CODES

ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Building Code 2015 (IBC 2015)

User note: Code change proposals to sections preceded by the designation [A], [BS] or [F] will be considered by one of the code development committees meeting during the 2016 (Group B) Code Development Cycle. See explanation on page ix.

Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this code, have the meanings shown in this chapter.
Words used in the present tense include the future; words stated in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter; the singular number includes the plural and the plural, the singular.
Where terms are not defined in this code and are defined in the California Energy Code, California Fire Code, California Mechanical Code, California Residential Code, California Existing Building Code, California Green Building Standards Code or California Plumbing Code, such terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them as in those codes.

Where terms are not defined through the methods authorized by this section, such terms shall have ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context implies.

For applications listed in Section 1.11 regulated by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, where terms are not defined through the methods authorized by this section, such terms shall have ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context implies. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, shall be considered as providing ordinarily accepted meanings.

24-HOUR BASIS. The actual time that a person is an occupant within a facility for the purpose of receiving care. It shall not include a facility that is open for 24 hours and is capable of providing care to someone visiting the facility during any segment of the 24 hours.

[BS] AAC MASONRY. Masonry made of autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) units, manufactured without internal reinforcement and bonded together using thin- or thick-bed mortar.

ACCESS AISLE. [DSA-AC]. An accessible pedestrian space adjacent to or between parking spaces that provides clearances in compliance with this code.

ACCESSIBILITY. [DSA-AC & HCD 1-AC] Accessibility is the combination of various elements in a building, facility, site, or area, or portion thereof which allows access, circulation and the full use of the building and facilities by persons with disabilities in compliance with this code.

ACCESSIBILITY FUNCTION BUTTON. [DSA-AC] A button on an elevator hall call console in a destination-oriented elevator system that when pressed will activate a series of visual and verbal prompts and announcements providing instruction regarding hall call console operation and direction to an assigned elevator.

ACCESSIBLE. [DSA-AC & HCD 1-AC] A site, building, facility, or portion thereof that is approachable and usable by persons with disabilities in compliance with this code.

ACCESSIBLE ELEMENT. [DSA-AC] An element specified by the regulations adopted by the Division of the State Architect-Access Compliance.

ACCESSIBLE MEANS OF EGRESS. A continuous and unobstructed way of egress travel from any accessible point in a building or facility to a public way.

ACCESSIBLE ROUTE. [DSA-AC & HCD 1-AC] A continuous unobstructed path connecting accessible elements and spaces of an accessible site, building or facility that can be negotiated by a person with a disability using a wheelchair, and that is also safe for and usable by persons with other disabilities. Interior accessible routes may include corridors, hallways, floors, ramps, elevators and lifts. Exterior accessible routes may include parking access aisles, curb ramps, crosswalks at vehicular ways, walks, ramps and lifts.

ACCESSIBLE SPACE. [DSA-AC & HCD 1-AC] A space that complies with the accessibility provisions of this code.

ACCREDITATION BODY. An approved, third-party organization that is independent of the grading and inspection agencies, and the lumber mills, and that initially accredits and subsequently monitors, on a continuing basis, the competency and performance of a grading or inspection agency related to carrying out specific tasks.

ACTIVE EQUIPMENT/COMPONENT. [DSA-SS, DSASS/CC & OSHPD 1, 2, 3 & 4] Equipment/Component containing moving or rotating parts, electrical parts such as switches or relays, or other internal components that are sensitive to earthquake forces and critical to the function of the equipment.

ADAPTABLE. [DSA-AC] Capable of being readily modified and made accessible.

ADAPTABLE DWELLING UNIT. [HCD 1-AC] An accessible dwelling unit within a covered multifamily building as designed with elements and spaces allowing the dwelling unit to be adapted or adjusted to accommodate the user. See Chapter 11A, Division IV.

[A] ADDITION. An extension or increase in floor area or height of a building or structure. [DSA-AC] An expansion, extension or increase in the gross floor area or height of a building or facility.

[BS] ADHERED MASONRY VENEER. Veneer secured and supported through the adhesion of an approved bonding material applied to an approved backing.

ADJUSTED CONSTRUCTION COST. [DSA-AC] All costs directly related to the construction of a project, including labor, material, equipment, services, utilities, contractor financing, contractor overhead and profit, and construction management costs. The costs shall not be reduced by the value of components, assemblies, building equipment or construction not directly associated with accessibility or usability. The adjusted construction cost shall not include: project management fees and expenses, architectural and engineering fees, testing and inspection fees, and utility connection or service district fees.

ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY. [DSA-AC] A governmental agency that adopts or enforces regulations and guidelines for the design, construction or alteration of buildings and facilities.

[BS] ADOBE CONSTRUCTION. Construction in which the exterior load-bearing and nonload-bearing walls and partitions are of unfired clay masonry units, and floors, roofs and interior framing are wholly or partly of wood or other approved materials.

Adobe, stabilized. Unfired clay masonry units to which admixtures, such as emulsified asphalt, are added during the manufacturing process to limit the units’ water absorption so as to increase their durability.

Adobe, unstabilized. Unfired clay masonry units that do not meet the definition of “Adobe, stabilized.”

[F] AEROSOL. A product that is dispensed from an aerosol container by a propellant. Aerosol products shall be classified by means of the calculation of their chemical heats of combustion and shall be designated Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3.

Level 1 aerosol products. Those with a total chemical heat of combustion that is less than or equal to 8,600 British thermal units per pound (Btu/lb) (20 kJ/g).

Level 2 aerosol products. Those with a total chemical heat of combustion that is greater than 8,600 Btu/lb (20 kJ/g), but less than or equal to 13,000 Btu/lb (30 kJ/g).

Level 3 aerosol products. Those with a total chemical heat of combustion that is greater than 13,000 Btu/lb (30 kJ/g).

[F] AEROSOL CONTAINER. A metal can or a glass or plastic bottle designed to dispense an aerosol.

AGED HOME OR INSTITUTION. A facility used for the housing of persons 65 years of age or older in need of care and supervision. (See definition of “care and supervision”)

[BS] AGGREGATE. In roofing, crushed stone, crushed slag or water-worn gravel used for surfacing for roof coverings.

