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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
1/22/2020

13VAC5-63-431. Chapter 3 General Provisions and Special Detailed Requirements.

A. Change IEBC Section 301 to General.

B. Change Section 301.1 and delete Sections 301.1.1 through 301.1.4.2, including tables, of the IEBC.

301.1 Applicability. The applicable provisions of this chapter shall be used in conjunction with the requirements in this code, and shall apply to all construction and rehabilitation.

C. Add Section 301.2 to the IEBC to read:

301.2 Occupancy and use. When determining the appropriate application of the referenced sections of this code, the occupancy and use of a building shall be determined in accordance with Chapter 3 of the VCC.

D. Change IEBC Section 302 to Building Materials and Systems.

E. Change Sections 302.1 through 302.3 of the IEBC to read:

302.1 Existing materials. Materials already in use in a building in compliance with requirements or approvals in effect at the time of their erection or installation shall be permitted to remain in use unless the VCC would not permit their use in buildings or structures of similar occupancy, purpose, and location.

302.2 New and replacement materials. Except as otherwise required or permitted by this code, materials permitted by the applicable code for new construction shall be used. Like materials shall be permitted for repairs and alterations, provided no hazard to life, health or property is created. Hazardous materials shall not be used where the VCC would not permit their use in buildings or structures of similar occupancy, purpose, and location.

302.3 Existing seismic force-resisting systems. Where the existing seismic force-resisting system is a type that can be designated ordinary, values of R, Ω0, and Cd for the existing seismic force-resisting system shall be those specified by the VCC for an ordinary system unless it is demonstrated that the existing system will provide performance equivalent to that of a detailed, intermediate, or special system.

F. Delete Sections 302.4 and 302.5 of the IEBC.

G. Add IEBC Section 303 Fire escapes.

H. Add Sections 303.1 through 303.6, including subsections, to the IEBC to read:

303.1 Where permitted. Fire escapes shall be permitted only as provided for in Sections 303.1.1 through 303.1.4.

303.1.1 Existing fire escapes. Existing fire escapes shall continue to be accepted as a component in the means of egress in existing buildings only.

303.1.2 New fire escapes. Newly constructed fire escapes for existing buildings shall be permitted only where exterior stairs cannot be utilized due to lot lines limiting stair size or due to the sidewalks, alleys, or roads at grade level. New fire escapes shall not incorporate ladders or access by windows.

Exception: Fire escapes that are replaced or repaired shall only be required to comply with Sections 303.3 and 303.4 if feasible, and if not feasible, such that the replaced or repaired fire escape is not less safe than its existing condition.

303.1.3 Limitations. Fire escapes shall comply with this section and shall not constitute more than 50% of the required number of exits nor more than 50% of the required exit capacity.

303.1.4 Fire escapes required. For other than Group I-2, where more than one exit is required, newly constructed fire escapes complying with Section 303.6 shall be accepted as providing one of the required means of egress. Replacement fire escapes or existing fire escapes undergoing repairs shall comply with Sections 303.3 and 303.4 if feasible, and if not feasible, to the greatest extent possible.

303.2 Location. Where located on the front of the building and where projecting beyond the building line, the lowest landing shall not be less than 7 feet (2134 mm) or more than 12 feet (3658 mm) above grade, and shall be equipped with a counterbalanced stairway to the street. In alleyways and thoroughfares less than 30 feet (9144 mm) wide, the clearance under the lowest landing shall not be less than 12 feet (3658 mm).

303.3 Construction. The fire escape shall be designed to support a live load of 100 pounds per square foot (4788 Pa) and shall be constructed of steel or other approved noncombustible materials. Fire escapes constructed of wood not less than nominal 2 inches (51 mm) thick are permitted on buildings of Type V construction. Walkways and railings located over or supported by combustible roofs in buildings of Types III and IV construction are permitted to be of wood not less than nominal 2 inches (51 mm) thick.

303.4 Dimensions. Stairs shall be at least 22 inches (559 mm) wide with risers not more than, and treads not less than, 8 inches (203 mm) and landings at the foot of stairs not less than 40 inches (1016 mm) wide by 36 inches (914 mm) long, located not more than 9 inches (203 mm) below the door.

303.5 Opening protectives. Openings within 10 feet (3048 mm) of newly constructed fire escape stairways shall be protected by fire assemblies having minimum 3/4-hour-fire-resistance ratings.

Exception: Opening protection shall not be required in buildings equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system.

303.6 Fire escape access and details. Newly constructed fire escapes shall comply with all of the following requirements:

1. Occupants shall have unobstructed access to the fire escape without having to pass through a room subject to locking.

2. Access to a new fire escape shall be through a door, except that windows shall be permitted to provide access from single dwelling units or sleeping units in Group R-1, R-2 and I-1 occupancies or to provide access from spaces having a maximum occupant load of 10 in other occupancy classifications.

