I received from my baby sister Sonja; father; stepfather; aunt; uncle; cousin; and the babies, Bailey and Lacey always comforted and encouraged me. Most of all I would like to thank my mom. Her unconditional emotional support and endless supply of reassurance motivated me to push through tough times, expect great things from myself, and put things in their proper perspective. There is no way for me to express how much she has meant to me. iii

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES.............................................................................................................vi LIST OF FIGURES..........................................................................................................vii ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................viii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem..............................................................................................1 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................3 Introduction...................................................................................................................3 US Building Code History............................................................................................3 The Florida Building Code...........................................................................................4 Building Code Education and Compliance...................................................................6 Code Violation Studies and Books...............................................................................7 Leon County Study................................................................................................7 Palm Beach County...............................................................................................8 Tampa....................................................................................................................8 Winter Park............................................................................................................8 NAHB....................................................................................................................9 University of Florida.............................................................................................9 State of Florida....................................................................................................10 Code Violation Books.........................................................................................11 Summary.....................................................................................................................11 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................13 Introduction.................................................................................................................13 Questionnaire Development.......................................................................................13 Limitations..................................................................................................................14 Questionnaire Distribution..........................................................................................15 Summary.....................................................................................................................16 iv

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4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................17 Survey Responses.......................................................................................................17 Hydraulic Calculations........................................................................................20 Electric Load Calculations..................................................................................20 Sound Decibel Test..............................................................................................20 Zoning Compliance Permit..................................................................................20 Approved Site Plan..............................................................................................20 HVAC Load Calculations....................................................................................21 HVAC Duct Sizes................................................................................................21 Model Energy Code Calculations........................................................................21 Mechanical Floor Plan.........................................................................................21 Florida Accessibility Code..................................................................................22 Wind Load & Structural Calculations.................................................................22 Plumbing Riser Layout........................................................................................22 Permit-Site Work.................................................................................................22 Revised Plans.......................................................................................................23 Truss Layout........................................................................................................23 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................23 Top Ten Code Violations....................................................................................24 Coastal versus Inland Counties...........................................................................26 Population Effects...............................................................................................27 Summary..............................................................................................................29 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................31 Florida Accessibility Code.........................................................................................32 Wind Load and Structural Calculations......................................................................33 Conclusions.................................................................................................................33 Current Education Programs........................................................................34 Improvements to Current Programs.............................................................34 Summary.....................................................................................................................36 Recommendations for Further Research....................................................................37 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT............................................................................................39 B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE...................................................................................40 C UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA....................................................................................41 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................44 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................46 v

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1. Survey Responses by Location..................................................................................17 4-2. Descriptive Statistics of Responses...........................................................................24 4-3. The Top Ten Most Frequently Reported Code Violations........................................25 4-4. Coastal and Inland Counties Comparison.................................................................26 4-5. Coastal and Inland County Chi-Squared Analysis....................................................27 4-6. Large and Small Counties Comparison.....................................................................28 C-1. Plan Review Deficiencies Gainesville, Florida.........................................................41 vi

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1. Responding Counties (Shaded)..................................................................................19 4-2. The Top Ten Most Frequently Reported Code Violations........................................25 C-1. Highest Frequency Violations in Gainesville, Florida...............................................43 vii

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction TOP TEN BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS IN FLORIDA By Kyle McCollum December 2004 Chair: Robert Cox Cochair: Raymond Issa Major Department: Building Construction The Florida Building Code is updated every few years to reflect changes in construction materials, installation methods, and technology. The state of Florida currently requires training for construction professionals regarding these periodic revisions. Educating contractors and designers should influence them to create safe and reliable structures. The primary goal of this research was to uncover the most common building code violations observed in the state of Florida and to offer recommendations for improving the training programs used to educate construction professionals about the Florida Building Code. A questionnaire was sent to every county-level building department in Florida asking them to identify their most common building-code violations and their occurrence rates. Statistical analysis showed two top violations: Wind Load and Structural Calculations and Florida Accessibility Code. This has implications for improving existing training efforts by the state. viii

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION On March 1, 2002, the new Florida Building Code was put into effect. The government believed that a statewide code would create consistent code enforcement, uniform training of designers and contractors, and higher quality construction. Transitioning to the new code was facilitated through the requirements for continuing education for designers and contractors. Our study was developed to learn the effectiveness of these courses by determining the top code violations reported by plan reviewers and site inspectors. Statement of the Problem Building-code violations found during plan review or site inspections can lead to an increased workload for plan reviewers and inspectors, delays in construction, and increased costs to owners. Continuing education courses have been developed to increase awareness among construction professionals of the difference between the current building code and its predecessors. But these courses do not furnish information regarding violations experienced by other construction professionals. In theory, increased awareness in these areas should provide professionals with accurate code interpretations that can cause a reduction in the number of code violations observed. The main purpose of our study is to determine the top ten building-code violations observed by site inspectors and plan reviewers since adoption of the Florida Building Code in March 2002. Information gathered was analyzed to establish any correlation throughout the state, and to reveal the effectiveness of the continuing-education courses. 1

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2 Results provide suggestions for improving course content and recommendations developing new training methods and materials. Increasing awareness about the Florida Building Code and code-violation occurrence rates can help decrease the number of violations observed, expedite the plan review and inspection processes, reduce the amount of rework needed to correct violations, and aid in the construction of safer buildings.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction This section summarizes literature concerning the recent history of modern building codes, the development of the Florida Building Code, and studies and books regarding common code violations found during site inspections. US Building Code History Building codes have been in the United States since the early 1800s (Alachua County, 2003). Local governments had their own unique set of established standards for quality and safety along with consequences for noncompliance. These standards were eventually developed into the building codes currently used in the United States. Early in the twentieth century, the United States was inundated with unique building codes. A movement began to reduce the number of codes in use and draft a single code that would supercede all. The first step was a meeting of code-enforcement officials in 1915. They met to discuss common problems and concerns regarding building regulations, and to provide a forum for idea exchange regarding building safety and regulations. As the population of the United States grew, three organizations were created to hold meetings similar to the one held in 1915 for different regions of the country. Each of these organizations eventually created their own model building code (Alachua County, 2004). The Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) founded in 1915 represents officials from the Midwest United States. 3

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4 The International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) founded in 1922 represents officials from the Western United States. The Standard Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) founded in 1941 represents officials in the Southern United States. In 1994 the BOCA, ICBO, and SBCCI jointly formed the International Code Council. This new organizations function was to create a single model building code to be used as the sole construction code throughout the United States and provide a single location for all discussions concerning issues dealing with current and future building regulations. Since the formation of the ICC and creation of the International Building Code, 48 of 50 states have adopted at least part of this unified code (International Code Council, 2004). Increased safety measures and new technology force periodic updates to this and other documents. Florida Statute 553.841 requires continued education for contractors, engineers, and designers to keep their practices current with these changes (Florida Department of Community Affairs, 2004). Without training, contractors and designers may learn about changes only through fines and other established consequences, weather-related structural damage, building failures associated with noncompliant means and methods, and personal injuries caused by faulty construction. Lacking the necessary knowledge concerning applicable building codes can cause increased construction costs, construction delays, and approval delays caused by repeat inspections. Increasing the training available for construction professionals can help transform the construction process into one that is safer and more efficient. The Florida Building Code Florida was at one time extremely fragmented with regard to its building code. There was no statewide government regulation stating which code should take

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5 precedence. This decision was left up to each individual city and county. During the 1970s the state began requiring all counties and cities to adopt one of four existing model building codes. These became known as the state minimum building codes (Alachua County, 2003). In the past 15 years, a series of natural disasters and the increasing fragmentation throughout the state led to the development and adoption of a building code recognized statewide. Creation of the Florida Building Code was authorized by the Florida Legislature in 1998 and became effective on March 1, 2002. This document became the exclusive set of regulations, superceding all local codes and encompassing all building standards adopted by various enforcement agencies throughout the state (Florida Department of Community Affairs, 2004). Local jurisdictions and select state agencies are assigned with the Florida Building Codes administration and enforcement. When distinctive local conditions are not specifically addressed or jurisdictions believe code provisions need to be updated, amendments may be added. Examples of local amendments are (Florida Department of Community Affairs, 2000): Chapter 15, Section 1506 Materials (City of Boca Raton). This provision was modified so roof panels now must be a minimum thickness of 19/32 inches. Chapter 31, Section 3107 Pinellas Gulf Beaches Coastal Construction Code (Pinellas County). This code provides minimum standards for design and construction of residential and commercial structures while addressing their affects on the stability of the beach, dunes, and other environmental features typical of the region. Chapter 31, Section 3109 Floodplain Management Construction Standard. This revisions goal is to minimize public and private losses resulting from flood conditions in specific areas.

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6 Procedures have been established to verify the provisions validity and consistency with the code. Under no circumstance will an amendment be accepted unless it is more stringent than those existing (Florida Department of Community Affairs, 2000). Building Code Education and Compliance Within the new building code system there provisions requiring education and training for designers and contractors. The Florida Building Commission requires a minimum of one to six courses within 2 years of initial certification. Designers and contractors are required to complete a course only once. These courses are relevant for three years until the adoption of a new edition of the Florida Building Code (Florida Department of Community Affairs, 2004). Code education has been shown to be most effective when compliance procedures are in place to monitor construction professionals. Designers and contractors cited for repeated code violations, through plan review and inspections, will face penalties of four times the plan review or re-inspection fees. These punishments go into effect after the third incidence of the same violation. Fines range from $500 to $5,000 and disciplinary action goes into effect when violations pose major threats to the buildings occupants (Florida Department of Community Affairs, 2004). Unfortunately there has been no statewide effort to educate these professionals on mistakes their peers have made. Increasing awareness of the most common code violations could decrease their occurrence rate. The first step in increasing awareness is gathering information from local building departments regarding common code violation occurrences.

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7 Code Violation Studies and Books Few code violation studies have been conducted in the United States. An extensive search uncovered eight studies concerning common building code violations. Lists of the most common building code violations were found for the following jurisdictions: Atlanta, GA; Clayton County, GA; Fayette County, GA; Henry County, GA; Coweta County, GA (Discovery Inspections, 1999); Denver, CO (Denver City Council, 2004); Leon County, FL (Leon County, 2003); Palm Beach County, FL (Palm Beach County Florida, 2003); Tampa, FL (Tampa, 2003); Winter Park, FL (Winter Park, 2002); Columbus, OH (Columbus, 2000). The University of Florida conducted a study to find the most common plan review violations for Gainesville, Florida (Cox, R. and Issa, R., unpublished manuscript, 2002. Plan Review Deficiencies Gainesville, Florida November 1, 2001-April 15, 2002). All of these studies uncovered violations observed in their respective jurisdiction alone. Only the studies done in Florida are applicable for comparison to a statewide survey for Florida. Leon County Study The Leon County Growth and Environmental Management Department has a link off their website specifically addressing the ten most common building inspection violations. Contractors may access this page to help them avoid common mistakes found by building inspectors with no mention of plan review violations. This list does not: specify if the violation is commercial or residential, give the time period from which the data was taken, or specify its order (i.e., highest to lowest occurrence rate, or random). However, the list is very detailed about the violation in question and where to find the applicable code information for correcting each violation. Some common violations

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8 listed are: Stairway Construction, Excessive Cutting and Notching in Structural Members, and Truss Design and Layout. Palm Beach County The Palm Beach County Department of Planning, Zoning, and Building compiled a list of their most common code violations which is displayed on their website. This list includes building code violations, but mainly focuses on zoning regulation violations. Building without a permit and building too close to property lines are the only two building violations dealt with. The remainder of the list deals with overgrown lots, operating a business in a residential zone, inoperative vehicles, etc. This list in itself will offer limited value to a statewide comparison. Tampa The Tampa Department of Construction Services has a website dedicated to common code violations. The list is divided into five categories: site inspection violations, building inspection violations, electrical inspection violations, mechanical inspection violations, and plumbing inspection violations. Each category lists 9-21 separate violations per category, with a resultant total of 81 violations. There is no mention of occurrence rates or the order in which the list was compiled. Its intent is not to be an all-inclusive list, but to give a guideline for contractors helping them avoid common mistakes made by their peers. Common violations include: Permitting Plans not on Site, No Truss Engineering Provided, and Improperly Sized Stair Treads and Risers. Winter Park The city of Winter Park Building Division lists information about the most common violations found by building inspectors on their website with no mention of plan review violations. These violations are listed under four categories: Building Inspection,

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9 Plumbing & Gas Inspection, Air Conditioning & Mechanical System Inspection, and Electrical Inspection. Each category lists from 10-19 violations resulting in a total of 56 common violations. Similar to the Leon County and Tampa lists, there is no mention of occurrence rates or the order in which the violations are listed. However, this list gives detailed descriptions and a good overview of mistakes made by other contractors. Some common violations listed include: Plans Missing from Job, No Truss Engineering Provided, and Inadequate Footing Depth. NAHB A study by the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) in 2003, Construction Quality Survey, compiled the most common problems identified by home inspectors during new home inspections (National Association of Home Builders, 2003). The goal of the study was to provide builders with a tool to help them continue building quality homes, minimize construction defect lawsuits, and make themselves more attractive to insurers by identifying the most common problem areas within the design and construction process. A section of this study asked the inspectors to list the top five most common code violations found during their tenure which are: baluster spacing & railing heights for stairs improper and/or missing, ungrounded electrical outlets and/or loose wiring, B-vent flue too close to wood, inadequate flashings (roof, windows, doors, decks, and foundations), and water heater relief valve pipe not extended to drain and/or missing. Occurrence rates are listed for each violation and are based on the total number of responses received. University of Florida A study by the University of Floridas School of Building Construction (Cox, R. and Issa, R. (2002). Plan Review Deficiencies Gainesville, Florida November 1, 2001

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10 April 15, 2002) focused specifically on plan review violations in Gainesville, Florida. The University gathered violation data for a six-month period (November 1, 2001 through April 15, 2002) from the Gainesville Building Department. This data was analyzed and ranked, high to low, by violation frequency (Appendix C). Ninety-four violations were listed and the top ten were displayed on a bar graph. The horizontal axis listed the top ten violations and the vertical axis represented the frequency of these violations. Unlike the other studies found, this study focused only on plan review violations. State of Florida An in depth study, regarding building code deficiencies, was conducted by the state of Florida in 1996. This study was done in conjunction with preliminary investigations into the necessity of a statewide building code. The codes in place were deemed insufficient after Hurricane Andrew, the most destructive U.S. hurricane on record, caused 23 deaths and $26.5 billion in damage (National Weather Service, 2003). Much of this damage was to homes and buildings that had previously been assumed to be structurally able to withstand hurricane force winds. The Florida Building Codes Commission was created to study the current building construction system and give recommendations to remedy any problems. After the commission examined every code and their enforcement processes, it concluded that the codes alone were not at fault. It found a confusing system composed of over 400 local jurisdictions and state agencies in charge of enforcing the multiple codes with differing administration procedures (Florida Building Code, 2004). Conclusions from this study forced the state to begin creating a single statewide building code system (Alachua County, 2004). Benefits of a single statewide model code are numerous: manufacturers can use their resources to develop

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11 new products instead of modifying existing products for multiple sets of standards; education and certification of building officials, contractors, and architects can be uniform throughout the state; consistent code enforcement; higher quality construction. Code Violation Books In addition to these studies, books have been written to educate contractors about common code violations. The Code Check series of books and Common Code Violationsand how to fix them are books written as guides for homebuilders to spot violations and give tips on how to correct them. Both books are based on the 2000 edition of the International Residential Code and cover all aspects of conventional residential construction (Casey, 2003; Underwood, 2004). No books written regarding commercial construction code violations were found during this literature search. Summary The modern building codes development dates back to the early 1800s and many unique codes were developed in the United States. A movement began in the early 1900s to develop a code to supercede them all. Three different organizations were founded with the purpose of developing such a code. These organizations were The Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA), The International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), and The Standard Building Code Congress International (SBCCI). After 1941, each organization had developed a unique model building code. It took another 53 years until these three codes were combined into one universal code. In 1994 these three organizations united to form the International Code Council (ICC) and created the International Building Code which is used, at least in part, by 48 of 50 states in the union.

