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
8/15/2020

13VAC5-63-433.3. Chapter 6 Alterations.

A. Change Sections 601.1 through 601.5, including subsections, of the IEBC to read:

601.1 General. Except as provided by Section 905.1 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.

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, unless the building or structure or the affected portions thereof is undergoing a substantial structural alteration as described in Section 604.7.1. New structural members added as part of the alteration or repairs 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:

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. Level 1 alterations shall comply with the applicable provisions Section 602.

601.2.2 Level 2. Level 2 alterations include the addition or elimination of any door or window, the reconfiguration or extension of any system, or the installation of any additional equipment and shall apply where the work area is less than 50% of the building area. Level 2 alterations shall comply with the applicable provisions Sections 602 and 603.

601.2.3 Level 3. Level 3 alterations apply where the work area exceeds 50% of the building area. Level 3 alterations shall comply with the applicable provisions of Sections 602, 603 and 604.

601.2.3.1 Special provisions. A building separated horizontally in compliance with VCC Section 510.2 shall be considered as separate and distinct buildings for the purpose of determining building area used for application of Section 601.2.3.

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. Level 1, 2, and 3 alterations to existing buildings or structures are permitted without requiring the entire building or structure to comply with the energy requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code or International Residential Code. The alterations shall conform to the energy requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code or International Residential Code as they relate to new construction only.

Exception: Except for window and door openings, like materials, assemblies or thicknesses shall be permitted for alterations involving the exterior building thermal envelope, 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.

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

B. Change Section 602 to Level 1 Alterations.

C. Change Sections 602.1 through 602.3, including subsections, 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. Level 1 alterations to historic buildings shall comply with this chapter, except as modified in Chapter 9.

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.

602.3 Building elements and materials. Building elements and materials shall comply with the applicable provisions of Sections 302 and 602.3.1 through 602.3.5.

602.3.1 Interior finishes. All newly installed interior wall and ceiling finishes shall comply with Chapter 8 of the VCC.

602.3.2 Interior floor finish. New interior floor finish, including new carpeting used as an interior floor finish material, shall comply with Section 804 of the VCC.

602.3.3 Interior trim. All newly installed interior trim materials shall comply with Section 806 of the VCC.

602.3.4 Materials and methods. All new work 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.

602.3.5 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."

D. Change Section 603 to Level 2 Alterations.

E. Change Section 603.1 and add Sections 603.2 through 603.10, including subsections, of 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 work 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. Newly installed electrical equipment shall comply with the requirements of Section 603.8.

3. The length of dead-end corridors in newly constructed spaces shall only be required to comply with the provisions of Section 603.6.5.

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

603.4 Building elements and materials. The requirements of Section 603.4 are limited to work areas in which Level 2 alterations are being performed and shall apply beyond the work area where specified.

603.4.1 Vertical openings. Existing vertical openings shall comply with the provisions of Sections 603.4.1.1, 603.4.1.2, and 603.4.1.3.

603.4.1.1 Existing vertical openings. Existing interior vertical openings connecting two or more floors shall be enclosed with approved assemblies having a fire-resistance rating of not less than one hour with approved opening protectives.

Exceptions:

1. Where vertical opening enclosure is not required by the VCC or the International Fire Code.

2. Interior vertical openings other than stairways may be blocked at the floor and ceiling of the work area by installation of not less than 2 inches (51 mm) of solid wood or equivalent construction.

3. The enclosure shall not be required where:

3.1. Connecting the main floor and mezzanines; or

3.2. All of the following conditions are met:

3.2.1. The communicating area has a low hazard occupancy or has a moderate hazard occupancy that is protected throughout by an automatic sprinkler system.

3.2.2. The lowest or next to the lowest level is a street floor.

3.2.3. The entire area is open and unobstructed in a manner such that it may be assumed that a fire in any part of the interconnected spaces will be readily obvious to all of the occupants.

3.2.4. Exit capacity is sufficient to provide egress simultaneously for all occupants of all levels by considering all areas to be a single floor area for the determination of required exit capacity.

3.2.5. Each floor level, considered separately, has at least one half of its individual required exit capacity provided by exits leading directly out of that level without having to traverse another communicating floor level or be exposed to the smoke or fire spreading from another communicating floor level.

4. In Group A occupancies, a minimum 30-minute enclosure shall be provided to protect all vertical openings not exceeding three stories.

5. In Group B occupancies, a minimum 30-minute enclosure shall be provided to protect all vertical openings not exceeding three stories. This enclosure, or the enclosure specified in Section 603.4.1.1, shall not be required in the following locations:

5.1. Buildings not exceeding 3,000 square feet (279 m2) per floor.

5.2. Buildings protected throughout by an approved automatic fire sprinkler system.

6. In Group E occupancies, the enclosure shall not be required for vertical openings not exceeding three stories when the building is protected throughout by an approved automatic fire sprinkler system.

