The City of Miami Beach Building Department was established in 1925. The City had its own Building Code until the 1950’s when the City adopted the South Florida Building Code.
The modern construction boom began in the 1970s and the State of Florida started mandating statewide building codes. The first law required all municipalities and counties to adopt and enforce one of the four state-recognized model codes known as the “state minimum building codes.” During the early 1990s a series of natural disasters, together with the increasing complexity of building construction regulation in vastly changed markets, led to a comprehensive review of the state building code system. The study revealed that building code adoption and enforcement was inconsistent throughout the state and those local codes thought to be the strongest proved inadequate when tested by major hurricane events. The consequences of the building codes system failure were devastation to lives and economies and a statewide property insurance crisis. The response was a reform of the state building construction regulatory system that placed emphasis on uniformity and accountability.
The 1998 Florida Legislature amended Chapter 553, Florida Statutes, and Building Construction Standards, to create a single state building code that is enforced by local governments. As of March 1, 2002, the Florida Building Code supersedes all local building codes. The Florida Building Code was developed and maintained by the Florida Building Commission. It is updated every three years and may be amended annually to incorporate interpretations and clarifications.
The main goal of the Miami Beach Building Department is to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare of the City’s residents and visitors by ensuring compliance with the Florida Building Code. The Department is lead by the Building Department Director/Building Official. The Department is divided into two divisions; support services and operations.
The Building Department Support Services Division provides assistance to Permitting, Floodplain, Records, Call Center, Special Master and Administration Services.
The Building Department Operations Division consists of the Building, Flood, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Inspection Services, Structural, Violations and Elevator sections. The Operations Division is responsible for the enforcement and compliance of the Florida Building Code through the performance of plan review and field inspections in a thorough, competent and professional manner.