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12 The Florida Building Code experienced a similar development to the International Building Code. Floridas state government let each local jurisdiction decide which model building code they would use with no statewide code to take precedence. This practice continued until the early 1990s when a series of natural disasters caused the state to reconsider this practice. The Florida Building Code was created in 1998 and went into effect on March 1, 2002. Under this code, local jurisdictions may pass amendments to account for unique situations, but the Florida Building Code has precedence over all enforced codes. Every 3 years, the Florida Building Code is revised. Designers and contractors must stay up to date with the changes made. Along with continued education courses mandated by the state of Florida, there are also procedures in place to penalize repeat code violation offenders. To date there is no state endorsed system in place to inform contractors and designers of their peers most common mistakes. Florida has had only four jurisdictions to attempt gathering data concerning these mistakes: Leon County, Palm Beach County, Tampa, and Winter Park. Compiling a statewide list, similar to these four, and distributing this type of information to construction professionals would increase awareness and help decrease the occurrence rates for the most common code violations.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction This reports objective is to determine the most prevalent code violations in commercial construction projects observed during the current Florida Building Codes existence. A one-page survey was distributed to building departments statewide to gather the applicable information. Its intent was not to be a building department performance assessment. Instead, the data will be used in making recommendations for additional designer and contractor training with the expectation of transforming the construction process into one that is more efficient and produces safer finished products. Questionnaire Development A survey used was designed to obtain the quantitative data needed for a statistical analysis. This survey titled Building Code Violations Questionnaire can be found in Appendix A. Section I of the questionnaire asks for demographic data on the respondent. This section includes name of government entity, location/jurisdiction, name of respondent, professional title, phone number, and whether their primary function is as a plan reviewer or code enforcement site inspector. Section II deals with identifying the occurrence rate, per ten observed violations, for each of the fifteen violations listed. These violations were retrieved from a City of Gainesville Plan Review Deficiency Report dated November 1, 2001 through April 15, 2002 (Cox, R. and Issa, R., unpublished manuscript, 2002. Plan Review Deficiencies Gainesville, Florida November 1, 2001-April 15, 2002). The top ten 13

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14 violations from this sample were included in the questionnaire along with five others selected at random. Additional lines were available for the respondent to add any other common violations experienced in their jurisdiction, along with their occurrence rate, that were not included in the questionnaire. The survey uses a ten-point scale to aid the respondents with identifying each violations occurrence rate. Each violation has six possible answers: -2, -4, -6, -8, -10, or left blank meaning the violation is never seen. The participant is then asked if there is any historical data to back up their perceptions. If historical records are available, the participants are asked how this data can be accessed. Lastly, the participant is given a chance to provide any additional information that they might think is relevant to this study. Limitations During the questionnaire development, some limitations became apparent. The questionnaire asked either a plan reviewer or building site inspector to rank a list of code violations. Both groups may observe many of these violations, but there also are some that are unique to each. Some jurisdictions employ people to handle both plan reviews and site inspections. In this situation, the individual filling out the survey may or may not indicate how each violation was observed. Plan reviewers handle all approvals needed before construction can begin. They are responsible for approving any necessary calculations (i.e., Hydraulic Calculations, HVAC Load Calculations) and construction plans and distributing permits. The architect or contractor submits all of these documents prior to construction. Once construction begins, the building site inspectors make sure the methods used coincide with approved plans and checks for applicable permits.

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15 This questionnaire can differentiate between violations unique to plan reviewers and building site inspectors. However, it cannot show which violations are unique to each when a person responsible for both jobs answers the survey. For an absolute list, two separate questionnaires would be needed to identify violation occurrence rates unique to plan reviewers and building site inspectors. This questionnaire also was heavily concentrated with MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) related violations. Eight of the fifteen violations listed on the questionnaire are MEP related. Five of the listed violations are architecturally related and the remaining two are related to structure. Any future questionnaire should have an even distribution of violations among the three categories. Lastly, the questionnaire does not specify if the violation occurrence rates are based on commercial or residential construction. Many violations are unique to either commercial or residential construction and cannot be differentiated with this questionnaire. Future questionnaires should specify what type of construction the study is concentrating on. Questionnaire Distribution Once the questionnaire was finalized, every county building department throughout the state of Florida was contacted about the study. The details of the study were explained to the appropriate individuals. The questionnaire was then faxed to each of the contacted departments. Most departments directly routed the questionnaire to the County Building Official who would eventually fill it out or would pass it along to a Plan Examiner and Code Enforcement Site Inspector. Data obtained from this survey were used for statistical analysis to determine any correlation of common violations throughout the state. This information will uncover

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16 any need for additional education or modifications to existing contractor and designer training regarding Florida Building Code 2001. Summary A questionnaire was sent to every countys building department in the state of Florida to obtain relevant data for this study. Before sending, each county was contacted and informed that the objective of the questionnaire was only an information gathering tool and not a performance evaluation. Each building department was asked to forward the survey along to the Building Official, a Plan Reviewer, or a Code Enforcement Site Inspector. The respondents were asked in the questionnaire to fill out some general personal and demographic information, identify the occurrence rate for their top building code violations, list any additional common violations not listed, and add any comments that they deem applicable. The questionnaire data was collected and analyzed. Any conclusions reached will show the effectiveness of the current Florida Building Code continued education program for designers and contractors. Once the current programs overall effectiveness is understood, and specific areas in need of improvement are identified, suggestions can be made for developing more successful means and methods to be used in this training.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Survey Responses The survey was forwarded via facsimile to 71 building departments throughout Florida. These departments included all 67 counties and 4 cities: Gainesville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Figure 4-1 shows the counties whose responses were used in the analysis and shows the breakdown of coastal counties responding (9) and inland counties responding (13). A total of 32 responses were received, with 29 suitable for analysis. Four locations sent responses from both a plan reviewer and a site inspector. In all, 23 jurisdictions participated, representing 22 of 67 counties and 1 city (Orlando). Table 4-1 displays the responses from each survey organized by location. Unless otherwise noted, each response is from the local building official taking into account both plan review and site inspection. Table 4-1. Survey Responses by Location 1. Hydraulic Calculations 2. Electrical Load Calculations 3. Sound Decibel Test 4. Zoning Compliance Permit 5. Approved Site Plan 6. HVAC Load Calculations 7. HVAC Duct Sizes 8. Model Energy Code Calculations 9. Mechanical Floor Plan 10. Florida Accessibility Code 11. Wind Load & Structural Calculations 12. Plumbing Riser Layout 13. Permit Site Work 14. Revised Plans 15. Truss Layout Alachua 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 Baker County 1.5 3.5 5.6 3.5 3.5 1.5 3.5 3.5 Bradford County 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 17

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18 Table 4-1. Continued 1. Hydraulic Calculations 2. Electrical Load Calculations 3. Sound Decibel Test 4. Zoning Compliance Permit 5. Approved Site Plan 6. HVAC Load Calculations 7. HVAC Duct Sizes 8. Model Energy Code Calculations 9. Mechanical Floor Plan 10. Florida Accessibility Code 11. Wind Load & Structural Calculations 12. Plumbing Riser Layout 13. Permit Site Work 14. Revised Plans 15. Truss Layout Charlotte County 1.5 3.5 1.5 5.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 3.5 5.5 7.5 3.5 1.5 7.5 5.5 Clay County PR 1.5 3.5 3.5 9.5 9.5 5.5 3.5 3.5 1.5 5.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 9.5 9.5 Dixie County Insp. 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 Duval / Jacksonville PR 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 5.5 7.5 3.5 7.5 1.5 9.5 5.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 Franklin 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 3.5 1.5 7.5 1.5 1.5 Glades 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 Highlands 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 5.5 7.5 Jefferson 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 5.5 3.5 5.5 3.5 Lake PR 5.5 7.5 7.5 7.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 7.5 1.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Leon PR 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 3.5 5.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 Leon Insp. 5.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 7.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 Marion PR 1.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 3.5 7.5 7.5 5.5 7.5 5.5 7.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 9.5 Okeechobee PR 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 Okeechobee Insp. 3.5 3.5 5.5 5.5 7.5 5.5 Orlando PR 1.5 5.5 5.5 3.5 5.5 1.5 7.5 7.5 1.5 3.5 9.5 1.5 Orlando Insp. 1.50 5.50 5.50 3.50 5.50 1.50 7.50 7.50 1.50 3.50 9.50 1.50 Orlando Insp. 7.5 Orlando Insp. 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50 Orlando Insp. 7.50 5.50 1.50 Palm Beach 1.5 9.5 Putnam Insp. 1.5 1.5 7.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 7.5 1.5 Seminole 3.5 3.5 3.5 5.5 1.5 7.5 3.5 7.5 5.5 1.5 7.5 5.5 St. Johns PR 1.5 3.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 5.5 7.5 7.5 5.5 1.5 St. Johns Insp. 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 3.5 Taylor 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 Union 1.5 Unless otherwise noted, the respondent from each county was their respective Building Official taking both the inspection and plan review processes into account when filling out the survey. PR-Plan Reviewer Insp.-Code Enforcement Site Inspector Given the fact that this study was conducted by a state agency (Rinker School of Building Construction at the University of Florida) and sponsored by another state

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19 agency (The Florida Department of Community Affairs), the response rate was not as high as anticipated. Even so, the response rate was above average for similar survey questionnaire based studies. Research reports of past studies conducted by the Rinker School of Building Construction to find out reasons for low response rates to surveys, found that historically at the Rinker School, response rates vary from 11-23 percent (Cox, R. and Issa, R. (2004). Determination of the Most Frequently Found Florida Building Code Violations by Plan Reviewers and Building Inspectors.). The following sections describe Table 4-1 and offer code violation interpretations. They are the researchers interpretations and not definitions were provided to the respondents. Figure 4-1. Responding Counties (Shaded)

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20 Hydraulic Calculations Hydraulic Calculations refer to water flow calculations made by an engineer for sewers, plumbing and fire sprinkler system in the proposed structure. Eleven (11) respondents noted Hydraulic Calculations as a common violation. Of these eleven, ten marked the occurrence rate as 15% and the eleventh marked it as 35%. Electrical Load Calculations Electrical Load Calculations refer to calculations made by an engineer for the electrical load required by the proposed structure. Twenty (20) respondents reported Electrical Load Calculations as a common violation. Ten respondents marked the occurrence rate as 15%, six marked 35%, three marked 55% and one marked 75%. Sound Decibel Test This violation occurs when a sound decibel test is not done or the test shows figures higher than the code allows. Ten (10) respondents marked Sound Decibel Test as a common violation. Eight respondents marked 15% and the other two respondents marked 35% and 75%. Zoning Compliance Permit This violation occurs when the zoning compliance has not been applied for by a specified deadline or the permit is not on site. Twenty-one (21) respondents marked Zoning Compliance Permit as a common violation. Their answers ranged from 15% to 95%. Nine respondents listed 15%, seven listed 35%, three listed 55%, one listed 75% and one listed 95%. Approved Site Plan Approved site plans must be on site during construction. Violations occur when they are not on site. Nineteen (19) respondents marked Approved Site Plan as a common

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21 violation. Their answers ranged from 15% to 95%. Six respondents listed 15%, seven listed 35%, four listed 55%, one listed 75% and one listed 95%. HVAC Load Calculations These are calculations made by an engineer for the HVAC required load by the proposed structure. Respondents answers ranged for HVAC Load Calculations from 15% to 75%. Eighteen respondents marked this as a common violation. The breakdown of answers is as follows: ten marked 15%, one marked 35%, four marked 55%, and three marked 75%. HVAC Duct Sizes HVAC duct sizes are dependent on HVAC load calculations. Duct sizes that can deliver the required load are chosen. Violations occur if duct sizes chosen cannot handle the calculated HVAC load. Twenty-one (21) respondents answered HVAC Duct Sizes as a common violation. Twelve marked the occurrence rate as 15%, seven marked 35%, one marked 55% and one marked 75%. Model Energy Code Calculations Model Energy Code Calculations deals with insulation design for wall and roof components. Twenty-two (22) respondents marked Model Energy Code Calculations as a common violation. Their answers ranged from 15% to 75%. Fourteen respondents listed 15%, one listed 35%, four listed 55%, and two listed 75%. Mechanical Floor Plan Plans showing the mechanical layout are required. A violation occurs when a mechanical floor plan does not exist or does not correspond with applicable standards. Twenty-two (22) respondents marked Mechanical Floor Plan as a common violation.

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22 Their answers ranged from 15% to 75%. Fourteen respondents listed 15%, four listed 35%, two listed 55%, and one listed 75%. Florida Accessibility Code The Florida Accessibility Code incorporates the Americans with Disabilities Act into the Florida Building Code. Twenty-five (25) respondents noted the Florida Accessibility Code as a common violation. Of these twenty-five, seven marked the occurrence rate as 15%, five marked 35%, eight marked 55%, four marked 75%, and one 95%. Wind Load and Structural Calculations These are calculations made by an engineer to ensure the stability of a proposed structure during normal and hurricane force winds. Twenty (20) respondents marked Wind Load and Structural Calculations as a common violation. Their answers ranged from 15% to 95%. Six respondents listed 15%, four listed 35%, four listed 55%, five listed 75%, and one listed 95%. Plumbing Riser Layout This violation occurs when a plumbing riser layout is missing from the construction documents. Respondents answers ranged for Plumbing Riser Layout from 15% to 75%. Twenty-one respondents marked this as a common violation. The breakdown of answers is as follows: nine marked 15%, six marked 35%, four marked 55%, and two marked 75%. Permit-Site Work A site work permit is required before any work can begin. This violation occurs when this permit has not been applied for or is not displayed on site. Sixteen (16)

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23 respondents marked Approved Site Plan as a common violation. Their answers ranged from 15% to 75%. Eleven respondents listed 15%, four listed 35%, and one listed 75%. Revised Plans Revised plans are those that reflect changes made by the owner or architect and is the current set of construction documents. This violation occurs when revised plans are not on site. Twenty-two (22) respondents marked Revised Plans as a common violation. Their answers ranged from 15% to 95%. Twelve respondents listed 15%, three listed 35%, two listed 55%, three listed 75%, and two listed 95%. Truss Layout This violation occurs when a truss layout is not displayed on site or the layout does not meet building code requirements. Respondents answers ranged for Truss Layout from 15% to 95%. Twenty-two respondents marked this as a common violation. The breakdown of answers is as follows: eight marked 15%, seven marked 35%, four marked 55%, one marked 75%, and two marked 95%. Data Analysis Once surveys were received, their responses were entered into an Excel spreadsheet for analysis. The descriptive statistics function was used to study each respondents questionnaire responses. Statistics used were: mean, standard deviation, standard error, mode, range, minimum and maximum level of response, count, and the skewness and kurtosis of the data set. After this analysis was complete, the top 15 code violations were ranked and investigated for any statewide correlation. Once these findings were reviewed, suggestions about increasing the amount of training for construction professionals and restructuring course content were made. Table 4-2 shows the descriptive statistics used for all the data collected. The

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24 violations from the questionnaire are listed in the top row and the statistics used listed in the far left column. These statistics include the mean (or average) response, minimum and maximum values, range of responses, and the number of responses for that particular violation (listed in the table as Count). Mean values signify the level of occurrence rate of each violation compared with the others. The count for a violation helps determine which violations were the most commonly reported. Table 4-2. Descriptive Statistics of Responses 1. Hydraulic Calculations 2. Electrical Load Calculations 3. Sound Decibel Test 4. Zoning Compliance Permit 5. Approved Site Plan 6. HVAC Load Calculations 7. HVAC Duct Sizes 8. Model Energy Code Calculations 9. Mechanical Floor Plan 10. Florida Accessibility Code 11. Wind Load & Structural Calculations 12. Plumbing Riser Layout 13. Permit Site Work 14. Revised Plans 15. Truss Layout Mean 1.7 2.7 2.3 3.4 3.8 3.4 2.6 3.0 2.6 4.4 4.5 3.2 2.4 3.9 3.8 Standard Error 0.2 0.3 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.7 0.6 Median 1.5 1.7 1.5 3.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 4.5 4.5 3.5 1.5 2.5 3.5 Mode 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 Standard Deviation 0.6 1.5 1.9 2.2 2.2 2.5 1.7 2.3 1.9 2.3 2.7 2.0 1.6 3.0 2.6 Sample Variance 0.4 2.2 3.7 5.0 5.0 6.5 2.8 5.2 3.5 5.4 7.4 4.1 2.7 8.8 6.7 Kurtosis 11.0 (0.6) 7.2 1.5 0.9 (1.4) 2.4 (0.6) 0.8 (0.7) (1.2) (0.2) 6.3 (0.9) 0.3 Skewness 3.3 0.9 2.7 1.3 1.0 0.6 1.4 1.0 1.3 0.3 0.1 0.9 2.4 0.8 1.0 Range 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 8.0 7.1 7.1 6.9 7.1 8.0 9.1 6.1 6.0 8.4 9.1 Minimum 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 0.4 0.4 0.6 0.4 1.5 0.4 1.4 1.5 1.1 0.4 Maximum 3.5 5.5 7.5 9.5 9.5 7.5 7.5 7.5 7.5 9.5 9.5 7.5 7.5 9.5 9.5 Sum 18.5 54.4 23.0 71.5 72.5 61.9 54.4 59.1 57.9 104.9 90.9 67.4 38.0 77.6 83.9 Count 11 20 10 21 19 18 21 20 22 24 20 21 16 20 22 Mean Rank 15 10 14 7 4 6 12 9 11 2 1 8 13 3 5 S.D. Rank 15 14 10 8 7 4 12 6 11 5 2 9 13 1 3 Count Rank 14 7 15 4 11 12 4 7 2 1 7 4 13 7 2 Top Ten Code Violations Table 4-3 lists the top ten most frequently reported code violations. The mean and count rankings from Table 4-2 were used to compile this list. According to this data set,

