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What are editorial changes to products registered in the Florida Product Approval System?

Editorial changes are permitted within the state product approval system when an approved product is modified but no…


How long does it take to get my digitally sealed file sent to me?

We do our best to get your digitally sealed file processed and emailed back to you within 24…


Why is there an expiration on digitally sealed plans and how does that work for permitting?

Because a digitally sealed plan can be copied and reused while maintaining the digital seal certification, plans produced…


The date on my plans is old – Do I need a plan with a current date?

Plans & TER's are dated when sealed and are tied to the listed building codes.  The original sealed…


I need a wind load chart for window – door – garage door installation. What do I do?

visit This Link on our Plan Store to find wind pressure charts for each of these items. We…


How can you leave my order outside in one of your office pickup boxes?

Please contact our office to request your order to be left in a pickup box at one of…


What is the current Florida Building Code

Effective January 1, 2021, the current Florida code is the 2020 Florida Building Code (7th Edition).  It's scheduled…


I need help ordering a tie down detail for permit

Visit EngineeringExpress.com/store to start your search (Begin by the brand needed then select the type of unit).


How do I know if a payment went through for my online order?

You will get an email to confirm we have received your request once the payment has been approved


How can clients in the South Florida area save money on shipping fees?

If you are a frequent buyer in the South Florida area, consider merging your orders into a single…


What are your business hours / time that you are open and what is your location?

Engineering Express is open for business from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time Monday through Friday.  We…


is the 6th Edition Florida Building Code still valid? That’s what it says on my plan.

If the controlling permit for your project is dated prior to Jan 1, 2021, then the  6th Edition…


I heard there’s a calculator online that can help me but I can’t find it. What do I do?

You can find all of our public-use calculators here:  EngineeringExpress.com/Calculators Engineering Express also provides calculators to manufacturers &…


Can you verify the size of the plan I’m going to receive?

Our technical evaluation reports are formatted to 8.5"x 11". The rest of the plans we provide are in…


How can I verify prices for an online plan? Your site shows a range of prices.

All of our plans show two prices, the lowest is the price per hard copy (We sell a…


I made a mistake with an online calculator value. How can that be fixed?

This can only be done if the order has not been processed or shipped. Please contact our office…


I have a change in a site specific project that’s in progress / completed. What do I do?

Please contact our project manager through your ExpressPass dashboard


I have a technical question on an online plan. Can you help me?

Please email us your question at [email protected]  or send us a Live Chat.


I need to create an NOA / product approval for my product. What’s the process?

Start by reading our articles about product approvals by Clicking Here.  You'll learn when they're really needed, what…


How can I find the sealed wind load chart I’m told I need for permit?

Use This Link for our plan store to select the wall, garage door, or mechanical wind pressure chart…


How can I get a copy of your W-9?

Please contact our office to assist you with a current copy or use the Live Chat.


I have a different brand product than the one you specify but it’s similar. How can I get mine certified for permit?

This would require the project to be site specific. Please visit EngineeringExpress.com/ExpressPass to apply for access to request…


I have a different size generator than those listed on a concrete pad master plan. How can that be added?

This would require the project to be site specific. Please visit EngineeringExpress.com/ExpressPass to apply for access to request…


I received a hardcopy (printed) plan and need a digitally sealed file. What do I do?

You will need to place a new order in our online plan store for the same plan but…


I’d like to use an EFT (electronic funds transfer) instead of a credit card. Can you help with that?

See our Pay Page or contact our office for more information.


I need an inspection done. Can you help?

Due to our exposive national demand & specialized design expertise, Engineering Express no longer performs inspections. Visit EngineeringExpress.com/directory/…


What’s the difference between a hardopy and a digitally sealed file?

Hard copies are only to be used physically and digitally sealed files electronically only. You can find more…


I’m a homeowner in need of a site specific plan / custom project. Can you help?

Unfortunately Engineering Express does not work directly with homeowners for site-specific projects. Visit EngineeringExpress.com/directory/ for a list of…


I placed an order for pickup that now needs to be shipped. What do I do?

If you mistakenly selected pick up as the delivery method for your order you can switch to UPS…


I received a comment from the city / building department / plan reviewer on an online plan. What do I do?

