A coalition of engineers and architects asked the state of Florida after the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, which killed 98 people.
The state of Florida requires high-rise buildings near the coast to undergo safety inspections in their 20s, according to an alliance of engineers and architects formed after the collapse of the Miami area condo in June. , In which 98 people were killed.
The recommendations, published four months after the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, are based on "preserving the long-term health of buildings by assessing the environmental and other degradation of structures and their systems over the useful life of a building," said the American Council of Engineering. Florida Companies and the Florida Engineering Society, they said in a press release.
Seven of the state's architectural and engineering associations formed the Surfside Task Force to develop ideas to prevent another tragedy like the partial collapse of the 12-story beachfront property.
The group also said that almost all large buildings in Florida should be inspected for structural problems within the first 30 years, with follow-up every ten years. The group said buildings within 3 miles (5 km) of brackish water should be inspected in their first 20 years, with safety inspections every seven years.
Our recommendation is not to actually tell condominium owners, or other building owners, how to maintain their property. It's just to put a mechanism in which these buildings need to be examined from time to time to identify any structural problems, "said Allen Douglas, executive director of the Florida Engineering Society and the American Council of Florida Engineering Firms.
Whenever a structure fails, it is a serious problem. Building designers and construction managers need to understand "why this happened and make changes if necessary" that can prevent similar failures, he noted.
"We don't know exactly why the tower fell. Be it a design error, a construction problem, or simply a lack of maintenance," said Douglas.
Faced with improvements in security protocols by the Florida Legislature and possible action on the re-certification process following the collapse of the Surf Side building, Florida engineers feel it is their responsibility to provide expert guidance to their legislators.
The report has been sent to Florida lawmakers, he said. The Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times first reported the recommendations Thursday.
The report calls for inspections on a wide range of buildings, including condominiums, offices, and other structures that exceed ten occupants and are covered by the state's building code.
Only Broward and Miami-Dade counties require mandatory tall building inspections.
Champlain Towers South was undergoing its 40-year inspection when it collapsed in the middle of the night. A 2018 engineer report cites "significant structural damage" due to a lack of adequate drainage in the pool deck. Discussions by the condo board on how to pay for repairs delayed work on the building.
The rest of the structure was demolished on July 4 with explosive charges to facilitate the discovery of the victims' bodies and prevent it from falling on the rescuers.