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25 wind load and structural calculations is the most common violation, with the Florida Accessibility Code being second on the list. Wind load and structural calculations was reported in 20 of 27 responses (74.1%) and has a mean value of 4.54 (45.4% violation occurrence rate). The Florida Accessibility Code was reported in 24 of 27 responses (88.9%) and recording a mean value of 4.37 (43.7% violation occurrence rate). According to the statistics, the count for the top ten violations ranges from 18 to 24 with the mean ranging from 2.72 to 4.54 (27.2% 45.4% violation occurrence rate). Table 4-3. The Top Ten Most Frequently Reported Code Violations Mean Count Mean Rank Maximum Count Rank Wind Load & Structural Calculations 4.54 20 1 9.5 7 Florida Accessibility Code 4.37 24 2 9.5 1 Revised Plans 3.88 20 3 9.5 7 Approved Site Plan 3.82 19 4 9.5 11 Truss Layout 3.81 22 5 9.5 2 HVAC Load Calculations 3.44 18 6 7.5 12 Zoning Compliance Permit 3.4 21 7 9.5 4 Plumbing Riser Layout 3.21 21 8 7.5 4 Model Energy Code Calculations 2.96 20 9 7.5 7 Electrical Load Calculations 2.72 20 10 5.5 7 05101520253035404550Occurrence Rate (%) Wind Load &Structural CalculationsFlorida AccessibilityCodeRevised PlansApproved Site PlanTruss LayoutHVAC LoadCalculationsZoning CompliancePermitPlumbing Riser Layout Model Energy CodeCalculations Electrical LoadCalculations Figure 4-2. The Top Ten Most Frequently Reported Code Violations

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26 Coastal versus Inland Counties The breakdown of counties by coastal and inland lends itself to comparisons between reported code violations. Table 4-4 shows how the top ten most frequently reported code violations differ between coastal and inland counties. The coastal counties followed suit with the total sampling of the state reporting wind load / structural calculations as the most common violation with a mean value of 5.50 (a 55% violation occurrence rate, which is 15 percent higher than inland counties at 40.3%) and the Florida Accessibility Code as second with a mean value of 5.00 (a 50% violation occurrence rate, which is 10 percent higher than inland counties at 40.5%). Coastal counties encounter greater magnitude hurricane force winds than inland jurisdictions. The plan reviewers and building inspectors from coastal jurisdictions place greater importance on wind load & structural calculations than do inland jurisdictions. Table 4-4. Coastal and Inland Counties Comparison Coastal Counties (n=8) Inland Counties (n=14) Mean Rank Mean Rank Wind Load & Structural Calculations 5.5 1 4.03 4 Florida Accessibility Code 5 2 4.05 2 Revised Plans 3.5 4 4.04 3 Approved Site Plan 3.5 4 4 5 Truss Layout 2.93 8 4.23 1 HVAC Load Calculations 3.17 6 3.57 7 Zoning Compliance Permit 3 7 3.65 6 Plumbing Riser Layout 3.75 3 2.88 10 Model Energy Code Calculations 2.5 9 3.15 8 Electrical Load Calculations 2.17 10 2.96 9 The inland counties differed slightly. The most common violation reported was truss layout with a mean value of 4.23 (a violation occurrence rate of 42.3%, which is 11 percent higher than coastal counties at 29.3%) with the Florida Accessibility Code being the second most frequent recording a mean value of 4.05 (a 40.5% violation occurrence rate, which is 10 percent lower than coastal counties at 50%).

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27 A Chi-Squared test was performed to compare coastal county data to the inland county data (Table 4-5). The test resulted in a value of 2.062. A Chi-Squared value of 3.94 is necessary to prove a significant difference between two sets of values. With 95% confidence it can be concluded that there is no significant difference between coastal and inland county violation rates. Table 4-5. Coastal and Inland County Chi-Squared Analysis Coastal (Obs) Inland (Exp) (Obs-Exp) Squared Chi-sq Wind Load & Structural Calculations 5.50 4.03 1.47 2.161 0.536 Florida Accessibility Code 5.00 4.05 0.95 0.903 0.223 Revised Plans 3.50 4.04 -0.54 0.292 0.072 Approved Site Plan 3.50 4.00 -0.50 0.250 0.063 Truss Layout 2.93 4.23 -1.30 1.690 0.400 HVAC Load Calculations 3.17 3.57 -0.40 0.160 0.045 Zoning Compliance Permit 3.00 3.65 -0.65 0.423 0.116 Plumbing Riser Layout 3.75 2.88 0.87 0.757 0.263 Model Energy Code Calculations 2.50 3.15 -0.65 0.423 0.134 Electrical Load Calculations 2.17 2.96 -0.79 0.624 0.211 Average 3.502 3.656 2.062 Std Dev 1.042 0.499 df=10 Std Error 0.329 0.158 Chi-squared test 95% upper limit 4.161 3.972 0.988778634 95% lower limit 2.843 3.340 3.940295347 Population Effects During initial analysis, an unanticipated trend was uncovered. A direct correlation was found between a countys population and its building code violation occurrence rates. Counties with populations less than 100,000 have lower rates than the counties with populations greater than 100,000. The breakdown of population for each group was done in this way to create groups containing approximately equal number of jurisdictions. Table 4-6 shows the mean values and rankings for the top ten code violations categorized by population. The breakdown of each population category is as follows: Group A: Population < 100,000, Baker, Bradford, Dixie, Franklin, Glades, Highlands, Jefferson, Okeechobee, Taylor, and Union.

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28 Group B: Population 100,000 to 200,000, Charlotte, Clay, Palm Beach, Putnam, and St. Johns. Group C: Population > 200,000, Alachua, Duval, Lake, Leon, Marion, Orlando, and Seminole. Table 4-6 shows a trend between population size and building code violation occurrence rates. The following shows the violation occurrence rates for the three groups of counties: Group A, 25.5 percent; Group B, 42.8%; Group C, 43%. Counties with larger populations have higher overall violation occurrence rates. Table 4-6. Large and Small Counties Comparison Population < 100,000 (n=10) Population 100,001-200,000 (n=5) Population > 200,000 (n=7) Mean Rank Mean Rank Mean Rank Wind Load & Structural Calculations 3.17 3 6.17 2 4.50 4 Florida Accessibility Code 3.51 1 3.83 7 5.79 1 Revised Plans 2.50 6 6.70 1 2.64 10 Approved Site Plan 2.25 7 5.50 3 4.50 4 Truss Layout 3.25 2 4.30 4 4.93 3 HVAC Load Calculations 1.90 8 3.10 8 5.21 2 Zoning Compliance Permit 2.61 5 3.90 5 3.83 7 Plumbing Riser Layout 3.00 4 3.90 5 3.50 9 Model Energy Code Calculations 1.50 10 2.70 9 4.36 6 Electrical Load Calculations 1.79 9 2.70 9 3.79 8 Overall Violation Mean Value 2.55 4.28 4.30 Std Dev 0.683 1.405 0.906 Std Error 0.216 0.444 0.287 95% Upper limit 2.980 5.169 4.878 95% Lower limit 2.115 3.391 3.732 The 95% upper limit and lower limit for Group A is 2.115 and 2.980, respectively. These limits have a difference of 0.865. Group B and Group C limits have a difference of 1.778 and 1.146, respectively. This comparison shows the responses for Group A have a more concentrated distribution than responses for Group B and Group C. The most common violation data for each category was inconsistent with the findings for the overall state. However, the top two violations found statewide were found at or near the top for each category. Taking the entire state into account, the top

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29 two code violations were wind load / structural calculations and the Florida Accessibility Code. Each population category had a unique set of top two code violations: Group A: Population < 100,000 Florida Accessibility Code Truss Layout Group B: Population 100,000 to 200,000 Revised Plans Wind Load and Structural Calculations Group C: Population > 200,000 Florida Accessibility Code HVAC Load Calculations Summary Surveys were sent to 71 building departments throughout Florida. Thirty-two responses were received from 23 jurisdictions. The responses from each jurisdiction were entered into a spreadsheet (Table 4-1). Next, a statistical analysis was conducted on all of the responses (Table 4-2). From these statistics, the top ten building code violations were determined for the entire state (Table 4-3 and Figure 4-2). The top two violations are Wind Load and Structural Calculations and Florida Accessibility Code. All jurisdictions were then divided into two groups, Coastal and Inland jurisdictions, and the top ten violations were found for each group (Table 4-4). The top two violations for the Coastal jurisdictions are Wind Load and Structural Calculations and Florida Accessibility Code. The top two violations for the Inland jurisdictions are HVAC Load Calculations and Florida Accessibility Code.

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30 A Chi-Squared test was conducted to find any significant difference between the Coastal and Inland data. To conclude a significant difference, a Chi-Squared value of 3.94 must be the result. Our study found a Chi-Squared value of 2.062, which shows no significant difference between the two data sets (Table 4-5). Lastly, the data was divided into three groups (Group A, Group B, and Group C) based on population. Group A included jurisdictions with populations less than 100,000. Group B included jurisdictions with populations between 100,000 and 200,000. Group C included jurisdictions with populations greater than 200,000. Each groups top ten code violations were found and listed in a spreadsheet (Table 4-6). Each group has a unique set of top two code violations. Group As top two is Florida Accessibility Code and Truss Layout. Group Bs top two is Revised Plans and Wind Load and Structural Calculations. Group Cs top two is Florida Accessibility Code and HVAC Load Calculations.

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION An extensive literature search found no study encompassing the entire state of Florida that researched the effectiveness of continued education efforts for construction professionals. Only four local jurisdictions within Florida (Leon County, Palm Beach County, Tampa, and Winter Park) conducted their own research into their most common code violations. None of these studies specifically addressed occurrence rates or ranked the top violations by these rates. To our knowledge, this study is the first to find the occurrence rates of the most common code violations statewide and offer recommendations for reducing these rates while incorporating all county level jurisdictions. Some of the studies reported violations not appearing in the top ten of this study. Violations dealing with stair construction were reported by Leon County (Leon County, 2003), NAHB (National Association of Home Builders, 2003), Tampa (Tampa, 2003), and Winter Park (Winter Park, FL Code Violations, 2002). The University of Florida (Cox and Issa, 2002), Leon County (Leon County, 2003), Tampa (Tampa, 2003), and Winter Park (Winter Park, 2002) reported truss layout and similar truss issues as common violations. Footing steel and footing depth issues were reported by Tampa (Tampa, 2003) and Winter Park (Winter Park, 2002). Leon County and Palm Beach County were the only two jurisdictions to conduct their own and participate in this code violation study. None of the common violations reported for our study were found in any of their lists. 31

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32 The top two code violations reported statewide were wind load and structural calculations and the Florida Accessibility Code. Comparing Coastal and Inland counties and grouping counties by population were the two ways data was analyzed. In either case, these top two violations were among the most common. The studies done by the University of Florida and Tampa, Florida were the only ones found to describe either wind load and structural calculations or the Florida Accessibility Code as a common violation. Wind Load & Structural Calculations and Florida Accessibility Code are specifically listed in the top ten violations found in Gainesville, Florida (Cox and Issa, 2002) Wind Load Calculations are addressed as a common code violation in Tampa, Florida. Wind uplift connectors not specified on plans and/or improperly sized. The Code requires a hurricane connector schedule on the plans and that they b sized properly to resist uplift load. (Tampa, 2003) Florida Accessibility Code The Florida Accessibility Code went into effect on October 1, 1997 for the purpose of implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act into the Florida Building Code. Our data suggests that most construction professionals do not understand the specifics regarding this code section. A reason for this fact is that accessibility issues do not directly affect the majority of contractors, like the majority of people. Simple tasks like walking or using the restroom can be easily taken for granted. The Florida Accessibility Code becomes an afterthought or seen as unnecessary for the design or construction of a building. Not until a project fails a plan review or site inspection do the construction professionals learn the Florida Accessibility Codes importance.

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33 Wind Load and Structural Calculations Violations concerning the wind load and structural calculations may result from a lack of checks in place to confirm their accuracy. Engineers will typically do these calculations for a contractor, who then submits them for approval. The contractor may have limited knowledge as to how these calculations are determined or the minimum acceptable standards. Many times the contractor will assume the engineers calculations are correct only to find out otherwise at a later date. Conclusions The hypothesis stated that there would be a reduction in the number of code violations observed if continued education courses focused on differences in the current building code and its predecessors, and Code violations experienced by other construction professionals. After comparing counties located in coastal areas to inland counties, there were no significant differences in occurrence rates observed. However, while studying the population effects on violation occurrence rates an unexpected trend emerged. Counties with populations less than 100,000 have lower violation occurrence rates than those counties with populations greater than 100,000. These smaller counties have the same continued education requirements as larger counties, but this data suggests they must be providing more effective education regarding the Florida Building Code. Also, they do not maintain the large volume of projects that the larger counties experience. This smaller volume can allow plan reviewers and site inspectors from these counties to give the personal attention to each project that larger counties cannot offer.

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34 Current Education Programs Training is currently required of all construction professionals licensed by the state of Florida. These courses concentrate on updates to the Florida Building Code and are adjusted periodically in relation to code revisions. A required core course curriculum covers information essential for all participants to be appropriately informed regarding their technical and administrative responsibilities (Florida Department of Community Affairs: Building Codes and Standards, 2004). Core courses do not focus on specific technical areas. Voluntary advanced courses are available for specific code areas like accessibility issues or wind load and structural loads. Advanced courses sell for $300 per training hour and are available by CD-ROM for $600-$2100. These prices are higher than the required core course, which starts at $50. Some of these courses are periodically available as online classes. The Florida Building Code Online website has these classes listed as well as information regarding training classes available across the state. Improvements to Current Programs The current core courses are effective in giving construction professionals a general overview of the Florida Building Code and penalties for noncompliance. Because these core courses are mandatory, most professionals are sufficiently informed. However, these courses are not effective for a detailed understanding of specific areas. Voluntary training is available for contractors and designers to learn more about areas not covered in the core courses. Our results imply that construction professionals do not take advantage of these voluntary courses. They are more expensive and may require a long commute so many professionals do not consider them worthwhile.