2.1. The window shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet (0.53 m2) or 5 square feet (0.46 m2) where located at grade.

2.2. The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24 inches (610 mm) and net clear opening width shall be 20 inches (508 mm).

2.3. The bottom of the clear opening shall not be greater than 44 inches (1118 mm) above the floor.

2.4. The operation of the window shall comply with the operational constraints of the VCC.

3. In all buildings of Group E occupancy, up to and including the 12th grade, buildings of Group I occupancy, rooming houses and child care centers, ladders of any type are prohibited on fire escapes used as a required means of egress.

I. Add IEBC Section 304 Glass replacement and replacement windows.

J. Add Sections 304.1 through 304.3, including subsections, to the IEBC to read:

304.1 Conformance. 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 installation 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 or replacement of glass in buildings constructed under any edition of the USBC shall be as required for new installations.

304.2 Replacement window opening devices. In Group R-2 or R-3 buildings containing dwelling units, window opening control devices complying with ASTM F 2090 shall be installed where an existing window is replaced and where all of the following apply to the replacement window:

1. The window is operable;

2. The window replacement includes replacement of the sash and the frame;

3. The top of the sill of the window opening is at a height less than 36 inches (915 mm) above the finished floor;

4. The window will permit openings that will allow passage of a 4-inch diameter (102 mm) sphere when the window is in its largest opened position; and

5. The vertical distance from the top of the sill of the window opening to the finished grade or other surface below, on the exterior of the building, is greater than 72 inches (1829 mm).

The window opening control device, after operation to release the control device allowing the window to fully open, shall not reduce the minimum net clear opening area of the window unit to less than the area required by Section 1029.2 of the VCC.

Exceptions:

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

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

304.3 Replacement window emergency escape and rescue openings. Where windows are required to provide emergency escape and rescue openings in Groups R-2 and R-3 occupancies, replacement windows shall be exempt from the requirements of Sections 1030.2, 1030.3, and 1030.5 provided the replacement window meets the following conditions:

1. The replacement window is the manufacturer's largest standard size window that will fit within the existing frame or existing rough opening. The replacement window shall be permitted to be of the same operating style as the existing window or a style that provides for an equal or greater window opening area than the existing window.

2. The replacement of the window is not part of a change of occupancy.

K. Add IEBC Section 305 Seismic force-resisting systems.

L. Add Sections 305.1 and 305.2, including subsections, to the IEBC to read:

305.1 General. Where this code requires consideration of the seismic force-resisting system of an existing building subject to repair, alteration, change of occupancy, addition or relocation of existing buildings, the seismic evaluation and design shall be based on Section 305.2 regardless of which compliance method is used.

305.2 Seismic evaluation and design procedures. The seismic evaluation and design shall be based on the procedures specified in the VCC or ASCE 41. The procedures contained in Appendix A of this code shall be permitted to be used as specified in Section 305.2.2.

305.2.1 Compliance with VCC-level seismic forces. Where compliance with the seismic design provisions of the VCC is required, the criteria shall be in accordance with one of the following:

1. 100% of the values in the VCC. Where the existing seismic force-resisting system is a type that can be designated as "Ordinary," values of R, Ω0, and Cd used for analysis in accordance with Chapter 16 of the VCC shall be those specified for structural systems classified as "Ordinary" in accordance with Table 12.2-1 of ASCE 7, unless it can be demonstrated that the structural system will provide performance equivalent to that of a "Detailed," "Intermediate" or "Special" system.

2. ASCE 41, using a Tier 3 procedure and the two level performance objective in Table 305.2.1 for the applicable risk category.

Table 305.2.1
Performance Objectives for Use in ASCE 41 for Compliance with
VCC-Level Seismic Forces

Risk Category
(Based on VCC Table 1604.5)

Structural Performance Level for Use with BSE-1E Earthquake Hazard Level

Structural Performance Level for Use with BSE-2N Earthquake Hazard Level

I

Life Safety (S-3)

Collapse Prevention (S-5)

II

Life Safety (S-3)

Collapse Prevention (S-5)

III

Damage Control (S-2)

Limited Safety (S-4)

IV

Immediate Occupancy (S-1)

Life Safety (S-3)

305.2.2 Compliance with reduced VCC-level seismic forces. Where seismic evaluation and design is permitted to meet reduced VCC seismic force levels, the criteria used shall be in accordance with one of the following:

1. The VCC using 75% of the prescribed forces. Values of R, Ω0 and Cd used for analysis shall be as specified in Section 305.2.1 of this code.

2. Structures or portions of structures that comply with the requirements of the applicable chapter in Appendix A as specified in Items 2.1 through 2.5 and subject to the limitations of the respective Appendix A chapters shall be deemed to comply with this section.