7. In Group F occupancies, the enclosure shall not be required in the following locations:

7.1. Vertical openings not exceeding three stories.

7.2. Special purpose occupancies where necessary for manufacturing operations and direct access is provided to at least one protected stairway.

7.3. Buildings protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system.

8. In Group H occupancies, the enclosure shall not be required for vertical openings not exceeding three stories where necessary for manufacturing operations and every floor level has direct access to at least two remote enclosed stairways or other approved exits.

9. In Group M occupancies, a minimum 30-minute enclosure shall be provided to protect all vertical openings not exceeding three stories. This enclosure, or the enclosure specified in Section 603.4.1.1, shall not be required in the following locations:

9.1. Openings connecting only two floor levels.

9.2. Occupancies protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system.

10. In Group R-1 occupancies, the enclosure shall not be required for vertical openings not exceeding three stories in the following locations:

10.1. Buildings protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system.

10.2. Buildings with less than 25 dwelling units or sleeping units where every sleeping room above the second floor is provided with direct access to a fire escape or other approved second exit by means of an approved exterior door or window having a sill height of not greater than 44 inches (1118 mm) and where:

10.2.1. Any exit access corridor exceeding 8 feet (2438 mm) in length that serves two means of egress, one of which is an unprotected vertical opening, shall have at least one of the means of egress separated from the vertical opening by a one-hour fire barrier; and

10.2.2. The building is protected throughout by an automatic fire alarm system, installed and supervised in accordance with the VCC.

11. In Group R-2 occupancies, a minimum 30-minute enclosure shall be provided to protect all vertical openings not exceeding three stories. This enclosure, or the enclosure specified in Section 603.4.1.1, shall not be required in the following locations:

11.1. Vertical openings not exceeding two stories with not more than four dwelling units per floor.

11.2. Buildings protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system.

11.3. Buildings with not more than four dwelling units per floor where every sleeping room above the second floor is provided with direct access to a fire escape or other approved second exit by means of an approved exterior door or window having a sill height of not greater than 44 inches (1118 mm) and the building is protected throughout by an automatic fire alarm system complying with Section 603.5.4.

12. One-family and two-family dwellings.

13. Group S occupancies where connecting not more than two floor levels or where connecting not more than three floor levels and the structure is equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system.

14. Group S occupancies where vertical opening protection is not required for open parking garages and ramps.

603.4.1.2 Supplemental shaft and floor opening enclosure requirements. Where the work area on any floor exceeds 50% of that floor area, the enclosure requirements of Section 603.4.1 shall apply to vertical openings other than stairways throughout the floor.

Exception: Vertical openings located in tenant spaces that are entirely outside the work area.

603.4.1.3 Supplemental stairway enclosure requirements. Where the work area on any floor exceeds 50% of that floor area, stairways that are part of the means of egress serving the work area shall, at a minimum, be enclosed with smoke-tight construction on the highest work area floor and all floors below.

Exception: Where stairway enclosure is not required by the VCC or the International Fire Code.

603.4.2 Smoke compartments. In Group I-2 occupancies where the work area is on a story used for sleeping rooms for more than 30 patients, the story shall be divided into not less than two compartments by smoke barrier walls in accordance with Section 407.5 of the VCC as required for new construction.

603.4.3 Interior finish. The interior finish of walls and ceilings in exits and corridors in any work area shall comply with the requirements of the VCC.

Exception: Existing interior finish materials that do not comply with the interior finish requirements of the VCC shall be permitted to be treated with an approved fire-retardant coating in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions to achieve the required rating.

603.4.3.1 Supplemental interior finish requirements. Where the work area on any floor exceeds 50% of the floor area, Section 603.4.3 shall also apply to the interior finish in exits and corridors serving the work area throughout the floor.

Exception: Interior finish within tenant spaces that are entirely outside the work area.

603.4.4 Guards. The requirements of Sections 603.4.4.1 and 603.4.4.2 shall apply in all work areas.

603.4.4.1 Minimum requirement. Every portion of a floor, such as a balcony or a loading dock, that is more than 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor or grade below and is not provided with guards, or those in which the existing guards are judged to be in danger of collapsing, shall be provided with guards.

603.4.4.2 Design. Where there are no guards or where existing guards must be replaced, the guards shall be designed and installed in accordance with the VCC.

603.4.5 Fire-resistance ratings. Where approved by the code official, 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 Fire protection. The requirements of Section 603.5 shall be limited to work areas in which Level 2 alterations are being performed, and where specified they shall apply throughout the floor on which the work areas are located or otherwise beyond the work area.

603.5.1 Corridor ratings. 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.

603.5.2 Automatic sprinkler system. Automatic sprinkler systems shall be provided in accordance with the requirements of Sections 603.5.2.1 through 603.5.2.5. Installation requirements shall be in accordance with the VCC.