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35 If any or all of the following suggestions can be implemented, construction professionals can become more knowledgeable about the Florida Building Code and building code violation occurrence rates will decline. Expand the core courses to include more specific code material Require more hours of continued education for construction professionals Reduce the cost for the voluntary classes Increase the number of sites available statewide for voluntary training Focus education efforts on those violations with the highest occurrence rates. Once these rates begin to fall, change the focus to other violations. Expanding the core courses is a way to familiarize contractors and designers with areas that they may not completely understand. Different subject areas may be periodically rotated to coincide with fluctuations in building code violation occurrence rates. For example, the core courses could begin covering the Florida Accessibility Code and once these violation rates begin to diminish, these courses can begin covering wind load and structural calculations. Through expanding the core courses and requiring more hours of continued education, all areas of the Florida Building Code can be explored. Currently the voluntary classes offered by the state of Florida are more expensive than the core courses. The majority of licensed contractors and designers in the state may not be able to afford these courses. If these costs could be equivalent to the core course rates, the voluntary courses would become more popular among construction professionals. The Florida Building Code website lists only four cities where core training is available. It is unclear if these sites are rotated throughout the state. A construction professional will be hesitant to take any extra classes if it requires a long car ride or plane

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36 trip. If these classes could be spread throughout the state and held more frequently, contractors and designers would be more likely to take part in voluntary training. Summary Continuing education classes and building code training for construction professionals are essential in making the construction process more efficient and aid in building safer structures. Increasing awareness about the present building code can lead to less time and money spent on: reviewing plans multiple times, re-inspections rework to correct violations, and constructing finished structures. This study was conducted to uncover the trainings effectiveness and offer suggestions for their improvement. Survey questionnaires were sent to 71 jurisdictions throughout Florida. Twenty-three responses were received and statistics were run on the data collected. This analysis indicated the top two code violations statewide are wind load and structural calculations and the Florida Accessibility Code, with occurrence rates of 45.4% and 43.7%, respectively. The rest of the top ten violations all have occurrence rates ranging between 27% and 39 percent. Next, an analysis was done comparing violations in coastal and inland counties. The nine coastal counties had the same top code violations that were found for the entire state (wind load and structural calculations and Florida Accessibility Code had occurrence rates of 55% and 50%, respectively). Unlike the coastal counties, the inland counties had a unique set of most common violations. The top two violations found were Truss Layout and Florida Accessibility Code, with occurrence rates of 42.3% and 40.5%, respectively. Lastly, the effect of county population was analyzed. The Florida Accessibility Code and wind load and structural calculations were found in each groups top five

PAGE 45

37 violations. An unanticipated finding revealed an increase in the overall violation occurrence rate as the population of the jurisdiction increases. Group A (population less than 100,000) has an average of 25.5 percent, while Group B (population between 100,000 and 200,000) and Group C (population greater than 200,000) have averages of 42.8% and 43%, respectively. Recommendations for Further Research No matter how the data was analyzed, statewide, coastal versus inland counties or by county population, the same violations are near or at the top of each list. Without further study proving this list to be absolute, all of these ten violations should be the focus of future education efforts. More information should be gathered from non-responsive jurisdictions. This study collected data from 23 of the 71 jurisdictions contacted. The respondents were heavily concentrated in the central portion of Florida. Most of the panhandle and south Florida were not represented. Obtaining information from these jurisdictions would create a more comprehensive statewide list for common code violations. Further studies should separate the violations found during plan review and building site inspections. Some violations may be the found during either process, but there are many which are unique to both. This study was able to differentiate between the two types of violations when only one person from a jurisdiction responded. This one person could be doing both jobs at once. A study categorizing code violations, as plan review or site inspection issues would give greater insight into the sources of common violations. These sources might help pinpoint knowledge deficiencies regarding the code or a need for the code to be worded differently for greater clarification.

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38 Exploring different methods for reducing the frequency of these common violations would also be valuable. An emphasis should be placed on the counties in Group A (population less than 100,000). Their education and training efforts should be studied because their violation occurrence rates were lower than the other responding groups (Group B: population 100,000 to 200,000, Group C: population greater than 200,000). These smaller jurisdictions could be used as models for developing training programs in larger jurisdictions.

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APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT INFORMED CONSENT BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS SURVEY Conducted by: Kyle McCollum (Graduate Student) Supervised by: Robert Cox (Faculty Supervisor) Survey Questionnaire Dear Participant, The M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida, is conducting a statewide study concerning the most prevalent code violations observed during the current Florida Building Codes existence. We are asking you to participate in this survey due to your significant position in the construction industry. The purpose is to analyze your and other building departments data concerning observed building code violations since March 1, 2002 (effective date of present Florida Building Code). The results will assist us in providing recommendations for additional training for designers and/or contractors. The survey will take you approximately 10 minutes to complete. There are no anticipated risks, compensation or other direct benefits to you as a participant in this survey. However, upon your participation, you will be provided with a summary report of the study following its completion. At all times, your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. You are also free to withdraw your consent to participate and may discontinue your participation in the survey at any time without consequence. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me at 352-318-1979 or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Robert Cox, at 352-273-1153. Questions or concerns about your rights as a participant may be directed to the UFIRB office, University of Florida, Box 11225, Gainesville, FL 32611; Ph: 352-392-0433. By filling out the provided survey, you give me the permission to report your responses anonymously in the final manuscript to be submitted to the University Scholars Program as part of my research. Sincerely, Kyle McCollum University of Florida I accept the consent terms described above ________________________ __________ Signature Date No, I do not wish to participate in this survey ________________________ __________ Signature Date YOUR INTEREST & VALUABLE TIME SPENT RESONDING TO THIS SURVEY IS GREATLY APPRECIATED! PLEASE GO TO NEXT PAGE 39

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APPENDIX B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE Section I: Demo g raphicsName of Government Entity: Location / Jurisdiction:Name of Respondent:Job Title:Phone: Plan Reviewer / Inspector (Circle One)Section II: Code ViolationsBased on your best judgment, please identify the occurrence rate (per 10 violations) for each of the following violations within your jurisdiction since March 1, 2002 (effective date of current Florida Building Code).Per 10 observed violations1. Hydraulic Calculations2. Electrical Load Calculations3. Sound Decibel Test4. Zoning Compliance Permit5. Approved Site Plan6. HVAC Load Calculations7. HVAC Duct Sizes8. Model Energy Code Calculations9. Mechanical Floor Plan10. Florida Accessibility Code11. Wind Load & Structural Calculations12. Plumbing Riser Layout13. Permit Site Work14. Revised Plans15. Truss LayoutIf any violations are observed in your jurisdiction different from those listed above, please listthem below along with their occurrence rate.16.17.18.Is there historical data available regarding violation occurrences?Y / NIf yes, how can we gain access to this data?Please provide any comments you may have about the above statements or anything else you think would be helpful for us to know. 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 9-10 1-2 3-4 5-6 9-10 7-8 7-8 7-8 40

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APPENDIX C UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Table C-1. Plan Review Deficiencies Gainesville, Florida November 1, 2001-April 15, 2002 Violation Number of Occurrences Electrical Load Calculations 16 Zoning Compliance Permit 16 HVAC Load Calculations 15 Approved Site Plan 13 Model Energy Code Calculations 13 Revised Floor Plans 10 Florida Accessibility Code 9 Wind Load and Structural Calculations 9 Permit-Site Work 8 Revised Plans 8 Truss Layout 8 Existing Floor Plan 6 Fire Alarm Horn and Strobe Intensities 5 Gypsum Detail 5 Typical Interior Wall Section 5 Ducts Sizing and Layout 4 Grease Trap Sizing Approval 4 Hotel and Restaurant Approval Package 4 Egress Details 3 Electrical Panel Location 3 Electrical Riser Layout 3 Fire Rating 3 Material Storage Worksheet 3 Permit-Building 3 Plumbing Riser Diagram 3 EPA Approval Letter 2 Existing Site Plan 2 Framing Details 2 Gas Piping Riser 2 HVAC Ducts Layout 2 Permit-Hood Suppression System 2 Permit-Septic Tank 2 Plans-Fire Alarm 2 Revised Site Plan 2 Sound Decibel Test 2 Summary Sheet 2 41

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42 Table C-1. Continued Violation Number of Occurrences Tenant Separation Walls 2 Typical Wall Section 2 UL Details 2 Attic Layout 1 Building Codes 1 Building Footprint 1 Certificate of Appropriateness 1 Construction Type 1 Corrected Cover Page 1 Door Schedule 1 Driveway and Culvert Layout 1 Electrical Layout 1 Electrical Panel Schedules 1 Electrical Plans 1 Elevation Details 1 Engineering 1 Equipment Location 1 Existing Foundation Plan 1 Fire Dampers 1 Fire Sprinkler Calculations 1 Floor Plan Layout 1 Gas Piping Layout 1 HVAC Ducts Sizing 1 Hydraulic Calculations 1 Make-Up Air Requirements 1 Manufacturer Information 1 Manufacturing Test and Certification 1 Masonry Wall Detail 1 Mechanical Floor Plan 1 Permit-Bus Shelter 1 Permit-Gas Piping 1 Permit-Generator 1 Permit-Kitchen Exhaust Hoot System 1 Permit-LP Tank 1 Permit-Sidewalk/Drive-Thru 1 Permit-Signage 1 Permit-Storage Shed 1 Permit-Walk-in Cooler/Freezer 1 Plans-Fire Alarm 1 Plans-Plumbing Riser 1 Plans-Shear Wall 1 Post and Beam Detail 1

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43 Table C-1. Continued Violation Number of Occurrences Redline Approved Site Plan Elevations 1 Revised Electrical Risers 1 Revised Foundation Plans 1 Revised Gas Piping 1 Revised Plumbing Plans 1 Revised Plumbing Risers 1 Revised Shear Wall Locations 1 Revised Toilet Room Plans 1 Riser Layout 1 Seating Layout 1 Stair Details 1 Standard Building Code Use 1 Structural Plans 1 Velocity Calculations 1 Verify Address of New Building 1 Window Schedule 1 0246810121416Frequency Electrical LoadCalculationsZoningCompliancePermitHVAC LoadCalculationsApproved SitePlanModel EnergyCodeCalculationsFloridaAccessibilityCodeWind Load &StructuralCalculationsPermit-SiteWorkRevised PlansTruss LayoutViolation Figure C-1. Highest Frequency Violations in Gainesville, Florida Over A 6 Month Period

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LIST OF REFERENCES Alachua County Department of Growth Management (2003). Code Enforcement: What are Building Codes., Alachua County, Florida, < http://growth-management.alachua.fl.us > (Jul. 6, 2004) Casey, M., Hansen, D., and Kardon, R. (2003). Code Check 4 th edition, Taunton Press, New York. Columbus Department of Development (2000). Neighborhood Services: Common Code Violations., Columbus, Ohio, < http://td.ci.columbus.oh.us > (Jul. 6, 2004) Denver City Council (2003). Common Code Violations and Responsible City Agencies., Denver, Colorado, < http://www.denvergov.org > (Jul. 6, 2004) Discovery Inspections (1999). Most Common Code Violations in New Home Construction., Discovery Inspections L.L.C., < http://www.discoveryinspections.com > (Jul. 6, 2004) Florida Building Code (2004). Setting New Standards for Safety 2003-2004. State of Florida, < http://www.dca.state.fl.us > (Jul. 6, 2004) Florida County Map-Map of Florida (2004). Map of Florida Counties., Digital Map Store L.L.C., < http://county-map.digital-topo-maps.com/florida.shtml > (Jul. 14, 2004) Florida Department of Community Affairs (2004). Building Codes and Standards., State of Florida, < http://www.floridacommunitydevelopment.org > (Jul. 6, 2004) Florida Department of Community Affairs (2000). The Florida Building Code First Edition., State of Florida, < http://www.floridabuilding.org > (Oct. 3, 2004) International Code Council (2004). Setting the Standard for Building Safety., International Code Council, < http://iccsafe.org > (Jul. 6, 2004) Leon County, Growth & Environmental Management (2003). Leon County Building Inspection 10 Most Common Violations., Leon County, Florida, < http://www.leonpermits.org > (Jul. 6, 2004) 44

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45 National Association of Home Builders (2003). Construction Quality Survey., Market Tools, Inc., < http://www.zommerang.com/reports/public_report.zgi?ID=3JM1T65D08F9 > (Sep. 14, 2004) National Weather Service (2003). Hurricane Preparedness: Hurricane History., NOAA/National Weather Service, < http://www.nhc.noaa.gov > (Jul. 6, 2004) Palm Beach County Florida: Planning, Zoning & Building Dept. (2003). Common Code Violations., Palm Beach County, Florida, < http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us > (Jul. 6, 2004) Tampa Customer Service Information (2003). Common Code Violations., Tampa, Florida, < http://www.tampagov.net > (Jul. 6, 2004) Underwood, L. (2004). Common Code Violationsand how to fix them, Bookmark Inc, Kansas. Welcome to The City of Winter Park, FL (2002). Departments: Code Violations., Winter Park, Florida, < http://www.ci.winter-park.fl.us > (Jul. 6, 2004)

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kyle Wesley McCollum was born in Tampa, Florida on September 17, 1977. He is the oldest of two children born to James and Mary Jean McCollum. He and his younger sister Sonja were both raised in Tampa, Florida, and attended Chamberlain High School. Kyle was a member of the varsity basketball team all 3 years and was captain his senior year. Upon graduation, Kyle attended The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and majored in Mechanical Engineering. After 2 years, he decided to transfer to The University of Florida. While pursuing his degree, Kyle worked as an intern for Tampa Electric Company and Medtronic Surgical Products; worked as a softball umpire for the University of Florida Intramural Department; and coached basketball at the YMCA, Buchholz High School, and the University of Florida Team summer camp. In May 2002, Kyle received his bachelors degree in engineering science with minors in biomechanics and business administration. After graduation, Kyle decided to change his area of concentration to building construction. In the fall of 2002, he entered the masters program in the School of Building Construction at The University of Florida. During his 2 years in the masters program, Kyle continued his coaching at Buchholz and worked as an intern for R.J. Griffin & Company. In August 2004, he accepted a full-time position with R.J. Griffin & Company in Orlando, Florida, as a Project Engineer. Kyle plans to receive his masters degree in December of 2004 and pursue a career in the construction industry as a project manager. 46


Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0008822/00001

Material Information

Title: Top ten building code violations in Florida
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: McCollum, Kyle ( Dissertant )
Cox, Robert ( Thesis advisor )
Issa, Raymond ( Thesis advisor )
Wetherington, Leon ( Reviewer )
Stroh, Robert ( Reviewer )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2004
Copyright Date: 2004

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Building Construction
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract: The Florida Building Code is updated every few years to reflect changes in construction materials, installation methods, and technology. The state of Florida currently requires training for construction professionals regarding these periodic revisions. Educating contractors and designers should influence them to create safe and reliable structures. The primary goal of this research was to uncover the most common building code violations observed in the state of Florida and to offer recommendations for improving the training programs used to educate construction professionals about the Florida Building Code. A questionnaire was sent to every county-level building department in Florida asking them to identify their most common building-code violations and their occurrence rates. Statistical analysis showed two top violations: Wind Load and Structural Calculations and Florida Accessibility Code. This has implications for improving existing training efforts by the state.
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 54 pages.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2004.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 003165723
System ID: UFE0008822:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0008822/00001

Material Information

Title: Top ten building code violations in Florida
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: McCollum, Kyle ( Dissertant )
Cox, Robert ( Thesis advisor )
Issa, Raymond ( Thesis advisor )
Wetherington, Leon ( Reviewer )
Stroh, Robert ( Reviewer )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2004
Copyright Date: 2004

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Building Construction
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract: The Florida Building Code is updated every few years to reflect changes in construction materials, installation methods, and technology. The state of Florida currently requires training for construction professionals regarding these periodic revisions. Educating contractors and designers should influence them to create safe and reliable structures. The primary goal of this research was to uncover the most common building code violations observed in the state of Florida and to offer recommendations for improving the training programs used to educate construction professionals about the Florida Building Code. A questionnaire was sent to every county-level building department in Florida asking them to identify their most common building-code violations and their occurrence rates. Statistical analysis showed two top violations: Wind Load and Structural Calculations and Florida Accessibility Code. This has implications for improving existing training efforts by the state.
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 54 pages.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2004.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 003165723
System ID: UFE0008822:00001


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TOP TEN BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS IN FLORIDA


By

KYLE McCOLLUM













A THEISIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004

































Copyright 2004

by

Kyle McCollum















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

There are many people I would like to recognize for their contribution to making

this thesis a reality. Dr. Robert Cox, Dr. Raymond Issa, Dr. Leon Wetherington, and Dr.

Robert Stroh's years of experience, ideas, advice, patience, encouragement, and

generosity with their time were indispensable. The Building Officials, Plan Reviewers

and Site Inspectors from participating building departments were instrumental in aiding

my data-collection process. Without their interest and contributions, this thesis would not

have been possible.

My friends Liz Benz, Matt "Wojo" Olszewski, Shawn "T" Thompson, Kendal

Powell, Bob Horodyski, Mark Thompson, Bob Gearhart, Buchholz basketball players

over the past 3 years, and all of my softball teammates kept me sane by listening to my

bellyaching, giving unsolicited advice, sharing a few laughs, and always keeping me

humble.

The love and support I received from my baby sister Sonja; father; stepfather; aunt;

uncle; cousin; and the "babies", Bailey and Lacey always comforted and encouraged me.

Most of all I would like to thank my mom. Her unconditional emotional support and

endless supply of reassurance motivated me to push through tough times, expect great

things from myself, and put things in their proper perspective. There is no way for me to

express how much she has meant to me.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iii

LIST OF TABLES ............... .......... ... ......... ............ vi

L IST O F FIG U R E S .... ..................................................... .... ..... .. ............. vii

A B S T R A C T ..................................................................................... v iii

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION .................. ............................. .. ...... ................... .