AGRICULTURAL BUILDING. A structure designed and constructed to house farm implements, hay, grain, poultry, livestock or other horticultural products. This structure shall not be a place of human habitation or a place of employment where agricultural products are processed, treated or packaged, nor shall it be a place used by the public.

AIR-IMPERMEABLE INSULATION. An insulation having an air permeance equal to or less than 0.02 l/s × m2 at 75 pa pressure differential tested in accordance with ASTM E2178 or ASTM E283.

AIR-INFLATED STRUCTURE. A structure that uses air-pressurized membrane beams, arches or other elements to enclose space. Occupants of such a structure do not occupy the pressurized area used to support the structure.

AIR-SUPPORTED STRUCTURE. A structure wherein the shape of the structure is attained by air pressure and occupants of the structure are within the elevated pressure area. Air-supported structures are of two basic types:

Double skin. Similar to a single skin, but with an attached liner that is separated from the outer skin and provides an airspace which serves for insulation, acoustic, aesthetic or similar purposes.

Single skin. Where there is only the single outer skin and the air pressure is directly against that skin.

AISLE. An unenclosed exit access component that defines and provides a path of egress travel. [DSA-AC] A circulation path between objects such as seats, tables, merchandise, equipment, displays, shelves, desks, etc., that provides clearances in compliance with this code.

AISLE ACCESSWAY. That portion of an exit access that leads to an aisle.

[F] ALARM NOTIFICATION APPLIANCE. A fire alarm system component such as a bell, horn, speaker, light or text display that provides audible, tactile or visible outputs, or any combination thereof.

[F] ALARM SIGNAL. A signal indicating an emergency requiring immediate action, such as a signal indicative of fire.

[F] ALARM VERIFICATION FEATURE. A feature of automatic fire detection and alarm systems to reduce unwanted alarms wherein smoke detectors report alarm conditions for a minimum period of time, or confirm alarm conditions within a given time period, after being automatically reset, in order to be accepted as a valid alarm-initiation signal.

ALLOWABLE STRESS DESIGN. A method of proportioning structural members, such that elastically computed stresses produced in the members by nominal loads do not exceed specified allowable stresses (also called “working stress design”).

[A] ALTERATION. Any construction or renovation to an existing structure other than repair or addition. [DSA-AC] A change, addition or modification in construction, change in occupancy or use, or structural repair to an existing building or facility. Alterations include, but are not limited to, remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, historic restoration, resurfacing of circulation paths or vehicular ways, changes or rearrangement of the structural parts or elements, and changes or rearrangement in the plan configuration of walls and full-height partitions. Normal maintenance, reroofing, painting or wallpapering, or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are not alterations unless they affect the usability of the building or facility.

ALTERNATING TREAD DEVICE. A device that has a series of steps between 50 and 70 degrees (0.87 and 1.22 rad) from horizontal, usually attached to a center support rail in an alternating manner so that the user does not have both feet on the same level at the same time.

ALTERNATIVE SYSTEM. [OSHPD 1 & 4] Alternative materials, design and methods of construction in accordance with Section 104.11, Section 11.1.4 of ASCE 7 or structural design criteria as approved by the enforcement agency.

AMBULATORY CARE FACILITY. Buildings or portions thereof used to provide medical, surgical, psychiatric, nursing or similar care on a less than 24-hour basis to individuals who are rendered incapable of self-preservation by the services provided.

AMUSEMENT ATTRACTION. [DSA-AC] Any facility, or portion of a facility, located within an amusement park or theme park which provides amusement without the use of an amusement device. Amusement attractions include, but are not limited to, fun houses, barrels and other attractions without seats.

AMUSEMENT RIDE. [DSA-AC] A system that moves persons through a fixed course within a defined area for the purpose of amusement.

AMUSEMENT RIDE SEAT. [DSA-AC] A seat that is builtin or mechanically fastened to an amusement ride intended to be occupied by one or more passengers.

ANCHOR BUILDING. An exterior perimeter building of a group other than H having direct access to a covered or open mall building but having required means of egress independent of the mall.

[BS] ANCHORED MASONRY VENEER. Veneer secured with approved mechanical fasteners to an approved backing

ANNULAR SPACE. The opening around the penetrating item.

[F] ANNUNCIATOR. A unit containing one or more indicator lamps, alphanumeric displays or other equivalent means in which each indication provides status information about a circuit, condition or location.

ANSI. [DSA-AC] The American National Standards Institute.

[A] APPROVED. Acceptable to the building official.

[HCD 1, HCD 2 & DSA-AC] “Approved” means meeting the approval of the enforcing agency, except as otherwise provided by law, when used in connection with any system, material, type of construction, fixture or appliance as the result of investigations and tests conducted by the agency, or by reason of accepted principles or tests by national authorities or technical, health or scientific organizations or agencies.

Notes: [HCD 1 & HCD 2]

  1. See Health and Safety Code Section 17920 for “Approved” as applied to residential construction and buildings or structures accessory thereto, as referenced in Section 1.8.2.1.1.
  2. See Health and Safety Code Section 17921.1 for “Approved” as applied to the use of hotplates in residential construction referenced in Section 1.8.2.1.1.
  3. See Health and Safety Code Section 19966 for “Approved” as applied to factory-built housing as referenced in Section 1.8.3.2.5.
  4. See Health and Safety Code Section 18201 for “Approved” as applied to mobilehome parks as referenced in Section 1.8.2.1.3.
  5. See Health and Safety Code Section 18862.1 for “Approved” as applied to special occupancy parks as referenced in Section 1.8.2.1.3.

[A] APPROVED AGENCY. An established and recognized agency that is regularly engaged in conducting tests or furnishing inspection services, where such agency has been approved by the building official.

[HCD 1 & HCD 2] “Approved agency” shall mean “Listing agency” and “Testing agency.”

[DSA-SS, DSA-SS/CC] This term is synonymous with “laboratory of record” as referenced in Section 4-335 of the California Administrative Code.

[BS] APPROVED FABRICATOR. An established and qualified person, firm or corporation approved by the building official pursuant to Chapter 17 of this code.

