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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
9/28/2021

13VAC5-63-433.3. Chapter 6 Alterations.

A. Change Sections 601.1 and 601.2 of the IEBC to read:

601.1 General. Except as modified in Chapter 9 or this chapter, alterations to any building or structure shall comply with the requirements of the VCC for new construction. Alterations shall be such that the existing building or structure is no less conforming to the provisions of the VCC than the existing building or structure was prior to the alteration. Portions of the building or structure not being altered shall not be required to comply with the requirements of the VCC.

Exceptions:

1. Any stairway replacing an existing stairway shall not be required to comply with the requirements of Section 1011 of the VCC where the existing space and construction does not allow a reduction in pitch or slope.

2. Handrails otherwise required to comply with Section 1011.11 of the VCC shall not be required to comply with the requirements of Section 1014.6 of the VCC regarding full extension of the handrails where such extensions would be hazardous due to plan configuration.

3. Where the current level of safety or sanitation is proposed to be reduced, the portion altered shall conform to the requirements of the VCC.

4. Alterations complying with the requirements of the building code under which the building or structure or the affected portions thereof was built, or as previously approved by the building official, shall be considered in compliance with the provisions of this code. New structural members added as part of the alteration shall comply with the VCC. Alterations of existing buildings in flood hazard areas shall comply with Section 601.3.

601.2 Levels of alterations. Alterations to any building or structure shall be classified as the following:

B. Delete Section 601.1.1.

C. Add Sections 601.2.1 through 601.5, including subsections, to the IEBC to read:

601.2.1 Level 1. Level 1 alterations include the removal and replacement or the covering of existing materials, elements, equipment, or fixtures using new materials, elements, equipment, or fixtures that serve the same purpose, or the removal without replacement of materials, elements, equipment, or fixtures. Level 1 alterations shall comply with the applicable provisions Section 602.

601.2.2 Level 2. Level 2 alterations shall comply with the applicable provisions of Sections 602 and 603 and shall include

the following:

1. The addition or elimination of any door or window.

2. The addition of elimination of any wall, floor, or ceiling assembly.

3. The reconfiguration or extension of any system.

4. The installation of any addition equipment, materials, elements, or fixtures.

601.3 Flood hazard areas. In flood hazard areas, alterations that constitute substantial improvement shall require that the building comply with Section 1612 of the VCC or Section R322 of the International Residential Code, as applicable.

601.4 Energy conservation. Except as modified by this section, alterations to an existing

building, building system, or structure shall conform to the applicable provisions of the Virginia Energy Conservation Code or Virginia Residential Code as they relate to new construction without requiring the unaltered portions of the existing building, building system, or structure to comply with the VECC or VRC.

601.4.1 Opaque walls. Where the existing stud wall cavity that is part of the thermal envelope is exposed during the alteration, such exposed cavities between framing members shall be filled with insulation having a minimum nominal value of not less than R-30/inch or filled to the minimum prescriptive insulation requirement in Table R402.1.2 or Table C402.1.3 of the VECC.

Exception: Where less than 60 square feet (5.574 m2) of the existing stud cavities that are part of the thermal envelope are exposed.

601.4.2 Floors. Where the existing framed floor cavity that is part of the thermal envelop is exposed during the alteration, such exposed cavities between framing members shall be filled with insulation having a minimum nominal value of not less than R-30/inch or filled to the minimum prescriptive insulation requirement in Table R402.1.2 or Table C402.1.3 of the VECC.

Exception: Where less than 60 square feet (5.574 m2) of the existing framed floor cavities that are part of the thermal envelope are exposed.

601.4.3 Ceilings and vented attics. Where the existing rafter cavity that is part of the thermal envelope is exposed during the alteration, such exposed cavities between framing members shall be filled with insulation having a minimum nominal value of not less than R-30/inch or filled to the minimum prescriptive insulation requirement in Table R402.1.2 or Table C402.1.3 of the VECC. Where the existing framed floor or truss bottom chord cavity of a vented attic is exposed during the alteration, the exposed cavities shall be filled with insulation having a minimum nominal value of not less than R-30/inch or filled to the minimum prescriptive insulation requirement in Table R402.1.2 or Table C402.1.3 of the VECC. If the existing insulation laying on such vented attic floor is removed, such insulation shall be replaced with insulation complying with the minimum prescriptive insulation requirement in Table R402.1.2 or Table C402.1.3 of the VECC.

