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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
1/19/2020

13VAC5-63-245. Chapter 10 Means of Egress.

A. Delete Section 1001.4 of the IBC.

B. Change Section 1004.3 of the IBC to read:

1004.3 Posting of occupant load. Every room or space that is an assembly occupancy and where the occupant load of that room or space is 50 or more shall have the occupant load of the room or space posted in a conspicuous place, near the main exit or exit access doorway from the room or space. Posted signs shall be of an approved legible permanent design and shall be maintained by the owner or the owner's authorized agent.

C. Change Exception 1 of Section 1005.3.1 of the IBC to read:

1. For other than Groups H and I-2 occupancies, the capacity, in inches (mm), of means of egress stairways shall be calculated by multiplying the occupant load served by such stairway by a means of egress capacity factor of 0.2 inch (5.1 mm) per occupant in buildings equipped with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.

D. Change Exception 1 of Section 1005.3.2 of the IBC to read:

1. For other than Groups H and I-2 occupancies, the capacity, in inches (mm), of means of egress components other than stairways shall be calculated by multiplying the occupant load served by such component by a means of egress capacity factor of 0.15 inch (3.8 mm) per occupant in buildings equipped with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.

E. Change Exception 1 of Section 1006.2.1 of the IBC to read:

1. In Group R-2 and R-3 occupancies, one means of egress is permitted within and from individual dwelling units with a maximum occupant load of 20 where the dwelling unit is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2 and the common path of egress travel does not exceed 125 feet (38 100 mm). This exception shall also apply to Group R-2 occupancies where Section 903.2.8, Exception 1 or 2 is applicable.

F. Change the number "49" to "50" in the "Maximum Occupant Load of Space" column in the "Ac, E, M," "B," "F," and "U" rows of Table 1006.2.1 of the IBC.

G. Change the number "49" to "50" in the "Maximum Occupant Load per Story" column of the "A, Bb, E, F, M, U" row of Table 1006.3.2(2).

H. Change Exception 2 of Section 1007.1.1 of the IBC to read:

2. Where a building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2, the separation distance of the exit doors or exit access doorways shall not be less than one-fourth of the length of the maximum overall diagonal dimension of the area served.

I. Change Section 1009.6.4 of the IBC to read:

1009.6.4 Separation. Each area of refuge shall be separated from the remainder of the story by a smoke barrier complying with Section 709 or a horizontal exit complying with Section 1026. Each area of refuge shall be designed to minimize the intrusion of smoke.

Exceptions:

1. Areas of refuge located within an enclosure for interior exit stairways complying with Section 1023.

2. Areas of refuge in outdoor facilities where exit access is essentially open to the outside.

3. Areas of refuge where the area of refuge and areas served by the area of refuge are equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.

J. Change Item 2 of Section 1010.1.9.3 of the IBC to read:

2. In buildings in occupancy Groups B, F, M and S, the main exterior door or doors are permitted to be equipped with key-operated locking devices from the egress side provided:

2.1. The locking device is readily distinguishable as locked.

2.2. A readily visible durable sign is posted on the egress side on or adjacent to the door stating: THIS DOOR TO REMAIN UNLOCKED WHEN THIS SPACE IS OCCUPIED. The sign shall be in letters one inch (25 mm) high on a contrasting background.

2.3. The use of the key-operated locking device is revokable by the building official for due cause.

K. Delete Section 1010.1.9.6 of the IBC.

L. Add an exception to Section 1010.1.9.7 of the IBC to read:

Exception: Approved, listed, delayed egress locks shall be permitted to be installed on doors serving Group A-3 airport facilities, provided they are installed in accordance with this section.

M. Change Section 1010.1.6 of the IBC to read:

1010.1.6 Landings at doors. Landings shall have a width not less than the width of the stairway or the door, whichever is greater. Doors in the fully open position shall not reduce a required dimension by more than 7 inches (178 mm). Where a landing serves an occupant load of 50 or more, other doors, gates, or turnstiles in any position shall not reduce the landing to less than one-half its required width nor prevent a door, gate, or turnstile from opening to less than one-half of the required landing width. Landings shall have a length measured in the direction of travel of not less than 44 inches (1118 mm).

Exception: Landing length in the direction of travel in Groups R-3 and U and within individual units of Group R-2 need not exceed 36 inches (914 mm).

N. Change Section 1010.1.10 of the IBC to read:

1010.1.10 Panic and fire exit hardware. Doors serving a Group H occupancy and doors serving rooms or spaces with an occupant load of 50 or more in a Group A or E occupancy shall not be provided with a latch or lock other than panic hardware or fire exit hardware.

Exception: Doors serving a Group A or E occupancy shall be permitted to be electromagnetically locked in accordance with Section 1010.1.9.9.

