“Aging Buildings”: How Will the Surfside Condo Collapse Change the Management of HOA Controlled Buildings?

The objective of this forum is to discuss what’s coming with respect to responsibilities and requirements of owners and management. Codes and requirements for developers and construction companies have been in place for a long time.  All aspects of construction are inspected prior to a certificate of occupancy being approved. After that, what happens?  We want to look at 4 areas:

Codes:  Building codes, construction methods and materials were  different than they are now. What’s different and why. What is the government’s legislative responsibilities with respect to establishing integrity at the time of construction?

Geo-Technical impacts: Have environmental changes affected the ground on which the building sit? How does new construction and demolition around existing structures affect them?

Condo associations and HOAs: What best practices should condo associations and management companies employ to preserve the structural integrity and help de-risk sever damage form occurring or worsening without anyone noticing. 

What needs to be done?

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Dr. J. Chris Ford is an experienced researcher and expert in building inclusive innovation ecosystems and programs for technology transfer and commercialization for universities, Federal agencies, corporations, and investors. From 2012-2017, Dr. Ford was an expert consultant and contractor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with special emphasis on inclusion, technology transfer, and economic development. In this role, Dr. Ford served as a change agent to catalyze the DOE technology commercialization ecosystem while assisting minority and small businesses, impacting underserved communities, and including minority serving institutions. At DOE, Dr. Ford developed a novel Lab-embedded accelerator programs, a four-point inclusive innovation ecosystem development plan, and strategies for intellectual property monetization. Prior to his role at DOE, Dr. Ford was a researcher and entrepreneur in the technical consulting and healthcare sectors. Dr. Ford has more than ten years of alternative energy research experience specializing in battery and fuel cell technologies, and thermodynamic optimization algorithms for energy systems at Georgia Tech, DOE, and the Department of Defense. 



Mr. Khouri has twenty plus years of experience performing geotechnical engineering studies, geotechnical site inspections, geotechnical design, construction/project management and research. He has worked with federal and state governments (US) as well as international governmental agencies. One of his highest values is his ability to understand the market demands from a developer’s point of view to an engineer’s point of view. He has worked with developers, contractors, economists, engineers, architects and planners.

He worked on numerous and challenging projects from the private sector to the public sector and from new construction to rehabilitation. The projects include industrial and power sector; civil engineering and road sector; institutional and commercial sector; and residential sector.

He worked on both small-scale and large-scale land development projects, deep and shallow foundations, ground improvements, etc. He assisted with staff mentoring and training, project coordination, client interaction, preparation of technical reports, specifications, plans, design, retaining walls, and other site civil, structural and geotechnical aspects of construction. He worked effectively in a multi- discipline team.



Frederick Bloetscher currently works at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering, Florida Atlantic University. Frederick does research in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering.



He is Professor at the School of Architecture and Associate Provost for the Broward Campuses of FAU.  His research examines historical and contemporary sustainable design and construction practices in the hot-humid climate zones of the tropics and subtropics at two scales: the macro/urban and the micro/detail. In connection with this line of inquiry, and in the context of the built environment of the contemporary city, the deeper unresolved tensions between globalization and regionalism are explored as they relate to local sense of place and regional sustainability. A registered architect and practicing professional in Florida and New York, he is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), accredited by the US Green Building Council in Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design, and has received over 20 awards for design excellence from the American Institute of Architects for architectural and urban design. He has consulted on projects in Florida, New York, the Caribbean and Colombia. He has published Subtropical Sustainable, a monograph of the architectural and urban design work of graduate level students; and the Broward County County-wide Community Design Guidebook.