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

13VAC5-63-420. Section 103 Application of code.

A. Section 103.1 General. All administrative provisions of the VCC, including requirements for permits, inspections, and approvals by the local building department, provisions for appeals from decisions of the local building department, and the issuance of modifications, are applicable to the use of this code, except where this code sets out differing requirements. Where there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement in the VEBC, the specific requirement shall govern.

B. Section 103.1.1 Use of performance code. Compliance with the provisions of a nationally recognized performance code when approved as a modification shall be considered to constitute compliance with this code. All documents submitted as part of such consideration shall be retained in the permanent records of the local building department.

C. Section 103.1.2 Preliminary meeting. When requested by a prospective permit applicant or when determined necessary by the code official, the code official shall meet with the prospective permit applicant prior to the application for a permit to discuss plans for the proposed work or change of occupancy in order to establish the specific applicability of the provisions of this code.

D. Section 103.2 Change of occupancy. A building or structure undergoing a change of occupancy shall comply with the provisions of this code for change of occupancy, except as provided for in Section 102.2.1 for Group I-2 or I-3. Permitting, inspections, and certificate of occupancy issuance shall be in accordance with the administrative provisions of the VCC.

When impractical to achieve compliance with this code for the new occupancy, the building official shall consider modifications upon application and as provided for in Section 106.3 of the VCC.

E. Section 103.3 Retrofit requirements. The local building department shall enforce the provisions of Section 1101 that require certain existing buildings to be retrofitted with fire protection systems and other safety equipment. Retroactive fire protection system requirements contained in the IFC shall not be applicable unless required for compliance with the provisions of Section 1101.

F. Section 103.4 Nonrequired equipment. The following criteria for nonrequired equipment are in accordance with § 36-103 of the Code of Virginia. Building owners may elect to install partial or full fire alarms or other safety equipment that was not required by the edition of the VCC in effect at the time a building was constructed without meeting current requirements of the code, provided the installation does not create a hazardous condition. Permits for installation shall be obtained in accordance with the VCC. In addition, as a requirement of this code, when such nonrequired equipment is to be installed, the building official shall notify the appropriate fire official or fire chief.

G. Section 103.4.1 Reduction in function or discontinuance of nonrequired fire protection systems. When a nonrequired fire protection system is to be reduced in function or discontinued, it shall be done in such a manner so as not to create a false sense of protection. Generally, in such cases, any features visible from interior areas shall be removed, such as sprinkler heads, smoke detectors, or alarm panels or devices, but any wiring or piping hidden within the construction of the building may remain. Approval of the proposed method of reduction or discontinuance shall be obtained from the building official.

H. Section 103.5 Requirements relating to maintenance. Any requirements of the IEBC requiring the maintenance of existing buildings or structures are invalid.

Note: Requirements for the maintenance of existing buildings and structures and for unsafe conditions are contained in the VMC.

I. Section 103.6 Use of Appendix A. Appendix A of the IEBC provides guidelines for the seismic retrofit of existing buildings. The use of this appendix is not mandatory but shall be permitted to be utilized at the option of an owner, the owner's agent, or the registered design professional involved in a rehabilitation project. However, in no case shall the use of Appendix A be construed to authorize the lowering of existing levels of health or safety in buildings or structures being rehabilitated.

J. Section 103.7 Use of Appendix B. Appendix B of the IEBC provides supplementary accessibility requirements for existing buildings and facilities. All applicable requirements of Appendix B shall be met in buildings and structures being rehabilitated.

K. Section 103.8 Use of Resource A. Resource A of the IEBC provides guidelines for the evaluation of fire resistance ratings of archaic materials and may be used in conjunction with rehabilitation projects.

L. 103.9 Construction documents. Construction documents shall be submitted with the application for a permit. The work proposed to be performed on an existing building or structure shall be classified on the construction documents as repairs, alterations, change of occupancy, addition, historic building, or moved building. Alterations shall further be classified as Level 1 or Level 2. Any required elevation certificate shall be prepared by a certified land surveyor or registered professional civil engineer licensed in Virginia.

Exception: Construction documents or classification of the work does not need to be submitted when the building official determines the proposed work does not require such documents, classification, or identification.

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 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.

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