APPROVED LISTING AGENCY. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] Any agency approved by the enforcing agency, unless otherwise provided by law, which is in the business of listing and labeling and which makes available at least an annual published report of such listings in which specific information is included that the product has been tested to recognized standards and found to comply.

[A] APPROVED SOURCE. An independent person, firm or corporation, approved by the building official, who is competent and experienced in the application of engineering principles to materials, methods or systems analyses.

APPROVED TESTING AGENCY. [HCD 1, HCD 2 & DSA-AC] Any agency, which is determined by the enforcing agency, except as otherwise provided by law, to have adequate personnel and expertise to carry out the testing of systems, materials, types of construction, fixtures or appliances.

[BS] AREA (for masonry).

Gross cross-sectional. The area delineated by the out-to-out specified dimensions of masonry in the plane under consideration.

Net cross-sectional. The area of masonry units, grout and mortar crossed by the plane under consideration based on out-to-out specified dimensions.

AREA, BUILDING. The area included within surrounding exterior walls (or exterior walls and fire walls) exclusive of vent shafts and courts. Areas of the building not provided with surrounding walls shall be included in the building area if such areas are included within the horizontal projection of the roof or floor above.

AREA OF REFUGE. An area where persons unable to use stairways can remain temporarily to await instructions or assistance during emergency evacuation.

AREA OF SPORT ACTIVITY. That portion of an indoor or outdoor space where the play or practice of a sport occurs.

AREAWAY. A subsurface space adjacent to a building open at the top or protected at the top by a grating or guard.

ASSEMBLY AREA. [DSA-AC] A building or facility, or portion thereof, used for the purpose of entertainment, educational or civic gatherings, or similar purposes. For the purposes of these requirements, assembly areas include, but are not limited to, classrooms, lecture halls, courtrooms, public meeting rooms, public hearing rooms, legislative chambers, motion picture houses, auditoria, theaters, playhouses, dinner theaters, concert halls, centers for the performing arts, amphitheaters, arenas, stadiums, grandstands or convention centers.

ASSEMBLY SEATING, MULTILEVEL. See “Multilevel assembly seating.”

ASSISTIVE DEVICE. [HCD 1-AC] An aid, tool or instrument used by persons with disabilities to assist in activities of daily living.

ASSISTIVE LISTENING SYSTEM (ALS). [DSA-AC] An amplification system utilizing transmitters, receivers and coupling devices to bypass the acoustical space between a sound source and a listener by means of induction loop, radio frequency, infrared or direct-wired equipment.

ATRIUM. An opening connecting two or more stories other than enclosed stairways, elevators, hoistways, escalators, plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning or other equipment, which is closed at the top and not defined as a mall. Stories, as used in this definition, do not include balconies within assembly groups or mezzanines that comply with Section 505.

ATTIC. The space between the ceiling beams of the top story and the roof rafters.

[F] AUDIBLE ALARM NOTIFICATION APPLIANCE. A notification appliance that alerts by the sense of hearing.

AUTOCLAVED AERATED CONCRETE (AAC). Low density cementitious product of calcium silicate hydrates, whose material specifications are defined in ASTM C1386.

[F] AUTOMATIC. As applied to fire protection devices, a device or system providing an emergency function without the necessity for human intervention and activated as a result of a predetermined temperature rise, rate of temperature rise or combustion products.

AUTOMATIC DOOR. A door equipped with a power-operated mechanism and controls that open and close the door automatically upon receipt of a momentary actuating signal. The switch that begins the automatic cycle may be a photoelectric device, floor mat or manual switch.

[F] AUTOMATIC FIRE-EXTINGUISHING SYSTEM. An approved system of devices and equipment which automatically detects a fire and discharges an approved fire-extinguishing agent onto or in the area of a fire.

[F] AUTOMATIC SMOKE DETECTION SYSTEM. A fire alarm system that has initiation devices that utilize smoke detectors for protection of an area such as a room or space with detectors to provide early warning of fire.

[F] AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SYSTEM. An automatic sprinkler system, for fire protection purposes, is an integrated system of underground and overhead piping designed in accordance with fire protection engineering standards. The system includes a suitable water supply. The portion of the system above the ground is a network of specially sized or hydraulically designed piping installed in a structure or area, generally overhead, and to which automatic sprinklers are connected in a systematic pattern. The system is usually activated by heat from a fire and discharges water over the fire area.

AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINE (ATM). [DSA-AC] Any electronic information processing device that accepts or dispenses cash in connection with a credit, deposit or convenience account. The term does not include devices used solely to facilitate check guarantees or check authorizations, or which are used in connection with the acceptance or dispensing of cash on a person-to-person basis, such as by a store cashier.

AUXILIARY AREA. A public dressing, locker, shower or toilet area or building space intended to be used by bathers.

[F] AVERAGE AMBIENT SOUND LEVEL. The root mean square, A-weighted sound pressure level measured over a 24-hour period, or the time any person is present, whichever time period is less.

AWNING. An architectural projection that provides weather protection, identity or decoration and is partially or wholly supported by the building to which it is attached. An awning is comprised of a lightweight frame structure over which a covering is attached.

BACKING. The wall or surface to which the veneer is secured.

BACKWASH. Is the process of thoroughly cleansing the filter media and/or elements and the contents of the filter vessel.

BALANCED DOOR. A door equipped with double-pivoted hardware so designed as to cause a semicounterbalanced swing action when opening.

[F] BALED COTTON. A natural seed fiber wrapped in and secured with industry accepted materials, usually consisting of burlap, woven polypropylene, polyethylene or cotton or sheet polyethylene, and secured with steel, synthetic or wire bands or wire; also includes linters (lint removed from the cottonseed) and motes (residual materials from the ginning process).

[F] BALED COTTON, DENSELY PACKED. Cotton made into banded bales with a packing density of not less than 22 pounds per cubic foot (360 kg/m3), and dimensions complying with the following: a length of 55 inches (1397 mm), a width of 21 inches (533.4 mm) and a height of 27.6 to 35.4 inches (701 to 899 mm).