FIRST:  Get the permit # & plan reviewer's contact information. THEN: Get the comments IN WRITING. LAST:  Provide…


I placed an order for engineering through E-Tempest / one of your online affiliates. How can I find out the status?

Please contact E-tempest directly to know the status of your order.


I made a mistake on the zip code of an online digital order. What do I do?

This can only be done if the order has not been processed. Please contact our office for further…


How can I cancel an online order?

This can only be done if the order has not been processed or shipped. Please contact our office…


How can I modify an existing quote request placed through ExpressPass?

Please contact our project manager through your ExpressPass dashboard


I need a wind calculation for a roof. Can Engineering Express help with that?

As of mid-20201 Engineering Express is taking a break from roof designs to focus more on other building…


Can you help me with Florida Product approval or Miami Dade NOA information?

If you need to find a Florida Approval number please visit https://floridabuilding.org/pr/pr_app_srch.aspx For a Miami Dade NOA please…


I can’t find an order that was supposedly emailed to me. What can I do?

Please check your email spam folder. If you still can't or have not received it after being notified…


How can I change a contact for your ExpressPass site specific project?

Access your ExpressPass account with your ExpressPass code and click edit profile.  For existing projects, you will be…


I ordered a project through E-Tempest. What’s the process for receiving a digiatlly sealed file?

Engineering Express provides engineering review & certification of orders placed through E-Tempest shutter software.  If you ordered the…


Can I get a discount on volume plan store orders?

Engineering Express has developed an efficient system for volume discounts.  Discounts are offered by purchasing Tokens in bulk.…


I’m looking for a model not shown on the chart in a Technical Evaluation Report (TER). What do I do?

Engineering Express would love to have every model unit of an A/C or generator pre-engineered.  We can only…


How can I clarify my account status with Engineering Express?

If you have reason to believe your account is not in good standing, or if a designer tells…


How can I confirm you have my current address for shipping?

If you need to change the shipping address of an order already placed, you will need to send…


I have a question about project statuses and what DRAFT means

To understand draft & final sealed work, see this article. Project statuses are mostly self-explanatory throughout ExpressPass &…


How do I check the project status of my project with Engineering Express?

Use our convenient Status Page to check your order. If it's an online order, you can also find…


How can I get my digitally sealed file resent to me?

Use the live chat during business hours or use our Contact Form for the most reliable service.


This is my first time paying for an invoice. How can I pay?

For site-specific (custom) project orders, the fastest way to pay is EngineeringExpress.com/pay.  You will need the project, invoice…


The Readymade master plan I ordered didn’t solve my need. I need a site-specific. What do I do?

Please see our Refund Policy for information about refunds. If you would like to discuss your specific issue,…


I need to place an online plan order for a digitally sealed file. How does that work?

Visit EngineeringExpress.com/store & search for the plan you need. We recommend beginning by the brand needed. Once you…


I have questions about my site-specific project. How can they be answered?

The most efficient way is to contact your project manager through your ExpressPass Dashboard.  This notifies key staff,…


How do I know if my order is ready for pickup?

Please visit https://engineeringexpress.com/status to check your order status & track your package if shipped. Please have your order…


What is the process for submitting site specific projects to Engineering Express?

Please visit https://engineeringexpress.com/ExpressPass to apply for access to request a quote for a site-specific project. Click  'apply for…


I’m a contractor looking to purchase a fence / gate or similar plan. What do I do?

Engineering Express allows homeowners & contractors to purchase pre-engineered master plans from our Online Plan Store for a…


What digital signing company does Engineering Express use for digitally signing design plans?

Engineering Express uses both Entrust & Identrust to digitally sign files. Both are in conformance with all known…


I’m a homeowner looking for a fence & gate (or similar) plan for permit. What do I do?