State ent of th e P rob lem ......................................................... ............................... 1

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ........................................................................3

In tro d u ctio n .................. ....................................................... ............... .. 3
U S B building C ode H history ............................................................................. .... .. .3
The Florida B building C ode ........................................................... .............4
Building Code Education and Compliance......................................... ............... 6
C ode V violation Studies and B ooks ..................................................................... .....7
Leon County Study .................. ......................................... .... ........ 7
Palm B each C county .......................... ...................... .. .. ....... ................ .8
T am p a ...................................... .................................. ................ 8
W in ter P ark ...................................... .............................. ................ .. 8
N AAHB .................. .................................... ................ ......... 9
University of Florida ................................................ 9
State of Florida .................................... .......................... ............ 10
C ode V violation B ooks .................................... .... .. .... ........ .............. .. 11
S u m m a ry .......................................................................................................1 1

3 M ETH OD OLO GY ................................................................................. 13

In tro d u ctio n ........................................................................................................... 1 3
Q questionnaire D evelopm ent ................................................................. ............... 13
L im itatio n s ........................................................................................14
Q questionnaire D istribution....................................................................................15
Sum m ary ..................................... .................. ................. ........... 16









4 R E S U L T S .................................................................................. 17

Survey R responses ....................................................... .............. ... 17
H y draulic C alculation s .............................................. ....................................20
Electric Load Calculations ....................................................... 20
Sound D ecibel Test............... ..... ...................... ........20
Z oning C om pliance Perm it............................................ ........... ............... 20
A pprov ed Site P lan ...................... .... ......................... .. ...... .. ...... ............20
HVAC Load Calculations......................................... 21
H V A C D uct Sizes.............. ...................................................... .. .... ...... 2 1
M odel Energy Code Calculations.................................... ........................ 21
M echanical Floor Plan........... ................ .. ....... ................. ............... 21
Florida A accessibility C ode .................................. .........................................22
W ind Load & Structural Calculations ...................................... ............... 22
Plumbing Riser Layout...... .... .... ......... .. ..... ........................22
Perm it-Site W ork ........... ...... ........ .... ........... ................. 22
R e v ise d P la n s ................................................................................................. 2 3
Truss Layout .................................. .............................. ......... 23
D ata Analysis...................... ..................23
Top Ten Code Violations ................. ...............................24
C coastal versus Inland C counties .......................................................26
P o p u latio n E effects ......................................................................................... 2 7
Summary ............... .................................................... 29

5 DISCUSSION .............. ..........................................31

F lorida A accessibility C ode ................................................................................... 32
W ind Load and Structural Calculations............................ ..... ......... 33
Conclusions.................................33
Current Education Programs ..................................... 34
Improvements to Current Programs ........................................ ....34
Summary ............... ...................... ........................36
Recommendations for Further Research ............................................. ......37

APPENDIX

A INFORMED CONSENT ................................. ........................... ..........39

B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE ............................................................. .............40

C U N IVER SITY OF FLORID A ........................................................................ ........... 41

LIST OF REFERENCES .................................................................................. 44

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................. ................................... 46





v
















LIST OF TABLES

Table page

4-1. Survey R esponses by Location.......................................... ............................ 17

4-2. D escriptive Statistics of R esponses ........................................ ........ ............... 24

4-3. The Top Ten Most Frequently Reported Code Violations.................................25

4-4. Coastal and Inland Counties Comparison ...................................... ............... 26

4-5. Coastal and Inland County Chi-Squared Analysis ....................................... 27

4-6. Large and Small Counties Comparison................................. ............... 28

C-1. Plan Review Deficiencies Gainesville, Florida ............................... ............... .41
















LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

4-1. Responding Counties (Shaded) ............................................................................ 19

4-2. The Top Ten Most Frequently Reported Code Violations..................................25

C-1. Highest Frequency Violations in Gainesville, Florida............... ............. 43














Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction

TOP TEN BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS IN FLORIDA

By

Kyle McCollum

December 2004

Chair: Robert Cox
Cochair: Raymond Issa
Major Department: Building Construction

The Florida Building Code is updated every few years to reflect changes in

construction materials, installation methods, and technology. The state of Florida

currently requires training for construction professionals regarding these periodic

revisions. Educating contractors and designers should influence them to create safe and

reliable structures.

The primary goal of this research was to uncover the most common building code

violations observed in the state of Florida and to offer recommendations for improving

the training programs used to educate construction professionals about the Florida

Building Code. A questionnaire was sent to every county-level building department in

Florida asking them to identify their most common building-code violations and their

occurrence rates. Statistical analysis showed two top violations: Wind Load and

Structural Calculations and Florida Accessibility Code. This has implications for

improving existing training efforts by the state.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

On March 1, 2002, the new Florida Building Code was put into effect. The

government believed that a statewide code would create consistent code enforcement,

uniform training of designers and contractors, and higher quality construction.

Transitioning to the new code was facilitated through the requirements for continuing

education for designers and contractors. Our study was developed to learn the

effectiveness of these courses by determining the top code violations reported by plan

reviewers and site inspectors.

Statement of the Problem

Building-code violations found during plan review or site inspections can lead to an

increased workload for plan reviewers and inspectors, delays in construction, and

increased costs to owners. Continuing education courses have been developed to

increase awareness among construction professionals of the difference between the

current building code and its predecessors. But these courses do not furnish information

regarding violations experienced by other construction professionals. In theory,

increased awareness in these areas should provide professionals with accurate code

interpretations that can cause a reduction in the number of code violations observed.

The main purpose of our study is to determine the top ten building-code violations

observed by site inspectors and plan reviewers since adoption of the Florida Building

Code in March 2002. Information gathered was analyzed to establish any correlation

throughout the state, and to reveal the effectiveness of the continuing-education courses.






2


Results provide suggestions for improving course content and recommendations

developing new training methods and materials. Increasing awareness about the Florida

Building Code and code-violation occurrence rates can help decrease the number of

violations observed, expedite the plan review and inspection processes, reduce the

amount of rework needed to correct violations, and aid in the construction of safer

buildings.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction

This section summarizes literature concerning the recent history of modern

building codes, the development of the Florida Building Code, and studies and books

regarding common code violations found during site inspections.

US Building Code History

Building codes have been in the United States since the early 1800s (Alachua

County, 2003). Local governments had their own unique set of established standards for

quality and safety along with consequences for noncompliance. These standards were

eventually developed into the building codes currently used in the United States.

Early in the twentieth century, the United States was inundated with unique

building codes. A movement began to reduce the number of codes in use and draft a

single code that would supercede all. The first step was a meeting of code-enforcement

officials in 1915. They met to discuss common problems and concerns regarding

building regulations, and to provide a forum for idea exchange regarding building safety

and regulations. As the population of the United States grew, three organizations were

created to hold meetings similar to the one held in 1915 for different regions of the

country. Each of these organizations eventually created their own model building code

(Alachua County, 2004).

S The Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) founded in 1915
represents officials from the Midwest United States.









* The International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) founded in 1922
represents officials from the Western United States.

* The Standard Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) founded in 1941
represents officials in the Southern United States.

In 1994 the BOCA, ICBO, and SBCCI jointly formed the International Code

Council. This new organization's function was to create a single model building code to

be used as the sole construction code throughout the United States and provide a single

location for all discussions concerning issues dealing with current and future building

regulations. Since the formation of the ICC and creation of the International Building

Code, 48 of 50 states have adopted at least part of this unified code (International Code

Council, 2004).

Increased safety measures and new technology force periodic updates to this and

other documents. Florida Statute 553.841 requires continued education for contractors,

engineers, and designers to keep their practices current with these changes (Florida

Department of Community Affairs, 2004). Without training, contractors and designers

may learn about changes only through fines and other established consequences, weather-

related structural damage, building failures associated with noncompliant means and

methods, and personal injuries caused by faulty construction. Lacking the necessary

knowledge concerning applicable building codes can cause increased construction costs,

construction delays, and approval delays caused by repeat inspections. Increasing the

training available for construction professionals can help transform the construction

process into one that is safer and more efficient.

The Florida Building Code

Florida was at one time extremely fragmented with regard to its building code.

There was no statewide government regulation stating which code should take









precedence. This decision was left up to each individual city and county. During the

1970s the state began requiring all counties and cities to adopt one of four existing model

building codes. These became known as the state minimum building codes (Alachua

County, 2003).

In the past 15 years, a series of natural disasters and the increasing fragmentation

throughout the state led to the development and adoption of a building code recognized

statewide. Creation of the Florida Building Code was authorized by the Florida

Legislature in 1998 and became effective on March 1, 2002. This document became the

exclusive set of regulations, superceding all local codes and encompassing all building

standards adopted by various enforcement agencies throughout the state (Florida

Department of Community Affairs, 2004). Local jurisdictions and select state agencies

are assigned with the Florida Building Code's administration and enforcement. When

distinctive local conditions are not specifically addressed or jurisdictions believe code

provisions need to be updated, amendments may be added. Examples of local

amendments are (Florida Department of Community Affairs, 2000):

* Chapter 15, Section 1506 Materials (City of Boca Raton). This provision was
modified so roof panels now must be a minimum thickness of 19/32 inches.

* Chapter 31, Section 3107 Pinellas Gulf Beaches Coastal Construction Code
(Pinellas County). This code provides minimum standards for design and
construction of residential and commercial structures while addressing their affects
on the stability of the beach, dunes, and other environmental features typical of the
region.

* Chapter 31, Section 3109 Floodplain Management Construction Standard. This
revision's goal is to minimize public and private losses resulting from flood
conditions in specific areas.









Procedures have been established to verify the provisions' validity and consistency

with the code. Under no circumstance will an amendment be accepted unless it is more

stringent than those existing (Florida Department of Community Affairs, 2000).

Building Code Education and Compliance

Within the new building code system there provisions requiring education and

training for designers and contractors. The Florida Building Commission requires a

minimum of one to six courses within 2 years of initial certification. Designers and

contractors are required to complete a course only once. These courses are relevant for

three years until the adoption of a new edition of the Florida Building Code (Florida

Department of Community Affairs, 2004).

Code education has been shown to be most effective when compliance procedures

are in place to monitor construction professionals. Designers and contractors cited for

repeated code violations, through plan review and inspections, will face penalties of four

times the plan review or re-inspection fees. These punishments go into effect after the

third incidence of the same violation. Fines range from $500 to $5,000 and disciplinary

action goes into effect when violations pose major threats to the building's occupants

(Florida Department of Community Affairs, 2004).

Unfortunately there has been no statewide effort to educate these professionals on

mistakes their peers have made. Increasing awareness of the most common code

violations could decrease their occurrence rate. The first step in increasing awareness is

gathering information from local building departments regarding common code violation

occurrences.









Code Violation Studies and Books

Few code violation studies have been conducted in the United States. An extensive

search uncovered eight studies concerning common building code violations. Lists of the

most common building code violations were found for the following jurisdictions:

Atlanta, GA; Clayton County, GA; Fayette County, GA; Henry County, GA; Coweta

County, GA (Discovery Inspections, 1999); Denver, CO (Denver City Council, 2004);

Leon County, FL (Leon County, 2003); Palm Beach County, FL (Palm Beach County

Florida, 2003); Tampa, FL (Tampa, 2003); Winter Park, FL (Winter Park, 2002);

Columbus, OH (Columbus, 2000). The University of Florida conducted a study to find

the most common plan review violations for Gainesville, Florida (Cox, R. and Issa, R.,

unpublished manuscript, 2002. Plan Review Deficiencies Gainesville, Florida November

1, 2001-April 15, 2002). All of these studies uncovered violations observed in their

respective jurisdiction alone. Only the studies done in Florida are applicable for

comparison to a statewide survey for Florida.

Leon County Study

The Leon County Growth and Environmental Management Department has a link

off their website specifically addressing the ten most common building inspection

violations. Contractors may access this page to help them avoid common mistakes found

by building inspectors with no mention of plan review violations. This list does not:

specify if the violation is commercial or residential, give the time period from which the

data was taken, or specify its order (i.e., highest to lowest occurrence rate, or random).

However, the list is very detailed about the violation in question and where to find the

applicable code information for correcting each violation. Some common violations









listed are: Stairway Construction, Excessive Cutting and Notching in Structural

Members, and Truss Design and Layout.

Palm Beach County

The Palm Beach County Department of Planning, Zoning, and Building compiled a

list of their most common code violations which is displayed on their website. This list

includes building code violations, but mainly focuses on zoning regulation violations.

Building without a permit and building too close to property lines are the only two

building violations dealt with. The remainder of the list deals with overgrown lots,

operating a business in a residential zone, inoperative vehicles, etc. This list in itself will

offer limited value to a statewide comparison.

Tampa

The Tampa Department of Construction Services has a website dedicated to

common code violations. The list is divided into five categories: site inspection

violations, building inspection violations, electrical inspection violations, mechanical

inspection violations, and plumbing inspection violations. Each category lists 9-21

separate violations per category, with a resultant total of 81 violations. There is no

mention of occurrence rates or the order in which the list was compiled. Its intent is not

to be an all-inclusive list, but to give a guideline for contractors helping them avoid

common mistakes made by their peers. Common violations include: Permitting Plans not

on Site, No Truss Engineering Provided, and Improperly Sized Stair Treads and Risers.

Winter Park

The city of Winter Park Building Division lists information about the most

common violations found by building inspectors on their website with no mention of plan

review violations. These violations are listed under four categories: Building Inspection,









Plumbing & Gas Inspection, Air Conditioning & Mechanical System Inspection, and

Electrical Inspection. Each category lists from 10-19 violations resulting in a total of 56

common violations. Similar to the Leon County and Tampa lists, there is no mention of

occurrence rates or the order in which the violations are listed. However, this list gives

detailed descriptions and a good overview of mistakes made by other contractors. Some

common violations listed include: Plans Missing from Job, No Truss Engineering

Provided, and Inadequate Footing Depth.

NAHB

A study by the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) in 2003,

Construction Quality Survey, compiled the most common problems identified by home

inspectors during new home inspections (National Association of Home Builders, 2003).

The goal of the study was to provide builders with a tool to help them continue building

quality homes, minimize construction defect lawsuits, and make themselves more

attractive to insurers by identifying the most common problem areas within the design

and construction process. A section of this study asked the inspectors to list the top five

most common code violations found during their tenure which are: baluster spacing &

railing heights for stairs improper and/or missing, ungrounded electrical outlets and/or

loose wiring, B-vent flue too close to wood, inadequate flashings (roof, windows, doors,

decks, and foundations), and water heater relief valve pipe not extended to drain and/or

missing. Occurrence rates are listed for each violation and are based on the total number

of responses received.

University of Florida

A study by the University of Florida's School of Building Construction (Cox, R.

and Issa, R. (2002). Plan Review Deficiencies Gainesville, Florida November 1, 2001-









April 15, 2002) focused specifically on plan review violations in Gainesville, Florida.

The University gathered violation data for a six-month period (November 1, 2001

through April 15, 2002) from the Gainesville Building Department. This data was

analyzed and ranked, high to low, by violation frequency (Appendix C). Ninety-four

violations were listed and the top ten were displayed on a bar graph. The horizontal axis

listed the top ten violations and the vertical axis represented the frequency of these

violations. Unlike the other studies found, this study focused only on plan review

violations.

State of Florida

An in depth study, regarding building code deficiencies, was conducted by the state

of Florida in 1996. This study was done in conjunction with preliminary investigations

into the necessity of a statewide building code. The codes in place were deemed

insufficient after Hurricane Andrew, the most destructive U.S. hurricane on record,

caused 23 deaths and $26.5 billion in damage (National Weather Service, 2003). Much

of this damage was to homes and buildings that had previously been assumed to be

structurally able to withstand hurricane force winds. The Florida Building Codes

Commission was created to study the current building construction system and give

recommendations to remedy any problems. After the commission examined every code

and their enforcement processes, it concluded that the codes alone were not at fault. It

found a confusing system composed of over 400 local jurisdictions and state agencies in

charge of enforcing the multiple codes with differing administration procedures (Florida

Building Code, 2004). Conclusions from this study forced the state to begin creating a

single statewide building code system (Alachua County, 2004). Benefits of a single

statewide model code are numerous: manufacturers can use their resources to develop









new products instead of modifying existing products for multiple sets of standards;

education and certification of building officials, contractors, and architects can be

uniform throughout the state; consistent code enforcement; higher quality construction.

Code Violation Books

In addition to these studies, books have been written to educate contractors about

common code violations. The Code Check series of books and Common Code

Violations... and how to fix them are books written as guides for homebuilders to spot

violations and give tips on how to correct them. Both books are based on the 2000

edition of the International Residential Code and cover all aspects of conventional

residential construction (Casey, 2003; Underwood, 2004). No books written regarding

commercial construction code violations were found during this literature search.