[BS] BALLAST. In roofing, ballast comes in the form of large stones or paver systems or light-weight interlocking paver systems and is used to provide uplift resistance for roofing systems that are not adhered or mechanically attached to the roof deck.

[F] BARRICADE. A structure that consists of a combination of walls, floor and roof, which is designed to withstand the rapid release of energy in an explosion and which is fully confined, partially vented or fully vented; or other effective method of shielding from explosive materials by a natural or artificial barrier.

Artificial barricade. An artificial mound or revetment a minimum thickness of 3 feet (914 mm).

Natural barricade. Natural features of the ground, such as hills, or timber of sufficient density that the surrounding exposures that require protection cannot be seen from the magazine or building containing explosives when the trees are bare of leaves.

[BS] BASE FLOOD. The flood having a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

[BS] BASE FLOOD ELEVATION. The elevation of the base flood, including wave height, relative to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD), North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) or other datum specified on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).

[BS] BASEMENT (for flood loads). The portion of a building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides. This definition of “Basement” is limited in application to the provisions of Section 1612.

BASEMENT. A story that is not a story above grade plane (see “Story above grade plane”). This definition of “Basement” does not apply to the provisions of Section 1612 for flood loads.

BATHER. A person using a pool and adjoining deck areas for the purpose of water sports such as diving, swimming, wading or related activities.

BATHROOM. For the purposes of Chapters 11A and 11B, a room which includes a water closet (toilet), a lavatory, and a bathtub and/or a shower. It does not include single-fixture facilities or those with only a water closet and lavatory. It does include a compartmented bathroom. A compartmented bathroom is one in which the fixtures are distributed among interconnected rooms. A compartmented bathroom is considered a single unit and is subject to the requirements of Chapters 11A and 11B.

BEARING WALL STRUCTURE. A building or other structure in which vertical loads from floors and roofs are primarily supported by walls.

[BS] BED JOINT. The horizontal layer of mortar on which a masonry unit is laid.

BEDRIDDEN PERSON. A person, requiring assistance in turning and repositioning in bed, or being unable to independently transfer to and from bed, except in facilities with appropriate and sufficient care staff, mechanical devices if necessary, and safety precautions as determined in Title 22 regulations, by the Director of Social Services or his or her designated representative. Persons who are unable to independently transfer to and from bed, but who do not need assistance to turn or reposition in bed, shall be considered nonambulatory.

The Director of Social Services or his or her designated representative shall make the determination of the bedridden status of persons with developmental disabilities, in consultation with the Director of Developmental Services or his or her designated representative.

The Director of Social Services or his or her designated representative shall make the determination of the bedridden status of all other persons with disabilities who are not developmentally disabled.

BLEACHERS. Tiered seating supported on a dedicated structural system and two or more rows high and is not a building element (see “Grandstands”).

BLENDED TRANSITION. [DSA-AC] A raised pedestrian street crossing, depressed corner or similar connection between the pedestrian access route at the level of the sidewalk and the level of the pedestrian street crossing that has a grade of 5 percent or less.

BOARDING HOUSE. A building arranged or used for lodging for compensation, with or without meals, and not occupied as a single-family unit.

BOARDING PIER. [DSA-AC] A portion of a pier where a boat is temporarily secured for the purpose of embarking or disembarking.

BOAT LAUNCH RAMP. [DSA-AC] A sloped surface designed for launching and retrieving trailered boats and other water craft to and from a body of water.

BOAT SLIP. [DSA-AC] That portion of a pier, main pier, finger pier or float where a boat is moored for the purpose of berthing, embarking or disembarking.

[F] BOILING POINT. The temperature at which the vapor pressure of a liquid equals the atmospheric pressure of 14.7 pounds per square inch (psia) (101 kPa) or 760 mm of mercury. Where an accurate boiling point is unavailable for the material in question, or for mixtures which do not have a constant boiling point, for the purposes of this classification, the 20-percent evaporated point of a distillation performed in accordance with ASTM D86 shall be used as the boiling point of the liquid.

[BS] BRACED WALL LINE. A straight line through the building plan that represents the location of the lateral resistance provided by the wall bracing.

[BS] BRACED WALL PANEL. A full-height section of wall constructed to resist in-plane shear loads through interaction of framing members, sheathing material and anchors. The panel’s length meets the requirements of its particular bracing method and contributes toward the total amount of bracing required along its braced wall line.

BREAKOUT. For revolving doors, a process whereby wings or door panels can be pushed open manually for means of egress travel.

[BS] BRICK.

Calcium silicate (sand lime brick). A pressed and subsequently autoclaved unit that consists of sand and lime, with or without the inclusion of other materials.

Clay or shale. A solid or hollow masonry unit of clay or shale, usually formed into a rectangular prism, then burned or fired in a kiln; brick is a ceramic product.

Concrete. A concrete masonry unit made from Portland cement, water, and suitable aggregates, with or without the inclusion of other materials.

[A] BUILDING. Any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.

Exception: [HCD 1, HCD 2 & HCD 1-AC] For applications listed in Section 1.8.2 regulated by the Department of Housing and Community Development, “Building” shall not include the following:

  1. Any mobilehome as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 18008.
  2. Any manufactured home as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 18007.
  3. Any commercial modular as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 18001.8 or any special purpose commercial modular as defined in Section 18012.5.
  4. Any recreational vehicle as defined in Section Health and Safety Code 18010.
  5. Any multifamily manufactured home as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 18008.7.

For additional information, see Health and Safety Code Section 18908.

Note: Building shall have the same meaning as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 17920 and 18908 for the applications specified in Section 1.11.

BUILDING AREA. See “Area, building.”

BUILDING ELEMENT. A fundamental component of building construction, listed in Table 601, which may or may not be of fire-resistance-rated construction and is constructed of materials based on the building type of construction.

BUILDING ENTRANCE ON AN ACCESSIBLE ROUTE. [HCD 1-AC] An accessible entrance to a building that is connected by an accessible route to public transportation stops, to parking or passenger loading zones, or to public streets or sidewalks, if available.

BUILDING, EXISTING. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] A building erected prior to the adoption of this code, or one for which a legal building permit has been issued.