Exception: Where less than 60 square feet (5.574 m2) of the existing rafter, framed vented attic floor, or truss bottom chord cavities that are part of the thermal envelope is exposed.

601.4.4 Fenestration. Where an existing fenestration unit is replaced, the replacement fenestration unit shall comply with the requirements for U-factor and SHGC as specified in Table R402.1.2 or Table C402.4 of the VECC, as applicable. Where more than one fenestration unit is to be replaced, an area-weighted average of the U-factor, SHGC, or both of all replacement fenestration units shall be permitted.

601.4.4.1 Converting fenestration unit to opaque wall. Where existing fenestration units are converted into an opaque exterior wall assembly, the new portion of wall shall comply with Section 601.4.1.

601.4.5 Roof replacement. Roof replacements shall comply with Section C402.2.1 and Section C402.1. C402.1.4, C402.1.5, or C407 of the VECC where all of the following conditions are met. For purposes of this section, roof area shall mean an area of the existing roof of the same building that is bounded by exterior walls, different roof levels, roof edges or perimeters, roof dividers, building expansion joints, or parapets.

1. The roof replacement exceeds 75% or 30,000 square feet (2787.1 m2) of the roof area, whichever is less.

2. The roof assembly is part of the building thermal envelope, as defined by the VECC.

3. The roof assembly contains insulation entirely above the roof deck.

601.4.6 Lighting. Lighting alterations shall comply with Section 601.4.6.1 or 601.4.6.2, as applicable.

601.4.6.1 Commercial Lighting. Altered commercial lighting shall comply with Section C405 of the VECC.

Exception: Alterations that replace less than 10% of the luminaires within a space, provided the replacement luminaires do not increase the existing interior lighting power as determined by Section C405.3.1 of the VECC.

601.4.6.2 Residential lighting. Altered residential lighting shall comply with Section R404 of the VECC.

Exception: Alterations that replace less than 50% of the total luminaires within a space, provided the replacement luminaires do not decrease the efficacy of the lighting equipment as required by Section R404.1 of the VECC.

601.4.7 Ducts. In R-5 occupancies, where ducts from an existing heating and cooling system are extended, such duct systems with less than 40 linear feet (12.19 m) in unconditioned spaces shall not be required to be tested in accordance with Section R403.3.3 of the VECC.

601.5 Accessibility. Accessibility shall be provided in accordance with applicable provisions of Section 404.

D. Change Sections 602.1 and 602.2 of the IEBC to read:

602.1 Scope. Level 1 alterations as described in Section 601.2.1 shall comply with the requirements of this section.

602.2 Conformance. Alterations shall be done in a manner that maintains the following:

1. Level of fire protection that is existing.

2. Level of protection that is existing for the means of egress.

E. Add Sections 602.3 through 602.3.5 to the IEBC to read:

602.3 Building elements and materials. Building elements and materials shall comply with the applicable provisions of Sections 302 and 602.3.1 through 602.3.3.

602.3.1 Interior finishes and trim. All newly installed interior finish and trim materials and wall, floor, and ceiling finishes shall comply with Chapter 8 of the VCC.

602.3.2 Materials and methods. All new building elements and materials shall comply with the materials and methods requirements in the VCC, International Energy Conservation Code, International Mechanical Code, and International Plumbing Code, as applicable, that specify material standards, detail of installation and connection, joints, penetrations, and continuity of any element, component, or system in the building.

602.3.2.1 Reroofing. Materials and methods of application used for recovering or replacing an existing roof covering shall comply with Chapter 15 of the VCC, except as modified by Section 302.1 and this section.

Exceptions:

1. Roof replacement or 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 (2.0% 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 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.

3. 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.

602.3.2.1.1 Roof recover permitted. 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 existing roof coverings.

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

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

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

602.3.2.1.2 Roof recover not permitted. 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.

602.3.2.1.3 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. Metal flashing to which bituminous materials are to be adhered shall be primed prior to installation.

