Building collapse in Miami may lead to stricter demolition/construction permitting


Staff member
Apr 16, 2023
In Miami they're apparently having problems with buildings collapsing unpredictably, which is obviously not at all ideal. They discuss the issue in this article, including describing a recent incident where a building at a construction site in the Brickell neighborhood partially collapsed and narrowly missed hitting pedestrians and drivers. The news outlet mentions several other building collapses in recent memory, including the tragic surfside condo collapse that happened a couple years ago. Miami's building department is in the process of developing more restrictive procedures for permitting demolition, including potentially not allowing work highly populated areas and making sure that larger areas of property and roadways are closed off before work begins.

There's sort of a cognitive dissonance thinking about Miami's building stock being this vulnerable to collapse, especially when you consider the City's stringent requirements under the statewide Florida Building Code (FBC). As described here, Miami is located in a "High-Velocity Hurricane Zone, where local code requires that a building’s entire envelope (including windows, doors, and eaves) incorporates lab-tested, wind-resistant design." I understand that implementation of the FBC only started in the early 2000s, which I'm sure explains why structural integrity remains an issue for many of the city's buildings. Hopefully the City starts doing more to mitigate collapse risk not just through improved permit processes but also through improved inspection coverage for the city's existing building stock.
Miami, Florida, United States
Personally, I'm all in support of any measure that's taken to save lives especially when it's to prevent a fatal disaster from building construction works. Miami's stance on this changes need to be very strong and considerate as well because we are talking about human lives there. Imagine if the construction site in the Brickell neighborhood that partially collapsed had killed many pedestrians and drivers on the road, what would have being their faith...? They would just have died for nothing.
It's truly concerning to see Miami grappling with building collapses, especially given the stringent building requirements in place. The recent incidents, like the one in Brickell, highlight a pressing need for stricter permitting procedures and enhanced safety measures. Miami's location in a high-velocity hurricane zone should emphasize the importance of structural integrity. While the implementation of the Florida Building Code was relatively recent, it's imperative that the city takes proactive steps to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors. Strengthening inspection protocols for existing buildings is a crucial part of this effort. Miami must prioritize the protection of its building stock to prevent further tragic incidents.
It is such a shame that we see things like this, especially in this day and age when more care should be taken to protect the public from such dangers.

No one should ever feel unsafe walking somewhere with a worry that a building may collapse as they walk past and I fully agree that more needs to be done to protect the general public when it comes to safety.

Unfortunately, some people will try to avoid having a business closed if it happens to be a business regardless of the safety of others and more needs to be done about that. It is great to see this and definitely a move in the right direction.
The building collapse in Miami has caused worries about construction safety. This might lead to stricter rules and permits for demolitions and construction work. The goal is to make safety improvements, prevent similar accidents, and keep communities secure.