UpCodes logo
// CODE SNIPPET

Section R322 Flood-Resistant Construction

Jump To Full Code Chapter
R322.1 General
Buildings and structures constructed in whole or in part in flood hazard areas, including A or V Zones and Coastal A Zones, as established in Table R301.2, and substantial improvement and repair of substantial damage of buildings and structures in flood hazard areas, shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the provisions contained in this section. Buildings and structures that are located in more than one flood hazard area shall comply with the provisions associated with the most restrictive flood hazard area. Buildings and structures located in whole or in part in identified floodways shall be designed and constructed in accordance with ASCE 24.
R322.1.1 Alternative Provisions
As an alternative to the requirements in Section R322, ASCE 24 is permitted subject to the limitations of this code and the limitations therein.
R322.1.2 Structural Systems
Structural systems of buildings and structures shall be designed, connected and anchored to resist flotation, collapse or permanent lateral movement due to structural loads and stresses from flooding equal to the design flood elevation.
R322.1.3 Flood-Resistant Construction
Buildings and structures erected in areas prone to flooding shall be constructed by methods and practices that minimize flood damage.
R322.1.4 Establishing the Design Flood Elevation
The design flood elevation shall be used to define flood hazard areas. At a minimum, the design flood elevation shall be the higher of the following:
  1. The base flood elevation at the depth of peak elevation of flooding, including wave height, that has a 1-percent (100-year flood) or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
  2. The elevation of the design flood associated with the area designated on a flood hazard map adopted by the community, or otherwise legally designated.
R322.1.4.1 Determination of Design Flood Elevations
If design flood elevations are not specified, the building official is authorized to require the applicant to comply with either of the following:
  1. Obtain and reasonably use data available from a federal, state or other source.
  2. Determine the design flood elevation in accordance with accepted hydrologic and hydraulic engineering practices used to define special flood hazard areas. Determinations shall be undertaken by a registered design professional who shall document that the technical methods used reflect currently accepted engineering practice. Studies, analyses and computations shall be submitted in sufficient detail to allow thorough review and approval.
R322.1.4.2 Determination of Impacts
In riverine flood hazard areas where design flood elevations are specified but floodways have not been designated, the applicant shall demonstrate that the effect of the proposed buildings and structures on design flood elevations, including fill, when combined with other existing and anticipated flood hazard area encroachments, will not increase the design flood elevation more than 1 foot (305 mm) at any point within the jurisdiction.
R322.1.5 Lowest Floor
The lowest floor shall be the lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area, including basement, and excluding any unfinished flood-resistant enclosure that is useable solely for vehicle parking, building access or limited storage provided that such enclosure is not built so as to render the building or structure in violation of this section.
R322.1.6 Protection of Mechanical, Plumbing and Electrical Systems
Electrical systems, equipment and components; heating, ventilating, air-conditioning; plumbing appliances and plumbing fixtures; duct systems; and other service equipment shall be located at or above the elevation required in Section R322.2 or R322.3. If replaced as part of a substantial improvement, electrical systems, equipment and components; heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and plumbing appliances and plumbing fixtures; duct systems; and other service equipment shall meet the requirements of this section. Systems, fixtures, and equipment and components shall not be mounted on or penetrate through walls intended to break away under flood loads.
Exception: Locating electrical systems, equipment and components; heating, ventilating, air-conditioning; plumbing appliances and plumbing fixtures; duct systems; and other service equipment is permitted below the elevation required in Section R322.2 or R322.3 provided that they are designed and installed to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components and to resist hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and stresses, including the effects of buoyancy, during the occurrence of flooding to the required elevation in accordance with ASCE 24. Electrical wiring systems are permitted to be located below the required elevation provided that they conform to the provisions of the electrical part of this code for wet locations.
R322.1.7 Protection of Water Supply and Sanitary Sewage Systems
New and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the systems in accordance with the plumbing provisions of this code. New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into systems and discharges from systems into floodwaters in accordance with the plumbing provisions of this code and Chapter 3 of the International Private Sewage Disposal Code.
R322.1.8 Flood-Resistant Materials
Building materials and installation methods used for flooring and interior and exterior walls and wall coverings below the elevation required in Section R322.2 or R322.3 shall be flood damage-resistant materials that conform to the provisions of FEMA TB-2.
R322.1.9 Manufactured Homes
The bottom of the frame of new and replacement manufactured homes on foundations that conform to the requirements of Section R322.2 or R322.3, as applicable, shall be elevated to or above the elevations specified in Section R322.2 (flood hazard areas including A Zones) or R322.3 in coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones and Coastal A Zones). The anchor and tie-down requirements of the applicable state or federal requirements shall apply. The foundation and anchorage of manufactured homes to be located in identified floodways shall be designed and constructed in accordance with ASCE 24.
R322.1.10 As-Built Elevation Documentation
A registered design professional shall prepare and seal documentation of the elevations specified in Section R322.2 or R322.3.
R322.2 Flood Hazard Areas (Including A Zones)
Areas that have been determined to be prone to flooding and that are not subject to high-velocity wave action shall be designated as flood hazard areas. Flood hazard areas that have been delineated as subject to wave heights between 11/2 feet (457 mm) and 3 feet (914 mm) or otherwise designated by the jurisdiction shall be designated as Coastal A Zones and are subject to the requirements of Section R322.3. Buildings and structures constructed in whole or in part in flood hazard areas shall be designed and constructed in accordance with Sections R322.2.1 through R322.2.4.