BUILDING HEIGHT. See “Height, building.”

BUILDING-INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAIC (BIPV) PRODUCT. A building product that incorporates photovoltaic modules and functions as a component of the building envelope.

BUILDING LINE. The line established by law, beyond which a building shall not extend, except as specifically provided by law.

[A] BUILDING OFFICIAL. The officer or other designated authority charged with the administration and enforcement of this code, or a duly authorized representative.

[B] BUILT-UP ROOF COVERING. Two or more layers of felt cemented together and surfaced with a cap sheet, mineral aggregate, smooth coating or similar surfacing material.

CABLE-RESTRAINED, AIR-SUPPORTED STRUCTURE. A structure in which the uplift is resisted by cables or webbings which are anchored to either foundations or dead men. Reinforcing cable or webbing is attached by various methods to the membrane or is an integral part of the membrane. This is not a cable-supported structure.

CANOPY. A permanent structure or architectural projection of rigid construction over which a covering is attached that provides weather protection, identity or decoration. A canopy is permitted to be structurally independent or supported by attachment to a building on one or more sides.

[F] CARBON DIOXIDE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS. A system supplying carbon dioxide (CO2) from a pressurized vessel through fixed pipes and nozzles. The system includes a manual- or automatic-actuating mechanism.

CARE AND SUPERVISION. Any one or more of the following activities provided by a person or facility to meet the needs of the clients:

Assistance in dressing, grooming, bathing and other personal hygiene.

Assistance with taking medication.

Central storing and/or distribution of medications.

Arrangement of and assistance with medical and dental care.

Maintenance of house rules for the protection of clients.

Supervision of client schedules and activities.

Maintenance and/or supervision of client cash resources or property.

Monitoring food intake or special diets.

Providing basic services required by applicable law and regulation to be provided by the licensee in order to obtain and maintain a community-care facility license.

CARE SUITE. In Group I-2 occupancies, a group of treatment rooms, care recipient sleeping rooms and the support rooms or spaces and circulation space within the suite where staff are in attendance for supervision of all care recipients within the suite, and the suite is in compliance with the requirements of Section 407.4.4.

CARRIAGE UNIT. [HCD 1-AC] A dwelling unit with living space on one or more floors immediately above a Group U, private garage or garages. The footprint of the garage or garages is used as the footprint for the remaining floor or floors of the units above and the garage level contains no habitable space.

Note: Dwelling units located over a common garage shall not be considered carriage units.

[BS] CAST STONE. A building stone manufactured from Portland cement concrete precast and used as a trim, veneer or facing on or in buildings or structures.

CATASTROPHICALLY INJURED. As termed, means a person whose origin of disability was acquired through trauma or nondegenerative neurologic illness, for whom it has been determined by the Department of Health Services Certification and Licensing that active rehabilitation would be beneficial.

CATCH POOL. [DSA-AC] A pool or designated section of a pool used as a terminus for water slide flumes.

CCR. [DSA-AC] The California Code of Regulations.

CDF DIRECTOR. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

[F] CEILING LIMIT. The maximum concentration of an air-borne contaminant to which one may be exposed. The ceiling limits utilized are those published in DOL 29 CFR Part 1910.1000. The ceiling Recommended Exposure Limit (REL-C) concentrations published by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Threshold Limit Value—Ceiling (TLV-C) concentrations published by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygenists (ACGIH), Ceiling Work place Environmental Exposure Level (WEEL-Ceiling) Guides published by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and other approved, consistent measures are allowed as surrogates for hazardous substances not listed in DOL 29 CFR Part 1910.1000.

CEILING RADIATION DAMPER. A listed device installed in a ceiling membrane of a fire-resistance-rated floor/ceiling or roof/ceiling assembly to limit automatically the radiative heat transfer through an air inlet/outlet opening. Ceiling radiation dampers include air terminal units, ceiling dampers and ceiling air diffusers.

CELL (Detention or correctional facility) [SFM]. A sleeping or housing unit in a detention or correctional facility for the confinement of not more than two inmates or prisoners.

[BS] CELL (masonry). A void space having a gross cross-sectional area greater than 11/2 square inches (967 mm2).

CELL COMPLEX. A cluster or group of cells or dormitories in a jail, prison or other detention facility, together with rooms used for accessory purposes, all of which open into the cell complex, and are used for functions such as dining, counseling, exercise, classrooms, sick call, visiting, storage, staff offices, control rooms or similar functions, and interconnecting corridors all within the cell complex.

CELL TIER. Levels of cells vertically stacked above one another within a housing unit.

CELL TIERS. Cells, dormitories and accessory spaces. Cell tiers are located one level above the other, and do not exceed two levels per floor. A cell tier shall not be considered a story or mezzanine.

CELLULAR CONCRETE. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] A lightweight product consisting of portland cement and selected gas-forming chemicals or foaming agents which create homogeneous voids in the hardened concrete.

[BS] CEMENT PLASTER. A mixture of portland or blended cement, Portland cement or blended cement and hydrated lime, masonry cement or plastic cement and aggregate and other approved materials as specified in this code.

CENTRAL CONTROL BUILDING. A secure building within a prison where the fire and life safety systems, communication systems, security systems and exterior lighting systems are monitored and where security operations necessitate the remote locking of required means of egress or at the door with a key to maintain a high security area

CERAMIC FIBER BLANKET. A high-temperature mineral wool insulation material made of alumina-silica ceramic or calcium magnesium silicate soluble fibers and weighing 4 to 10 pounds per cubic foot (pcf) (64 to 160 kg/m3).

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE. A certificate stating that materials and products meet specified standards or that work was done in compliance with approved construction documents.

[A] CHANGE OF OCCUPANCY. A change in the purpose or level of activity within a building that involves a change in application of the requirements of this code.

CHARACTERS. Letters, numbers, punctuation marks and typographic symbols.

CHARTER SCHOOL A public school providing instruction from kindergarten through 12th grade, established pursuant to Education Code, Title 2, Division 4, Part 26.8, Section 47600, et seq.

CHILD CARE CENTER. Any facility of any capacity other than a large or small family day-care home as defined in these regulations in which less than 24-hour-per-day nonmedical supervision is provided for children in a group setting.

