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A man and a woman performing a 25 year Recertification

Understanding the 25 Year Recertification

The safety and well-being of building occupants is of utmost importance, and in Miami, Florida, the 25 year recertification process plays a critical role in ensuring that buildings remain safe for their occupants and the public. The 25 year recertification process is a mandatory assessment that all buildings in Miami must undergo to ensure compliance with local building codes and regulations. As Miami is located in an area with high hurricane risk, it’s crucial that buildings are structurally sound and able to withstand potential natural disasters.

Background on the 25 Year Recertification

The 25 year recertification process is governed by various laws and regulations, including the Florida Building Code and the Miami-Dade County Code. Building owners and managers must adhere to these regulations to ensure compliance with local building codes and to avoid penalties or fines for non compliance.

Importance of the Recertification for Buildings in Miami

The 25 year recertification process is crucial for buildings in Miami as it helps ensure that they remain safe and functional for their occupants and the public. Non-compliance with the recertification requirements can result in fines and penalties, and in some cases, buildings may even be required to vacate until they are brought up to code.

In addition to the potential legal consequences of non-compliance, there are also significant safety risks associated with buildings that are not in compliance with local building codes and regulations. This is particularly important in Miami, which is located in an area with high hurricane risk. Buildings that are not structurally sound or lack proper systems for withstanding extreme weather events can pose a significant danger to their occupants and to the surrounding community.

Recent events, such as the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida, have highlighted the critical importance of building safety in Miami. The 25 year recertification process is one of the key tools that building owners and managers have to ensure the safety and well-being of their occupants and the public.

Scope of the 25 Year Recertification

Buildings in Miami that are three stories or higher, located within three miles of the coastline, built on or after 1998 are subject to the 25 Year Recertification process.

The key requirements for compliance with the 25 year recertification process include:

● Hiring a licensed professional engineer or architect to perform the recertification assessment.

● Submitting the recertification report to the building official within the specified timeframe.

● Completing any necessary repairs or upgrades identified in the recertification report within the specified timeframe.

The building will be inspected to determine the general structural and electrical conditions. All details of the structure should be checked: foundations, roofs, masonry load-bearing walls, floor and roof systems, steel and concrete framing systems, windows and doors, structural glazing, timber framing, building facades, loading, electrical services, branch circuits, ductwork. If deemed necessary, ductwork, emergency lighting and infrared thermography should be provided.

Building owners and managers should be aware of these requirements and areas of inspection to ensure that they are prepared for the recertification process and are able to meet all of the necessary compliance standards.

General Structural and Electrical Condition Assessment

As part of the 25 year recertification process, the licensed professional engineer or architect will conduct a general structural and electrical condition assessment of the building. This assessment is designed to evaluate the overall condition of the building’s structural and electrical systems and to identify any potential issues that may need to be addressed.

During the assessment, the licensed professional engineer or architect may take measurements and perform tests to evaluate the building’s structural integrity and electrical systems. This may include tests of the building’s foundation, load-bearing walls, roof and floor systems, as well as tests of the electrical service and branch circuits.

The results of the general structural and electrical condition assessment will be documented in the recertification report, which will outline any issues that were identified and recommend any necessary repairs or upgrades. Building owners and managers should be prepared for the possibility of required repairs or upgrades based on the results of this assessment and should ensure that they have the resources and expertise necessary to address any issues that may be identified.

Detailed Inspection of Building Components

In addition to the general structural and electrical condition assessment, the licensed professional engineer or architect will conduct a detailed inspection of various building components to ensure that they meet the necessary safety standards. This inspection will cover the following components:

Foundations

The foundation of a building provides support and stability to the entire structure. The inspection will typically involve a visual inspection of the foundation walls, footings, and pilings, as well as any other components that provide support to the building’s structure.

The engineer or architect will be looking for any signs of damage or deterioration, such as cracks or settling. They will also check for any signs of water infiltration or drainage issues that could compromise the stability of the foundation. In some cases, the engineer or architect may also perform non-destructive testing, such as ground penetrating radar or soil analysis, to determine the condition of the foundation.

Roofs

The roof of a building is an essential component that protects the building and its occupants from the elements. The inspection will typically involve a visual inspection of the roof surface, as well as any other components that provide support or protection to the roof, such as flashing, gutters, and downspouts.

