The Florida Building Code Section 104.11 (2020) defines the procedure and design methodology for alternative materials used in construction. This is important in establishing a baseline for Florida Product Approvals and Florida Local Approvals.
104.11 Alternative materials, design and methods of construction and equipment.
The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided that any such alternative has been approved. An alternative material, design or method of construction shall be approved where the building official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provisions of this code, and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety.
When alternate life safety systems are designed, the SFPE Engineering Guide to Performance-Based Fire Protection Analysis and Design of Buildings , or other methods approved by the building official may be used.
The building official shall require that sufficient evidence or proof be submitted to substantiate any claim made regarding the alternative.