603.5.2.1 High-rise buildings. In high-rise buildings, work areas that have exits or corridors shared by more than one tenant or that have exits or corridors serving an occupant load greater than 30 shall be provided with automatic sprinkler protection in the entire work area where the work area is located on a floor that has a sufficient sprinkler water supply system from an existing standpipe or a sprinkler riser serving that floor.

603.5.2.1.1 Supplemental automatic sprinkler system requirements. Where the work area on any floor exceeds 50% of that floor area, Section 603.5.2.1 shall apply to the entire floor on which the work area is located.

Exception: Occupied tenant spaces that are entirely outside the work area.

603.5.2.2 Groups A, B, E, F-1, H, I, M, R-1, R-2, R-4, S-1 and S-2. In buildings with occupancies in Groups A, B, E, F-1, H, I, M, R-1, R-2, R-4, S-1 and S-2, work areas that have exits or corridors shared by more than one tenant or that have exits or corridors serving an occupant load greater than 30 shall be provided with automatic sprinkler protection where all of the following conditions occur:

1. The work area is required to be provided with automatic sprinkler protection in accordance with the VCC as applicable to new construction; and

2. The work area exceeds 50% of the floor area.

Exception: If the building does not have sufficient municipal water supply for design of a fire sprinkler system available to the floor without installation of a new fire pump, work areas shall be protected by an automatic smoke detection system throughout all occupiable spaces other than sleeping units or individual dwelling units that activates the occupant notification system in accordance with Sections 907.4, 907.5 and 907.6 of the VCC.

603.5.2.2.1 Mixed uses. In work areas containing mixed uses, one or more of which requires automatic sprinkler protection in accordance with Section 603.5.2.2, such protection shall not be required throughout the work area provided that the uses requiring such protection are separated from those not requiring protection by fire-resistance-rated construction having a minimum two-hour rating for Group H and a minimum one-hour rating for all other occupancy groups.

603.5.2.3 Windowless stories. Work located in a windowless story, as determined in accordance with the VCC, shall be sprinklered where the work area is required to be sprinklered under the provisions of the VCC for newly constructed buildings and the building has a sufficient municipal water supply without installation of a new fire pump.

603.5.2.4 Other required automatic sprinkler systems. In buildings and areas listed in Table 903.2.11.6 of the VCC, work areas that have exits or corridors shared by more than one tenant or that have exits or corridors serving an occupant load greater than 30 shall be provided with an automatic sprinkler system under the following conditions:

1. The work area is required to be provided with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with the VCC applicable to new construction; and

2. The building has sufficient municipal water supply for design of an automatic sprinkler system available to the floor without installation of a new fire pump.

603.5.2.5 Supervision. Fire sprinkler systems required by this section shall be supervised by one of the following methods:

1. Approved central station system in accordance with NFPA 72;

2. Approved proprietary system in accordance with NFPA 72;

3. Approved remote station system of the jurisdiction in accordance with NFPA 72; or

4. When approved by the code official, approved local alarm service that will cause the sounding of an alarm in accordance with NFPA 72.

Exception: Supervision is not required for the following:

1. Underground gate valve with roadway boxes.

2. Halogenated extinguishing systems.

3. Carbon dioxide extinguishing systems.

4. Dry-chemical and wet-chemical extinguishing systems.

5. Automatic sprinkler systems installed in accordance with NFPA 13R where a common supply main is used to supply both domestic and automatic sprinkler systems and a separate shutoff valve for the automatic sprinkler system is not provided.

603.5.3 Standpipes. Where the work area includes exits or corridors shared by more than one tenant and is located more than 50 feet (15,240 mm) above or below the lowest level of fire department access, a standpipe system shall be provided. Standpipes shall have an approved fire department connection with hose connections at each floor level above or below the lowest level of fire department access. Standpipe systems shall be installed in accordance with the VCC.

Exceptions:

1. No pump shall be required provided that the standpipes are capable of accepting delivery by fire department apparatus of a minimum of 250 gallons per minute (gpm) at 65 pounds per square inch (psi) (946 L/m at 448KPa) to the topmost floor in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system or a minimum of 500 gpm at 65 psi (1892 L/m at 448KPa) to the topmost floor in all other buildings. Where the standpipe terminates below the topmost floor, the standpipe shall be designed to meet (gpm/psi) (L/m/KPa) requirements of this exception for possible future extension of the standpipe.

2. The interconnection of multiple standpipe risers shall not be required.

603.5.4 Fire alarm and detection. An approved fire alarm system shall be installed in accordance with Sections 603.5.4.1 through 603.5.4.3. Where automatic sprinkler protection is provided in accordance with Section 603.5.2 and is connected to the building fire alarm system, automatic heat detection shall not be required.