602.3.2.2 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 systems.

Exception: Structural elements where the additional dead load from the roofing or equipment does not increase the force in the element by more than 5.0%; or where the addition of a second layer of roof covering weighing three pounds per square foot (0.1437kN/m) or less over an existing, single layer of roof covering.

602.3.3 International Fuel Gas Code. The following sections of the International Fuel Gas Code shall constitute the fuel gas materials and methods requirements for Level 1 alterations.

1. All of Chapter 3, entitled "General Regulations," except Sections 303.7 and 306.

2. All of Chapter 4, entitled "Gas Piping Installations," except Sections 401.8 and 402.3.2.1. Sections 401.8 and 402.3 shall apply when the work being performed increases the load on the system such that the existing pipe does not meet the size required by code. Existing systems that are modified shall not require resizing as long as the load on the system is not increased and the system length is not increased even if the altered system does not meet code minimums.

3. All of Chapter 5, entitled "Chimneys and Vents."

4. All of Chapter 6, entitled "Specific Appliances."

F. Change Section 603.1 and 603.2, and add Sections 603.3 through 603.7.6, including subsections, to the IEBC to read:

603.1 Scope. Level 2 alterations as described in Section 601.2.2 shall comply with the requirements of this section.

Exception: Buildings in which the alteration is exclusively the result of compliance with the accessibility requirements of Section 404.3 shall be permitted to comply with Section 602.

603.2 Level 1 alteration compliance. In addition to the requirements of this section, all alterations shall comply with the applicable requirements of Section 602.

603.3 Compliance. All new construction elements, components, systems, and spaces shall comply with the requirements of the VCC.

Exceptions:

1. Windows may be added without requiring compliance with the light and ventilation requirements of the VCC.

2. Where an approved automatic sprinkler system is installed throughout the story, the required fire-resistance rating for any corridor located on the story shall be permitted to be reduced in accordance with the VCC. In order to be considered for a corridor rating reduction, such system shall provide coverage for the stairway landings serving the floor and the intermediate landings immediately below.

3. In other than Groups A and H occupancies, the maximum length of a newly constructed or extended dead-end corridor shall not exceed 50 feet (15240 mm) on floors equipped with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with the VCC.

4. The minimum ceiling height of the newly created habitable and occupiable spaces and corridors shall be 7 feet (2134 mm).

5. Where provided in below-grade transportation stations, new escalators shall be permitted to have a clear width of less than 32 inches (815 mm).

603.4 Fire-resistance ratings. Buildings where an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2 of the VCC has been added, and the building is now sprinklered throughout, the required fire-resistance ratings of building elements and materials shall be permitted to meet the requirements of the current building code.

603.5 In mechanically ventilated spaces, existing mechanical ventilation systems that are altered, reconfigured, or extended shall provide not less than 5 cubic feet per minute (cfm) (0.0024 m3/s) per person of outdoor air and not less than 15 cfm (0.0071 m3/s) of ventilation air per person or not less than the amount of ventilation air determined by the Indoor Air Quality Procedure of ASHRAE 62.

603.5.1 Local exhaust. All newly introduced devices, equipment, or operations that produce airborne particulate matter, odors, fumes, vapor, combustion products, gaseous contaminants, pathogenic and allergenic organisms, and microbial contaminants in such quantities as to affect adversely or impair health or cause discomfort to occupants shall be provided with local exhaust.

603.6 Plumbing. Where the occupant load of the story is increased by more than 20%, plumbing fixtures for the story shall be provided in quantities specified in the International Plumbing Code based on the increased occupant load.

603.7 Structural. Structural elements and systems within buildings undergoing Level 2 alterations shall comply with Sections 603.7.1 through 603.7.6.

603.7.1 New structural elements. New structural elements in alterations, including connections and anchorage, shall comply with the VCC.

603.7.2 Minimum design loads. The minimum design loads on existing elements of a structure that do not support additional loads as a result of an alteration shall be the loads applicable at the time the building was constructed.

