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In May 2011, the Florida Legislature revised the statutes governing sinkhole claim investigations. As part of these

revisions, structural damage was defined for the first time in §627.706(2)(k) F.S. The five criteria used to define structural

damage, as cited in the statutes, are presented in italics below.

 

  1. Interior floor displacement or deflection in excess of acceptable variances as defined in ACI [American

Concrete Institute] 117-90 or the Florida Building Code, which results in settlement related damage to the interior

such that the interior building structure or members become unfit for service or represents a safety hazard as

defined within the Florida Building Code;

  1. Foundation displacement or deflection in excess of acceptable variances as defined in ACI 318-95 or the

Florida Building Code, which results in settlement related damage to the primary structural members or primary

structural systems that prevents those members or systems from supporting the loads and forces they were

designed to support to the extent that stresses in those primary structural members or primary structural systems

exceeds one and one-third the nominal strength allowed under the Florida Building Code for new buildings of

similar structure, purpose, or location;

  1. Damage that results in listing, leaning, or buckling of the exterior load bearing walls or other vertical primary

structural members to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity does not fall inside

the middle one-third of the base as defined within the Florida Building Code;

  1. Damage that results in the building, or any portion of the building containing primary structural members or

primary structural systems, being significantly likely to imminently collapse because of the movement or instability

of the ground within the influence zone of the supporting ground within the shear plane necessary for the purpose

of supporting such building as defined within the Florida Building Code; or

  1. Damage occurring on or after October 15, 2005, that qualifies as “substantial structural damage” as defined in

the Florida Building Code.”