An approved automatic fire detection system shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of this code and NFPA 72. Devices, combinations of devices, appliances, and equipment shall be approved. The automatic fire detectors shall be smoke detectors, except that an approved alternative type of detector shall be installed in spaces such as boiler rooms, where products of combustion are present during normal operation in sufficient quantity to actuate a smoke detector.

603.5.4.1 Fire alarm requirements. A fire alarm system shall be installed in accordance with Sections 603.5.4.1.1 through 603.5.4.1.7 and Sections 1103.7 and 1103.8 of the IFC. Existing alarm-notification appliances shall be automatically activated throughout the building. Where the building is not equipped with a fire alarm system, alarm-notification appliances within the work area shall be provided and automatically activated.

Exceptions:

1. Occupancies with an existing, previously approved fire alarm system.

2. Where selective notification is permitted, alarm-notification appliances shall be automatically activated in the areas selected.

603.5.4.1.1 Group E. Work areas classified as Group E occupancies.

603.5.4.1.2 Group I-1. Work areas classified as Group I-1 residential care/assisted living facilities.

603.5.4.1.3 Group I-2. Throughout occupancies classified as Group I-2 occupancies.

603.5.4.1.4 Group I-3. Work areas classified as Group I-3 occupancies.

603.5.4.1.5 Group R-1. Occupancies classified as Group R-1 occupancies.

603.5.4.1.6 Group R-2. Work areas classified as Group R-2 apartment buildings.

603.5.4.1.7 Group R-4. Work areas classified as Group R-4 residential care/assisted living facilities.

603.5.4.2 Supplemental fire alarm system requirements. Where the work area on any floor exceeds 50% of that floor area, Section 603.5.4.1 shall apply throughout the floor.

Exception: Alarm initiating and notification appliances shall not be required to be installed in tenant spaces outside of the work area.

603.5.4.3 Smoke alarms. Individual sleeping units and individual dwelling units in any work area in Group R and I-1 occupancies shall be provided with smoke alarms in accordance with the International Fire Code.

Exception: Interconnection of smoke alarms outside of the work area shall not be required.

603.6 Means of egress. The means of egress shall comply with the requirements of Section 603.6.

Exceptions:

1. Where the work area and the means of egress serving it complies with NFPA 101.

2. Means of egress conforming to the requirements of the building code under which the building was constructed shall be considered compliant means of egress.

603.6.1 General. The requirements of this section shall be limited to work areas that include exits or corridors shared by more than one tenant within the work area in which Level 2 alterations are being performed, and where specified they shall apply throughout the floor on which the work areas are located or otherwise beyond the work area.

603.6.2 Number of exits. The number of exits shall be in accordance with Sections 603.6.2.1 through 603.6.2.3.

603.6.2.1 Minimum number. Every story utilized for human occupancy on which there is a work area that includes exits or corridors shared by more than one tenant within the work area shall be provided with the minimum number of exits based on the occupancy and the occupant load in accordance with the VCC. In addition, the exits shall comply with Sections 603.6.2.1.1 and 303.

603.6.2.1.1 Single-exit buildings. Only one exit is required from buildings and spaces of the following occupancies:

1. In Groups A, B, E, F, M, U, and S occupancies, a single exit is permitted in the story at the level of exit discharge when the occupant load of the story does not exceed 50 and the exit access travel distance does not exceed 75 feet (22,860 mm).

2. Groups B, F-2, and S-2 occupancies not more than two stories in height that are not greater than 3,500 square feet per floor (326 m2), when the exit access travel distance does not exceed 75 feet (22,860 mm). The minimum fire-resistance rating of the exit enclosure and of the opening protection shall be one hour.

3. Open parking structures where vehicles are mechanically parked.

4. In Group R-4 occupancies, the maximum occupant load excluding staff is 16.

5. Groups R-1 and R-2 not more than two stories in height, when there are not more than four dwelling units per floor and the exit access travel distance does not exceed 50 feet (15,240 mm). The minimum fire-resistance rating of the exit enclosure and of the opening protection shall be one hour.

6. In multilevel dwelling units in buildings of occupancy Group R-1 or R-2, an exit shall not be required from every level of the dwelling unit provided that one of the following conditions is met:

6.1. The travel distance within the dwelling unit does not exceed 75 feet (22,860 mm); or

6.2. The building is not more than three stories in height and all third floor space is part of one or more dwelling units located in part on the second floor; and no habitable room within any such dwelling unit shall have a travel distance that exceeds 50 feet (15,240 mm) from the outside of the habitable room entrance door to the inside of the entrance door to the dwelling unit.

7. In Groups R-2, H-4, H-5 and I occupancies and in rooming houses and child care centers, a single exit is permitted in a one-story building with a maximum occupant load of 10 and the exit access travel distance does not exceed 75 feet (22,860 mm). In dwelling units within Group R-2 buildings, an occupant load of 12 shall be permitted and, in addition, staff of such family day homes shall not be counted for the purposes of establishing occupant loads.

