Building Code Compliance

Saving Time and Money During the Permitting Process

UES' Building Inspection Department (BID) staff seamlessly integrates themselves into our client’s workflow and serves as an extension of their staff. Our BID team is comprised of engineers, architects, building code administrators, fire safety inspectors, general contractors, and licensed plans examiners and inspectors. Their inspection credentials include Master Code Professional (International Code Council), Certified Building Official (International Code Council), Certified Building Official (Council of American Building Officials), and Code Enforcement and Administration Professional (Southern Building Code Congress International).

While increasing the manageability of the permitting and construction process, the BID team handles the complexities of code compliance by drawing upon decades of experience providing expert inspections and plan review solutions to complex projects of all sizes, whether public or private. Due to constantly evolving statewide Florida Building Code, our inspectors are diligent in keeping up with the latest regulatory statutes.

Experience has shown us that rapid turn-around time on plan review and inspections can represent significant savings to developers, owners, and contractors, and we strive for expediency on each project. We offer an extensive history of new and existing construction projects, including commercial structures, residential developments, mixed-use buildings, K-20 schools, hospitals, and government facilities.

Building Code Compliance Services

  • Quality Assurance Services
  • Punchlist Origination Services
  • Threshold/Balcony Inspection Services
  • Due Diligence/Property Condition Assessment Services
  • Window Testing
  • Blower Door Testing
  • Stucco Evaluations
  • Photometric Studies
  • Green Building Evaluation
  • Sound Measurements
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Private Provider Inspection and
Plan Review Services

Florida Statute, No. 553.791, known as “Private Provider Inspections” (PPI), authorizes the use of qualified engineering firms as private providers for state-required building code inspections and plan review on construction projects. This is good news for builders, contractors, and owners, who understand that each day saved in the permitting process equates to money in their pockets and provides a welcome alternative to the typical municipal process. Having been an industry leader in providing these services since 2003, our Private Provider services also offers checks and balances from Florida Registered Professional Engineers who oversee the duties of our Florida Statute §468 Plan Reviewers and Inspectors.

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We provide the expertise to ensure compliance with building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, gas, energy, and accessibility codes as required by state law. Our own state-certified building code administrator gives our firm the unique ability to know the issues that affect the operations of each building department, the delivery of services, and quality control. Universal provides fully insured coverage for all inspections completed, as required by Florida law.

UES also offers comprehensive, multi-disciplinary third-party Peer Plan Review Services, which provide an examination of proposed construction documents (independent from design professionals) to identify design deficiencies, improves constructability, eliminate costly errors, minimize liability, and expedite the building department’s review process.

  • Building Code Compliance Review
  • Vertical Alignment Checks
  • Constructability Reviews
  • Check for Completeness of Design Details and/or Specifications
  • Verify Dimensions & Check for Dimensional Conflicts
  • Check for Design or Specification Code Violations or Conflicts
  • Check for Applicability of Specified Systems, Equipment, Materials & Finishes

40 Year and Older Building Safety Inspections

The 40-Year or Older Building Safety Program was established in the mid-1970s in Miami; then, it expanded to Broward County around 2005. Currently, these are the only two counties that require these inspections, that will most likely change as the discussion for a statewide requirement has been buzzing for a while. Under the Florida Building Code of 2001, the 40-Year or Older Building Safety Program requires commercial and specific residential properties, 40 years old or older to undergo a property assessment by a professional engineer. The main objective is to ensure all buildings reaching 40 years of age are still “safe” in terms of their structural and electrical systems.

UES Engineering Structural Forensics

While most buildings meet the requirements for this inspection, there are some exemptions including:

  • One and two family dwellings
  • US government buildings
  • Buildings owned by the State of Florida
  • Schools under the jurisdiction of the country school board
  • Buildings built on Indian reservations
  • All buildings under 3,500 square feet
  • Minor structures with an occupancy load of 10 or less
  • Non-residential farm buildings on farms

Why Do I Need a 40/50 Year Inspection?

As the property owner or manager, it is your responsibility to acquire a professional service company to perform the 40-Year Recertification, once you have receive the “Notice of Required Inspection” by the city’s code compliance section.

Failure to submit the Recertification Report results in a Civil Violation Notice without notice and referral of the issue to the Unsafe Structures Unit to initiate condemnation proceedings. Not seeking your Recertification Report makes you liable for a hefty fine and all costs incurred by the department once the enforcement proceedings start. Finally, in most extreme cases, if your building receives an issuance of an unsafe structure Notice of Violation, the building must be vacated, and you may have to demolish the building.

Most commercial real estate property owners are aware of the importance of this inspection. However, the same applies to homeowner association managers and anyone in charge of a qualifying building.

What Are the Mandatory Inspections?

These inspections are enforced to keep buildings safe. Within each inspection, there’s a list of specific items the county requests to investigate and check. Of course, inspectors are looking for serious structural damage, faulty electrical systems, and other life-threatening items that need to be addressed to ensure the building’s safety.

Notice of Required Inspection

The moment a qualifying property hits the 40 years old threshold, the owner will be sent a “Notice of Required Inspection” by the county the property is located. From that point forward, the owner has 90 days to find a certified structural engineer to conduct the inspection and provide a “40 Year Certification Report” for the relevant country government office.

Additional Information and Forms

For more information on the Broward County Building Safety Inspection Program and an inspection checklist, visit: County Building Safety Inspection Program

The Miami-Dade County Minimum Inspection Procedural Guidelines for Building Recertification are available online at the following links:

Recertification Submittal

The report gives a complete overview of the state of the property and identifies anything that needs repairs or replacement. If the engineer suggests repairs, the owner has up to 180 days to complete the work. After all repairs and replacements are complete, the engineer must reinspect the property and issue a new report confirming all the necessary work to categorize the building as safe has been done.

If everything is in order, then the recertification submittal is sent to the country, and the property is recertified as meeting all the safety requirements. Another inspection and Recertification will need to take place in ten years, to be followed by a new one each decade after that.

Remember, failure to submit the Recertification can result in several financial and legal penalties, which will also be attached to the property’s public record.

Although 40-Year or Older Building Safety Recertification is a straightforward process, you need a qualified and expert professional to ensure everything is addressed according to code guidelines. People still have questions regarding the 40/50 Recertification Inspections. 

Have you received a “Notice of Required Inspection?” UES can help you with your building’s safety inspection to get your 40/50 recertification. To get started, contact us today and speak with one of our team members