Vice President of State Construction assesses impact of tragedy on future projects
The June 24 collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida will have far-reaching implications, with court rulings on what to do with the property and how to compensate victims already underway while recovery efforts continue.
The Build-out asked newly appointed Florida Building Commission member and vice-chairman Michael Bourré of Fleming Island, founder of Bourré Construction Group, his reaction to the tragedy and the potential impact on builders and the construction industry. construction in general in the Sunshine State. Bourré is also a past president of the Florida Home Builders Association.
What role will the FBC play in the aftermath of the Surfside collapse?
In the aftermath of a hurricane, the Building Commission is reviewing the forensic study to determine if the failures, if any, were attributed to code, materials or workmanship. We also consider the age of the structure to determine what code was in place when the structure was built. Any particular code failure may have already been addressed in the codes adopted since the construction of the structure. I suspect the FBC could play a similar role after the Surfside collapse.
What should commercial construction players do today, in terms of current and future projects?
It is important to recognize that this tragedy occurred in a 40 year old structure. Therefore, it is premature to consider any major changes to the code, or changes to the way we build today, until all the forensic evidence is gathered and reviewed.
What are your first impressions of the future ramifications of commercial construction in Florida?
The heart of the entire industry is heavy on the victims and their families. We look forward to the forensic study. The implications may be more focused on the maintenance rather than the construction process. Keep in mind that this structure was 40 years old, was built to old codes, and maintenance issues had been documented but may not have been resolved.
To my knowledge, this is the only such failure in Florida. It has not yet been determined whether the problems highlighted in the engineering reports contributed to the failure of the building. It is not known if there will be any immediate changes to building codes and standards until we know more.
Do you have any questions or concerns from entrepreneurs about what happened?
Yes, he has been and will continue to be at the forefront of conversations within the construction industry. The main focus is on reports from past inspections and on the maintenance or lack of maintenance of the structure.
Will this cause delays for projects in Florida?
At this point, I don’t see any delays in the projects. There is no indication of a current code failure, and the focus seems to be on maintenance issues.
After:Mark Woods on the lingering lessons of Katrina, Haiti and now Surfside
After:Surfside condo collapse in town of Volusia, county officials consider building code changes
Is there a feeling that more regulations will be enacted as a result, or a strengthening of the current rules?
I think you will see both. The code will be parked pending the forensic study. I believe there will be more condominium board regulations to fund reserves and immediately respond to structural issues.
We may see more building inspections. There are other issues to consider, such as reviewing the self-certification of experience to obtain a general contractor’s license. The Florida Home Builders Association pointed out that this was a potential fraud issue before the Surfside incident. The State of Florida should require some form of confirmation of experience before issuing a license to construct a threshold building, as it has done in the past.
In addition, the state’s right to redress the law needs to be reviewed. When the Right to Repair Law was first enacted, it led to the identification and completion of warranty repairs associated with construction defects. At present, the Right to Repair Act appears to be used by a cottage industry of lawyers to demand cash settlements from insurance companies representing members of the construction industry, but the repairs presumably needed may in fact never be done.
For example, if there is a faulty firewall between two multi-family units, the builder’s repair offer is refused, a cash settlement is paid to the owner through the insurance companies, and there is no has no confirmation that the repair has been made. This law must be brought back to its original intention of fixing any defect, not cash settlements.
Regarding the timeline of events related to the building code, I believe that no action can or should be taken until the forensic reports are filed and investigated. The fact that they demolished what was left standing may be detrimental to the final analysis.
In other news:
● The leading home builder, Lennar Corp. joined as a builder with GreenPointe Developers’ Granary Park, a planned community of 770 homes located on 290 acres in Clay County.
The Miami-based company will offer a dozen one- and two-story, three and four-bedroom floor plans in the development, which sits along Sandridge Road and Feed Mill Road in Green Cove Springs, according to a press release. Homes will range from 1,714 square feet to over 3,000 square feet, and prices will start in the $ 250 range, with three model homes to come.
One of Lennar’s selling points is its “Everything is Included” program, in which popular features and upgrades are all part of a home’s base price. For more information, visit GranaryPark.com.
● Safari Ltd. opens ToyTopia, an interactive retail store and the first for the educational toy brand, in downtown Nocatee, St. Johns County.
The family business known for its Toys That Teach recently moved to Jacksonville and has been offering educational action figures for nearly 40 years, according to a press release.
Children will have an immersive experience interacting with toys at the point of sale, the release said.
“The goal is to become the Cheers of the toy stores for Nocatee,” said Christina Pariente, president of Safari Ltd., in the statement. “Toy stores should be fun. We want to be the place where families go to relax and let their children’s imaginations run wild.
In addition to its own toys, Safari Ltd. will offer other selected brands, such as BiOBUDDi plant-based building blocks, Folkmanis plush puppets and other eco-friendly products. The store plans to host interactive sessions for kids, parent / kid classes and more.
An opening in January 2022 is under consideration, although the company has said it could attempt a holiday season opening if possible.
● Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty has raised and donated over $ 1,000, along with non-perishable food items, to Feeding Northeast Florida, Pace Center for Girls – Clay, Pie in the Sky and Our Lady of Good Counsel in St. Johns County.
Collections for nonprofits took place during shredding events at the company’s branches in Fleming Island, Mandarin and MuraBella at World Golf Village, according to a press release.
● Tony Nason was promoted to president of the new Northeast Florida division of PulteGroup Inc. effective July 1. He will oversee all operations and finances of PulteGroup’s home construction activities in the Jacksonville market, according to a statement.
Nason was previously the Jacksonville vice president of operations and the North Florida division vice president of finance.
“Thanks to Tony’s leadership, our Jacksonville team has experienced tremendous growth and customer satisfaction, and controls an onshore pipeline exceeding 4,000 lots,” said Richard McCormick, president of PulteGroup Florida, in the statement. “His operational experience, financial background and team-based approach make him the ideal leader to continue our success in this flourishing market. ”
Email real estate press releases, tips and updates to [email protected]