This section establishes the application of the USBC to state-owned buildings and structures in accordance with Section 36-98.1 of the Code of Virginia. The USBC shall be applicable to all state-owned buildings and structures, with the exception that Sections 2.2-1159 through 2.2-1161 of the Code of Virginia shall provide the standards for ready access to and use of state-owned buildings by the physically handicapped.
Any state-owned building or structure for which preliminary plans were prepared or on which construction commenced after the initial effective date of the USBC, shall remain subject to the provisions of the USBC that were in effect at the time such plans were completed or such construction commenced. Subsequent reconstruction, renovation or demolition of such building or structure shall be subject to the pertinent provisions of this code.
Acting through the Division of Engineering and Buildings, the Virginia Department of General Services shall function as the building official for state-owned buildings. The department shall review and approve plans and specifications, grant modifications, and establish such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement this section. It shall provide for the inspection of state-owned buildings and enforcement of the USBC and standards for access by the physically handicapped by delegating inspection and USBC enforcement duties to the State Fire Marshal's Office, to other appropriate state agencies having needed expertise, and to local building departments, all of which shall provide such assistance within a reasonable time and in the manner requested. State agencies and institutions occupying buildings shall pay to the local building department the same fees as would be paid by a private citizen for the services rendered when such services are requested by the department. The department may alter or overrule any decision of the local building department after having first considered the local building department's report or other rationale given for its decision. When altering or overruling any decision of a local building department, the department shall provide the local building department with a written summary of its reasons for doing so.
Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, roadway tunnels and bridges owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation shall be exempt from this code. The Virginia Department of General Services shall not have jurisdiction over such roadway tunnels, bridges and other limited access highways; provided, however, that the Department of General Services shall have jurisdiction over any occupied buildings within any Department of Transportation rights-of-way that are subject to this code.
Except as provided in subsection D of Section 23-38.109 of the Code of Virginia, and notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, at the request of a public institution of higher education, the Virginia Department of General Services, as further set forth in this provision, shall authorize that institution of higher education to contract with a building official of the locality in which the construction is taking place to perform any inspection and certifications required for the purpose of complying with this code. The department shall publish administrative procedures that shall be followed in contracting with a building official of the locality. The authority granted to a public institution of higher education under this provision to contract with a building official of the locality shall be subject to the institution meeting the conditions prescribed in subsection B of Section 23-38.88 of the Code of Virginia.
Note: In accordance with Section 36-98.1 of the Code of Virginia, roadway tunnels and bridges shall be designed, constructed and operated to comply with fire safety standards based on nationally recognized model codes and standards to be developed by the Virginia Department of Transportation in consultation with the State Fire Marshal and approved by the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board. Emergency response planning and activities related to the standards approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board shall be developed by the Department of Transportation and coordinated with the appropriate local officials and emergency service providers. On an annual basis, the Department of Transportation shall provide a report on the maintenance and operability of installed fire protection and detection systems in roadway tunnels and bridges to the State Fire Marshal.