The engineer or architect will be looking for any signs of damage or deterioration, such as cracks, blisters, or missing shingles or tiles. They will also check for any signs of water infiltration or moisture damage, which could compromise the integrity of the roof and lead to further damage or structural issues.

In addition, they may also inspect the underside of the roof, including the attic or crawl space, to check for any signs of moisture or damage that may not be visible from the exterior of the building.

Masonry Load-Bearing Walls

Masonry load-bearing walls provide structural support and stability. The inspection will typically involve a visual inspection of the walls, as well as any other components that provide support or protection to the walls, such as lintels, ties, and anchors.

The engineer or architect will be looking for any signs of damage or deterioration, such as cracks, bulges, or settlement. They will also check for any signs of moisture infiltration or damage, which could compromise the integrity of the walls and lead to further damage or structural issues. In addition, non-destructive testing techniques may be used, such as ground-penetrating radar or infrared thermography, to detect any hidden issues or anomalies within the walls.

Floor and Roof Systems

The inspection of the floor and roof systems typically involves a visual inspection of the components that provide structural support, such as the beams, joists, and trusses, as well as the decking and any other roofing materials. The engineer or architect will also be looking for any signs of damage or deterioration, such as cracks, corrosion, or sagging.

The inspection will also include an assessment of the load capacity of the floor and roof systems and a check for any signs of leakage or damage to the waterproofing materials. Any deficiencies identified may require repairs or replacement of the materials. In addition, non-destructive testing techniques, such as ultrasound or magnetic particle testing may be used to detect any hidden issues or anomalies within the floor and roof systems.

Steel and Concrete Framing Systems

The steel and concrete framing systems of a building play a crucial role in providing structural support. The detailed inspection of steel and concrete framing systems involves a visual examination of the framing components, including the columns, beams, and connections. The inspection is intended to identify any visible signs of corrosion, cracking, or other forms of damage that could compromise the structural integrity of the building.

In addition to the inspection of the framing components themselves, the engineer or architect will also examine the connections between the framing components and other building elements, such as walls, floors, and roofs. Proper connections are critical for ensuring the stability of the building, and any deficiencies in the connections may require reinforcement or repair.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors maintain the building envelope and ensure occupant safety. The inspection involves both a visual and functional assessment of these components.

During the visual inspection, the engineer or architect will examine the windows and doors for any visible signs of damage, corrosion, wear and tear, or other defects. Common issues include broken or cracked glass, deteriorated frames, and loose or missing hardware.

In addition to the visual inspection, the inspector will also test the functionality of the windows and doors. This typically involves opening and closing the windows and doors to ensure that they operate smoothly and effectively. The inspector may also test the locking mechanisms to ensure that they are secure and in good working order.

Based on the results of the inspection, the engineer or architect may recommend repair or replacement of the affected windows and doors. In some cases, retrofitting with more energy-efficient windows and doors may also be recommended to improve the building’s overall energy efficiency and sustainability.

Structural Glazing

Structural glazing is a technique used in modern building construction where the glass is used as a structural element, eliminating the need for traditional framing. The use of structural glazing in building facades can create a sleek, modern look, but it also requires regular inspection and maintenance to ensure its structural integrity.

During the visual inspection, the inspector will examine the glass panels for any signs of damage, cracks, chips, or other defects. They will also check the joints between the glass panels and the supporting structure to ensure that they are properly sealed and free of any gaps or cracks. In addition to the visual inspection, the inspector will also test the performance of the structural glazing system. This typically involves checking the deflection of the glass panels under load and ensuring that they are properly anchored and supported. The inspector will also check the drainage system to ensure that any water that enters the system is properly directed away from the building.

Timber Framing

Timber framing is a traditional building technique that involves using wooden beams and posts to create the structural framework of a building. While timber framing can create a beautiful and unique look for a building, it also requires regular inspection and maintenance to ensure its structural integrity.

During the visual inspection, the inspector will examine the wooden beams and posts for any signs of damage, decay, insect infestation, or other defects. They will also check the joints between the wooden beams and posts to ensure that they are properly connected and free of any gaps or cracks. Additionally, the inspector will examine the overall condition of the timber, including any staining, discoloration, or warping, which could indicate moisture damage.

In addition to the visual inspection, the inspector may also perform tests to assess the structural performance of the timber framing system. This may include load testing to ensure that the timber beams and posts can support the weight of the building and its contents. The inspector may also check the connections between the timber framing and other building components, such as the roof and walls, to ensure that they are properly anchored and supported.

