Printer Friendly VersionALTERNATE PLANS REVIEW/INSPECTIONS


In accordance with s. 553.791, Florida Statutes, the fee owner may elect to use a private provider to review construction documents for permitting and provide required building inspections, or both. However, if the fee owner or the fee owner's contractor uses a private provider to provide plans review, the local building official, in his or her discretion and pursuant to duly adopted policies of the local enforcement agency, may require the fee owner or the fee owner's contractor to use a private provider to also provide required building inspections.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law or local government ordinance or local policy, the fee owner of a building or structure, or the fee owner's contractor upon written authorization from the fee owner, may choose to use a private provider to provide building code inspection services with regard to such building or structure and may make payment directly to the private provider for the provision of such services. All such services shall be the subject of a written contract between the private provider, or the private provider's firm, and the fee owner. (3)  A private provider and any duly authorized representative may only perform building code inspection services that are within the disciplines covered by that person's licensure or certification under Chapter 468Chapter 471Chapter 481. A private provider may not provide building code inspection services pursuant to this section upon any building designed or constructed by the private provider or the private provider's firm.

A fee owner or the fee owner's contractor using a private provider to provide building code inspection services shall notify the local building official at the time of permit application, or no less than 7 business days prior to the first scheduled inspection by the local building official or building code enforcement agency for a private provider performing required inspections of construction under this section, on a form to be adopted by the commission. This notice shall include the following information:

At whose discretion is the use of this program?
• The fee owner of a building.
• The fee owner shall notify the Building Official at the time of permit application.
• The fee owner may decide to use private plan review and inspection, either together or separately.
• The Building Official has the discretion to require the fee owner who selects this program to use both private plan review and inspection.

Liability Issue
• The local government, the local building official, and their building code enforcement personnel shall be immune from liability to any person or party for any action or inaction by a fee owner of a building, or by a private provider or its duly authorized representative, in connection with building code inspection services as authorized in this act.

Restriction on Building Official
• No local enforcement agency, local building official, or local government may adopt or enforce any laws, rules, procedures, or standards more stringent than those prescribed by this section.

Required Auditing Program
• Each local building code enforcement agency shall develop and maintain a process to audit the performance of building code inspection services by private providers operating within the local jurisdiction.

Private Provider
• Means a person licensed as an engineer under Chapter 471 or as an architect under Chapter 481. For purposes of performing inspections under this section for additions and alterations that are limited to 1,000 square feet or less to residential buildings, the term “private provider” also includes a person who holds a standard certificate under part XII of Chapter 468.
• May only perform services covered by their licensure.

Duly Authorized Representative
• Means an agent of the Private Provider identified in the permit application who reviews plans or performs inspections as provided by this section and who is licensed as an engineer under Chapter 471 or as an architect under Chapter 481 or who holds a standard certificate under part XII of Chapter 468.
• May only perform services covered by their licensure.

Scope of Work
• A Private Provider and any Duly Authorized Representative may only perform building code inspection services that are within the disciplines covered by that person’s licensure or certification under Chapter 468, Chapter 471, or Chapter 481, designed or constructed by A Private Provider may not provide building  code inspection services pursuant to this section upon any building designed or constructed by the Private Provider or the Private Provider’s firm.

Notice to Building Official of Use of Private Provider Form
• A fee owner using a private Provider for building code inspection services shall:
• Notify the Building Official.
• Using the form adopted by the Florida Building Commission. The form includes:
• Private Provider information.
• Services to be performed.
• Fee Owner acknowledgement.
• Proof of insurance.

Click here to download the Private Provider Form.

Insurance Requirements
• A private provider may perform building code inspection services on a building project under this section only if the private provider maintains insurance for professional liability covering all services performed as a private provider. Such insurance shall have minimum policy limits of $1 million per occurrence and $2 million in the aggregate for any project with a construction cost of $5 million or less and $2 million per occurrence and $4 million in the aggregate for any project with a construction cost of over $5 million. Nothing in this section limits the ability of a fee owner to require additional insurance or higher policy limits. For these purposes, the term "construction cost" means the total cost of building construction as stated in the building permit application. If the private provider chooses to secure claims-made coverage to fulfill this requirement, the private provider must also maintain coverage for a minimum of 5 years subsequent to the performance of building code inspection services. The insurance required under this subsection shall be written only by insurers authorized to do business in this state with a minimum A.M. Best's rating of A. Before providing building code inspection services within a local building official's jurisdiction, a private provider must provide to the local building official a certificate of insurance evidencing that the coverage required under this subsection are in force.

