Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 13. Housing
Agency 5. Department of Housing And Community Development
Chapter 63. Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code

13VAC5-63-200. Chapter 2 Definitions.

A. Add the following definitions to Section 202 of the IBC to read:

Aboveground liquid fertilizer storage tank (ALFST). A device that contains an accumulation of liquid fertilizer (i) constructed of nonearthen materials, such as concrete, steel, or plastic, that provide structural support; (ii) having a capacity of 100,000 gallons (378,500 L) or greater and (iii) the volume of which is more than 90% above the surface of the ground. The term does not include any wastewater treatment or wastewater storage tank, utility, or industry pollution control equipment.

Building regulations. Any law, rule, resolution, regulation, ordinance, or code, general or special, or compilation thereof enacted or adopted by the Commonwealth or any county or municipality, including departments, boards, bureaus, commissions, or other agencies thereof relating to construction, reconstruction, alteration, conversion, repair, maintenance, or use of structures and buildings and installation of equipment therein. The term does not include zoning ordinances or other land use controls that do not affect the manner of construction or materials to be used in the erection, alteration, or repair of a building or structure.

Chemical fume hood. A ventilated enclosure designed to contain and exhaust fumes, gases, vapors, mists, and particulate matter generated within the hood.

Construction. The construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, or conversion of buildings and structures.

Day-night average sound level (Ldn). A 24-hour energy average sound level expressed in dBA with a 10 decibel penalty applied to noise occurring between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

DHCD. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Emergency communication equipment. Emergency communication equipment, includes two-way radio communications, signal booster, bi-directional amplifiers, radiating cable systems, internal multiple antenna, or a combination of these.

Emergency public safety personnel. Emergency public safety personnel and includes firefighters, emergency medical personnel, law-enforcement officers, and other emergency public safety personnel routinely called upon to provide emergency assistance to members of the public in a wide variety of emergency situations, including fires, medical emergencies, violent crimes, and terrorist attacks.

Emergency supplemental hardware. Any approved hardware used only for emergency events or drills to keep intruders from entering the room during an active shooter or hostile threat event or drill.

Equipment. Plumbing, heating, electrical, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment, elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators, and other mechanical additions or installations.

Farm building or structure. A building or structure not used for residential purposes, located on property where farming operations take place, and used primarily for any of the following uses:

1. Storage, handling, production, display, sampling or sale of agricultural, horticultural, floricultural, or silvicultural products produced in the farm.

2. Sheltering, raising, handling, processing, or sale of agricultural animals or agricultural animal products.

3. Business or office uses relating to the farm operations.

4. Use of farm machinery or equipment or maintenance or storage of vehicles, machinery, or equipment on the farm.

5. Storage or use of supplies and materials used on the farm.

6. Implementation of best management practices associated with farm operations.

Hospice facility. An institution, place, or building owned or operated by a hospice provider and licensed by the Virginia Department of Health as a hospice facility to provide room, board, and palliative and supportive medical and other health services to terminally ill patients and their families, including respite and symptom management, on a 24-hour basis to individuals requiring such care pursuant to the orders of a physician.

Industrialized building. A combination of one or more closed panels, sections, or modules, subject to state regulations and including the necessary electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating, and other service systems, manufactured off-site and transported to the point of use for installation or erection, with or without other specified components, to comprise a finished building. Manufactured homes defined in § 36-85.3 of the Code of Virginia and certified under the provisions of the National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act (42 USC § 5401 et seq.) shall not be considered industrialized buildings for the purpose of this code.

LBBCA. Local board of building code appeals.

Liquid fertilizer. A fluid in which a fertilizer is in true solution. This term does not include anhydrous ammonia or a solution used in pollution control.

Local building department. Any agency of any local governing body charged with the administration, supervision, or enforcement of this code, approval of construction documents, inspection of buildings or structures, or issuance of permits, licenses, certificates, or similar documents.

Local governing body. The governing body of any city, county, or town in this Commonwealth.

Locality. A city, county, or town in this Commonwealth.

Manufactured home. A structure subject to federal regulation that is transportable in one or more sections; is eight body feet or more in width and 40 body feet or more in length in the traveling mode, or is 320 or more square feet when erected on site; is built on a permanent chassis; is designed to be used as a single-family dwelling, with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities; and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained in the structure.