CHILD OR CHILDREN. A person or persons under the age of 18 years.

CHILDREN’S USE. [DSA-AC] Describes spaces and elements specifically designed for use primarily by people 12 years old and younger.

[M] CHIMNEY. A primarily vertical structure containing one or more flues, for the purpose of carrying gaseous products of combustion and air from a fuel-burning appliance to the outdoor atmosphere.

Factory-built chimney. A listed and labeled chimney composed of factory-made components, assembled in the field in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and the conditions of the listing.

Masonry chimney. A field-constructed chimney composed of solid masonry units, bricks, stones, or concrete.

Metal chimney. A field-constructed chimney of metal.

[M] CHIMNEY TYPES.

High-heat appliance type. An approved chimney for removing the products of combustion from fuel-burning, high-heat appliances producing combustion gases in excess of 2000°F (1093°C) measured at the appliance flue outlet (see Section 2113.11.3).

Low-heat appliance type. An approved chimney for removing the products of combustion from fuel-burning, low-heat appliances producing combustion gases not in excess of 1000°F (538°C) under normal operating conditions, but capable of producing combustion gases of 1400°F (760°C) during intermittent forces firing for periods up to 1 hour. Temperatures shall be measured at the appliance flue outlet.

Masonry type. A field-constructed chimney of solid masonry units or stones.

Medium-heat appliance type. An approved chimney for removing the products of combustion from fuel-burning, medium-heat appliances producing combustion gases not exceeding 2000°F (1093°C) measured at the appliance flue outlet (see Section 2113.11.2).

CHRONICALLY ILL. See “Terminally ill.”

CIRCULATION PATH. An exterior or interior way of passage from one place to another for pedestrians. [DSA-AC] An exterior or interior way of passage provided for pedestrian travel, including but not limited to, walks, hallways, courtyards, elevators, platform lifts, ramps, stairways and landings.

[F] CLEAN AGENT. Electrically nonconducting, volatile or gaseous fire extinguishant that does not leave a residue upon vaporation.

CLEAN POOL WATER. Is a pool water that is free of dirt, oils, scum, algae, floating materials or other visible organic and inorganic materials that would sully the water.

CLEAR. [DSA-AC] Unobstructed.

CLEAR FLOOR SPACE. [DSA-AC & HCD 1-AC] The minimum unobstructed floor or ground space required to accommodate a single, stationary wheelchair and occupant.

CLEAR POOL WATER. Pool water that is free from cloudiness and is transparent.

[E] CLIMATE ZONE. A geographical region that has been assigned climatic criteria as specified in Chapters 3CE and 3RE of the California Energy Code.

CLINIC, OUTPATIENT. Buildings or portions thereof used to provide medical care on less than a 24-hour basis to persons who are not classified as nonambulatory or bedridden or rendered incapable of self-preservation by the services provided.

CLOSED-CIRCUIT TELEPHONE. [DSA-AC] A telephone with a dedicated line such as a house phone, courtesy phone or phone that must be used to gain entry to a facility.

[F] CLOSED SYSTEM. The use of a solid or liquid hazardous material involving a closed vessel or system that remains closed during normal operations where vapors emitted by the product are not liberated outside of the vessel or system and the product is not exposed to the atmosphere during normal operations; and all uses of compressed gases. Examples of closed systems for solids and liquids include product conveyed through a piping system into a closed vessel, system or piece of equipment.

[BS] COASTAL A ZONE. Area within a special flood hazard area, landward of a V zone or landward of an open coast without mapped coastal high hazard areas. In a coastal A zone, the principal source of flooding must be astronomical tides, storm surges, seiches or tsunamis, not riverine flooding. During the base flood conditions, the potential for breaking wave height shall be greater than or equal to 11/2 feet (457 mm). The inland limit of the coastal A zone is (a) the Limit of Moderate Wave Action if delineated on a FIRM, or (b) designated by the authority having jurisdiction.

[BS] COASTAL HIGH HAZARD AREA. Area within the special flood hazard area extending from offshore to the inland limit of a primary dune along an open coast and any other area that is subject to high-velocity wave action from storms or seismic sources, and shown on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or other flood hazard map as velocity Zone V, VO, VE or V1-30.

[BS] COLLAR JOINT. Vertical longitudinal space between wythes of masonry or between masonry wythe and backup construction that is permitted to be filled with mortar or grout.

[BS] COLLECTOR. A horizontal diaphragm element parallel and in line with the applied force that collects and transfers diaphragm shear forces to the vertical elements of the lateral force-resisting system or distributes forces within the diaphragm, or both.

COMBINATION FIRE/SMOKE DAMPER. A listed device installed in ducts and air transfer openings designed to close automatically upon the detection of heat and resist the passage of flame and smoke. The device is installed to operate automatically, controlled by a smoke detection system, and where required, is capable of being positioned from a fire command center

[F] COMBUSTIBLE DUST. Finely divided solid material that is 420 microns or less in diameter and which, when dispersed in air in the proper proportions, could be ignited by a flame, spark or other source of ignition. Combustible dust will pass through a U.S. No. 40 standard sieve.

[F] COMBUSTIBLE FIBERS. Readily ignitable and free-burning materials in a fibrous or shredded form, such as cocoa fiber, cloth, cotton, excelsior, hay, hemp, henequen, istle, jute, kapok, oakum, rags, sisal, Spanish moss, straw, tow, wastepaper, certain synthetic fibers or other like materials. This definition does not include densely packed baled cotton.

[F] COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID. A liquid having a closed cup flash point at or above 100°F (38°C). Combustible liquids shall be subdivided as follows:

  • Class II. Liquids having a closed cup flash point at or above 100°F (38°C) and below 140°F (60°C).
  • Class IIIA. Liquids having a closed cup flash point at or above 140°F (60°C) and below 200°F (93°C).
  • Class IIIB. Liquids having a closed cup flash point at or above 200°F (93°C).

The category of combustible liquids does not include compressed gases or cryogenic fluids.