8. In buildings of Group R-2 occupancy that are equipped throughout with an automatic fire sprinkler system, a single exit shall be permitted from a basement or story below grade if every dwelling unit on that floor is equipped with an approved window providing a clear opening of at least 5 square feet (0.47 m2) in area, a minimum net clear opening of 24 inches (610 mm) in height and 20 inches (508 mm) in width, and a sill height of not more than 44 inches (1118 mm) above the finished floor.

9. In buildings of Group R-2 occupancy of any height with not more than four dwelling units per floor; with a smoke-proof enclosure or outside stairway as an exit; and with such exit located within 20 feet (6096 mm) of travel to the entrance doors to all dwelling units served thereby.

10. In buildings of Group R-3 occupancy equipped throughout with an automatic fire sprinkler system, only one exit shall be required from basements or stories below grade.

603.6.2.2 Mezzanines. Mezzanines in the work area and with an occupant load of more than 50 or in which the common path of egress travel distance to an exit or exit access doorway exceeds 75 feet (22,860 mm) shall have access to at least two independent means of egress.

Exception: Two independent means of egress are not required where the travel distance to an exit does not exceed 100 feet (30,480 mm) and the building is protected throughout with an automatic sprinkler system.

603.6.3 Egress doorways. Egress doorways in any work area shall comply with Sections 603.6.3.1 through 603.6.3.5.

603.6.3.1 Two egress doorways required. Work areas shall be provided with two egress doorways in accordance with the requirements of Sections 603.6.3.1.1 and 603.6.3.1.2.

603.6.3.1.1 Occupant load and travel distance. In any work area, all rooms and spaces having an occupant load greater than 50 or in which the common path of egress travel distance to an exit or exit access doorway exceeds 75 feet (22,860 mm) shall have a minimum of two egress doorways.

Exceptions:

1. Storage rooms having a maximum occupant load of 10.

2. Where the work area is served by a single exit in accordance with Section 603.6.2.1.1.

603.6.3.1.2 Group I-2. In buildings of Group I-2 occupancy, any patient sleeping room or suite of patient rooms greater than 1,000 square feet (93 m2) within the work area shall have a minimum of two egress doorways.

603.6.3.2 Door swing. In the work area and in the egress path from any work area to the exit discharge, all egress doors serving an occupant load greater than 50 shall swing in the direction of exit travel.

603.6.3.2.1 Supplemental requirements for door swing. Where the work area exceeds 50% of the floor area, door swing shall comply with Section 603.6.3.2 throughout the floor.

Exception: Means of egress within or serving only a tenant space that is entirely outside the work area.

603.6.3.3 Door closing. In any work area, all doors opening onto an exit passageway at grade or an exit stairway shall be self-closing or automatic-closing by listed closing devices.

Exceptions:

1. Where exit enclosure is not required by the VCC.

2. Means of egress within or serving only a tenant space that is entirely outside the work area.

603.6.3.3.1 Supplemental requirements for door closing. Where the work area exceeds 50% of the floor area, doors shall comply with Section 603.6.3.3 throughout the exit stairway from the work area to, and including, the level of exit discharge.

603.6.3.4 Panic hardware. In any work area, and in the egress path from any work area to the exit discharge, in buildings of Group A assembly occupancies with an occupant load greater than 100, all required exit doors equipped with latching devices shall be equipped with approved panic hardware.

603.6.3.4.1 Supplemental requirements for panic hardware. Where the work area exceeds 50% of the floor area, panic hardware shall comply with Section 603.6.3.4 throughout the floor.

Exception: Means of egress within a tenant space that is entirely outside the work area.

603.6.3.5 Emergency power source in Group I-3. Power operated sliding doors or power operated locks for swinging doors shall be operable by a manual release mechanism at the door. Emergency power shall be provided for the doors and locks in accordance with Section 2702 of the VCC.

Exceptions:

1. Emergency power is not required in facilities with 10 or fewer locks complying with the exception to Section 408.4.1 of the VCC.

2. Emergency power is not required where remote mechanical operating releases are provided.

603.6.4 Openings in corridor walls. Openings in corridor walls in any work area shall comply with Sections 603.6.4.1 through 603.6.4.4.

Exception: Openings in corridors where such corridors are not required to be rated in accordance with the VCC.

603.6.4.1 Corridor doors. Corridor doors in the work area shall not be constructed of hollow core wood and shall not contain louvers. All dwelling unit or sleeping unit corridor doors in work areas in buildings of Groups R-1, R-2, and I-1 shall be at least 1-3/8-inch (35 mm) solid core wood or approved equivalent and shall not have any glass panels, other than approved wired glass or other approved glazing material in metal frames. All dwelling unit or sleeping unit corridor doors in work areas in buildings of Groups R-1, R-2, and I-1 shall be equipped with approved door closers. All replacement doors shall be 1-3/4-inch (44 mm) solid bonded wood core or approved equivalent, unless the existing frame will accommodate only a 1-3/8-inch (35 mm) door.

