The Petitioner: Richard S. Barrow; PE, SI
Liebl & Barrow Engineering, Inc
Petitioner seeks clarification of the following question:
Question: Can a building department or building official require the Special Inspector’s duly Authorized Representative, to be licensed or certified under Part XII of Chapter 468 which is in excess of the requirements of the duly Authorized Representative as described in Section FS 533.79(5), FS 471, and FAC 64G15-35.004 for items to be inspected as part of a structural inspection plan issued in accordance with FS 533.79(5)?
Liebl & Barrow Engineering, Inc (“the Petitioner”) has been providing structural engineering and construction inspection services since the company was founded in 1998. Liebl & Barrow Engineering, Inc, has worked in over 2,500 projects in its almost 20 years of existence. The two principals of the company are both active Professional Engineers (PE) and Special Inspectors (SI). The company President, Richard S. Barrow, has been practicing engineering for over 30 ears (FL PE #49231, SE #2015) and the Vice-President, Brian O. Liebl, has been practicing engineering for over 37 years (FL #43087, SI #1087).
Liebl & Barrow Engineering Inc is hoping to provide threshold inspections for an arts center that is in schematic design. That center is to have over 8,000 sf of assembly occupancy and an occupant content over 1400 which qualifies this structure as a “threshold building” per Section 553.71, Florida Statutes. A structural inspection plan will be provided by the Engineer of Record in accordance with Section 553.79(5), Florida Statutes. Our intent is to use engineers who have graduated from a four-year engineering education program in civil or structural engineering as Authorized Representatives for that project.
As a company that provides threshold inspections for many projects, Liebl & Barrow Engineering, Inc. is seeking clarification regarding Section 110.8.6 of the Florida Building Code – 6th Edition (2017) (Section 110.8.6”) as it pertains to threshold inspections. The Petitioner seeks a uniform interpretation as to whether the intent of Section 110.8.6 is to restrict the qualifications required of the Special Inspector’s Duly Authorized Representatives to less than those enumerated in Section 61G15-35.004(2), Florida Administrative Code (“61G-35-.004”). Specifically, [the petitioner] believes Authorized Representatives are considered qualified if they meet at least one of the following qualifications:
61G15-35.004 – Common Requirements to All Engineers Providing Threshold Building Inspections Services as Special Inspectors.
(2) Special Inspectors utilizing Authorized Representatives shall ensure the Authorized Representative is qualified by education, licensure, or training to perform the duties assigned by the Special Inspector. Effective January 1, 2017, those qualifications shall include:
(a) Licensure as a professional engineer or architect, or
(b) Graduation form a four-year engineering education program in civil, structural or architectural engineering, or
(c) Possession of a professional Architecture degree, or
(d) Registration as a building inspector or general contractor, or
(e) Four years of Threshold Building inspection training on non-Threshold Buildings performed under the supervision of a Special Inspector who was in responsible charge of the trainee’s work, or
(f) Possess certification(s) in the following area(s)…..(abbreviated text, qualifications in subsection (f) are not relevant to this declaration).
Petitioner believes that a proper interpretation of Section 110.8.6 does not limit or restrict Authorized Representatives of the Special Inspector to only Special Inspectors (SI) or building inspectors licensed under Part XII of Chapter 468, Florida Statutes unless that is a requirement in the structural inspection plan prepared in accordance with Section 553.79(5)(a), Florida Statutes (“Section 553.79(5)(a)”)
Section 118.8.6 of the Florida Building Code states:
110.8.6 The building department may allow a special inspector to conduct the minimum structural inspection of threshold buildings required by this code, Section 553.73 Florida Statutes, without duplicative inspection by the building department. The building official is responsible for ensuring that any person conducting inspections is qualified as a building inspector under Chapter 471 or 481, Florida Statutes, are in addition to the minimum inspections required by this code.
The Petitioner feels their contentions are upheld by the following sources, which accompany this petition:
1) Declaratory Statement DS2016-092and the Florida Building Commission’s interpretation in their 2017 agenda and minutes for January 2017.
2) “Latest Revision to F.A.C. 61G15-35 Defines Qualifications for Threshold Building Inspectors and Authorized Representatives to have qualifications in excess of those required by Section 553.79(5), Florida Statutes, Chapter 471, Florida Statutes and Chapter 61G15-35.004, Florida Administrative Code for items to be inspected as part of the structural plan.
553.79 Permits; applications; issuance; inspections.—
(5)(a) The enforcing agency shall require a special inspector to perform structural inspections on a threshold building pursuant to a structural inspection plan prepared by the engineer or architect of record. The structural inspection plan must be submitted to and approved by the enforcing agency before the issuance of a building permit for the construction of a threshold building. The purpose of the structural inspection plan is to provide specific inspection procedures and schedules so that the building can be adequately inspected for compliance with the permitted documents. The special inspector may not serve as a surrogate in carrying out the responsibilities of the building official, the architect, or the engineer of record. The contractor’s contractual or statutory obligations are not relieved by any action of the special inspector. The special inspector shall determine that a professional engineer who specializes in shoring design has inspected the shoring and reshoring for conformance with the shoring and reshoring plans submitted to the enforcing agency. A fee simple title owner of a building, which does not meet the minimum size, height, occupancy, occupancy classification, or number-of-stories criteria which would result in classification as a threshold building
under s. 553.71(12), may designate such building as a threshold building, subject to more than the minimum number of inspections required by the Florida Building Code.
(b) The fee owner of a threshold building shall select and pay all costs of employing a special inspector, but the special inspector shall be responsible to the enforcement agency. The inspector shall be a person certified, licensed, or registered under chapter 471 as an engineer or under chapter 481 as an architect.
(c) The architect or engineer of record may act as the special inspector provided she or he is on the Board of Professional Engineers’ or the Board of Architecture and Interior Design’s list of persons qualified to be special inspectors. School boards may utilize employees as special inspectors provided such employees are on one of the professional licensing board’s list of persons qualified to be special inspectors.
(d) The licensed architect or registered engineer serving as the special inspector shall be permitted to send her or his duly authorized representative to the job site to perform the necessary inspections provided all required written reports are prepared by and bear the seal of the special inspector and are submitted to the enforcement agency.
Petitioner is seeking clarification regarding Section 110.8.6 of the Florida Building Code – 6th Edition (2017) as it pertains to threshold inspections.
Can a building department or building official require the Special Inspector’s duly Authorized Representative, to be licensed or certified under Part XII of Chapter 468 which is in excess of the requirements of the duly Authorized Representative as described in Section FS 533.79(5), FS 471, and FAC 64G15-35.004 for items to be inspected as part of a structural inspection plan issued in accordance with FS 533.79(5)?
Option #1/Petitioner: Petitioner respectfully believes the answer to the question outlined above is “NO”.
The provisions of section 110.8.6, Florida Building Code, Building, 6th Edition (2017), apply only to the inspection of the minimum structural requirements of the Florida Building Code; accordingly, they do not apply to the inspections required by section 553.79(5), Florida Statutes.