Engineering Express allows homeowners & contractors to purchase pre-engineered master plans from our Online Plan Store for a…


Residential & Commercial Terms & Engineering Design Differences 101

Residential & Commercial Glazing Differences & Common Terms 101   Engineering Express is typically asked what the difference…


Learn About Rooftop & Ground Wind Forces for Mechanical Units

Want to learn how to design AC units on stands or curbs for wind design? Are you looking…


Subscription Services Offered by Engineering Express

Membership Services Offered by Engineering Express Subscribe to one of our exclusive industry packages to gain exclusive access…


Starter List In Submitting A Ground Mounted Sign For Evaluation

Signage - Ground Mounted Client Checklist   Engineering Express evaluates ground-mounted signs for structural stability.  To do this,…


About Door Product Pressure Ratings and Water Infiltration

QUESTION: Why do certain door products rate a certain p.s.f like -60/+60 then lower ratings are shown throughout…


Instructions for proper use of rooftop equipment wind pressure calculator

HELP PAGE For the Engineering Express® Rooftop Equipment Wind Pressure Calculator Note: See Limitations & Conditions of Use…


ASCE 7 Wall Zones Explained

ASCE 7-16 has expanded on the definition of component & cladding zones from previous ASCE 7 standards  …


Mean Roof Height (ASCE 7)

Per ASCE 7, the Mean Roof Height (h) is defined as the average of the roof eave height and…


What are Limitations of Small & Large Missile Impact Designs?

We are frequently asked what are the limitations applied on Small Missile Impact and Large Missile Impact products.…


Requirements of Substituting Glass Panels In Insulating Glass Systems

ASTM 1996-17 Regarding Glass Substitution Section A1.8 states: “A1.8.1.1 The impact resisting lite (monolithic or laminated) of an…


Requirements of Substituting Insulated Glass Spacers in Glazed Products

ASTM 1996-17 Regarding Insulated Glass Spacers. This 2017 standard added section A1.9.2 stating tested air spacers making up…


About ASTM E1996-17 Missile Levels

Overview As of the 2020 Florida Building Code & 2018 International Building Code, ASTM E1996-17 is the adopted…


What are the requirements for using ASTM Missile Level E in Florida (2021 updated)?

In the 7th Edition Florida Building Code (2020), missile level E is valid in and outside of the…


ASCE 7 Least Horizontal Dimension

From ASCE 7 (10, 16 & previous standards):   The "Least Horizontal Dimension" can be taken as the…


Loss of Capacity Due To Welded Aluminum In Railings – Signs – Structures

Regarding any aluminum railing project, it is imperative to understand the life-safety issue that arises when welding an…


What’s the difference between aluminum T5 and T6 temper (like 6063-T5 vs 6063-T6 alloy)?

How do you get from a T5 to T6 temper? Heat treatment is done by raising the alloy…


ASCE 7 Basic Wind Speed

Per definition by ASCE 7-16 & ASCE 7-10, Section 26.2 is defined as:   BASIC WIND SPEED (V):…


About ASCE 7’s Directionality Factor Kd

The directionality factor (Kd) used in the ASCE 7 wind load provisions for components and cladding is a…


What is a canopy awning & which wind forces should I use to design?

A canopy is a structure which provides overhead protection from the elements such as rain, snow, or sunlight.…


The Updated Saffir-Simpson Scale

First, it needs to be said that there is a complicated formula that converts wind velocity to wind…


Is A Top Rail Required For A Glass Railing?

Aesthetically pleasing, clean and one of the biggest architectural trends, the glass railing is fast gaining popularity as…


About AAMA 2100 and Sunroom Categories

Sunrooms across the US are categorized into 5 categories.  AAMA published these in their AAMA/NPEA/NSA 2100-12 publication which…


How to Avoid Contact With Aluminum & Dissimilar Metals

This is provided to inform clients of the dissimilar metal protection requirements of the 2015 Aluminum Design Manual,…


Why are spacing, edge distance, and embedment important for concrete anchors?

When an anchor is installed into concrete, there is an area surrounding the anchor called a cone of…


How To Determine Uplift Reactions For Canopies-Carports-Pergolas

Canopies & Wind   Understand this - A backyard canopy attached to the back of your house, a…


Requirements of Plan Reviewers When Denying Permits

Florida Statute 555.79(1)(a) lists the requirements and penalties of building plan reviewers when they issue comments and deny…


Is Steel or Reinforcing or Fibermesh Required in Posts & Footings of Building Components?

