Take It To the Board: An Engineer’s Perspective on Implementing Florida’s New Condo Safety Law with Tim Marshall, Founder and President of A.T. Design

Take It To the Board: An Engineer’s Perspective on Implementing Florida’s New Condo Safety Law with Tim Marshall, Founder and President of A.T. Design

Tim Marshall, a Florida Registered Professional Engineer, Florida Building Inspector, and a Special Inspector, sits down with host Donna DiMaggio Berger and discusses just how busy his days have become since the passage of SB 4D, the new safety law in Florida requiring thousands of older coastal buildings to undertake milestone inspections within the next two (2) years. Founded in 1986, Tim is also the president of A.T. Design. A.T. Design provides forensic structural investigations, concrete deterioration and restoration investigations and assessment, roof investigation and consulting, construction management and project administration, hurricane damage inspections, post tension cable repair, expert testimony and more. The passage of SB 4-D during the Florida Legislature’s Special Session in May 2022, requires significant changes for thousands of Florida multifamily communities. These changes include mandated engineering inspections and reports, new structural integrity reserve studies and non-waivable, full funding of certain reserves.

Conversation highlights include:

  • The new safety law is tied to building height but how is that height calculated?
  • Find out how a structural engineer determines if substantial structural deterioration exists.
  • What credentials are required to qualify as a Special Inspector and when are their services needed?
  • Just how significant is the structural engineer shortage in Florida?
  • What qualifications does an Engineering Intern have and can an intern assist with any aspect of the milestone inspection?
  • Engineers are required to notify the local building department if they find life safety issues in a building. Other than the obvious inconvenience to the residents associated with an evacuation, why would engineers be reluctant to order evacuations if there are serious life safety concerns in a building?
  • What should the role of local government be in terms of ensuring that residential buildings remain safe for occupancy?
  • Find out how often Tim is asked to attend board or membership meetings, how well attended those meetings are and how strong he must be when attempting to communicate a structural issue.
  • What can the average community resident do to become more aware of a building’s condition?
  • What resources are available to boards when they are looking to hire an engineer?
  • How often do boards seek a peer review on an engineering report and is that advisable?

BONUS: Tim discusses the average length of a 40- or 50-year certification report, its costs, and the preferred engineering language to use in those reports.

For more episodes of Take it to the Board, click here!