603.7.3 Existing structural elements carrying gravity loads. Any existing gravity load-carrying structural element for which an alteration causes an increase in design gravity load of more than 5% shall be strengthened, supplemented, replaced or otherwise altered as needed to carry the increased gravity load required by the VCC for new structures. Any existing gravity load-carrying structural element whose gravity load-carrying capacity is decreased as part of the alteration shall be shown to have the capacity to resist the applicable design gravity loads required by the VCC for new structures.

Exception: Buildings of Group R occupancy with not more than five dwelling or sleeping units used solely for residential purposes where the existing building and its alteration comply with the conventional light-frame construction methods of the VCC or the provisions of the International Residential Code.

603.7.3.1 Design live load. Where the alteration does not result in increased design live load, existing gravity load-carrying structural elements shall be permitted to be evaluated and designed for live loads approved prior to the alteration. If the approved live load is less than that required by Section 1607 of the VCC, the area designed for the nonconforming live load shall be posted with placards of approved design indicating the approved live load. Where the alteration does result in increased design live load, the live load required by Section 1607 of the VCC shall be used.

603.7.4 Existing structural elements resisting lateral loads. Except as permitted by Section 603.7.5, where the alteration increases design lateral loads in accordance with Section 1609 or 1613 of the VCC, or where the alteration results in a prohibited structural irregularity as defined in ASCE 7, or where the alteration decreases the capacity of any existing lateral load-carrying structural element, the structure of the altered building or structure shall be shown to meet the requirements of Sections 1609 and 1613 of the VCC. For purposes of this section, compliance with ASCE 41, using a Tier 3 procedure and the two-level performance objective in Table 305.2.2 for the applicable risk category, shall be deemed to meet the requirements of Section 1613 of the VCC.

Exception:

1. Any existing lateral load-carrying structural element whose demand-capacity ratio with the alteration considered is not more than 10% greater than its demand-capacity ratio with the alteration ignored shall be permitted to remain unaltered. For purposes of calculating demand-capacity ratios, the demand shall consider applicable load combinations with design lateral loads or forces in accordance with VCC Sections 1609 and 1613. Reduced VCC level seismic forces in accordance with Section 305.2.2 shall be permitted. For purposes of this exception, comparisons of demand-capacity ratios and calculation of design lateral loads, forces and capacities shall account for the cumulative effects of additions and alterations since original construction.

2. Buildings of Group R occupancy with no more than five dwelling or sleeping units used solely for residential purposes that are altered based on the conventional light-frame construction methods of the VCC or in compliance with the provisions of the IRC.

3. Where such alterations involve only the lowest story of a building and the change of occupancy provisions of Chapter 7 do not apply, only the lateral force-resisting components in and below that story need comply with this section.

603.7.5 Voluntary lateral force-resisting system alterations. Alterations of existing structural elements and additions of new structural elements that are initiated for the purpose of increasing the lateral force-resisting strength or stiffness of an existing structure and that are not required by other sections of this code shall not be required to be designed for forces conforming to the VCC, provided that an engineering analysis is submitted to show that:

1. The capacity of existing structural elements required to resist forces is not reduced;

2. The lateral loading to existing structural elements is not increased either beyond its capacity or more than 10%;

3. New structural elements are detailed and connected to the existing structural elements as required by the VCC;

4. New or relocated nonstructural elements are detailed and connected to existing or new structural elements as required by the VCC; and

5. Voluntary alterations to lateral force-resisting systems conducted in accordance with Appendix A and the referenced standards of this code shall be permitted.

603.7.6 Voluntary seismic improvements. Alterations to existing structural elements or additions of new structural elements that are not otherwise required by this chapter and are initiated for the purpose of improving the performance of the seismic force resisting system of an existing structure or the performance of seismic bracing or anchorage of existing nonstructural elements shall be permitted, provided that an engineering analysis is submitted demonstrating the following:

1. The altered structure and the altered nonstructural elements are no less conforming to the provisions of the VCC with respect to earthquake design than they were prior to the alteration.

2. New structural elements are detailed as required for new construction.

3. New or relocated nonstructural elements are detailed and connected to existing or new structural elements as required for new construction.

4. The alterations do not create a structural irregularity as defined in ASCE 7 or make an existing structural irregularity more severe.

G. Delete Sections 604, 605, 606, 607, and 608 of the IEBC in their entirety.

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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