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 mission of the City of 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 and the City of Miami Beach Code of Ordinances.
The Building Department includes three sections: Administrative Services, Environmental Sustainability and Operations. The Administrative Services Section provides administrative support to the entire Building Department by requisitioning goods and services, processing invoices for accounts payable, creating invoices for accounts receivable, maintaining all personnel files and Human Resources transactions, payroll processing, budgeting and information technology support. The Environmental Sustainability Section works to improve our resources, prevent harm to the natural environment, protect human health, and benefit the social, economic and environmental well-being of the community for present and future generations. The Operations Section is responsible for administering the various provisions of the Florida Building Code, including accepting permit applications, reviewing and approving construction plans in accordance with the provisions of the Florida Building Code, inspecting construction ensure compliance with the approved plans and issuing violations for those projects where construction was done without or not in compliance with approved permits.