What to Expect at a Threshold Inspection

Florida Statute 553.71 defines a threshold building as any structure that:

  • has a height that exceeds three stories or 50 feet OR
  • has an assembly occupancy classification of over 5,000 square feet and 500 people

If you own a property under construction that meets these criteria, it requires a threshold inspection. The purpose is to increase the safety of the building’s structural components, the failure of which could have disastrous consequences.

Who Performs Threshold Inspections?

Florida Administrative Code section 61G1-25.003 states that Florida-licensed structural engineers are qualified to act as threshold building inspectors. To become certified, they must:

  • have at least three years of experience in carrying out structural inspections on at least three threshold buildings (obtained within seven years of applying for certification)
  • have two years experience in the structural design of threshold buildings

Threshold building inspectors, also known as special inspectors, carry out their duties in accordance with an inspection plan prepared by the architect or engineer of record. The engineer or architect of record for the project may carry out the inspection provided they are on the list of qualified parties as maintained by the Florida Board of Professional Engineers and the Board of Architecture and Interior Design.

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide direction to the special inspector so that the building’s structural elements can be properly inspected for compliance with the project drawings and specifications. The guidelines are part of the project contract documents, as they are included with contract documentation when the application for a building permit is made.

How Are These Inspections Performed?

Prior to arriving at your building, the inspector will have reviewed the above inspection plan in addition to the shop drawings and structural documentation for the elements being inspected. If they need more information or clarification, they may reach out to the structural engineer of record. Once they arrive, they will review items like the following:

  • All structural components and connections in the building
  • Reinforcing steel components prior to placing of concrete
  • Concrete placement and slump
  • Grout placement
  • Shoring and reshoring

If they observe any deviations from the guidelines or accepted practice, they will bring them to your attention and refrain from issuing a statement of conformance until these conditions have been corrected.

When Are Reports Issued?

Once all structural work has been properly completed, the inspector will provide the local enforcement agency with a signed and sealed statement attesting to the fact that all load-bearing components comply with permitted documents and the shoring and reshoring plans conform with those sent to the agency. You, the general contractor, and the architect or engineer of record will receive a copy of the statement.

Contact a Threshold Inspector

At DDA Engineers, P.A., our professional team includes certified threshold inspectors who will help you confirm that your building’s structural components meet Florida’s construction standards. Our extensive experience and knowledge of construction practices and requirements will deliver the support and direction you need for your project to fulfill its intended purpose. For more information or to schedule an inspection, please contact our office in Miami today.

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