Exceptions:

1. Corridor doors within a dwelling unit or sleeping unit.

2. Existing doors meeting the requirements of Guidelines on Fire Ratings of Archaic Materials and Assemblies (VEBC Resource A) for a rating of 15 minutes or more shall be accepted as meeting the provisions of this requirement.

3. Existing doors in buildings protected throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system shall be required only to resist smoke, be reasonably tight fitting, and shall not contain louvers.

4. In group homes with a maximum of 15 occupants and that are protected with an approved automatic detection system, closing devices may be omitted.

5. Door assemblies having a fire protection rating of at least 20 minutes.

603.6.4.2 Transoms. In all buildings of Group I-1, I-2, R-1 and R-2 occupancies, all transoms in corridor walls in work areas shall be either glazed with 1/4-inch (6.4 mm) wired glass set in metal frames or other glazing assemblies having a fire protection rating as required for the door and permanently secured in the closed position or sealed with materials consistent with the corridor construction.

603.6.4.3 Other corridor openings. In any work area, unless otherwise protected or fire-resistant rated in accordance with Section 716 of the VCC, any other sash, grille, or opening in a corridor and any window in a corridor not opening to the outside air shall be sealed with materials consistent with the corridor construction.

603.6.4.3.1 Supplemental requirements for other corridor opening. Where the work area exceeds 50% of the floor area, Section 603.6.4.3 shall be applicable to all corridor windows, grills, sashes, and other openings on the floor.

Exception: Means of egress within or serving only a tenant space that is entirely outside the work area.

603.6.4.4 Supplemental requirements for corridor openings. Where the work area on any floor exceeds 50% of the floor area, the requirements of Sections 603.6.4.1 through 603.6.4.3 shall apply throughout the floor.

603.6.5 Dead-end corridors. Dead-end corridors in any work area shall not exceed 35 feet (10 670 mm).

Exceptions:

1. Where dead-end corridors of greater length are permitted by the VCC.

2. In other than Group A and H occupancies, the maximum length of an existing dead-end corridor shall be 50 feet (15,240 mm) in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic fire alarm system installed in accordance with the VCC.

3. In other than Group A and H occupancies, the maximum length of an existing dead-end corridor shall be 70 feet (21,356 mm) in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with the VCC.

4. In other than Group A and H occupancies, the maximum length of an existing, newly constructed, or extended dead-end corridor shall not exceed 50 feet (15,240 mm) on floors equipped with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with the VCC.

603.6.6 Means-of-egress lighting. Means-of-egress lighting shall be in accordance with this section, as applicable.

603.6.6.1 Artificial lighting required. Means of egress in all work areas shall be provided with artificial lighting in accordance with the requirements of the VCC.

603.6.6.2 Supplemental requirements for means-of-egress lighting. Where the work area on any floor exceeds 50% of that floor area, means of egress throughout the floor shall comply with Section 603.6.6.1.

Exception: Means of egress within or serving only a tenant space that is entirely outside the work area.

603.6.7 Exit signs. Exit signs shall be in accordance with this section, as applicable.

603.6.7.1 Work areas. Means of egress in all work areas shall be provided with exit signs in accordance with the requirements of the VCC.

603.6.7.2 Supplemental requirements for exit signs. Where the work area on any floor exceeds 50% of that floor area, means of egress throughout the floor shall comply with Section 603.6.7.1.

Exception: Means of egress within a tenant space that is entirely outside the work area.

603.6.8 Handrails. The requirements of Sections 603.6.8.1 and 603.6.8.2 shall apply to handrails from the work area floor to, and including, the level of exit discharge.

603.6.8.1 Minimum requirement. Every required exit stairway that is part of the means of egress for any work area and that has three or more risers and is not provided with at least one handrail, or in which the existing handrails are judged to be in danger of collapsing, shall be provided with handrails for the full length of the stairway on at least one side. All exit stairways with a required egress width of more than 66 inches (1676 mm) shall have handrails on both sides.

603.6.8.2 Design. Handrails required in accordance with Section 603.6.8.1 shall be designed and installed in accordance with the provisions of the VCC.

603.6.9 Guards. The requirements of Sections 603.6.9.1 and 603.6.9.2 shall apply to guards from the work area floor to, and including, the level of exit discharge but shall be confined to the egress path of any work area.

603.6.9.1 Minimum requirement. Every open portion of a stairway, landing, or balcony that is more than 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor or grade below and is not provided with guards, or those portions in which existing guards are judged to be in danger of collapsing, shall be provided with guards.