Building Facades

The building facade is the exterior face of a building, and it includes all the elements that create the external appearance of the building, such as walls, windows, doors, cladding, and decorative features. The facade is not only important for aesthetic reasons, but it also plays a critical role in protecting the building from external forces such as wind, water, and sun.

During the visual inspection, the inspector will examine the facade components for any signs of damage, deterioration, corrosion, or other defects. They will also check the condition of the sealants, joints, and fasteners, which are critical to the integrity of the facade system.

Additionally, the inspector will examine the overall condition of the facade, including any staining, discoloration, or cracking, which could indicate moisture damage.

Loadings

Loadings refer to the forces that are placed on a building, including dead loads, live loads, wind loads, seismic loads, and other external forces. During the visual inspection of loadings, the inspector will examine the building’s structural elements to identify any signs of distress, including cracks, deformations, or other indications of damage. They will also check the condition of the building’s foundation, walls, and roof systems to ensure that they are properly aligned and can support the building’s weight.

In addition to the visual inspection, the inspector may also perform load testing to evaluate the building’s ability to withstand external forces. This may include applying weights to specific points within the building and measuring the resulting deflection or movement.

Electrical Services

The electrical inspector will perform a visual inspection of the building’s electrical systems to identify any signs of wear or damage, such as frayed wires, damaged insulation, or corroded connections. They will also check for compliance with electrical codes and regulations, including the National Electrical Code (NEC).

The inspector may also perform functional tests to verify that the electrical systems are operating properly. This may include testing the voltage, amperage, and continuity of circuits, as well as checking for proper grounding and bonding. They may also test the building’s emergency backup systems, such as generators and battery backup systems.

Branch Circuits

The inspector will begin by performing a visual inspection of the branch circuits to identify any signs of wear or damage, such as frayed wires, damaged insulation, or loose connections. The inspector may also perform functional tests to verify that the branch circuits are operating properly. This may include testing the voltage, amperage, and continuity of circuits, as well as checking for proper grounding and bonding. They will also check for compliance with electrical codes and regulations, including the National Electrical Code (NEC).

Ductwork

The inspector will begin by performing a visual inspection of the ductwork to identify any signs of wear or damage, such as leaks, corrosion, or loose connections. They will also check for compliance with HVAC codes and regulations. The inspector may also perform functional tests to verify that the ductwork is operating properly. This may include testing the airflow, temperature, and humidity levels in different areas of the building, as well as checking for proper ventilation and air exchange rates.

Additional Services

In addition to the general structural and electrical condition assessment and detailed inspection of building components, there are a number of additional services that may be required as part of the recertification process like emergency lighting inspection and infrared thermography.

The results of these additional services will be documented in the recertification report, which will outline any issues that were identified and recommend any necessary repairs or upgrades. Building owners and managers should be prepared for the possibility of required repairs or upgrades based on the results of these services, and should ensure that they have the resources and expertise necessary to address any issues that may be identified.

Recertification Report

After completing the necessary assessments and inspections, the licensed professional engineer or architect will prepare a written recertification report. This report will outline the results of the general structural and electrical condition assessment, the detailed inspection of building components, and any additional services that were required.

The recertification report will include a summary of the building’s overall condition, as well as any issues that were identified during the inspections. Once the recertification report is complete, it must be submitted to the building official for review. . If the building does not meet the necessary standards, the building official may require the necessary repairs or upgrades to
be made before the building can be recertified.

In conclusion, the 25 year recertification is an important process that can help ensure the safety and compliance of buildings in Miami. Building owners and managers should take this process seriously and be proactive in addressing any issues that may be identified during the recertification process. By doing so, they can help ensure that their buildings remain in good condition and safe for their occupants.

If you are looking for a licensed professional engineering company for your 25 Year Milestone, call Eastern Engineering Group, we are at your service!



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Eastern Engineering Group has a long history conducting 25 year milestone inspections, 30 year recertifications, 40 year recertifications, and all types of building recertifications. We have worked closely with various clients completing inspections required by Miami-Dade County and Broward County since 2005. Once you schedule an appointment, one of our Professional Engineers will arrive at the site of inspection and carry out the procedure. We perform recertification inspections with the highest legal and ethical standards, making sure to inspect every structure thoroughly.

Eastern Engineering Group

3401 NW 82nd Ave, Suite 370
Doral, Fl 33122
P: (305) 599-8133
buildingrecertification@easterneg.com

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