Summary

The modern building code's development dates back to the early 1800s and many

unique codes were developed in the United States. A movement began in the early

1900's to develop a code to supercede them all. Three different organizations were

founded with the purpose of developing such a code. These organizations were The

Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA), The International Conference of

Building Officials (ICBO), and The Standard Building Code Congress International

(SBCCI). After 1941, each organization had developed a unique model building code. It

took another 53 years until these three codes were combined into one universal code. In

1994 these three organizations united to form the International Code Council (ICC) and

created the International Building Code which is used, at least in part, by 48 of 50 states

in the union.









The Florida Building Code experienced a similar development to the International

Building Code. Florida's state government let each local jurisdiction decide which model

building code they would use with no statewide code to take precedence. This practice

continued until the early 1990s when a series of natural disasters caused the state to

reconsider this practice. The Florida Building Code was created in 1998 and went into

effect on March 1, 2002. Under this code, local jurisdictions may pass amendments to

account for unique situations, but the Florida Building Code has precedence over all

enforced codes.

Every 3 years, the Florida Building Code is revised. Designers and contractors

must stay up to date with the changes made. Along with continued education courses

mandated by the state of Florida, there are also procedures in place to penalize repeat

code violation offenders. To date there is no state endorsed system in place to inform

contractors and designers of their peers' most common mistakes. Florida has had only

four jurisdictions to attempt gathering data concerning these mistakes: Leon County,

Palm Beach County, Tampa, and Winter Park. Compiling a statewide list, similar to

these four, and distributing this type of information to construction professionals would

increase awareness and help decrease the occurrence rates for the most common code

violations.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Introduction

This report's objective is to determine the most prevalent code violations in

commercial construction projects observed during the current Florida Building Code's

existence. A one-page survey was distributed to building departments statewide to gather

the applicable information. Its intent was not to be a building department performance

assessment. Instead, the data will be used in making recommendations for additional

designer and contractor training with the expectation of transforming the construction

process into one that is more efficient and produces safer finished products.

Questionnaire Development

A survey used was designed to obtain the quantitative data needed for a statistical

analysis. This survey titled "Building Code Violations Questionnaire" can be found in

Appendix A. Section I of the questionnaire asks for demographic data on the respondent.

This section includes name of government entity, location/jurisdiction, name of

respondent, professional title, phone number, and whether their primary function is as a

plan reviewer or code enforcement site inspector.

Section II deals with identifying the occurrence rate, per ten observed violations,

for each of the fifteen violations listed. These violations were retrieved from a City of

Gainesville Plan Review Deficiency Report dated November 1, 2001 through

April 15, 2002 (Cox, R. and Issa, R., unpublished manuscript, 2002. Plan Review

Deficiencies Gainesville, Florida November 1, 2001-April 15, 2002). The top ten









violations from this sample were included in the questionnaire along with five others

selected at random. Additional lines were available for the respondent to add any other

common violations experienced in their jurisdiction, along with their occurrence rate, that

were not included in the questionnaire. The survey uses a ten-point scale to aid the

respondents with identifying each violations occurrence rate. Each violation has six

possible answers: "1-2", "3-4", "5-6", "7-8", "9-10", or left blank meaning the violation

is never seen.

The participant is then asked if there is any historical data to back up their

perceptions. If historical records are available, the participants are asked how this data

can be accessed. Lastly, the participant is given a chance to provide any additional

information that they might think is relevant to this study.

Limitations

During the questionnaire development, some limitations became apparent. The

questionnaire asked either a plan reviewer or building site inspector to rank a list of code

violations. Both groups may observe many of these violations, but there also are some

that are unique to each. Some jurisdictions employ people to handle both plan reviews

and site inspections. In this situation, the individual filling out the survey may or may not

indicate how each violation was observed.

Plan reviewers handle all approvals needed before construction can begin. They

are responsible for approving any necessary calculations (i.e., Hydraulic Calculations,

HVAC Load Calculations) and construction plans and distributing permits. The architect

or contractor submits all of these documents prior to construction. Once construction

begins, the building site inspectors make sure the methods used coincide with approved

plans and checks for applicable permits.









This questionnaire can differentiate between violations unique to plan reviewers

and building site inspectors. However, it cannot show which violations are unique to

each when a person responsible for both jobs answers the survey. For an absolute list,

two separate questionnaires would be needed to identify violation occurrence rates

unique to plan reviewers and building site inspectors.

This questionnaire also was heavily concentrated with MEP (Mechanical,

Electrical, and Plumbing) related violations. Eight of the fifteen violations listed on the

questionnaire are MEP related. Five of the listed violations are architecturally related and

the remaining two are related to structure. Any future questionnaire should have an even

distribution of violations among the three categories.

Lastly, the questionnaire does not specify if the violation occurrence rates are based

on commercial or residential construction. Many violations are unique to either

commercial or residential construction and cannot be differentiated with this

questionnaire. Future questionnaires should specify what type of construction the study

is concentrating on.

Questionnaire Distribution

Once the questionnaire was finalized, every county building department throughout

the state of Florida was contacted about the study. The details of the study were

explained to the appropriate individuals. The questionnaire was then faxed to each of the

contacted departments. Most departments directly routed the questionnaire to the County

Building Official who would eventually fill it out or would pass it along to a Plan

Examiner and Code Enforcement Site Inspector.

Data obtained from this survey were used for statistical analysis to determine any

correlation of common violations throughout the state. This information will uncover









any need for additional education or modifications to existing contractor and designer

training regarding Florida Building Code 2001.

Summary

A questionnaire was sent to every county's building department in the state of

Florida to obtain relevant data for this study. Before sending, each county was contacted

and informed that the objective of the questionnaire was only an information gathering

tool and not a performance evaluation. Each building department was asked to forward

the survey along to the Building Official, a Plan Reviewer, or a Code Enforcement Site

Inspector. The respondents were asked in the questionnaire to fill out some general

personal and demographic information, identify the occurrence rate for their top building

code violations, list any additional common violations not listed, and add any comments

that they deem applicable. The questionnaire data was collected and analyzed. Any

conclusions reached will show the effectiveness of the current Florida Building Code

continued education program for designers and contractors. Once the current program's

overall effectiveness is understood, and specific areas in need of improvement are

identified, suggestions can be made for developing more successful means and methods

to be used in this training.
















CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Survey Responses

The survey was forwarded via facsimile to 71 building departments throughout

Florida. These departments included all 67 counties and 4 cities: Gainesville, Miami,

Orlando, and Tampa. Figure 4-1 shows the counties whose responses were used in the

analysis and shows the breakdown of coastal counties responding (9) and inland counties

responding (13).

A total of 32 responses were received, with 29 suitable for analysis. Four locations

sent responses from both a plan reviewer and a site inspector. In all, 23 jurisdictions

participated, representing 22 of 67 counties and 1 city (Orlando). Table 4-1 displays the

responses from each survey organized by location. Unless otherwise noted, each

response is from the local building official taking into account both plan review and site

inspection.

Table 4-1. Survey Responses by Location




C5









Alachua 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 3.5
Baker County 1.5 3.5 5.6 3.5 3.5 1.5 3.5 3.5
Bradford County 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
I -^ I r -







Baker County 1.5 3.5 5.6 3.5 3.5 1.5 3.5 3.5
Bradford County 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5













Table 4-1. Continued


~o


Charlotte County 1.5 3.5 1.5 5.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 3.5 5.5 7.5 3.5 1.5 7.5 5.5
Clay County PR 1.5 3.5 3.5 9.5 9.5 5.5 3.5 3.5 1.5 5.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 9.5 9.5
Dixie County Insp. 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5

Duval / Jacksonville PR 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 5.5 7.5 3.5 7.5 1.5 9.5 5.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 3.5

Franklin 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 3.5 1.5 7.5 1.5 1.5
Glades 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5
Highlands 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 5.5 7.5









Jefferson 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 5.5 3.5 5.5 3.5
Lake PR 5.5 7.5 7.5 7.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 7.5 1.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

Leon PR 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 3.5 5.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5
Leon Insp. 5.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 7.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 5.5









Charion PR 1.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 3.5 7.5 7.5 5.5 7.5 5.5 7.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 9.5
Okeechobee PR 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Okeechobee Insp. 3.5 3.5 51.5 7.5 5.5
Orlando PR 1.5 5.5 5.5 3.5 5.5 1.5 7.5 7.5 1.5 3.5 9.5 1.5
Orlando-kl Insp. 1.50 5.50 5.50 3.50 5.50 1.50 7.50 7.50 1.50 3.50 9.50 1.5

Orlando Insp. 7.5
Orlando-es Insp. 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50
Orlando Insp. 7.50 5.50 1.50
Palm Beach 1.5 9.5









Putnam Insp. 15.5 7.5 7.5 7.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 7.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 7.5 1.5
Seminole 3.5 3.5 3.5 5.5 1.5 7.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 7.5 5.5
St. Johns PR 1.5 3.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 5.5 7.5 7.5 5.5 1.5
St. Johns Insp. 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 3.5
Taylor 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 5.5 1.5 3. 5.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Union 1.5

* Unless otherwise noted, the respondent from each county was their respective Building Official
taking both the inspection and plan review processes into account when filling out the survey.
PR-Plando Reviewer
Insp.-Code Enforcement Site Inspector












Given the fact that this study was conducted by a state agency 9.(Rinker School of
Building Construction at the University of Florida) and sponsored by another state7.5 5.5
St Johns -PR 1.5 3.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 5.5 7.5 7.5 5.5 1.5
St. Johns -Insp. 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 3.5 3.5
Taylor 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
U nion________________________ 1.5




PR-Plan Reviewer
Insp. -Code Enforcement Site Inspector


3
;1





























3








19



agency (The Florida Department of Community Affairs), the response rate was not as


high as anticipated. Even so, the response rate was above average for similar survey


questionnaire based studies. Research reports of past studies conducted by the Rinker


School of Building Construction to find out reasons for low response rates to surveys,


found that historically at the Rinker School, response rates vary from 11-23 percent (Cox,


R. and Issa, R. (2004). Determination of the Most Frequently Found Florida Building


Code Violations by Plan Reviewers and Building Inspectors.). The following sections


describe Table 4-1 and offer code violation interpretations. They are the researcher's


interpretations and not definitions were provided to the respondents.


1. Escambia
2. Santa Rosa
3. Okaloosa
4. Walton
5. Holmes
6. Washington
7. Jackson
8. Calhoun
9. Bay
10. Gull
11. Gadsen
12. Liberty
13. Leon
14- Wakulla
15. Franklin
16. Jefferson
17. Madison
18. Taylor
19- Hamilton
20. Suwannee
21. Lafayette
22. Dixie
23. Columbia
24. Gilchrist
25. Baker
26. Union
27. Bradford
28. Alachua
29 Levy
30. Nassau


31. Duval
32. Clay
33. St. Johns
34- Putnam
35. =lagier
36. Marion
37. Volusia
38. Citrus
39- Hernando
40. Sumter
41. Lake
42. Seminole
43. Orange
44. Brevard
45. Osceola
48. Polk
47. Pasco
48. Plnellas
49- Hillsborug;h
50. Manatee
51. Sarasota
52. Hardee
53. DeSoto
54. Highlands
55. Okeechobee


56. Indian River
57. St. Lucie
58. Martin
59- Glades
60. Charlotte
61. Lee
62. Hendry
63. Palm Beach
64. Broward
65. Collier
66. Monroe
67. Dade


e2001-2004
Snob Hollow Designs
ww.snobhollow.com
wnwwflnoridacpuuntienumap.Cm


Figure 4-1. Responding Counties (Shaded)


..-,









Hydraulic Calculations

Hydraulic Calculations refer to water flow calculations made by an engineer for

sewers, plumbing and fire sprinkler system in the proposed structure. Eleven (11)

respondents noted Hydraulic Calculations as a common violation. Of these eleven, ten

marked the occurrence rate as 15% and the eleventh marked it as 35%.

Electrical Load Calculations

Electrical Load Calculations refer to calculations made by an engineer for the

electrical load required by the proposed structure. Twenty (20) respondents reported

Electrical Load Calculations as a common violation. Ten respondents marked the

occurrence rate as 15%, six marked 35%, three marked 55% and one marked 75%.

Sound Decibel Test

This violation occurs when a sound decibel test is not done or the test shows figures

higher than the code allows. Ten (10) respondents marked Sound Decibel Test as a

common violation. Eight respondents marked 15% and the other two respondents

marked 35% and 75%.

Zoning Compliance Permit

This violation occurs when the zoning compliance has not been applied for by a

specified deadline or the permit is not on site. Twenty-one (21) respondents marked

Zoning Compliance Permit as a common violation. Their answers ranged from 15% to

95%. Nine respondents listed 15%, seven listed 35%, three listed 55%, one listed 75%

and one listed 95%.

Approved Site Plan

Approved site plans must be on site during construction. Violations occur when

they are not on site. Nineteen (19) respondents marked Approved Site Plan as a common









violation. Their answers ranged from 15% to 95%. Six respondents listed 15%, seven

listed 35%, four listed 55%, one listed 75% and one listed 95%.

HVAC Load Calculations

These are calculations made by an engineer for the HVAC required load by the

proposed structure. Respondents' answers ranged for HVAC Load Calculations from

15% to 75%. Eighteen respondents marked this as a common violation. The breakdown

of answers is as follows: ten marked 15%, one marked 35%, four marked 55%, and three

marked 75%.

HVAC Duct Sizes

HVAC duct sizes are dependent on HVAC load calculations. Duct sizes that can

deliver the required load are chosen. Violations occur if duct sizes chosen cannot handle

the calculated HVAC load. Twenty-one (21) respondents answered HVAC Duct Sizes as

a common violation. Twelve marked the occurrence rate as 15%, seven marked 35%,

one marked 55% and one marked 75%.

Model Energy Code Calculations

Model Energy Code Calculations deals with insulation design for wall and roof

components. Twenty-two (22) respondents marked Model Energy Code Calculations as

a common violation. Their answers ranged from 15% to 75%. Fourteen respondents

listed 15%, one listed 35%, four listed 55%, and two listed 75%.

Mechanical Floor Plan

Plans showing the mechanical layout are required. A violation occurs when a

mechanical floor plan does not exist or does not correspond with applicable standards.

Twenty-two (22) respondents marked Mechanical Floor Plan as a common violation.









Their answers ranged from 15% to 75%. Fourteen respondents listed 15%, four listed

35%, two listed 55%, and one listed 75%.

Florida Accessibility Code

The Florida Accessibility Code incorporates the Americans with Disabilities Act

into the Florida Building Code. Twenty-five (25) respondents noted the Florida

Accessibility Code as a common violation. Of these twenty-five, seven marked the

occurrence rate as 15%, five marked 35%, eight marked 55%, four marked 75%, and one

95%.

Wind Load and Structural Calculations

These are calculations made by an engineer to ensure the stability of a proposed

structure during normal and hurricane force winds. Twenty (20) respondents marked

Wind Load and Structural Calculations as a common violation. Their answers ranged

from 15% to 95%. Six respondents listed 15%, four listed 35%, four listed 55%, five

listed 75%, and one listed 95%.

Plumbing Riser Layout

This violation occurs when a plumbing riser layout is missing from the construction

documents. Respondents' answers ranged for Plumbing Riser Layout from 15% to 75%.

Twenty-one respondents marked this as a common violation. The breakdown of answers

is as follows: nine marked 15%, six marked 35%, four marked 55%, and two marked

75%.

Permit-Site Work

A site work permit is required before any work can begin. This violation occurs

when this permit has not been applied for or is not displayed on site. Sixteen (16)









respondents marked Approved Site Plan as a common violation. Their answers ranged

from 15% to 75%. Eleven respondents listed 15%, four listed 35%, and one listed 75%.

Revised Plans

Revised plans are those that reflect changes made by the owner or architect and is

the current set of construction documents. This violation occurs when revised plans are

not on site. Twenty-two (22) respondents marked Revised Plans as a common violation.

Their answers ranged from 15% to 95%. Twelve respondents listed 15%, three listed

35%, two listed 55%, three listed 75%, and two listed 95%.

Truss Layout

This violation occurs when a truss layout is not displayed on site or the layout does

not meet building code requirements. Respondents' answers ranged for Truss Layout

from 15% to 95%. Twenty-two respondents marked this as a common violation. The

breakdown of answers is as follows: eight marked 15%, seven marked 35%, four marked

55%, one marked 75%, and two marked 95%.