Private Provider Plan Compliance Affidavit
• Use the form adopted by the Florida Building Commission.
• Form contains a statement attesting that the plans comply with the Florida Building Code and all local amendments.
• Form is signed by the Private Provider and notarized.

Issuance of the Permit
• Within 30 business days a permit must be issued by the Building Official or:
• Written notice of the plan deficiencies must be provided.
• If the Building Official does not provide such notice, the permit shall be deemed to be approved as a matter of law and the permit shall be issued on the next day following the elapse of the original 30 day period.

Notice of Plan Deficiency
• If notice is given within the 30 day period, the 30 day period is tolled.
• If the applicant provides revisions, the Building Official has the remainder of the 30 day period plus 5 days to issue the permit or provide a second notice of deficiency.
• For all revisions submitted after the first revision, the Building Official has an additional 5 business days to issue the permit.

What Constitutes Proper Notice
• Notice shall be deemed to be provided to the person or entity when successfully transmitted to the facsimile number listed for that person or entity in the permit application or revised permit application, or, if no facsimile number is stated, when actually received by that person or entity.

Dispute of Identified Plan Deficiencies
• The Building Official shall be available to meet with the Private Provider within 2 business days after denying a permit occupancy or completion.
• If unable to resolve, then the matter is referred to BORA (local enforcement agency’s board of appeals).
• BORA’s decision may be appealed to the Florida Building Commission.
• BORA may review any decisions regarding the issuance of a permit, CO or CC.

Inspections
• Private Provider must perform all required inspections.
• Private Provider may send a Duly Authorized Representative, however:
• All required reports and certifications must be prepared by and bear the signature of the Private Provider.

Notice of Inspections
• A record of the inspections must be kept on a form acceptable to the Building Official.
• The inspection record must be posted at the site.
• Records must be maintained at all times and be available to the Building Official.
• The Building Department will conduct random field checks.
• The Building Department will conduct all electrical inpections for temporary or permanent power.
• The Building Department will conduct all final inspections and inspections for issuance of Temporary or Final Certificates of Occupancy/Completion.
• The Private Provider must report to the Building Official any conditions that pose an immediate threat to public safety and welfare.

Building Official’s Option
• The Building Official may visit the site as often as necessary to verify that the Private Provider is performing all required inspections.
• The Building Official may issue a stop work order, if a threat to public safety or welfare exists.

Upon Completions of all Inspections
• Private Provider shall prepare a certificate of compliance
• Using a form acceptable to the Building Official.
• Summarizing inspections performed.
• Including a written representation, under oath that the construction complies with the approved plans and the applicable codes.

Certificate of Occupancy or Completion
• Building Official must issue CO or CC within 2 business days of receiving the request and the applicants certificate of compliance or:
• Provide notice of specific deficiencies, including code chapter and section.
• If notice of deficiency is not provided within 2 days the CO or CC shall be deemed granted and the Building Official shall issue the CO or CC the next day.
• The Applicant may dispute the deficiencies or submit a corrected request for CO or CC.

Discipline of Private Providers and Duly Authorized Representatives
• A private Provider is subject to the disciplinary guidelines of the applicable professional board,
 Chapter 468, Chapter 471, or Chapter 481. All private Providers shall be subject to the disciplinary guidelines of s. 468.621 (1)(c)-(h). Any complaint processing, investigation, and discipline that arise out of a Private Provider’s performance of building code inspection services shall be conducted by the applicable professional board.

471.45 Professional engineers performing building code inspector duties.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who is currently licensed under this chapter to practice as a professional engineer may provide building code inspection services described in s. 468.603(6) and (7) to a local government or state agency upon its request, without being certified by the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board under part XII of chapter 468. When performing these building code inspection services, the professional engineer is subject to the disciplinary guidelines of this chapter and s. 468.621(1)(c)-(h). Any complaint processing, investigation, and discipline that arise out of a professional engineer's performing building code inspection services shall be conducted by the Board of Professional Engineers rather than the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board. A professional engineer may not perform plans review as an employee of a local government upon any job that the professional engineer or the professional engineer's company designed.

481.222  Architects performing building code inspection services.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who is currently licensed to practice as an architect under this part may provide building code inspection services described in s. 468.603(6) and (7) to a local government or state agency upon its request, without being certified by the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board under part XII of chapter 468. With respect to the performance of such building code inspection services, the architect is subject to the disciplinary guidelines of this part and s. 468.621(1)(c)-(h). Any complaint processing, investigation, and discipline that arise out of an architect's performance of building code inspection services shall be conducted by the Board of Architecture and Interior Design rather than the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board. An architect may not perform plans review as an employee of a local government upon any job that the architect or the architect's company designed.