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
1/24/2020

13VAC5-63-410. Section 102 Purpose and Scope.

A. Section 102.1 Purpose. In accordance with § 36-99.01 of the Code of Virginia, the General Assembly of Virginia has declared that (i) there is an urgent need to improve the housing conditions of low and moderate income individuals and families, many of whom live in substandard housing, particularly in the older cities of the Commonwealth; (ii) there are large numbers of older residential buildings in the Commonwealth, both occupied and vacant, which are in urgent need of rehabilitation and must be rehabilitated if the state's citizens are to be housed in decent, sound, and sanitary conditions; and (iii) the application of those building code requirements currently in force to housing rehabilitation has sometimes led to the imposition of costly and time-consuming requirements that result in a significant reduction in the amount of rehabilitation activity taking place.

The General Assembly further declares that (i) there is an urgent need to improve the existing condition of many of the Commonwealth's stock of commercial properties, particularly in older cities; (ii) there are large numbers of older commercial buildings in the Commonwealth, both occupied and vacant, that are in urgent need of rehabilitation and that must be rehabilitated if the citizens of the Commonwealth are to be provided with decent, sound and sanitary work spaces; and (iii) the application of the existing building code to such rehabilitation has sometimes led to the imposition of costly and time-consuming requirements that result in a significant reduction in the amount of rehabilitation activity taking place.

B. Section 102.2 Scope. The provisions of this code shall govern construction and rehabilitation activities in existing buildings and structures.

C. 102.2.1 Change of occupancy to Group I-2 or I-3. A change of occupancy to Group I-2 or I-3 shall comply with the provisions of the VCC. Written application shall be made to the local building department for a new certificate of occupancy, and the new certificate of occupancy shall be obtained prior to the change of occupancy. When impractical to achieve compliance with the VCC for the new occupancy classification, the building official shall consider modifications upon application and as provided for in Section 106.3 of the VCC.

D. 102.2.2 Reconstruction, alteration, or repair in Group R-5 occupancies. Compliance with this section shall be an acceptable alternative to compliance with this code at the discretion of the owner or owner's agent. The VCC may be used for the reconstruction, alteration, or repair of Group R-5 buildings or structures subject to the following criteria:

1. Any reconstruction, alteration or repair shall not adversely affect the performance of the building or structure, or cause the building or structure to become unsafe or lower existing levels of health and safety.

2. Parts of the building or structure not being reconstructed, altered, or repaired shall not be required to comply with the requirements of the VCC applicable to newly constructed buildings or structures.

3. The installation of material or equipment, or both, that is neither required nor prohibited shall only be required to comply with the provisions of the VCC relating to the safe installation of such material or equipment.

4. Material or equipment, or both, may be replaced in the same location with material or equipment of a similar kind of capacity.

Exceptions:

1. This section shall not be construed to permit noncompliance with any applicable flood load or flood-resistant construction requirements of the VCC.

2. Reconstructed decks, balconies, porches, and similar structures located 30 inches (762 mm) or more above grade shall meet the current code provisions for structural loading capacity, connections, and structural attachment. This requirement excludes the configuration and height of handrails and guardrails.

5. In accordance with § 36-99.2 of the Code of Virginia, any replacement glass installed in buildings constructed prior to the first edition of the USBC shall meet the quality and standards for glass installed in new buildings as are in effect at the time of installation. In addition, as a requirement of this code, the installation of replacement of glass in buildings constructed under any edition of the USBC shall be as required for new installations.

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 30, Issue 16, eff. July 14, 2014; Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. September 4, 2018.

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