Data Analysis

Once surveys were received, their responses were entered into an Excel spreadsheet

for analysis. The descriptive statistics function was used to study each respondent's

questionnaire responses. Statistics used were: mean, standard deviation, standard error,

mode, range, minimum and maximum level of response, count, and the skewness and

kurtosis of the data set. After this analysis was complete, the top 15 code violations were

ranked and investigated for any statewide correlation. Once these findings were

reviewed, suggestions about increasing the amount of training for construction

professionals and restructuring course content were made.

Table 4-2 shows the descriptive statistics used for all the data collected. The












violations from the questionnaire are listed in the top row and the statistics used listed in


the far left column. These statistics include the mean (or average) response, minimum


and maximum values, range of responses, and the number of responses for that particular


violation (listed in the table as Count). Mean values signify the level of occurrence rate


of each violation compared with the others. The count for a violation helps determine


which violations were the most commonly reported.


Table 4-2. Descriptive Statistics of Responses






I It



_- aC G g 3








Mean 1.7 2.7 2.3 3.4 3.8 3.4 2.6 3.0 2.6 4.4 4.5 3.2 2.4 3.9 3.8
Standard
Error 0.2 0.3 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.7 0.6
Median 1.5 1.7 1.5 3.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 4.5 4.5 3.5 1.5 2.5 3.5
Mode 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5
Standard
Saa -





0 q .f




Deviation 0.6 1.7 2.7 2.3 3.4 3.8 3.4 2.6 3.0 2.6 4.4 4.5 3.2 2.4 3.9 3.8




Sample
Variance 0.4 2.2 3.7 5.0 5.0 6.5 2.8 5.2 3.5 5.4 7.4 4.1 2.7 8.8 6.7
Kurtosis 11.0 (0.6) 7.2 1.5 0.9 (1.4) 2.4 (0.6) 0.8 (0.7) (1.2) (0.2) 6.3 (0.9) 0.3
Standard




Skewness 3.3 0. 3 0 .6 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.4 1.0 1.3 0.3 0.1 0.9 2.4 0.7 0.6





Range 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 8.0 7.1 7.1 6.9 7.1 8.0 9.1 6.1 6.0 8.4 9.1
Medianimum 1.5 1.. 5 1. 1.5 .5 .5 0.4 0.4 0.6 0.4 1.5 4 .5 3.5 1.5 2.5 3.5
Maximum 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 5.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.5
Standard




Deviation 0 .6 1.5 1.9 2.2 2. 5 6 1.9 54.4 59.1 57.9 1 04.9 90.9 67.4 38.0 77.6 83.9
Sample




Variance 0.4 2. 2 3.7 5.0 5.0 6.5 2.8 5.2 3.5 5.4 7.4 4.1 2.7 8.8 6.7





Mean
rtosis 1 1. 0 (0.6) 7.2 1.5 0.9 (1.4) 2.4 (0.6) 0.8 (0.7) (1.2) (0.2) 6.3 (0.9) 0.3
Skewness 3.3 0.9 2.7 1.3 1.0 0.6 1.4 1.0 1.3 0.3 0.1 0.9 2.4 0.8 1.0
Range 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 8.0 7.1 7.1 6.9 7.1 8.0 9.1 6.1 6.0 8.4 9.1



S.D. Rank 15 1. 1.5 1.5 1.5 0.4 0.4 0.6 0.4 1 .5 0.4 1.4 1 1.1 0.4
Maximum 3.5 5.5 7.5 9.5 9.5 7.5 7.5 7.5 7.5 9.5 9.5 7.5 7.5 9.5 9.5
Sum 18.5 54.4 23.0 71.5 72.5 61.9 54.4 59.1 57.9 104.9 90.9 67.4 38.0 77.6 83.9
Count 11 20 10 21 19 18 21 20 22 24 20 21 16 20 22
Mean
Rank 15 10 14 7 4 6 12 9 11 2 1 8 13 3 5
S.D.Rank 15 14 10 8 7 4 12 6 11 5 2 9 13 1 3
Count
Rank 14 7 15 4 11 12 4 7 2 1 7 4 13 7 2


Top Ten Code Violations


Table 4-3 lists the top ten most frequently reported code violations. The mean and


count rankings from Table 4-2 were used to compile this list. According to this data set,










wind load and structural calculations is the most common violation, with the Florida

Accessibility Code being second on the list. Wind load and structural calculations was

reported in 20 of 27 responses (74.1%) and has a mean value of 4.54 (45.4% violation

occurrence rate). The Florida Accessibility Code was reported in 24 of 27 responses

(88.9%) and recording a mean value of 4.37 (43.7% violation occurrence rate).

According to the statistics, the count for the top ten violations ranges from 18 to 24 with

the mean ranging from 2.72 to 4.54 (27.2% 45.4% violation occurrence rate).

Table 4-3. The Top Ten Most Frequently Reported Code Violations
Mean
Mean Count Rank Maximum Count Rank
Wind Load & Structural
Calculations 4.54 20 1 9.5 7
Florida Accessibility Code 4.37 24 2 9.5 1
Revised Plans 3.88 20 3 9.5 7
Approved Site Plan 3.82 19 4 9.5 11
Truss Layout 3.81 22 5 9.5 2
HVAC Load Calculations 3.44 18 6 7.5 12
Zoning Compliance Permit 3.4 21 7 9.5 4
Plumbing Riser Layout 3.21 21 8 7.5 4
Model Energy Code Calculations 2.96 20 9 7.5 7
Electrical Load Calculations 2.72 20 10 5.5 7


Figure 4-2. The Top Ten Most Frequently Reported Code Violations










Coastal versus Inland Counties

The breakdown of counties by coastal and inland lends itself to comparisons

between reported code violations. Table 4-4 shows how the top ten most frequently

reported code violations differ between coastal and inland counties. The coastal counties

followed suit with the total sampling of the state reporting wind load / structural

calculations as the most common violation with a mean value of 5.50 (a 55% violation

occurrence rate, which is 15 percent higher than inland counties at 40.3%) and the Florida

Accessibility Code as second with a mean value of 5.00 (a 50% violation occurrence rate,

which is 10 percent higher than inland counties at 40.5%). Coastal counties encounter

greater magnitude hurricane force winds than inland jurisdictions. The plan reviewers

and building inspectors from coastal jurisdictions place greater importance on wind load

& structural calculations than do inland jurisdictions.

Table 4-4. Coastal and Inland Counties Comparison

Coastal Counties (n=8) Inland Counties (n=14)
Mean Rank Mean Rank
Wind Load & Structural Calculations 5.5 1 4.03 4
Florida Accessibility Code 5 2 4.05 2
Revised Plans 3.5 4 4.04 3
Approved Site Plan 3.5 4 4 5
Truss Layout 2.93 8 4.23 1
HVAC Load Calculations 3.17 6 3.57 7
Zoning Compliance Permit 3 7 3.65 6
Plumbing Riser Layout 3.75 3 2.88 10
Model Energy Code Calculations 2.5 9 3.15 8
Electrical Load Calculations 2.17 10 2.96 9

The inland counties differed slightly. The most common violation reported was

truss layout with a mean value of 4.23 (a violation occurrence rate of 42.3%, which is 11

percent higher than coastal counties at 29.3%) with the Florida Accessibility Code being

the second most frequent recording a mean value of 4.05 (a 40.5% violation occurrence

rate, which is 10 percent lower than coastal counties at 50%).










A Chi-Squared test was performed to compare coastal county data to the inland

county data (Table 4-5). The test resulted in a value of 2.062. A Chi-Squared value of

3.94 is necessary to prove a significant difference between two sets of values. With 95%

confidence it can be concluded that there is no significant difference between coastal and

inland county violation rates.

Table 4-5. Coastal and Inland County Chi-Squared Analysis
Coastal
(Obs) Inland (Exp) (Obs-Exp) Squared Chi-sq
Wind Load & Structural Calculations 5.50 4.03 1.47 2.161 0.536
Florida Accessibility Code 5.00 4.05 0.95 0.903 0.223
Revised Plans 3.50 4.04 -0.54 0.292 0.072
Approved Site Plan 3.50 4.00 -0.50 0.250 0.063
Truss Layout 2.93 4.23 -1.30 1.690 0.400
HVAC Load Calculations 3.17 3.57 -0.40 0.160 0.045
Zoning Compliance Permit 3.00 3.65 -0.65 0.423 0.116
Plumbing Riser Layout 3.75 2.88 0.87 0.757 0.263
Model Energy Code Calculations 2.50 3.15 -0.65 0.423 0.134
Electrical Load Calculations 2.17 2.96 -0.79 0.624 0.211
Average 3.502 3.656 2.062

Std Dev 1.042 0.499 df=10
Std Error 0.329 0.158 Chi-squared test
95% upper limit 4.161 3.972 0.988778634
95% lower limit 2.843 3.340 3.940295347

Population Effects

During initial analysis, an unanticipated trend was uncovered. A direct correlation

was found between a county's population and its building code violation occurrence

rates. Counties with populations less than 100,000 have lower rates than the counties

with populations greater than 100,000. The breakdown of population for each group was

done in this way to create groups containing approximately equal number of jurisdictions.

Table 4-6 shows the mean values and rankings for the top ten code violations categorized

by population. The breakdown of each population category is as follows:

S Group A: Population < 100,000, Baker, Bradford, Dixie, Franklin, Glades,
Highlands, Jefferson, Okeechobee, Taylor, and Union.










* Group B: Population 100,000 to 200,000, Charlotte, Clay, Palm Beach, Putnam,
and St. John's.

* Group C: Population > 200,000, Alachua, Duval, Lake, Leon, Marion, Orlando,
and Seminole.

Table 4-6 shows a trend between population size and building code violation

occurrence rates. The following shows the violation occurrence rates for the three groups

of counties: Group A, 25.5 percent; Group B, 42.8%; Group C, 43%. Counties with

larger populations have higher overall violation occurrence rates.

Table 4-6. Large and Small Counties Comparison
Population < 100,000 Population 100,001- Population >
(n=10) 200,000 (n=5) 200,000 (n=7)
Mean Rank Mean Rank Mean Rank
Wind Load & Structural Calculations 3.17 3 6.17 2 4.50 4
Florida Accessibility Code 3.51 1 3.83 7 5.79 1
Revised Plans 2.50 6 6.70 1 2.64 10
Approved Site Plan 2.25 7 5.50 3 4.50 4
Truss Layout 3.25 2 4.30 4 4.93 3
HVAC Load Calculations 1.90 8 3.10 8 5.21 2
Zoning Compliance Permit 2.61 5 3.90 5 3.83 7
Plumbing Riser Layout 3.00 4 3.90 5 3.50 9
Model Energy Code Calculations 1.50 10 2.70 9 4.36 6
Electrical Load Calculations 1.79 9 2.70 9 3.79 8
Overall Violation Mean Value 2.55 4.28 4.30
Std Dev 0.683 1.405 0.906
Std Error 0.216 0.444 0.287
95% Upper limit 2.980 5.169 4.878
95% Lower limit 2.115 3.391 3.732

The 95% upper limit and lower limit for Group A is 2.115 and 2.980, respectively.

These limits have a difference of 0.865. Group B and Group C limits have a difference

of 1.778 and 1.146, respectively. This comparison shows the responses for Group A have

a more concentrated distribution than responses for Group B and Group C.

The most common violation data for each category was inconsistent with the

findings for the overall state. However, the top two violations found statewide were

found at or near the top for each category. Taking the entire state into account, the top









two code violations were wind load / structural calculations and the Florida Accessibility

Code. Each population category had a unique set of top two code violations:

* Group A: Population < 100,000

Florida Accessibility Code

Truss Layout

* Group B: Population 100,000 to 200,000

Revised Plans

Wind Load and Structural Calculations

* Group C: Population > 200,000

Florida Accessibility Code

HVAC Load Calculations

Summary

Surveys were sent to 71 building departments throughout Florida. Thirty-two

responses were received from 23 jurisdictions. The responses from each jurisdiction

were entered into a spreadsheet (Table 4-1). Next, a statistical analysis was conducted on

all of the responses (Table 4-2). From these statistics, the top ten building code

violations were determined for the entire state (Table 4-3 and Figure 4-2). The top two

violations are Wind Load and Structural Calculations and Florida Accessibility Code.

All jurisdictions were then divided into two groups, Coastal and Inland

jurisdictions, and the top ten violations were found for each group (Table 4-4). The top

two violations for the Coastal jurisdictions are Wind Load and Structural Calculations

and Florida Accessibility Code. The top two violations for the Inland jurisdictions are

HVAC Load Calculations and Florida Accessibility Code.









A Chi-Squared test was conducted to find any significant difference between the

Coastal and Inland data. To conclude a significant difference, a Chi-Squared value of

3.94 must be the result. Our study found a Chi-Squared value of 2.062, which shows no

significant difference between the two data sets (Table 4-5).

Lastly, the data was divided into three groups (Group A, Group B, and Group C)

based on population. Group A included jurisdictions with populations less than 100,000.

Group B included jurisdictions with populations between 100,000 and 200,000. Group C

included jurisdictions with populations greater than 200,000. Each group's top ten code

violations were found and listed in a spreadsheet (Table 4-6). Each group has a unique

set of top two code violations. Group A's top two is Florida Accessibility Code and

Truss Layout. Group B's top two is Revised Plans and Wind Load and Structural

Calculations. Group C's top two is Florida Accessibility Code and HVAC Load

Calculations.














CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

An extensive literature search found no study encompassing the entire state of

Florida that researched the effectiveness of continued education efforts for construction

professionals. Only four local jurisdictions within Florida (Leon County, Palm Beach

County, Tampa, and Winter Park) conducted their own research into their most common

code violations. None of these studies specifically addressed occurrence rates or ranked

the top violations by these rates. To our knowledge, this study is the first to find the

occurrence rates of the most common code violations statewide and offer

recommendations for reducing these rates while incorporating all county level

jurisdictions.

Some of the studies reported violations not appearing in the top ten of this study.

Violations dealing with stair construction were reported by Leon County (Leon County,

2003), NAHB (National Association of Home Builders, 2003), Tampa (Tampa, 2003),

and Winter Park (Winter Park, FL Code Violations, 2002). The University of Florida

(Cox and Issa, 2002), Leon County (Leon County, 2003), Tampa (Tampa, 2003), and

Winter Park (Winter Park, 2002) reported truss layout and similar truss issues as common

violations. Footing steel and footing depth issues were reported by Tampa (Tampa,

2003) and Winter Park (Winter Park, 2002).

Leon County and Palm Beach County were the only two jurisdictions to conduct

their own and participate in this code violation study. None of the common violations

reported for our study were found in any of their lists.









The top two code violations reported statewide were wind load and structural

calculations and the Florida Accessibility Code. Comparing Coastal and Inland counties

and grouping counties by population were the two ways data was analyzed. In either

case, these top two violations were among the most common. The studies done by the

University of Florida and Tampa, Florida were the only ones found to describe either

wind load and structural calculations or the Florida Accessibility Code as a common

violation.

* Wind Load & Structural Calculations and Florida Accessibility Code are
specifically listed in the top ten violations found in Gainesville, Florida (Cox and
Issa, 2002)

* Wind Load Calculations are addressed as a common code violation in Tampa,
Florida. "Wind uplift connectors not specified on plans and/or improperly sized.
The Code requires a hurricane connector schedule on the plans and that they b sized
properly to resist uplift load." (Tampa, 2003)

Florida Accessibility Code

The Florida Accessibility Code went into effect on October 1, 1997 for the purpose

of implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act into the Florida Building Code.

Our data suggests that most construction professionals do not understand the specifics

regarding this code section. A reason for this fact is that accessibility issues do not

directly affect the majority of contractors, like the majority of people. Simple tasks like

walking or using the restroom can be easily taken for granted. The Florida Accessibility

Code becomes an afterthought or seen as unnecessary for the design or construction of a

building. Not until a project fails a plan review or site inspection do the construction

professionals learn the Florida Accessibility Code's importance.









Wind Load and Structural Calculations

Violations concerning the wind load and structural calculations may result from a

lack of checks in place to confirm their accuracy. Engineers will typically do these

calculations for a contractor, who then submits them for approval. The contractor may

have limited knowledge as to how these calculations are determined or the minimum

acceptable standards. Many times the contractor will assume the engineer's calculations

are correct only to find out otherwise at a later date.

Conclusions

The hypothesis stated that there would be a reduction in the number of code

violations observed if continued education courses focused on differences in the current

building code and its predecessors, and Code violations experienced by other

construction professionals.