INTRODUCTION The main purpose foundations serve is to distribute and resist the forces or loads experienced by the…


ASCE 7 Main Wind Force vs. Components & Cladding Explained (MWFRS vs. C&C)

ASCE 7 separates wind loading into three types: Main Wind Force Resisting System (MWFRS), Components and Cladding (C&C),…


ASCE 7 EXPOSURE CATEGORIES AND HOW EXPOSURE ‘D’ WORKS

Overview   ASCE-7 is the governing referenced standard for design loads on buildings & other structures for building…


What wind speed should I use for my project?

The answer varies with location and type of building.  There are several 'risk categories' associated with a location…


Types of At-Grade Footings Explained

Here's a description and illustrations we've created for footing types we frequently reference in our work for sunrooms,…


1 Hour Fire Rating For Roof vs Wall

Many ask if there's a difference between a 1 hour fire rating on a wall product vs a…


ASTM, SEI, ISO Fastener Material Properties and Specifications

Here is a list of fastener markings for various grades of anchors.   Information is reprinted courtesy of…


Frequent Questions About ExpressPass

ExpressPass is a proprietary platform for ordering, tracking, & managing site-specific projects with Engineering Express.   Clients apply…


Job Submittal Checklist For Screened Enclosures, Open, & Enclosed Patios – Sunrooms

Engineering Express provides signed & sealed design plans for various types of screened enclosures, sun rooms, & open…


ASCE Risk Categories Explained

Background Building codes require that buildings be classified by their level of importance in determining the risk taken…


Is a large missile impact window or door automatically approved for small missile impact?

Overview Changes to the 2020 Florida Building Code for Porous Impact Protection Devices Porous Impact Protective Systems: ASTM…


What Seismic area is my location?

Here are some useful sites to check the seismic criteria for a location:   https://www.fema.gov/earthquake-hazard-maps https://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/designmaps/ - USGS…


Miami Dade NOA Revision vs Renewal & Fees Explained

As of January, 2021, here is an explanation from Miami Dade County's Product Approval System (Product Control) on…


What wind information is required for construction documents?

From the 5th, 6th &7th Edition of the Florida Building Code (2014, 2017, 2020) section 1603.1.4 as well…


Can you substitute spacers for insulating glass units (IGU)?

The question of whether or not an installer can substitute the spacer that separates the outer from the…


About Plan Store Tokens

Engineering Express Introduces a Tokens-Based Purchasing System for 2021 Why Tokens? Creating a tokens-based system solves a growing…


Wind Speed to Wind Pressure For Sunrooms – Canopies – Pergolas Using ASCE 7-16

ASCE 7-16 is introduced into the 2018 International Building Code and 7th Edition Florida Building Code (2020) as…


How to Find Wind Speed & Snow Using the Applied Technology Council Hazards by Location Website

The Applied Technology Council (ATC) offers site-specific information that is used in our calculators to determine the wind…


What are porosity and closure angles when defining a porous building opening?

Explanation: In the event of a high wind event, it is the concern of building codes ASCE-7 and…


Roof Mounted Equipment Height Requirements

In accordance with FBC 2020 (7th Edition), the following clearance below raised roof mounted mechanical units applies inside…


About The UL 325 Safety Standard for Gate Operators

The UL 325 is a safety standard for door, drapery, gate, louver, and window operators and systems. The…


About Lag Bolts-Screws In Wood – Size – Pullout – Shear

The term lag bolt implies a large diameter fastener with a bolt head square or hexagonal head, and…


ASCE Wind Speed Risk Category To Use with Signs & Building Components On-Off Buildings

In terms of determining the risk category to a building component mounted to a building, the component 'inherits'…


Test Laboratories

The information contained herein is offered as an unbiased list of firms and services that compliment the services…


Permit Runners in South Florida To Consider

The information contained herein is offered as an unbiased list of firms and services that compliment the services…


Architects To Consider

The information contained herein is offered as an unbiased list of firms and services that compliment the services…


Engineering Firms To Consider

The information contained herein is offered as an unbiased list of firms and services that compliment the services…


Calculator Glossary of Terms

Here's a summary of our Online Calculator & General Terms. These terms are published by Engineering Express to…