O. Add Section 1010.1.11 to the IBC to read:

1010.1.11 Locking certain residential sliding doors. In dwelling units of Group R-2 buildings, exterior sliding doors which are one story or less above grade, or shared by two dwelling units, or are otherwise accessible from the outside, shall be equipped with locks. The mounting screws for the lock case shall be inaccessible from the outside. The lock bolt shall engage the strike in a manner that will prevent it from being disengaged by movement of the door.

Exception: Exterior sliding doors which are equipped with removable metal pins or charlie bars.

P. Add Section 1010.1.12 to the IBC to read:

1010.1.12 Door viewers in certain residential buildings. Entrance doors to dwelling units of Group R-2 buildings shall be equipped with door viewers with a field of vision of not less than 180 degrees.

Exception: Entrance doors having a vision panel or side vision panels.

Q. Change Exception 3 of Section 1011.5.2 of the IBC to read:

3. In Group R-3 occupancies; within dwelling units in Group R-2 occupancies; and in Group U occupancies that are accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy or accessory to individual dwelling units in Group R-2 occupancies; the maximum riser height shall be 8.25 inches (210 mm); the minimum tread depth shall be 9 inches (229 mm); the minimum winder tread depth at the walk line shall be 10 inches (254 mm); and the minimum winder tread depth shall be 6 inches (152 mm). A nosing not less than 0.75 inch (19.1 mm) but not more than 1.25 inches (32 mm) shall be provided on stairways with solid risers where the tread depth is less than 11 inches (279 mm).

R. Change Section 1011.6 of the IBC to read:

1011.6 Stairway landings. There shall be a floor or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway. The width of landings shall be not less than the width of stairways served. Every landing shall have a minimum width measured perpendicular to the direction of travel equal to the width of the stairway. Where the stairway has a straight run the depth need not exceed 48 inches (1219 mm). Doors opening onto a landing shall not reduce the landing to less than one-half the required width. When fully open, the door shall not project more than 7 inches (178 mm) into a landing. Where wheelchair spaces are required on the stairway landing in accordance with Section 1009.6.3, the wheelchair space shall not be located in the required width of the landing and doors shall not swing over the wheelchair spaces.

Exceptions:

1. Where stairways connect stepped aisles to cross aisles or concourses, stairway landings are not required at the transition between stairways and stepped aisles constructed in accordance with Section 1029.

2. A floor or landing is not required at the top of an interior flight of exit access stairs within individual dwelling units and sleeping units of Group R-2 occupancies and dwelling units of Group R-3 occupancies, including stairs in an enclosed private garage serving only an individual dwelling unit, provided that a door does not swing over the stairs.

S. Change Section 1011.16 of the IBC to read:

1011.16 Ladders. Permanent ladders shall not serve as a part of the means of egress from occupied spaces within a building. Permanent ladders shall be permitted to provide access to the following areas:

1. Spaces frequented only by personnel for maintenance, repair, or monitoring of equipment.

2. Nonoccupiable spaces accessed only by catwalks, crawl spaces, freight elevators, or very narrow passageways.

3. Raised areas used primarily for purposes of security, life safety, or fire safety including observation galleries, prison guard towers, fire towers, or lifeguard stands.

4. Elevated levels in Group U not open to the general public.

5. Nonoccupied roofs that are not required to have stairway access in accordance with Section 1011.12.1.

T. Change Section 1015.8 of the IBC to read:

1015.8 Window openings. Windows in Group R-2 and R-3 buildings including dwelling units where the top of the sill of an operable window opening is located less than 18 inches (457 mm) above the finished floor and more than 72 inches (1829 mm) above the finished grade or other surface below on the exterior of the building shall comply with one of the following:

1. Operable windows where the top of the sill of the opening is located more than 75 feet (22 860 mm) above the finished grade or other surface below and that are provided with window fall prevention devices that comply with ASTM F 2006.

2. Operable windows where the openings will not allow a 4-inch diameter (102 mm) sphere to pass through the opening when the window is in its largest opened position.

3. Operable windows where the openings are provided with window fall prevention devices that comply with ASTM F 2090.

4. Operable windows that are provided with window opening control devices that comply with Section 1015.8.1.

U. Add Exception 3 to Item 5 of Section 1016.2 of the IBC to read:

3. A maximum of one exit access is permitted to pass through kitchens, store rooms, closets or spaces used for similar purposes provided such a space is not the only means of exit access.

V. Change Table 1020.1 of the IBC to read:

Table 1020.1
Corridor Fire-Resistance Rating

Occupancy

Occupant Load Served By Corridor

Required Fire-Resistance Rating (hours)

Without sprinkler system

With sprinkler systemb

H-1, H-2, H-3

All

Not Permitted

1

H-4, H-5

Greater than 30

Not Permitted

1

A, B, E, F, M, S, U

Greater than 30

1

0

R

Greater than 10

1

0.5

I-2a, I-4

All

Not Permitted

0

I-1, I-3

All

Not Permitted

0

a. For requirements for occupancies in Group I-2, see Sections 407.2 and 407.3.

b. Buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2 where allowed.

