What is a Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS)?
The legislative changes from the passing of Senate Bill 154 have had an impact on reserve studies in Florida, introducing the concept of Structural Integrity Reserve Studies (SIRS, 718.112(2)(g)).
Before May 2022, reserve studies focused on four essential components: roofing, painting, paving, and anything over $10,000. They were voluntary and did not necessarily require professional input. With the advent of SIRS, ten (10) components must be considered in these studies. They include roofing, load-bearing walls, floor foundations, fire protection, plumbing, electrical systems, windows, foundation, waterproofing, and any component over $10,000 whose failure to replace or maintain negatively affects other items.
A SIRS report typically includes an inventory of the building’s components, their useful life expectancy, their current condition, and estimated repair or replacement costs. The report includes recommendations for prioritizing repairs and replacements and for funding the necessary reserve account to cover the costs.
Purpose of a Structural Integrity Reserve Study
The goal of the study is to help property owners, managers, and community associations reserve fund planning in Florida for the necessary repairs and replacements in advance. Condominium reserve studies in Florida are particularly important for community associations and homeowner associations that are responsible for the maintenance and repair of common areas and shared amenities.
What’s Included in a Structural Integrity Reserve Study
A SIRS report must begin by identifying common areas that fall under the association’s responsibility for repair, replacement, or maintenance. This includes spaces like lobbies and other shared areas accessible to all residents. While categorizing these areas, they should align with the components specified in the legislation.
The remaining useful life of components is a critical aspect of SIRS. Determining the useful life of various elements requires a combination of science and art. It involves considering factors like wear and tear, climate conditions, and maintenance history. Accurately assessing the remaining useful life ensures that associations can plan and budget for future repairs and replacements effectively.
Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS) Timelines
The legislation mandates that condo associations in existence on or before July 1, 2022, complete their initial SIRS by the end of 2024. Subsequent SIRS studies must be conducted every 10 years. This timeframe has not changed significantly, except for potential extensions under certain circumstances.
Another important note: An association obligated to conduct a milestone inspection by December 31, 2026, has the option to carry out the structural integrity reserve study at the same time as the milestone inspection. However, it’s crucial to note that the structural integrity reserve study must not be finished later than December 31, 2026, under any circumstances.
Failure to obtain a Structural Integrity Reserve Study is a breach of the officers’ and directors’ fiduciary relationship to the unit owners.
Who Can Perform a Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS) in Florida?
Only Professional Engineers licensed in the State of Florida may perform a SIRS and submit the necessary report. This includes licensed engineers under chapter 471, licensed architects under chapter 481, or individuals certified as reserve specialists or professional reserve analysts by respected organizations like the Community Associations Institute or the Association of Professional Reserve Analysts.
Whether you are a property owner, manager, or community association, Building Mavens’ licensed professionals are available to cover your Florida Structural Integrity Reserve Study Service’s needs.
Preparing for your Structural Integrity Reserve Study
If you have questions about how SB 154 applies to your building, we encourage you to reach out to our team at Building Mavens. As South Florida’s premiere Milestone Inspections, SIRS, and Engineering Consulting firm, we understand the legislation’s nuances and deadlines, affording us the knowledge to help provide you with the inspections and guidance necessary to help you move forward with confidence and clarity. Contact our team today and let us seize this opportunity to build a safer and more secure future together.
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