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Building safety conversations continue in Delray Beach after Surfside collapse

Many contractors and engineers are taking a second look at their properties after the collapse of the Surfside condominium.
Posted at 6:26 PM, Jul 12, 2021

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — For Delray Beach homeowner, Uf Tukel his home is his happy place.

“Absolutely, I love living on the water,” he said.

He admits maintaining his home is a part-time job.

“We are constantly doing maintenance here,” Tukel said. “Whether it’s painting or re-doing the pavers every few years or sea wall work.”

Even still, big problems can pop up.

“This pool was built about 25 years ago and wasn’t built on enough pilings,” he explained.

He says water is consistently draining from the pool and professionals have recommended he replace the entire pool.

Nicholas Bieber is the Construction Director for Azure Development.

“There’s a lot safety factor that goes into structural design of homes like this,” he said.

They primarily work on luxury, large scale projects. The condo building collapse in Surfside has him and his team taking a second look.

“We pour things out of solid concrete as an additional measure of safety,” Bieber said. “Not just a baseline standard. I know that we are taking steps to kind of over-engineer and over-design. But I think what we are going to see is probably changes coming in the Florida building code that will percolate down into the local building departments and authorities having jurisdiction.”

Bieber says it’s important to factor in the elements. For example, at their development in Delray Beach they have taken extra structural steps for the outdoor terrace.

“That is a solid concrete deck so, it’s a different construction methodology,” he explained.

Bottom line - Bieber has this advice: “Plan ahead.”