603.6.9.2 Design. Guards required in accordance with Section 603.6.9.1 shall be designed and installed in accordance with the VCC.

603.7 Structural. Structural elements and systems within buildings undergoing Level 2 alterations shall comply with Sections 603.7.1 through 603.7.5.

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: 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.

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.

603.8 Electrical. Electrical elements and systems within buildings undergoing Level 2 alterations shall comply with Sections 603.8.1 through 603.8.3.

603.8.1 New installations. All newly installed electrical equipment and wiring relating to work done in any work area shall comply with all applicable requirements of NFPA 70 except as provided for in Section 603.8.3.

603.8.2 Existing installations. Existing wiring in all work areas in Groups A-1, A-2, A-5, H, and I occupancies shall be upgraded to meet the materials and methods requirements of Section 602.3.

603.8.3 Residential occupancies. In Groups R-2, R-3, R-4 and R-5 occupancies and buildings regulated by the International Residential Code, the requirements of Sections 603.8.3.1 through 603.8.3.7 shall be applicable only to work areas located within a dwelling unit.

603.8.3.1 Enclosed areas. All enclosed areas, other than closets, kitchens, basements, garages, hallways, laundry areas, utility areas, storage areas, and bathrooms shall have a minimum of two duplex receptacle outlets or one duplex receptacle outlet and one ceiling or wall-type lighting outlet.

603.8.3.2 Kitchens. Kitchen areas shall have a minimum of two duplex receptacle outlets.

603.8.3.3 Laundry areas. Laundry areas shall have a minimum of one duplex receptacle outlet located near the laundry equipment and installed on an independent circuit.

603.8.3.4 Ground fault circuit interruption. Newly installed receptacle outlets shall be provided with ground fault circuit interruption as required by NFPA 70.

603.8.3.5 Minimum lighting outlets. At least one lighting outlet shall be provided in every bathroom, hallway, stairway, attached garage, and detached garage with electric power, and to illuminate outdoor entrances and exits.

603.8.3.6 Utility rooms and basements. At least one lighting outlet shall be provided in utility rooms and basements where such spaces are used for storage or contain equipment requiring service.

603.8.3.7 Clearance for equipment. Clearance for electrical service equipment shall be provided in accordance with the NFPA 70.

603.9 Mechanical. All work areas intended for occupancy and all spaces converted to habitable or occupiable space in any work area shall be provided with natural or mechanical ventilation in accordance with the International Mechanical Code.

Exception: Existing mechanical ventilation systems shall comply with the requirements of Section 603.9.1.

603.9.1 Altered existing systems. 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.

603.9.2 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.

603.10 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.

F. Change Section 604 to Level 3 Alterations.

G. Change Section 604.1 and add Sections 604.2 through 604.7, including subsections, to the IEBC to read:

604.1 Scope. Level 3 alterations as described in Section 601.2.3 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.

604.2 Level 1 and Level 2 alterations compliance. In addition to the requirements of this section, work shall comply with the applicable requirements of Sections 602 and 603. The requirements of Sections 603.4, 603.5 and 603.6 shall apply within all work areas whether or not they include exits and corridors shared by more than one tenant and regardless of the occupant load.

Exception: Buildings in which the alteration affecting exits or shared egress access is exclusively the result of compliance with the accessibility requirements of Section 404.3 shall not be required to comply with this section.

604.3 Special use and occupancy. The following special uses and occupancies shall comply with the requirements of Section 603.6 except as specifically required in Sections 604.3.1 and 604.3.2.

604.3.1 High-rise buildings. Any building having occupied floors more than 75 feet (22,860 mm) above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access shall comply with the requirements of Sections 604.3.1.1 and 604.3.1.2.

604.3.1.1 Recirculating air or exhaust systems. When a floor is served by a recirculating air or exhaust system with a capacity greater than 15,000 cubic feet per minute (701 m3/s), that system shall be equipped with approved smoke and heat detection devices installed in accordance with the International Mechanical Code.

604.3.1.2 Elevators. Where there are elevators for public use, at least one elevator serving the work area shall comply with this section. Existing elevators with a travel distance of 25 feet (7620 mm) or more above or below the main floor or other level of a building and intended to serve the needs of emergency personnel for firefighting or rescue purposes shall be provided with emergency operation in accordance with ASME A17.3. New elevators shall be provided with Phase I emergency recall operation and Phase II emergency in-car operation in accordance with ASME A17.1.

604.3.2 Boiler and furnace equipment rooms. Boiler and furnace equipment rooms adjacent to or within Groups I-1, I-2, I-4, R-1, R-2, and R-4 occupancies shall be enclosed by one-hour-fire-resistance-rated construction.

Exceptions:

1. Steam boiler equipment operating at pressures of 15 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) (103.4 KPa) or less is not required to be enclosed.

