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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
9/16/2021

13VAC5-63-431. Chapter 3 General provisions and special detailed requirements.

A. Change IEBC Section 301 to General.

B. Change Section 301.1 of the IEBC to read:

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. Change 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 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.

302.2 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.

302.3 Smoke alarms. Repair or replacement of smoke alarms shall be with devices listed in accordance with UL217 and that are no more than 10 years from the date of manufacture. Battery-only powered devices shall be powered by a 10-year sealed battery.

F. Delete Sections 302.3 through 302.6 of the IEBC.

G. Change IEBC Section 303 to Fire escapes.

H. Change Sections 303.1 through 303.3.2, including subsections, and add Sections 303.4 through 303.6 to the IEBC to read:

303.1 Where permitted. 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.

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

303.1.2 New fire escapes. For other than Group I-2, newly constructed fire escapes 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.

Exception: 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 Groups 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. Change Section 304 to Glass replacement and replacement windows.

J. Change Section 304.1 and add Sections 304.2 through 304.3.1 to the IEBC to read:

304.1 Replacement glass. In accordance with § 36-99.2 of the Code of Virginia, installation or replacement of glass shall comply with Chapter 24 of the VCC.

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 by the VCC or International Residential Code to provide emergency escape and rescue openings in Groups R-2 and R-3 occupancies and one-family and two-family dwellings and townhouses regulated by the International Residential Code, replacement windows shall be exempt from the requirements of Sections 1030.2, 1030.3, and 1030.4 of the VCC or Sections R310.2.1, R310.2.2, and R310.2.3 of the International Residential Code, 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.

304.3.1 Operational constraints. Where bars, grilles, grates, or similar devices are installed over emergency escape and rescue openings as permitted by Section 1030.4 of the VCC, smoke alarms shall also be provided in accordance with Section 907.2.11 of the VCC.

K. Change Section 305 Seismic force-resisting systems.

L. Change 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 moving of existing buildings, the seismic evaluation and design shall be based on Section 305.2.

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. Delete Sections 305.3 through 305.9, including subsections, of the IEBC.

N. Add IEBC Section 306 Higher education laboratories.

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

306.1 Change of occupancy in existing higher education laboratories. Where the use of new or different hazardous materials or a change in the amount of hazardous materials in existing higher education laboratories 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, such laboratories shall comply with the applicable operational and maintenance requirements in Chapter 38 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 higher education 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 Higher Education Laboratories

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 Higher Education Laboratories

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. A 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 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 alarm and 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.

306.1.4 Restricted materials in storage and use. Where approved by the building official, the storage and use of the following hazardous materials prohibited by VCC Table 307.1(1) in buildings not equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 shall be allowed within a control area at 25% of Table 307.1(1) limits for a building equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system:

1. Pyrophorics.

2. Class 4 oxidizers.

No additional quantity increases shall be allowed. All such materials shall be stored and used in accordance with Sections 3805.2.1 and 3805.2.2 of the SFPC.

P. Add IEBC Section 307 Reroofing and roof repair.

Statutory Authority

§ 36-98 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. September 4, 2018; amended, Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 3, eff. November 1, 2018; Volume 37, Issue 14, eff. July 1, 2021.

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