Local municipalities step up building inspections after Surfside Condo collapse – NBC 6 South Florida

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Local municipalities are stepping up inspections of older buildings following the Champlain Towers South building collapse in Surfside.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced Monday that she is asking the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources to begin a 30-day audit of all residential properties with five or more stories that are 40 years of age or older .

It is only for buildings in the county, not in local municipalities.

In a tweet, Levine Cava said she was urging “municipalities to do their own aggressive review.”

Many other municipalities in South Florida have announced additional measures to inspect older buildings.

A spokesperson for the city of Miami told NBC 6 that they were sending letters to 125 buildings six stories or more or more and 40 years or older asking them to hire a licensed structural engineer to perform an inspection. This is something the spokesperson said is not mandatory, but highly recommended.

The city of Miami Beach has also taken similar action by sending structural engineers to older buildings.

In the city of Sunny Isles Beach, a spokesperson said their building department has initiated an inspection process for all commercial and multi-family buildings constructed before 1982, including reviewing inspection documents and structures. external.

“There are 59 properties that meet this criterion in our city. Of these structures, 39 have received their required recertification for continued occupancy. Currently 20 buildings are in various stages of compliance for recertification,” said the spokesperson in a press release.

Sunny Isles resident Mary Ann Berlin said she was grateful that her building is currently undergoing an inspection.

“As I understand it, I just got an email from our condominium association saying they’re going to have another engineer do whatever they need to do,” Berlin said.

Buildings in Miami-Dade County and Broward County are participating in a 40-year inspection program. This requires buildings to go through a recertification process when the building is 40 years old.

In an emergency meeting last week, Surfside Commissioner Eliana Salzhauer asked if these inspections should take place sooner.

“Why do we wait 40 years before recertifying a building, on the beach, with beach air, salt, air, corroding the building, why wait 40 years? Salzhauer said.

Sinisa Kolar is Executive Vice President of The Falcon Group and is a Structural Engineer and Certified Building Inspector.

“Pushing it back to 20 or 10 years, I don’t think it hurts anybody,” Kolar said.

Kolar said requiring these inspections earlier could make it easier for homeowners’ associations to find problems.

“That puts us on a schedule and says’ okay you might not want to verify your property, but we’ll do it for you and force you to do it in order to avoid situations like this” ” , Kolar said. .

Kolar said inspections are just the first step in preventing problems.

“The inspection is only part of it, the analysis that comes next, which means we need a plan, and we need all the records, is to try to correlate the types of damage to a possible problem that can cause, “Kolar said.


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