Following the partial collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, WFLA Channel 8 News interviewed Shutts & Bowen LLP partner Amanda Buffinton about concerns regarding the structural integrity of Tampa Bay’s multi-story buildings.
According to the report, buildings are routinely inspected during construction, renovation and repairs, but are not mandated under any federal, state or local laws to undergo further inspections or re-certifications for building integrity with the exception of the 40 year recertification process, which is unique to south Florida through the Miami-Dade County Code. In her interview, Amanda noted that although structures are built for long lifespans, building materials degrade over time, especially in coastal communities or in buildings close to the shoreline.
With 625 high-rise buildings in Pinellas County alone, lawmakers have said that change related to inspection mandates is imminent. For concerned residents, Amanda advised that spotting potential structural issues like deep cracks in walls or ceilings, sagging roofs, uneven floors, water intrusions and crumbling concrete, is important. “When you see things like that – it’s a symptom, and it means that there’s something occurring and you want to understand what the cause of it is,” said Amanda. “Maintenance is key.”
See Amanda's interview responses in the video below. To read WFLA’s coverage on “Routine structural inspections not required for Tampa Bay buildings, lawmaker says change is imminent,” click here.
About Amanda Buffinton
Amanda B. Buffinton is a partner in the Tampa office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where she is a member of the Construction Litigation Practice Group. A Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney, Amanda is also Board Certified in Construction Law by The Florida Bar. Amanda specializes in the litigation and arbitration of complex claims related to professional negligence and design errors and omissions. She has also successfully represented clients in construction claims involving personal injury and death, federal investigations relating to the False Claims Act, delay and acceleration damages, bond and lien issues, professional licensure, building code violations and ADA violations. Amanda has extensive federal court experience and has litigated a multitude of construction and commercial claims in the Northern, Middle and Southern District Courts of Florida including the successful defense of a large class action suit against an international testing company. Amanda is a member of the Construction Law Committee of the Real Property Probate & Trust Law Division of The Florida Bar.