STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY RESERVE STUDIES & Traditional

Reserve Studies


Who Needs a Reserve Study?

All condominium and homeowners' associations should have a Reserve Study performed. However, due to legislation passed in 2022 in response to the tragedy of the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida ALL CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATIONS IN FLORIDA WITH BUILDINGS OVER TWO STORIES IN HEIGHT MUST HAVE A STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY RESERVE STUDY (SIRS) PERFORMED by December 31, 2024.

The Purpose of a Reserve Study

The primary purpose of a Reserve Study is to determine the amount of funds to set aside, or “Reserve”, in the annual budget each year for future repairs, replacements, and deferred maintenance of an association’s property. A Reserve Study is a crucial tool for associations to make informed financial decisions, maintain an association's property, and comply with legal requirements. It’s a comprehensive assessment of the current condition of their property’s major components and the future cost of repairing and replacing those items. All Reserve Studies should contain the following 3 elements:

  1. A comprehensive Component List, each item’s Remaining Useful Life, and their Replacement Cost.
  2. The current strength of the Reserve Fund, often expressed as the “Percentage Funded”.
  3. A recommended reserve Funding Plan

The Reserve Study Process

The Reserve Study process is performed in five stages and takes approximately 30-45 days to complete. A full detailed written Reserve Study report, including our findings, inspections, calculations, and recommended Funding Plan(s)shall be provided to the association's representatives to provide to the unit owners.

1

Research

Condo docs, financials, recent proposals, invoices, permits, appraisals, etc.

2

Interview

The property manager, maintenance staff, and board member(s).

3

Inspections

Will typically take 2-3 on-site visits to complete the inspection process.

4

Calculations

Of Remaining Useful Lives & Replacement Costs to prepare the required Funding Plan.

5

Presentation

Of our findings, calculations, and recommended Funding Plan to the board/unit owners.

Types of Reserve Studies

1.) Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS)

Due to recent additions to Florida legislation in response to the tragic structural failure and significant loss of life at the Champlain Towers South Condominium in Surfside, Florida all condominium associations must complete a Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS) on buildings that are over two stories in height by December 31st, 2024. In addition, they must fully fund those “SIRS” reserves for said structural components for any budgets passed on or after January 1st, 2025. A Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS) includes specific structural components as explicitly defined by the Florida statutes. These structural elements include:

  • Roof / Roof Covering
  • Structural Components
  • Fireproofing & Suppression Systems
  • Plumbing System
  • Electrical System
  • Windows & Exterior Doors
  • Painting / Sealing the Exterior of the Buildings
  • Any Structural Item Over $10,000

The SIRS is an essential financial planning tool that provides a detailed analysis of the expected Useful Life, Remaining Useful Life, and estimated Replacement Cost for these major structural components. Florida law requires condominium associations to conduct a SIRS every ten years to ensure that adequate funds are available when major structural repairs or replacements are necessary as conditions change significantly over a decade. We recommend the Reserve Study be updated every one to three years due to changes in the condition of the components, the level of inflation, interest rates, and other environmental conditions that affect the required level of funding for all components.

2.) Full Reserve Study (Traditional)

A traditional Full Reserve Study is the most comprehensive type of Reserve Study. It contains all the items included in a SIRS but also includes ALL reserve components no matter the category or cost of the item. A Full Reserve Study is more comprehensive than a SIRS; however, typically the difference in reserve funding amount is minimal. A traditional Full Reserve Study includes the following components:

  • Roof / Roof Covering
  • Structural Components
  • Fireproofing & Suppression Systems
  • Plumbing System
  • Electrical System
  • Windows & Exterior Doors
  • Painting / Sealing the Exterior of the Buildings
  • Any Structural Item Over $10,000
  • PLUS: All Other Reserve Components

Florida Condominium Reserve Requirements

Per Florida statutes, all condominium associations with buildings over two stories in height must perform a SIRS and must fully fund the reserves for all SIRS components. This requirement cannot be waived. All condominiums in Florida, no matter the age or height of the buildings, must reserve funds for the following four components:

  • Roof / Roof Covering
  • Painting / Sealing the Exterior of the Buildings
  • Paving & Parking
  • Items over $10,000 (structural & non-structural items)

If an association's buildings are one or two stories in height, then the reserve requirement for all of the above components can be waived by a majority vote of the membership in the affirmative. Many associations have chosen to waive funding these items for years, resulting in multiple special assessments to the membership and/or a significant amount of deferred maintenance to an association's property. If an association has buildings that are greater than two stories in height and is required to perform a SIRS, then only the "Paving & Parking" & non-structural "Items over $10,000" components can be waived since the "Roof / Roof Covering" and "Painting / Sealing the Exterior of the Buildings" categories are part of the required SIRS and those components cannot be waived.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions about a Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS):

  • Who must complete a Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS)?

    In Florida, condominiums with buildings over two stories in height must perform a Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS). Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are exempt from this requirement.

  • What Association items are included in a SIRS?

    Below are the state mandated categories for a SIRS:

    1. Roof / Roof Covering
    2. Structural Components
    3. Fireproofing & Suppression Systems
    4. Plumbing System
    5. Electrical System
    6. Waterproofing & Exterior Painting
    7. Windows & Exterior Doors
    8. Structural Components >10,000

  • Who should receive a copy of the SIRS?

    The SIRS is considered an official record and therefore open to inspection by Association members and authorized representatives. A copy of the report must be provided to the membership and posted on the Association's webite, if any.

  • Does our current Reserve Study fulfill the requirements of a SIRS?

    Most non-SIRS reserve studies do not fulfill the current statutory requirements. Florida statutes require specific components that must be included in a SIRS.

  • How long must an Association maintain a copy of the SIRS?

    The SIRS must be kept by the condominium association for a minimum of 15 years.

  • When must a SIRS be completed?

    A SIRS must be completed by December 31, 2024, for associations existing on or before July 1st, 2022 with buildings that are over two stories in height.

  • How often must an Association perform a SIRS?

    All Associations with buildings over (2) stories in height must perform a SIRS every 10 years.

  • Who is responsible for making sure a SIRS is completed?

    Associations that fail to complete a SIRS will breach the officers’ and directors’ fiduciary relationship to the unit owners.

  • Can an Association waive the requirement for Reserves?

    Effective January 1st, 2025, Associations may not vote to waive part or all of the reserve requirement for SIRS components, including developer-controlled Associations. Condominiums can still waive all or part of the reserve requirement for non-SIRS items, which include 1.) Paving & Parking and 2.) Non-Structural Items over $10,000.

  • Can Meridian Commercial perform our Association's SIRS?

    Yes! We can perform a Florida compliant SIRS for your Association. Contact us via phone at (754) 900-1900, email at info@meridian-commercial.com, or the Contact Form on this website.