Marina. Any installation, operating under public or private ownership, that has a structure providing dockage or moorage for boats, other than paddleboats or rowboats, and provides, through sale, rental, fee, or on a free basis, any equipment, supply, or service, including fuel, electricity, or water, for the convenience of the public or its lessees, renters, or users of its facilities. A dock or pier with or without slips that exclusively serves a single-family residential lot for the use of the owner of the lot is not a marina.

Night club. Any building in which the main use is a place of public assembly that provides exhibition, performance, or other forms of entertainment; serves alcoholic beverages; and provides music and space for dancing.

Permissible fireworks. Any sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh's serpents, caps for pistols, or pinwheels commonly known as whirligigs or spinning jennies.

Permit holder. The person to whom the permit is issued.

Public building. A structure or building that is owned, leased, or otherwise occupied by a municipality or the state and used for any municipal or public purposes by the municipality or the state.

Short-term holding area. An area containing a holding cell, or a holding room, including associated rooms or spaces where the occupants are restrained or detained by the use of security measures not under the occupant's control for less than 24 hours.

Skirting. A weather-resistant material used to enclose the space from the bottom of the manufactured home to grade.

Slip. A berth or space where a boat may be secured to a fixed or floating structure, including a dock, finger pier, boat lift, or mooring buoy.

Sound transmission class (STC) rating. A single number characterizing the sound reduction performance of a material tested in accordance with ASTM E90-90, "Laboratory Measurement of Airborne Sound Transmission Loss of Building Partitions."

State regulated care facility (SRCF). A building occupied by persons in the care of others where program oversight is provided by the Virginia Department of Social Services, the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Department of Health, or the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice.

State Review Board. The Virginia State Building Code Technical Review Board as established under § 36-108 of the Code of Virginia.

Teaching and research laboratory. A building or portion of a building where hazardous materials are stored, used, and handled for the purpose of testing, analysis, teaching, research, or developmental activities on a nonproduction basis rather than in a manufacturing process.

Technical assistant. Any person employed by or under an extended contract to a local building department or local enforcing agency for enforcing the USBC, including inspectors, plans reviewers, and permit technicians. For the purpose of this definition, an extended contract shall be a contract with an aggregate term of 18 months or longer.

Tenable environment. An environment in which the products of combustion, including smoke, toxic gases, particulates, and heat are limited or otherwise restricted in order to maintain the impact on occupants, including those in the area of fire origin, to a level that is not life threatening and permits the rescue of occupants for a limited time.

VADR. The Virginia Amusement Device Regulations (13VAC5-31).

VCS. The Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).

Working day. A day other than Saturday, Sunday, or a legal local, state or national holiday.

B. Change the following definitions in Section 202 of the IBC to read:

Ambulatory care facility. Buildings or portions thereof used to provide medical care on less than a 24-hour basis that are licensed by the Virginia Department of Health as outpatient surgical hospitals.

Automatic fire-extinguishing system. An approved system of devices and equipment that automatically detects a fire and discharges an approved fire-extinguishing agent onto or in the area of a fire and includes among other systems an automatic sprinkler system, unless otherwise expressly stated.

Base flood elevation. The elevation of the base flood, including wave height, relative to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD), North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) or other datum specified on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), and as shown in the Flood Insurance Study.

Building. A combination of materials, whether portable or fixed, having a roof to form a structure for the use or occupancy by persons, or property. The word "building" shall be construed as though followed by the words "or part or parts thereof" unless the context clearly requires a different meaning. "Building" shall not include roadway tunnels and bridges owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation, which shall be governed by construction and design standards approved by the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Change of occupancy. See Section 202 of the VEBC.

Clinic, outpatient. Buildings or portions thereof used to provide medical care on less than a 24-hour basis that are not licensed by the Virginia Department of Health as outpatient surgical hospitals.

Custodial care. Assistance with day-to-day living tasks, such as assistance with cooking, taking medication, bathing, using toilet facilities, and other tasks of daily living. In other than in hospice facilities, custodial care includes care for occupants who have the ability to respond to emergency situations and evacuate at a slower rate, who have mental and psychiatric complications, or both.