2.1. The seismic evaluation and design of unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings in Risk Category I or II are permitted to be based on the procedures specified in Appendix Chapter A1.

2.2. Seismic evaluation and design of the wall anchorage system in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry wall buildings with flexible diaphragms in Risk Category I or II are permitted to be based on the procedures specified in Chapter A2.

2.3. Seismic evaluation and design of cripple walls and sill plate anchorage in residential buildings of light-frame wood construction in Risk Category I or II are permitted to be based on the procedures specified in Chapter A3.

2.4. Seismic evaluation and design of soft, weak, or open-front wall conditions in multiunit residential buildings of wood construction in Risk Category I or II are permitted to be based on the procedures specified in Chapter A4.

2.5. Seismic evaluation and design of concrete buildings assigned to Risk Category I, II, or III are permitted to be based on the procedures specified in Chapter A5.

3. ASCE 41, using the performance objective in Table 305.2.2 for the applicable risk category.

Table 305.2.2

Performance Objectives for Use in ASCE 41 for Compliance with Reduced VCC-Level Seismic Forces

Risk Category

(Based on VCC Table 1604.5)

Structural Performance Level for Use with BSE-1E Earthquake Hazard Level

I

Life Safety (S-3)

II

Life Safety (S-3)

III

Damage Control (S-2a)

IV

Immediate Occupancy (S-1)

a. Tier 1 evaluation at the Damage Control performance level shall use the Tier 1 Life Safety checklists and Tier 1 Quick Check provision midway between those specified for Life Safety and Immediate Occupancy performance

M. Add IEBC Section 306 Group B teaching and research laboratories.

N. Add Section 306.1, including subsections, to the IEBC to read:

306.1 Change of occupancy in existing Group B teaching and research laboratories. Where the use of new or different hazardous materials or a change in the amount of hazardous materials in existing Group B testing and research laboratories in educational occupancies above the 12th grade would constitute a change of occupancy, this section shall be permitted to be used as an acceptable alternative to compliance with change of occupancy requirements to permit the increased amounts of hazardous materials stipulated without the laboratories being classified as Group H. In addition, as set out in Section 5001.7 of the SFPC, approval under this section is contingent upon operational requirements in the SFPC being complied with and maintained.

306.1.1 Hazardous materials in existing Group B teaching and research laboratories. The percentage of maximum allowable quantities of hazardous materials per control area and the number of control areas permitted at each floor level within an existing building shall be permitted to comply with Table 302.6.1(1) in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 of the VCC or shall be permitted to comply with Table 302.6.1(2) in buildings not equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 of the VCC.

Table 306.1.1(1)

Design and Number of Control Areas in Existing Buildings Equipped throughout with an Automatic Sprinkler System in Accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 of the VCC with Group B Teaching and Research Laboratories in Educational Occupancies above the 12th Grade

Floor Level

Percentage of the Maximum Allowable Quantity per Control Areaa

Number of Control Areas per Floor

Fire-Resistance Rating for Fire Barriers and Horizontal Assemblies in Hoursb

Above Grade Plane

Higher than 20

10-20

7-9

4-6

3

2

1

5

10

25

50

75

100

100

1

1

2

2

2

3

4

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

Below Grade Plane

1

2

Lower than 2

75

50

Not Allowed

3

2

Not Allowed

1

1

Not Allowed

a. Percentage shall be of the maximum allowable quantity per control area shown in Tables 307.1(1) and 307.1(2) of the VCC, with all increases allowed in the notes to those tables.

b. Separation shall include fire barriers and horizontal assemblies as necessary to provide separation from other portions of the building.

Table 306.1.1(2)

Design and Number of Control Areas in Existing Buildings Not Equipped throughout with an Automatic Sprinkler System in Accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 of the VCC with Group B Teaching and Research Laboratories in Educational Occupancies above the 12th Grade

Floor Level

Percentage of the Maximum Allowable Quantity per Control Areaa

Number of Control Areas per Floor

Fire-Resistance Rating for Fire Barriers and Horizontal Assemblies in Hoursb

Above Grade Plane

Higher than 9

7-9

4-6

3

2

1

5

10

25

75

100

100

1

2

2

2

3

4

2

2

2

1

1

1

Below Grade Plane

1

2

Lower than 2

75

50

Not Allowed

3

2

Not Allowed

1

1

Not Allowed

a. Percentage shall be of the maximum allowable quantity per control area shown in Tables 307.1(1) and 307.1(2) of the VCC, with all increases allowed in the notes to those tables.

b. Separation shall include fire barriers and horizontal assemblies as necessary to provide separation from other portions of the building.

306.1.2 Automatic fire alarm and detection systems. An automatic fire alarm system shall be provided throughout the building in accordance with Section 907 of the VCC. An automatic fire detection system shall be provided in the control area in accordance with Section 907 of the VCC where pyrophics or Class 4 oxidizers are used and the building is not equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 of the VCC.