Egress Emergency Escape Requirements for Windows

The International Building Codes 2015/2018, Florida Building Codes 2017, 2020, & corresponding Residential Codes list the following in…


Metal Fasteners UNC vs Spaced Thread

Overview Metal fastening is designed per the requirements of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC): Specification for…


2015/2018 IRC RAILING GUIDELINES

 The 2015/2018 International Residential Code (IRC)... contains railing guidelines similar to those found in the Florida Building Code…


2020 FBC Product Evaluation Updates

There are many updates to the Florida Building Code 7th Edition (2020), but several of them directly impact…


About Impact Requirements & Mechanical Equipment in the Florida Building Code

Questions frequently arise as to what the rule is in Florida, Miami, and the HVHZ zone (Dade and…


Proof Florida Product Approvals and NOA’s Don’t Require The Original Engineering Seal

We frequently get asked to re-seal our product approvals after they have been approved by the state.  They…


Technical Evaluation Report – TER – Types of Product Evaluations Typically Performed By Engineering Express

Engineering Express provides structural design evaluations of various types of mechanical equipment exposed to weather.  There are four…


Florida Statewide Approvals (FSA) – Quality Assurance and Validator Requirements

About Validators & Quality Assurance ComplianceIt is often asked of us to explain the validator and quality assurance…


Perforated Design Method vs. Segmented Design Methods for Shear Walls

Perforated Design Method vs. Segmented Design Methods for Shear Walls   The International Building Code (2018) defines a…


Starter List in Evaluating Your Building Component For Product Approvals & TER’s

Designers and manufacturers create building products based on how they think people will use them and conditions they…


CAD Drafting Guidelines for Engineering Express Plan Submissions

Engineering Express Drafting Shop Drawings – Tips & Tricks   At Engineering Express, we pride ourselves with the…


Whats The Difference Between a Digitally Sealed Plan, Electronic Seal, & Scanned Digital Copy of a Plan?

HISTORY Back in the day, kings used wax to seal an envelope to prove its authenticity. That seal…


Flood Engineering Glossary

FLOOD GLOSSARY The following is provided as a curated summary of terms taken from the referenced standards that…


Flood Resistant Design & Floodproofing of Buildings

An engineer's walk through of the design requirements for flood resistant design of building components With Engineering Express's…


What is the HVHZ – High Velocity Hurricane Zone – in Florida?

The High Velocity Hurricane Zone (or HVHZ) in Florida encompasses only Miami-Dade And Broward Counties.  It is a…


Master Plan Sheet – Product Evaluation – TER Explained

WHAT IS A MASTER PLAN SHEET / PRODUCT EVALUATION / TER? Think of a master plan sheet product…


PRODUCT APPROVALS ARE NOT ALWAYS REQUIRED! HERE’S WHY:

HERE'S 3 MYTHS ABOUT PRODUCT APPROVALS:   Background: Product evaluations (sometimes called “product approvals”, “ICC reports”, NOA’s or…


What are alteration levels in construction and how do they relate to delegate engineers?

(2020 Florida Existing Building Code Section 503) (adopted by use of IBC 2018 with amendments, definitions apply nationwide)…


Wind Speed vs. Wind Pressure Explained

Many don’t understand how wind works & state that a product is rated to a specific wind speed. …


What is the Minimum Roof Slope for Metal Panels and other Roof Types?

The minimum roof slope requirement for metal panels varies depending on panel connection conditions.  The required roof slope…


TEK Sheet Metal Screws (SMS) – About – Sizes – Gauges

About TEK Screws The following information is complied compliments of All Points Fasteners, Totally Nuts And Bolts, and…


Typical Information Needed For Engineering Design of a Patio-Pergola Roof

Here's a chart illustrating some of the many dimensions and components needed to design a site specific open…


Designing Interior Glass? Here are some engineering code items to consider

There's more to consider when designing interior glass than just how it looks. Turns out there are quite…


When is an Engineer Seal Required, Why Do We Write ‘Draft’ on Unsealed Work, And About Digital Seals

In Florida (as well as many states): If an engineer produces a drawing that is not a final…


Case Study: Phantom Screens – Is a Florida Product Approval Required?