Coastal high-hazard area. Area within the special flood hazard area extending from offshore to the inland limit of a coastal primary sand dune, as defined in § 28.2-1400 of the Code of Virginia, along an open coast and any other area that is subject to high-velocity wave action from storms or seismic sources and shown either in the Flood Insurance Study or on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or other flood hazard map as velocity Zone V, VO, VE, or V1-30 (areas subject to wave heights of three feet (914.4 mm) or more).

Essential facilities. Buildings and other structures that are intended to remain operational in the event of extreme environmental loading from flood, wind, tornadoes, snow, or earthquakes.

Existing building. A building for which a legal certificate of occupancy has been issued under any edition of the USBC or approved by the building official when no legal certificate of occupancy exists and that has been occupied for its intended use or a building built prior to the initial edition of the USBC.

Existing structure. A structure (i) for which a legal building permit has been issued under any edition of the USBC, (ii) that has been previously approved, or (iii) that was built prior to the initial edition of the USBC. For application of provisions in flood hazard areas, an existing structure is any building or structure for which the start of construction commenced before the effective date of the community's first flood plain management code, ordinance, or standard.

Flood or flooding.

1. A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land from either of the following:

1.1 The overflow of inland or tidal waters.

1.2 The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.

2. The collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels or suddenly caused by an unusually high water level in a natural body of water, accompanied by a severe storm or by an unanticipated force of nature, such as flash flood or an abnormal tidal surge, or by some similarly unusual and unforeseeable event that results in flooding as defined in subdivision 1.1 of this definition.

3. Mudflows that are proximately caused by flooding as defined in subdivision 1.2 of this definition and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surface of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water and disposed along the path of the current.

Flood hazard area. The greater of the following two areas:

1. The area within a flood plain subject to a 1.0% or greater chance of flooding in any year (also known as the 100-year floodplain).

2. The area designated as a flood hazard area on a community's flood hazard map or otherwise legally designated, including areas in either the Flood Insurance Study or on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and including areas added to account for future flooding conditions based on the locally adopted sea level rise projected to occur by 2070.

Laboratory suite. A fire-rated enclosed laboratory area that will provide one or more laboratory spaces, within a Group B educational occupancy, that are permitted to include ancillary uses such as offices, bathrooms, and corridors that are contiguous with the laboratory area and are constructed in accordance with Section 428.3.

Nominal loads. The magnitudes of the loads specified in Chapter 16 (dead, live, soil, wind, tornado, snow, rain, flood, and earthquake).

Owner. The owner of the freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein, a mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, or lessee in control of a building or structure.

Registered design professional (RDP). An architect or professional engineer, licensed to practice architecture or engineering, as defined under § 54.1-400 of the Code of Virginia.

Risk category. A categorization of buildings and other structures for determination of flood, wind, tornado, snow, ice, and earthquake loads based on the risk associated with unacceptable performance.

Special flood hazard area. The land area subject to flood hazards and shown on a Flood Insurance Rate Map or the Flood Insurance Study as Zone A, AE, A1-30, A99, AR, AO, AH, V, VO, VE, or V1-30.

Structure. An assembly of materials forming a construction for occupancy or use, including stadiums, gospel and circus tents, reviewing stands, platforms, stagings, observation towers, radio towers, water tanks, storage tanks (underground and aboveground), trestles, piers, wharves, swimming pools, amusement devices, storage bins, and other structures of this general nature but excluding water wells. The word "structure" shall be construed as though followed by the words "or part or parts thereof" unless the context clearly requires a different meaning. "Structure" shall not include roadway tunnels and bridges owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation, which shall be governed by construction and design standards approved by the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Swimming pool. A pool or spa as defined in the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC).

Wall. A vertical element with a horizontal length-to-thickness ratio greater than three used to enclose space.

C. Delete the following definitions from Section 202 of the IBC:

Agricultural building

Historic buildings

Statutory Authority

§ 36-98 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 3, eff. November 16, 2005; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 14, eff. May 1, 2008; Volume 27, Issue 2, eff. March 1, 2011; Change in Effective Date, 27:5 VA.R. 534 November 8, 2010; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 16, eff. July 14, 2014; Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. September 4, 2018; Volume 37, Issue 14, eff. July 1, 2021; Volume 40, Issue 9, eff. January 18, 2024.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

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