COMMERCIAL FACILITIES [DSA-AC] Facilities whose operations will affect commerce and are intended for nonresidential use by a private entity. Commercial facilities shall not include (1) facilities that are covered or expressly exempted from coverage under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3601 - 3631); (2) aircraft; or (3) railroad locomotives, railroad freight cars, railroad cabooses, commuter or intercity passenger rail cars (including coaches, dining cars, sleeping cars, lounge cars and food service cars), any other railroad cars described in Section 242 of the Americans With Disabilities Act or covered under Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act, or railroad rights-of-way. For purposes of this definition, “rail” and “railroad” have the meaning given the term “railroad” in Section 202(e) of the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970 (45 U.S.C. 431(e)).

COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE. A motor vehicle used to transport passengers or property where the motor vehicle:

  1. Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds (4540 kg) or more; or
  2. Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.

COMMON PATH OF EGRESS TRAVEL. That portion of the exit access travel distance measured from the most remote point within a story to that point where the occupants have separate access to two exits or exit access doorways.

COMMON USE. Interior or exterior circulation paths, rooms, spaces or elements that are not for public use and are made available for the shared use of two or more people.

COMMON USE AREAS. [HCD 1-AC] Private use areas within multifamily residential facilities where the use of these areas is limited exclusively to owners, residents and their guests. The areas may be defined as rooms or spaces or elements inside or outside of a building.

COMMUNITY CARE FACILITY. Any facility, place or building that is maintained and operated to provide nonmedical residential care, day treatment, adult day care or foster family agency services for children, adults, or children and adults, including, but not limited to, the physically handicapped, mentally impaired, incompetent persons, and abused or neglected children, and includes the following as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 1502:

  1. Residential facility
  2. Adult day program
  3. Therapeutic day services facility
  4. Foster family agency
  5. Foster family home
  6. Small-family home
  7. Social rehabilitation facility
  8. Community treatment facility
  9. Full-service adoption agency
  10. Noncustodial adoption agency
  11. Transitional shelter care facility
  12. Transitional housing placement facility

COMPLY WITH. [DSA-AC] Comply with means to meet one or more provisions of this code.

[F] COMPRESSED GAS. A material, or mixture of materials, that:

  1. Is a gas at 68°F (20°C) or less at 14.7 pounds per square inch atmosphere (psia) (101 kPa) of pressure; and
  2. Has a boiling point of 68°F (20°C) or less at 14.7 psia (101 kPa) which is either liquefied, nonliquefied or in solution, except those gases which have no other health- or physical-hazard properties are not considered to be compressed until the pressure in the packaging exceeds 41 psia (282 kPa) at 68°F (20°C).

The states of a compressed gas are categorized as follows:

  1. Nonliquefied compressed gases are gases, other than those in solution, which are in a packaging under the charged pressure and are entirely gaseous at a temperature of 68°F (20°C).
  2. Liquefied compressed gases are gases that, in a packaging under the charged pressure, are partially liquid at a temperature of 68°F (20°C).
  3. Compressed gases in solution are nonliquefied gases that are dissolved in a solvent.
  4. Compressed gas mixtures consist of a mixture of two or more compressed gases contained in a packaging, the hazard properties of which are represented by the properties of the mixture as a whole.

[BS] CONCRETE

Carbonate aggregate. Concrete made with aggregates consisting mainly of calcium or magnesium carbonate, such as limestone or dolomite, and containing 40 percent or less quartz, chert or flint.

Cellular. See CELLULAR CONCRETE.

Lightweight aggregate. Concrete made with aggregates of expanded clay, shale, slag or slate or sintered fly ash or any natural lightweight aggregate meeting ASTM C330 and possessing equivalent fire-resistance properties and weighing 85 to 115 pcf (1360 to 1840 kg/m3).

Perlite. A lightweight insulating concrete having a dry unit weight of approximately 30 pcf (480 kg/m3) made with perlite concrete aggregate. Perlite aggregate is produced from a volcanic rock which, when heated, expands to form a glass-like material of cellular structure.

Sand-lightweight. Concrete made with a combination of expanded clay, shale, slag, slate, sintered fly ash, or any natural lightweight aggregate meeting ASTM C330 and possessing equivalent fire-resistance properties and natural sand. Its unit weight is generally between 105 and 120 pcf (1680 and 1920 kg/m3).

Siliceous aggregate. Concrete made with normal-weight aggregates consisting mainly of silica or compounds other than calcium or magnesium carbonate, which contains more than 40-percent quartz, chert or flint.

Vermiculite. A light weight insulating concrete made with vermiculite concrete aggregate which is laminated micaceous material produced by expanding the ore at high temperatures. When added to a Portland cement slurry the resulting concrete has a dry unit weight of approximately 30 pcf (480 kg/m3).

CONGREGATE LIVING HEALTH FACILITY (CLHF) means a residential home with a capacity, except as provided in paragraph (3), of no more than 12 beds, that provides inpatient care, including the following basic services: medical supervision, 24-hour skilled nursing and supportive care, pharmacy, dietary, social, recreational, and at least one type of service specified in paragraph (1). The primary need of congregate living health facility residents shall be for availability of skilled nursing care on a recurring, intermittent, extended, or continuous basis. This care is generally less intense than that provided in general acute care hospitals but more intense than that provided in skilled nursing facilities.

  1. Congregate living health facilities shall provide one of the following services:

    1. Services for persons who are mentally alert, persons with physical disabilities, who may be ventilator dependent.
    2. Services for persons who have a diagnosis of terminal illness, a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, or both. Terminal illness means the individual has a life expectancy of six months or less as stated in writing by his or her attending physician and surgeon. A “life-threatening illness” means the individual has an illness that can lead to a possibility of a termination of life within five years or less as stated in writing by his or her attending physician and surgeon.
    3. Services for persons who are catastrophically and severely disabled. A person who is catastrophically and severely disabled means a person whose origin of disability was acquired through trauma or nondegenerative neurologic illness, for whom it has been determined that active rehabilitation would be beneficial and to whom these services are being provided. Services offered by a congregate living health facility to a person who is catastrophically disabled shall include, but not be limited to, speech, physical, and occupational therapy.
  2. A congregate living health facility license shall specify which of the types of persons described in paragraph (1) to whom a facility is licensed to provide services.
    1. A facility operated by a city and county for the purposes of delivering services under this section may have a capacity of 59 beds.
    2. A congregate living health facility not operated by a city and county servicing persons who are terminally ill, persons who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, or both, that is located in a county with a population of 500,000 or more persons, or located in a county of the 16th class pursuant to Section 28020 of the Government Code, may have not more than 25 beds for the purpose of serving persons who are terminally ill.
    3. A congregate living health facility not operated by a city and county serving persons who are catastrophically and severely disabled, as defined in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) that is located in a county of 500,000 or more persons may have not more than 12 beds for the purpose of serving persons who are catastrophically and severely disabled.
  3. A congregate living health facility shall have a noninstitutional, homelike environment.

