The IHPA and concerned member companies were successful in getting the Florida Building Commission to approve the IHPA sponsored change to the ASTM definition of Wind Zone 4. The Commission by a unanimous vote (18-0), supported the change overturning the Structural TAC recommendation. The Commission approval of the IHPA sponsored change means that 2013 Florida Building Code will keep Wind Zone 4 as the same area as it is now, which is an area that is comprised of Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Monroe County.
The definition of Wind Zone 4 will remain unchanged from that contained in the 2010 Florida Building Code with 2012 Supplement. Wind Zone 4 consists of areas with a wind speed of greater than 170 mph and Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. The main difference between Wind Zones 1-3 and Wind Zone 4 are the number of impacts required and the deflection limits. The code unmodified would have expanded Wind Zone 4 to include portions of St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Martin, Collier, Lee, and Sarasota Counties. This was a hot topic when the 2010 Florida Building Code was implemented in March of 2012 and the IHPA was successful in getting a “Glitch Change” approved by the Commission to rectify the situation in the 2010 code. The expansion of Wind Zone 4 was an unintended consequence of modifications intended to correlate the wind speeds of the code with the latest version of ASCE 7, ASCE 7-10.
Unmodified, the provision had the potential to considerably increase the costs of hurricane protection. The more technologically advanced products could have been precluded from the market place. The International Hurricane Protection Association, concerned individuals, affected member companies, and other industry advocates stood up to the challenge and came away victorious benefiting both the industry and the public.