306.1.3 System supervision and monitoring. Automatic fire detection systems shall be electronically supervised and monitored by an approved supervising station or, where approved, shall initiate an audible and visual signal at a constantly attended onsite location.

O. Add IEBC Section 307 Reroofing and roof repair.

P. Add Sections 307.1 through 307.7, including subsections, to the IEBC to read:

307.1 Reroofing. Materials and methods of application used for recovering or replacing an existing roof covering shall comply with this section and the applicable requirements of Chapter 15 of the VCC.

Exceptions:

1. Roof replacement of roof recover of existing low-slope roof coverings shall not be required to meet the minimum design slope requirement of one-quarter unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2% slope) in Section 1507 of the VCC for roofs that provide positive roof drainage.

2. Recovering or replacing an existing roof covering shall not be required to meet the requirement of secondary (emergency overflow) drains or scuppers in Section 1503.4 of the VCC for roofs that provide for positive roof drainage. For the purposes of this exception, existing secondary drainage or scupper systems required in accordance with the VCC shall not be removed unless they are replaced by secondary drains or scuppers designed and installed in accordance with Section 1503.4 of the VCC.

307.2 Structural and construction loads. Structural roof components shall be capable of supporting the roof covering system and the material and equipment loads that will be encountered during installation of the system.

307.3 Roof replacement. Roof replacement shall include the removal of all existing layers of roof coverings down to the roof deck.

Exception: Where the existing roof assembly includes an ice barrier membrane that is adhered to the roof deck, the existing ice barrier membrane shall be permitted to remain in place and covered with an additional layer of ice barrier membrane in accordance with Section 1507 of the VCC.

307.3.1 Roof recover. The installation of a new roof covering over an existing roof covering shall be permitted where any of the following conditions occur:

1. Complete and separate roofing systems, such as standing-seam metal roof systems, that are designed to transmit the roof loads directly to the building's structural system and that do not rely on existing roofs and roof coverings for support, shall not require the removal of exiting roof coverings.

2. Metal panel, metal shingle and concrete and clay tile roof coverings shall be permitted to be installed over existing wood shake roofs when applied in accordance with Section 307.4.

3. The application of a new protective coating over an existing spray polyurethane foam roofing system shall be permitted without tear-off of existing roof coverings.

4. Where the new roof covering is installed in accordance with the roof covering manufacturer's approved instructions.

Exceptions: A roof recover shall not be permitted where any of the following conditions occur:

1. Where the existing roof or roof covering is water soaked or has deteriorated to the point that the existing roof or roof covering is not adequate as a base for additional roofing.

2. Where the existing roof covering is slate, clay, cement, or asbestos-cement tile.

3. Where the existing roof has two or more applications of any type of roof covering.

307.4 Roof recovering. Where the application of a new roof covering over wood shingle or shake roofs creates a combustible concealed space, the entire existing surface shall be covered with gypsum board, mineral fiber, glass fiber or other approved materials securely fastened in place.

307.5 Reinstallation of materials. Existing slate, clay, or cement tile shall be permitted for reinstallation, except that damaged, cracked or broken slate or tile shall not be reinstalled. Existing vent flashing, metal edgings, drain outlets, collars, and metal counter-flashings shall not be reinstalled where rusted, damaged, or deteriorated. Aggregate surfacing materials shall not be reinstalled.

307.6 Flashings. Flashings shall be reconstructed in accordance with approved manufacturer's installation instructions. Metal flashing to which bituminous materials are to be adhered shall be primed prior to installation.

307.7 Roof repair. Roof repairs shall comply with this section. Work on nondamaged components that is necessary for the required repair of damaged components shall be considered part of the roof repair and shall not be subject to the requirements of other parts of this code.

Exception: Routine maintenance required by this section, ordinary repairs exempt from permit in accordance with Section 108.2 of the VCC, and abatement of wear due to normal service conditions shall not be subject to the requirements for roof repairs in this section.

307.7.1 Building materials and systems. Building materials and systems shall comply with the requirements of Sections 307.7.1.1 and 307.7.1.2.

307.7.1.1 Existing materials. Materials already in use in a building in compliance with requirements or approvals in effect at the time of their erection or installation shall be permitted to remain in use unless determined by the building official to be unsafe.

307.7.1.2 New and replacement materials. Except as otherwise required or permitted by this code, materials permitted by the applicable code for new construction shall be used. Like materials shall be permitted for repairs, provided no hazard to life, health or property is created. Hazardous materials shall not be used where the code for new construction would not permit their use in buildings of similar occupancy, purpose and location.

Statutory Authority

§ 36-98 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. September 4, 2018; amended, Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 03, eff. November 1, 2018.

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