W. Add an additional row to Table 1020.2 of the IBC to read:

Occupancy

Width (minimum)

In corridors of Group I-2 assisted living facilities licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services serving areas with wheelchair, walker, and gurney traffic where residents are capable of self-preservation or where resident rooms have a means of egress door leading directly to the outside.

44 inches

X. Change Section 1023.5 of the IBC to read:

1023.5 Penetrations. Penetrations into or through interior exit stairways and ramps are prohibited except for equipment and ductwork necessary for independent ventilation or pressurization, sprinkler piping, standpipes, electrical raceway for fire department communication systems, and electrical raceway serving the interior exit stairway and ramp and terminating at a steel box not exceeding 16 square inches (0.010 m2). Such penetrations shall be protected in accordance with Section 714. There shall not be penetrations or communication openings, whether protected or not, between adjacent interior exit stairways and ramps.

Exceptions:

1. Membrane penetrations shall be permitted on the outside of the interior exit stairway and ramp. Such penetrations shall be protected in accordance with Section 714.3.2.

2. For buildings in other than Group H, with no more than two stories above grade plane and are equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, structural members, other than columns, that are part of the primary structural frame supporting the roof sheathing, roof slab or roof deck only and structural members that are secondary members supporting the roof sheathing, roof slab or roof deck only, shall be permitted to penetrate an interior exit stairway enclosure or a ramp enclosure. Such penetrations shall be protected in accordance with Section 714.

Y. Change Section 1023.9 of the IBC to read:

1023.9 Floor identification signs. A sign shall be provided at each floor landing in exit enclosures connecting more than three stories designating the floor level, the terminus of the top and bottom of the exit enclosure and the identification of the stair or ramp by designation with a letter of the alphabet. The signage shall also state the story of, and the direction to, the exit discharge and the availability of roof access from the enclosure for the fire department. The sign shall be located five feet (1524 mm) above the floor landing in a position that is readily visible when the doors are in the open and closed positions. Floor level identification signs in tactile characters complying with ICC A117.1 shall be located at each floor level landing adjacent to the door leading from the enclosure into the corridor to identify the floor level.

Z. Change Section 1024.6 of the IBC to read:

1024.6 Penetrations. Penetrations into or through an exit passageway are prohibited except for equipment and ductwork necessary for independent pressurization, sprinkler piping, standpipes, electrical raceway for fire department communication and electrical raceway serving the exit passageway and terminating at a steel box not exceeding 16 square inches (0.010 m2). Such penetrations shall be protected in accordance with Section 714. There shall not be penetrations or communicating openings, whether protected or not, between adjacent exit passageways.

Exceptions:

1. Membrane penetrations shall be permitted on the outside of the exit passageway. Such penetrations shall be protected in accordance with Section 714.3.2.

2. For buildings in other than Group H, with no more than two stories above grade plane and are equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, structural members, other than columns, which are part of the primary structural frame supporting the roof sheathing, roof slab or roof deck only and structural members which are secondary members supporting the roof sheathing, roof slab or roof deck only, shall be permitted to penetrate an interior exit stairway enclosure or a ramp enclosure. Such penetrations shall be protected in accordance with Section 714.

AA. Change Section 1025.1 of the IBC to read:

1025.1 General. Approved luminous egress path markings delineating the exit path shall be provided in buildings of Groups A, B, E, I, M and R-1 having occupied floors located more than 420 feet (128 016 mm) above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access in accordance with Sections 1025.1 through 1025.5.

Exception: Luminous egress path markings shall not be required on the level of exit discharge in lobbies that serve as part of the exit path in accordance with Section 1028.1, Exception 1.

BB. Change Section 1030.1 of the IBC to read:

1030.1 General. In addition to the means of egress required by this chapter, provisions shall be made for emergency escape and rescue openings in Group R-2 occupancies in accordance with Tables 1006.3.2(1) and 1006.3.2(2) and in Group R-3 and R-4 occupancies. Basements and sleeping rooms below the fourth story above grade plane shall have at least one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening in accordance with this section. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency escape and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room, but shall not be required in adjoining areas of the basement. Such openings shall open directly into a public way or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.

Exceptions:

1. Basements with a ceiling height of less than 80 inches (2032 mm) shall not be required to have emergency escape and rescue openings.

2. Emergency escape and rescue openings are not required from basements or sleeping rooms that have an exit door or exit access door that opens directly into a public way or to a yard, court or exterior exit balcony that opens to a public way.

3. Basements without habitable spaces and having not more than 200 square feet (18.6 m2) in floor area shall not be required to have emergency escape and rescue openings.

Statutory Authority

§ 36-98 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 22, Issue 03, eff. November 16, 2005; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 14, eff. May 1, 2008; Volume 27, Issue 02, eff. March 1, 2011; Change in Effective Date, 27:5 VA.R. 534 November 8, 2010; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 12, eff. March 1, 2011; Volume 30, Issue 16, eff. July 14, 2014; Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. September 4, 2018; Volume 35, Issue 03, eff. November 1, 2018.

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