Posted November 14, 2018

Hurricane Michael may force stricter building code in Florida 

Mexico Beach "Sand Palace" home provides possible template for future code requirements.


Following Hurricane Michael's catastrophic damage in the Florida Panhandle, many people are wondering if Florida needs stronger building codes.

One house in Mexico Beach, Florida, was left standing, and it could be because every construction component was designed to exceed building code.

There will be an audit of how building codes held up, but Rusty Payton, chief executive officer of Florida Home Builder Association (FHBA), said his team is hearing that the newer construction fared well.

"We know Mexico Beach had a lot of homes and structures built before the building codes were upgraded with an emphasis on storm resiliency. Mexico Beach hasn't had a lot of buildings since then, so the question is out of the houses and damage we've seen how many of that includes new construction and the audits will tell us," Payton said.

After Hurricane Andrew, Florida looked very closely at strengthening its building codes. Since they have implemented the codes they enforced after Andrew, Irma and Charley, they have learned numerous homes fared very well in recent storms.

"We will have to wait and see what the forensic audit tells us about what happened in the panhandle," Payton said.

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