2. Hot water boilers operating at pressures of 170 psig (1171 KPa) or less are not required to be enclosed.

3. Furnace and boiler equipment with 400,000 British thermal units (Btu) (4.22 by 108 J) per hour input rating or less is not required to be enclosed.

4. Furnace rooms protected with an automatic sprinkler system are not required to be enclosed.

604.4 Building elements and materials. Building elements and materials shall comply with the requirements of Section 603.6 except as specifically required in Sections 604.4.1 through 604.4.3.

604.4.1 Existing stairways. Existing stairways that are part of the means of egress shall be enclosed in accordance with Section 603.4.1.1, and its exceptions if applicable, from the highest work area floor to, and including, the level of exit discharge and all floors below.

604.4.2 Fire separation in Group R-3. Where the work area is in any attached dwelling unit in Group R-3 or any multiple single-family dwelling (townhouse), walls separating the dwelling units that are not continuous from the foundation to the underside of the roof sheathing shall be constructed to provide a continuous fire separation using construction materials consistent with the existing wall or complying with the requirements for new structures. All work shall be performed on the side of the dwelling unit wall that is part of the work area.

Exception: Where alterations or repairs do not result in the removal of wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, walls are not required to be continuous through concealed floor spaces.

604.4.3 Interior finish. Interior finish in exits serving the work area shall comply with Section 603.4.3 between the highest floor on which there is a work area to the floor of exit discharge.

604.5 Fire protection. Fire protection shall comply with the requirements of Section 603.5.2 except as specifically required in Sections 604.5.1 and 604.5.2.

604.5.1 Automatic sprinkler systems. An automatic sprinkler system shall be provided in a work area where required by Section 603.5.1.1 through 604.5.1.3 or Section 603.5.2.

604.5.1.1 High-rise buildings. An automatic sprinkler system shall be provided in work areas where the high-rise building has a sufficient municipal water supply for the design and installation of an automatic sprinkler system at the site.

604.5.1.2 Rubbish and linen chutes. Rubbish and linen chutes located in the work area shall be provided with automatic sprinkler system protection or an approved automatic fire extinguishing system where protection of the rubbish and linen chute would be required under the provisions of the VCC for new construction.

604.5.1.3 Upholstered furniture or mattresses. Work areas shall be provided with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with the VCC where any of the following conditions exist:

1. A Group F-1 occupancy used for the manufacture of upholstered furniture or mattresses exceeds 2,500 square feet (232 m2).

2. A Group S-1 occupancy used for the storage of upholstered furniture or mattresses exceeds 2,500 square feet (232 m2).

604.5.2 Fire alarm and detection systems. Fire alarm and detection shall be provided throughout the work area in accordance with Section 907 of the VCC as required for new construction.

604.5.2.1 Manual fire alarm systems. Where required by the VCC, a manual fire alarm system shall be provided throughout the work area. Alarm notification appliances shall be provided on such floors and shall be automatically activated as required by the VCC.

Exceptions:

1. Alarm-initiating and notification appliances shall not be required to be installed in tenant spaces outside of the work area.

2. Visual alarm notification appliances are not required, except where an existing alarm system is upgraded or replaced or where a new fire alarm system is installed.

604.5.2.2 Automatic fire detection. Where required by the VCC for new buildings, automatic fire detection systems shall be provided throughout the work area.

604.6 Means of egress. The means of egress shall comply with the requirements of Section 603.6 except as specifically required in Sections 604.6.1 and 604.6.2.

604.6.1 Means-of-egress lighting. Means of egress from the highest work area floor to the floor of exit discharge shall be provided with artificial lighting within the exit enclosure in accordance with the requirements of the VCC.

604.6.2 Exit signs. Means of egress from the highest work area floor to the floor of exit discharge shall be provided with exit signs in accordance with the requirements of the VCC.

604.7 Structural. Structural alterations shall comply with the requirements of Section 603.6 except as specifically required in Sections 604.7.1 and 604.7.2.

604.7.1 Substantial structural alteration. Where more than 30% of the total floor and roof areas of the building or structure have been or are proposed to be involved in structural alteration within a five-year period, the evaluation and analysis shall demonstrate that the lateral load-resisting system of the altered building or structure complies with the International Building Code for wind loading and with reduced International Building Code-level seismic force in accordance with Section 305.2.2. The areas to be counted toward the 30% shall be those areas tributary to the vertical load-carrying components, such as joists, beams, columns, walls and other structural components that have been or will be removed, added or altered, as well as areas such as mezzanines, penthouses, roof structures and in-filled courts and shafts.

604.7.2 Limited structural alteration. Where the work does not involve a substantial structural alteration and the building is not assigned to Seismic Design Category F, the existing elements of the lateral load-resisting system shall comply with Section 603.7.4.

H. Delete Sections 605, 606, 607, 608 and 609 of the IEBC in their entirety.

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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