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> In short, products ‘inside the rule‘ require product approval in Florida.
> This is done by a combination of testing & rational analysis as determined by code.
> Most products inside the rule require extensive testing. From there, the tests can be uploaded to the State of Florida, Miami Dade, or Evaluated by an engineer. Product Evaluations allow variations such as alternate sizes, substrates, and anchoring.
Prior to testing, a qualified firm should be retained to establish a test protocol to maximize the use of the test results. That firm needs to be independent of the lab conducting the testing.
> Test labs must be accredited by the state and/or Miami Dade. For submissions to Miami Dade for an NOA, Miami Dade must be notified before the test is performed for their record, or an approval cannot be submitted.
> With testing complete, the evaluating engineer would consult with you on the best format to display the evaluation.
> For Florida Product Approvals, prior to submitting to the state, a Validator and Quality Assurance entity needs to be retained to provide the 3rd party assurance that the evaluation is performed per code and the product meets the tested parameters over time. Miami Dade has a ‘built in’ quality assurance program.
> Miami NOA’s are technically considered ‘local product approvals‘ and while accepted, they are not statewide approvals. Miami NOA’s can be submitted to the State of Florida by the manufacturer for a state registration number.
> After the Florida Approval or Miami NOA is granted, the document registration number can be used for permit in Florida if the installation matches the intent of the evaluation report. Typically a local design professional (architect or engineer) is retained to establish the design criteria of the local installation and ‘approve’ the approval for use at that location/opening. Modifications may be permitted if performed within the guidelines of the building code, referenced standards, and the limitations of the evaluation.