Product Approvals for building components are the general rule in Florida.  Building officials, architects, insurance companies, even homeowners…


Where To Buy Extrusions & Parts

We're frequently asked by our clients where they can purchase many of the products specified in our plans.…


About Porosity & When is a Fence or Railing 75% Open?

The Scenario The question comes up from time to time regarding requirements for a fence or railing to…


Frost Protection For Concrete Footings On Grade – Heave

Concrete Footing Frost Protection - An Explanation Section 1809.5 of the Florida Building Code (2020) and 2015 &…


Can a Building Inspector or Plan Reviewer Deny The Use of a TER or Master Plan Sheet?

YES OR NO? While plan reviewers, inspectors, and other building officials have the authority to question any document…


When is a Miami Dade NOA or FL Product Approval required, and how do TER’s & Master Plans Fit In?

FIRST, A WORD ABOUT FLORIDA & THE IBC Florida is one of few states leading the Product Evaluation…


What do I do if a TER or Master Plan isn’t enough for a permit?

THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT WON'T ACCEPT MY TECHNICAL EVALUATION REPORT (TER)? Sometimes, municipalities or contract documents require more information…


How do I get a Certified TER or Master Plan Sheet?

FIRST, WHAT'S A CERTIFIED TER & Master Plan Sheet? TER's or Technical Evaluation Reports and Master Plan Sheets…


What doesn’t a TER or Master Plan Sheet do?

FIRST, WHAT IS A TER? TER's or Technical Evaluation Reports are evaluation of a product's performance.  They are…


What is a TER and how is it used for permitting?

A TER or Technical Evaluation Report, is an engineering evaluation based on testing and/or rational analysis for the…


Procedure For Calculating Aluminum Box Beams For Bending

Per the Aluminum Design Manual (ADM) 2015, the allowable bending stress of round tubes shall be determined for…


What’s the minimum penetration for lag screws into wood?

Per the 2015 National Design Specification for Wood Construction (NDS 2015), section 12.1.4.6, the minimum length of lag…


Steel Bolt Edge Distance Requirements

Per AISC-ANSI-360-16, the minimum edge distance for bolts to the edge of a connected part is to follow…


What’s the dimensional difference between a pipe and a tube?

There is often confusion as to which size product a client actually needs – Pipe Size or OD Tubing…


Can an engineer design alternate anchorage for a Florida product approval or other product evaluation?

The answer is yes.   According to Section 1709.9.4 of the Florida Building Code 7th Edition (2020): "All…


How do I tell if my building is considered “enclosed”?

A building is considered "enclosed” if it does not comply with the requirements for open or partially enclosed…


How do I tell if my building is considered an “open building”?

A building is considered open if each wall is at least 80 percent open (ASCE 7-16, Section 26.2,…


How do I tell if my building/enclosure is considered “partially enclosed”?

A building is considered "Partially Enclosed” if it complies with both of the following conditions (ASCE 7-16, Section…


How do I calculate the effective opening area on window or door products? – What opening area should be used for wind pressure determination on a multi-panel product?

The Building Codes in the US reference ASCE-7 for the design of the components and cladding of buildings…


The One-Third (1/3) Stress Increase: Where Is It Now?

While the 1/3 stress increase is all but a memory, this article explains its history & origin. The…


Florida Engineers Do Not Have To File A Notice To Owner To Lien A Property

First, What is a Notice To Owner (NTO)? This notice alerts a homeowner in Florida that someone has…


What is a window or door buck – why are they used – when do they need to be anchored?

Masonry openings in buildings are frequently not exact and are referred to as rough openings for that reason.…


Did the wind loading requirements change for rooftop structures for ASCE 7-10 – 7-16 & The Florida Building Code?

Regarding ASCE 7-16 & the 2020 Florida Building Code (FBC)   YES. Section 1609.1.1 and Chapter 35 of…


Should a professional utilize the ASD (“Allowable Stress Design”) method or the LRFD (“Load Resistance Factored Design”) method when calculating the required wind pressure for use with tested / approved systems?

Most all products are evaluated using the ASD method (unless noted otherwise). ASD method in, then ASD method…


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