After comparing counties located in coastal areas to inland counties, there were no

significant differences in occurrence rates observed. However, while studying the

population effects on violation occurrence rates an unexpected trend emerged. Counties

with populations less than 100,000 have lower violation occurrence rates than those

counties with populations greater than 100,000. These smaller counties have the same

continued education requirements as larger counties, but this data suggests they must be

providing more effective education regarding the Florida Building Code. Also, they do

not maintain the large volume of projects that the larger counties experience. This

smaller volume can allow plan reviewers and site inspectors from these counties to give

the personal attention to each project that larger counties cannot offer.









Current Education Programs

Training is currently required of all construction professionals licensed by the state

of Florida. These courses concentrate on updates to the Florida Building Code and are

adjusted periodically in relation to code revisions. A required core course curriculum

covers information essential for all participants to be appropriately informed regarding

their technical and administrative responsibilities (Florida Department of Community

Affairs: Building Codes and Standards, 2004).

Core courses do not focus on specific technical areas. Voluntary advanced courses

are available for specific code areas like accessibility issues or wind load and structural

loads. Advanced courses sell for $300 per training hour and are available by CD-ROM

for $600-$2100. These prices are higher than the required core course, which starts at

$50. Some of these courses are periodically available as online classes. The Florida

Building Code Online website has these classes listed as well as information regarding

training classes available across the state.

Improvements to Current Programs

The current core courses are effective in giving construction professionals a general

overview of the Florida Building Code and penalties for noncompliance. Because these

core courses are mandatory, most professionals are sufficiently informed. However,

these courses are not effective for a detailed understanding of specific areas.

Voluntary training is available for contractors and designers to learn more about

areas not covered in the core courses. Our results imply that construction professionals

do not take advantage of these voluntary courses. They are more expensive and may

require a long commute so many professionals do not consider them worthwhile.









If any or all of the following suggestions can be implemented, construction

professionals can become more knowledgeable about the Florida Building Code and

building code violation occurrence rates will decline.

* Expand the core courses to include more specific code material

* Require more hours of continued education for construction professionals

* Reduce the cost for the voluntary classes

* Increase the number of sites available statewide for voluntary training

* Focus education efforts on those violations with the highest occurrence rates. Once
these rates begin to fall, change the focus to other violations.

Expanding the core courses is a way to familiarize contractors and designers with

areas that they may not completely understand. Different subject areas may be

periodically rotated to coincide with fluctuations in building code violation occurrence

rates. For example, the core courses could begin covering the Florida Accessibility Code

and once these violation rates begin to diminish, these courses can begin covering wind

load and structural calculations. Through expanding the core courses and requiring more

hours of continued education, all areas of the Florida Building Code can be explored.

Currently the voluntary classes offered by the state of Florida are more expensive

than the core courses. The majority of licensed contractors and designers in the state may

not be able to afford these courses. If these costs could be equivalent to the core course

rates, the voluntary courses would become more popular among construction

professionals.

The Florida Building Code website lists only four cities where core training is

available. It is unclear if these sites are rotated throughout the state. A construction

professional will be hesitant to take any extra classes if it requires a long car ride or plane









trip. If these classes could be spread throughout the state and held more frequently,

contractors and designers would be more likely to take part in voluntary training.

Summary

Continuing education classes and building code training for construction

professionals are essential in making the construction process more efficient and aid in

building safer structures. Increasing awareness about the present building code can lead

to less time and money spent on: reviewing plans multiple times, re-inspections rework to

correct violations, and constructing finished structures. This study was conducted to

uncover the training's effectiveness and offer suggestions for their improvement.

Survey questionnaires were sent to 71 jurisdictions throughout Florida. Twenty-

three responses were received and statistics were run on the data collected. This analysis

indicated the top two code violations statewide are wind load and structural calculations

and the Florida Accessibility Code, with occurrence rates of 45.4% and 43.7%,

respectively. The rest of the top ten violations all have occurrence rates ranging between

27% and 39 percent.

Next, an analysis was done comparing violations in coastal and inland counties.

The nine coastal counties had the same top code violations that were found for the entire

state (wind load and structural calculations and Florida Accessibility Code had

occurrence rates of 55% and 50%, respectively). Unlike the coastal counties, the inland

counties had a unique set of most common violations. The top two violations found were

Truss Layout and Florida Accessibility Code, with occurrence rates of 42.3% and 40.5%,

respectively.

Lastly, the effect of county population was analyzed. The Florida Accessibility

Code and wind load and structural calculations were found in each group's top five









violations. An unanticipated finding revealed an increase in the overall violation

occurrence rate as the population of the jurisdiction increases. Group A (population less

than 100,000) has an average of 25.5 percent, while Group B (population between

100,000 and 200,000) and Group C (population greater than 200,000) have averages of

42.8% and 43%, respectively.

Recommendations for Further Research

No matter how the data was analyzed, statewide, coastal versus inland counties or

by county population, the same violations are near or at the top of each list. Without

further study proving this list to be absolute, all of these ten violations should be the

focus of future education efforts. More information should be gathered from non-

responsive jurisdictions. This study collected data from 23 of the 71 jurisdictions

contacted. The respondents were heavily concentrated in the central portion of Florida.

Most of the panhandle and south Florida were not represented. Obtaining information

from these jurisdictions would create a more comprehensive statewide list for common

code violations.

Further studies should separate the violations found during plan review and

building site inspections. Some violations may be the found during either process, but

there are many which are unique to both. This study was able to differentiate between

the two types of violations when only one person from a jurisdiction responded. This one

person could be doing both jobs at once. A study categorizing code violations, as plan

review or site inspection issues would give greater insight into the sources of common

violations. These sources might help pinpoint knowledge deficiencies regarding the code

or a need for the code to be worded differently for greater clarification.






38


Exploring different methods for reducing the frequency of these common violations

would also be valuable. An emphasis should be placed on the counties in Group A

(population less than 100,000). Their education and training efforts should be studied

because their violation occurrence rates were lower than the other responding groups

(Group B: population 100,000 to 200,000, Group C: population greater than 200,000).

These smaller jurisdictions could be used as models for developing training programs in

larger jurisdictions.



















APPENDIX A
INFORMED CONSENT


INFORMED CONSENT


BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS SURVEY

Conducted by: Kyle McCollum (Graduate Student) Supervised by: Robert Cox (Faculty Supervisor)

Survey Questionnaire

Dear Participant,

The M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida, is conducting a statewide study
concerning the most prevalent code violations observed during the current Florida Building Code's existence.

We are asking you to participate in this survey due to your significant position in the construction industry. The
purpose is to analyze your and other building departments' data concerning observed building code violations since
March 1, 2002 (effective date of present Florida Building Code). The results will assist us in providing
recommendations for additional training for designers and/or contractors.

The survey will take you approximately 10 minutes to complete. There are no anticipated risks, compensation or other
direct benefits to you as a participant in this survey. However, upon your participation, you will be provided with a
summary report of the study following its completion. At all times, your identity will be kept confidential to the extent
provided by law. You are also free to withdraw your consent to participate and may discontinue your participation in
the survey at any time without consequence. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me
at 352-318-1979 or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Robert Cox, at 352-273-1153. Questions or concerns about your rights
as a participant may be directed to the UFIRB office, University of Florida, Box 11225, Gainesville, FL 32611; Ph:
352-392-0433. By filling out the provided survey, you give me the permission to report your responses anonymously
in the final manuscript to be submitted to the University Scholars Program as part of my research.

Sincerely,


Kyle McCollum
University of Florida


I accept the consent terms described above



No, I do not wish to participate in this survey


Signature



Signature


Date



Date


YOUR INTEREST & VALUABLE TIME SPENT RESPONDING TO THIS SURVEY IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!

PLEASE GO TO NEXT PAGE

















APPENDIX B
SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE

Section I: Demographics
Name of Government Entity:
Location / Jurisdiction:
Name of Respondent: Job Title:
Phone: Plan Reviewer / Inspector (Circle One)
Section II: Code Violations
Based on your best judgment, please identify the occurrence rate (per 10 violations) for each of the
following violations within your jurisdiction since March 1, 2002 (effective date of current Florida
Building Code).
Per 10 observed violations
1. Hydraulic Calculations 1-2 0 3-4 E 5-6 0 7-8 09-10
2. Electrical Load Calculations 0 1-2 0 3-4 0 5-6 0 7-8 9-10
3. Sound Decibel Test E 1-2 0 3-4 0 5-6 7-8 E 9-10
4. Zoning Compliance Permit 0 1-2 0 3-4 05-6 l 7-8 9-10
5. Approved Site Plan 0 1-2 L3-4 0 5-6 0 7-8 l9-10
6. HVAC Load Calculations 0 1-2 3-4 5-6 0 7-8 09-10
7. HVAC Duct Sizes 0 1-2 E3-4 0 5-6 0 7-8 09-10
8. Model Energy Code Calculations 0 1-2 03-4 0 5-6 0 7-8 9-10
9. Mechanical Floor Plan E 1-2 0 3-4 0 5-6 E 7-8 9-10
10. Florida Accessibility Code 0 1-2 0 3-4 0 5-6 77-8 D9-10
11. Wind Load & Structural Calculations 0 1-2 0 3-4 0 5-6 7-8 9-10
12. Plumbing Riser Layout 01-2 03-4 Es5-6 E7-8 09-10
13. Permit Site Work E1-2 03-4 05-6 07-8 09-10
14. Revised Plans 0 1-2 0 3-4 0 5-6 0 7-8 9-10
15. Truss Layout 0 1-2 0 3-4 0 5-6 07-8 E9-10
If any violations are observed in your jurisdiction different from those listed above, please list
them below along with their occurrence rate.
16. 1-2 0 3-4 E05-6 l 7-8 9-10
17. 1-2 0 3-4 E05-6 0 7-8 09-10
18. 1-2 0 3-4 0 5-6 L 7-8 9-10
Is there historical data available regarding violation occurrences? Y / N
If yes, how can we gain access to this data?


Please provide any comments you may have about the above statements or anything else you think
would be helpful for us to know.

















APPENDIX C
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Table C-1. Plan Review Deficiencies Gainesville, Florida November 1, 2001-April 15,
2002


Violation
Electrical Load Calculations
Zoning Compliance Permit
HVAC Load Calculations
Approved Site Plan
Model Energy Code Calculations
Revised Floor Plans
Florida Accessibility Code
Wind Load and Structural Calculations
Permit-Site Work
Revised Plans
Truss Layout
Existing Floor Plan
Fire Alarm Horn and Strobe Intensities
Gypsum Detail
Typical Interior Wall Section
Ducts Sizing and Layout
Grease Trap Sizing Approval
Hotel and Restaurant Approval Package
Egress Details
Electrical Panel Location
Electrical Riser Layout
Fire Rating
Material Storage Worksheet
Permit-Building
Plumbing Riser Diagram
EPA Approval Letter
Existing Site Plan
Framing Details
Gas Piping Riser
HVAC Ducts Layout
Permit-Hood Suppression System
Permit-Septic Tank
Plans-Fire Alarm
Revised Site Plan
Sound Decibel Test
Summary Sheet


Number of
Occurrences
16
16
15
13
13
10
9
9
8
8
8
6
5
5
5
4
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2











Table C-1. Continued


Violation
Tenant Separation Walls
Typical Wall Section
UL Details
Attic Layout
Building Codes
Building Footprint
Certificate of Appropriateness
Construction Type
Corrected Cover Page
Door Schedule
Driveway and Culvert Layout
Electrical Layout
Electrical Panel Schedules
Electrical Plans
Elevation Details
Engineering
Equipment Location
Existing Foundation Plan
Fire Dampers
Fire Sprinkler Calculations
Floor Plan Layout
Gas Piping Layout
HVAC Ducts Sizing
Hydraulic Calculations
Make-Up Air Requirements
Manufacturer Information
Manufacturing Test and Certification
Masonry Wall Detail
Mechanical Floor Plan
Permit-Bus Shelter
Permit-Gas Piping
Permit-Generator
Permit-Kitchen Exhaust Hoot System
Permit-LP Tank
Permit-Sidewalk/Drive-Thru
Permit-Signage
Permit-Storage Shed
Permit-Walk-in Cooler/Freezer
Plans-Fire Alarm
Plans-Plumbing Riser
Plans-Shear Wall
Post and Beam Detail


Number of
Occurrences
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1











Table C-1. Continued


Violation
Redline Approved Site Plan Elevations
Revised Electrical Risers
Revised Foundation Plans
Revised Gas Piping
Revised Plumbing Plans
Revised Plumbing Risers
Revised Shear Wall Locations
Revised Toilet Room Plans
Riser Layout
Seating Layout
Stair Details
Standard Building Code Use
Structural Plans
Velocity Calculations
Verify Address of New Building
Window Schedule


Number of
Occurrences
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1


Electrical Load Zoning HVACLoad ApproedSte Model Energy Rorida WndLoad& Permt-Ste RevisedPlans TrussLayout
Cal cul atl ons Conpliance Calculations Plan Code Accessi b Ity Sructural V\brk
Permt Calculations Code Calculations
Violation


Figure C-1. Highest Frequency Violations in Gainesville, Florida Over A 6 Month Period















LIST OF REFERENCES


Alachua County Department of Growth Management (2003). "Code Enforcement: What
are Building Codes.", Alachua County, Florida, management.alachua.fl.us> (Jul. 6, 2004)

Casey, M., Hansen, D., and Kardon, R. (2003). Code Check 4 edition, Taunton Press,
New York.

Columbus Department of Development (2000). "Neighborhood Services: Common Code
Violations.", Columbus, Ohio, (Jul. 6, 2004)

Denver City Council (2003). "Common Code Violations and Responsible City
Agencies.", Denver, Colorado, (Jul. 6, 2004)

Discovery Inspections (1999). "5 Most Common Code Violations in New Home
Construction.", Discovery Inspections L.L.C.,
(Jul. 6, 2004)

Florida Building Code (2004). "Setting New Standards for Safety 2003-2004." State of
Florida, (Jul. 6, 2004)

Florida County Map-Map of Florida (2004). "Map of Florida Counties.", Digital Map
Store L.L.C., (Jul. 14,
2004)

Florida Department of Community Affairs (2004). "Building Codes and Standards.",
State of Florida, (Jul. 6, 2004)

Florida Department of Community Affairs (2000). "The Florida Building Code First
Edition.", State of Florida, (Oct. 3, 2004)

International Code Council (2004). "Setting the Standard for Building Safety.",
International Code Council, (Jul. 6, 2004)

Leon County, Growth & Environmental Management (2003). "Leon County Building
Inspection 10 Most Common Violations.", Leon County, Florida,
(Jul. 6, 2004)






45


National Association of Home Builders (2003). "Construction Quality Survey.", Market
Tools, Inc.,

(Sep. 14, 2004)

National Weather Service (2003). "Hurricane Preparedness: Hurricane History.",
NOAA/National Weather Service, (Jul. 6, 2004)

Palm Beach County Florida: Planning, Zoning & Building Dept. (2003). "Common Code
Violations.", Palm Beach County, Florida, (Jul.
6, 2004)

Tampa Customer Service Information (2003). "Common Code Violations.", Tampa,
Florida, (Jul. 6, 2004)

Underwood, L. (2004). Common Code Violations...and how to fix them, Bookmark Inc,
Kansas.

Welcome to The City of Winter Park, FL (2002). "Departments: Code Violations.",
Winter Park, Florida, (Jul. 6, 2004)















BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Kyle Wesley McCollum was born in Tampa, Florida on September 17, 1977. He is

the oldest of two children born to James and Mary Jean McCollum. He and his younger

sister Sonja were both raised in Tampa, Florida, and attended Chamberlain High School.

Kyle was a member of the varsity basketball team all 3 years and was captain his senior

year. Upon graduation, Kyle attended The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia

Tech) and majored in Mechanical Engineering. After 2 years, he decided to transfer to

The University of Florida. While pursuing his degree, Kyle worked as an intern for

Tampa Electric Company and Medtronic Surgical Products; worked as a softball umpire

for the University of Florida Intramural Department; and coached basketball at the

YMCA, Buchholz High School, and the University of Florida Team summer camp. In

May 2002, Kyle received his bachelor's degree in engineering science with minors in

biomechanics and business administration.

After graduation, Kyle decided to change his area of concentration to building

construction. In the fall of 2002, he entered the masters program in the School of

Building Construction at The University of Florida. During his 2 years in the masters

program, Kyle continued his coaching at Buchholz and worked as an intern for R.J.

Griffin & Company. In August 2004, he accepted a full-time position with R.J. Griffin &

Company in Orlando, Florida, as a Project Engineer. Kyle plans to receive his masters

degree in December of 2004 and pursue a career in the construction industry as a project

manager.