R322.2.1 Elevation Requirements
  1. Buildings and structures in flood hazard areas, not including flood hazard areas designated as Coastal A Zones, shall have the lowest floors elevated to or above the base flood elevation plus 1 foot (305 mm), or the design flood elevation, whichever is higher.
  2. In areas of shallow flooding (AO Zones), buildings and structures shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to a height above the highest adjacent grade of not less than the depth number specified in feet (mm) on the FIRM plus 1 foot (305 mm), or not less than 3 feet (915 mm) if a depth number is not specified.
  3. Basement floors that are below grade on all sides shall be elevated to or above base flood elevation plus 1 foot (305 mm), or the design flood elevation, whichever is higher.
  4. Garage and carport floors shall comply with one of the following:
    4.1. They shall be elevated to or above the elevations required in Item 1 or Item 2, as applicable.
    4.2. They shall be at or above grade on not less than one side. Where a garage or carport is enclosed by walls, the garage or carport shall be used solely for parking, building access or storage.
Exception: Enclosed areas below the elevation required in this section, including basements with floors that are not below grade on all sides, shall meet the requirements of Section R322.2.2.
R322.2.2 Enclosed Area Below Required Elevation
Enclosed areas, including crawl spaces, that are below the elevation required in Section R322.2.1 shall:
  1. Be used solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage.
  2. Be provided with flood openings that meet the following criteria and are installed in accordance with Section R322.2.2.1:
    2.1. The total net area of nonengineered openings shall be not less than 1 square inch (645 mm2) for each square foot (0.093 m2) of enclosed area where the enclosed area is measured on the exterior of the enclosure walls, or the openings shall be designed as engineered openings and the construction documents shall include a statement by a registered design professional that the design of the openings will provide for equalization of hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters as specified in Section 2.7.2.2 of ASCE 24.
    2.2. Openings shall be not less than 3 inches (76 mm) in any direction in the plane of the wall.
    2.3. The presence of louvers, blades, screens and faceplates or other covers and devices shall allow the automatic flow of floodwater into and out of the enclosed areas and shall be accounted for in the determination of the net open area.
R322.2.2.1 Installation of Openings
The walls of enclosed areas shall have openings installed such that:
  1. There shall be not less than two openings on different sides of each enclosed area; if a building has more than one enclosed area, each area shall have openings.
  2. The bottom of each opening shall be not more than 1 foot (305 mm) above the higher of the final interior grade or floor and the finished exterior grade immediately under each opening.
  3. Openings shall be permitted to be installed in doors and windows; doors and windows without installed openings do not meet the requirements of this section.
R322.2.3 Foundation Design and Construction
Foundation walls for buildings and structures erected in flood hazard areas shall meet the requirements of Chapter 4.
Exception: Unless designed in accordance with Section R404:
  1. The unsupported height of 6-inch (152 mm) plain masonry walls shall be not more than 3 feet (914 mm).
  2. The unsupported height of 8-inch (203 mm) plain masonry walls shall be not more than 4 feet (1219 mm).
  3. The unsupported height of 8-inch (203 mm) reinforced masonry walls shall be not more than 8 feet (2438 mm).
For the purpose of this exception, unsupported height is the distance from the finished grade of the under-floor space to the top of the wall.
R322.2.4 Tanks
Underground tanks shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse and lateral movement under conditions of the base flood. Above-ground tanks shall be installed at or above the elevation required in Section R322.2.1 or shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse and lateral movement under conditions of the base flood.
R322.3 Coastal High-Hazard Areas (Including V Zones and Coastal A Zones, Where Designated)
Areas that have been determined to be subject to wave heights in excess of 3 feet (914 mm) or subject to high-velocity wave action or wave-induced erosion shall be designated as coastal high-hazard areas. Flood hazard areas that have been designated as subject to wave heights between 11/2 feet (457 mm) and 3 feet (914 mm) or otherwise designated by the jurisdiction shall be designated as Coastal A Zones. Buildings and structures constructed in whole or in part in coastal high-hazard areas and Coastal A Zones, where designated, shall be designed and constructed in accordance with Sections R322.3.1 through R322.3.10.
R322.3.1 Location and Site Preparation
  1. New buildings and buildings that are determined to be substantially improved pursuant to Section R105.3.1.1 shall be located landward of the reach of mean high tide.
  2. For any alteration of sand dunes and mangrove stands, the building official shall require submission of an engineering analysis that demonstrates that the proposed alteration will not increase the potential for flood damage.
R322.3.2 Elevation Requirements
  1. Buildings and structures erected within coastal high-hazard areas and Coastal A Zones, shall be elevated so that the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural members supporting the lowest floor, with the exception of piling, pile caps, columns, grade beams and bracing, is elevated to or above the base flood elevation plus 1 foot (305 mm) or the design flood elevation, whichever is higher.
  2. Basement floors that are below grade on all sides are prohibited.
  3. Garages used solely for parking, building access or storage, and carports shall comply with Item 1 or shall be at or above grade on not less than one side and, if enclosed with walls, such walls shall comply with Item 6.
  4. The use of fill for structural support is prohibited.
  5. Minor grading, and the placement of minor quantities of fill, shall be permitted for landscaping and for drainage purposes under and around buildings and for support of parking slabs, pool decks, patios and walkways.
  6. Walls and partitions enclosing areas below the elevation required in this section shall meet the requirements of Sections R322.3.5 and R322.3.6.
See More

Related Code Sections

Section R322 Building Planning, Flood-Resistant Construction
requirements of the code. Be designed and constructed to resist flood loads and minimize transfer of flood loads to the building or structure, including ...