CONGREGATE RESIDENCE.–Any building or portion thereof that contains facilities for living, sleeping and sanitation, as required by this code, and may include facilities for eating and cooking, for occupancy by other than a family. A congregate residence may be a shelter, convent, monastery, dormitory, fraternity or sorority house, but does not include jails, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels or lodging houses.

[F] CONSTANTLY ATTENDED LOCATION. A designated location at a facility staffed by trained personnel on a continuous basis where alarm or supervisory signals are monitored and facilities are provided for notification of the fire department or other emergency services.

[A] CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS. Written, graphic and pictorial documents prepared or assembled for describing the design, location and physical characteristics of the elements of a project necessary for obtaining a building permit.

CONSTRUCTION TYPES. See Section 602.

  • Type I. See Section 602.2.
  • Type II. See Section 602.2.
  • Type III. See Section 602.3.
  • Type IV. See Section 602.4.
  • Type V. See Section 602.5.

[F] CONTINUOUS GAS DETECTION SYSTEM. A gas detection system where the analytical instrument is maintained in continuous operation and sampling is performed without interruption. Analysis is allowed to be performed on a cyclical basis at intervals not to exceed 30 minutes.

[F] CONTROL AREA. Spaces within a building where quantities of hazardous materials not exceeding the maximum allowable quantities per control area are stored, dispensed, used or handled. See also the definition of “Outdoor control area” in the California Fire Code.

CONTROLLED LOW-STRENGTH MATERIAL. A self-compacted, cementitious material used primarily as a backfill in place of compacted fill.

CONVENTIONAL LIGHT-FRAME CONSTRUCTION. A type of construction whose primary structural elements are formed by a system of repetitive wood-framing members. See Section 2308 for conventional light-frame construction provisions.

CORNICE. A projecting horizontal molded element located at or near the top of an architectural feature.

CORRIDOR. An enclosed exit access component that defines and provides a path of egress travel.

CORRIDOR, OPEN-ENDED. See “Open-ended corridor.”

CORRIDOR DAMPER. A listed device intended for use where air ducts penetrate or terminate at horizontal openings in the ceilings of fire-resistance-rated corridors, where the corridor ceiling is permitted to be constructed as required for the corridor walls.

[BS] CORROSION RESISTANCE. The ability of a material to withstand deterioration of its surface or its properties when exposed to its environment.

CORROSION RESISTANT. Capable of maintaining original surface characteristics under the prolonged influence of the use environment.

[F] CORROSIVE. A chemical that causes visible destruction of, or irreversible alterations in, living tissue by chemical action at the point of contact. A chemical shall be considered corrosive if, when tested on the intact skin of albino rabbits by the method described in DOTn 49 CFR, Part 173.137, such chemical destroys or changes irreversibly the structure of the tissue at the point of contact following an exposure period of 4 hours. This term does not refer to action on inanimate surfaces.

COURT. An open, uncovered space, unobstructed to the sky, bounded on three or more sides by exterior building walls or other enclosing devices.

COURTROOM DOCK. An area within a courtroom where persons may be restrained and are awaiting court proceedings.

COURTHOUSE HOLDING FACILITY [SFM]. A room, cell, cell complex or building for the confinement of persons for the purpose of a court appearance for a period not to exceed 12 hours.

COVERED MALL BUILDING. A single building enclosing a number of tenants and occupants, such as retail stores, drinking and dining establishments, entertainment and amusement facilities, passenger transportation terminals, offices and other similar uses wherein two or more tenants have a main entrance into one or more malls. Anchor buildings shall not be considered as a part of the covered mall building. The term “covered mall building” shall include open mall buildings as defined below.

Mall. A roofed or covered common pedestrian area within a covered mall building that serves as access for two or more tenants and not to exceed three levels that are open to each other. The term “mall” shall include open malls as defined below.

Open mall. An unroofed common pedestrian way serving a number of tenants not exceeding three levels. Circulation at levels above grade shall be permitted to include open exterior balconies leading to exits discharging at grade.

Open mall building. Several structures housing a number of tenants, such as retail stores, drinking and dining establishments, entertainment and amusement facilities, offices, and other similar uses, wherein two or more tenants have a main entrance into one or more open malls. Anchor buildings are not considered as a part of the open mall building.

COVERED MULTIFAMILY DWELLINGS. [HCD 1-AC] “Covered multifamily dwellings” means either of the following:

  1. Buildings that consist of at least four condominium dwelling units or at least three apartment dwelling units if the buildings have at least one elevator.
  2. The ground floor dwelling units in buildings that consist of at least four condominium dwelling units or at least three apartment dwelling units if the building does not have an elevator.

Covered multifamily dwellings include dwellings listed in Section 1102A.1. For purposes of this definition, dwelling units within a single structure separated by firewalls do not constitute separate buildings.

[BS] CRIPPLE WALL. A framed stud wall extending from the top of the foundation to the underside of floor framing for the lowest occupied floor level.

[F] CRITICAL CIRCUIT. A circuit that requires continuous operation to ensure safety of the structure and occupants.

[BS] CROSS-LAMINATED TIMBER. A prefabricated engineered wood product consisting of not less than three layers of solid-sawn lumber or structural composite lumber where the adjacent layers are cross oriented and bonded with structural adhesive to form a solid wood element.

CROSS SLOPE. The slope that is perpendicular to the direction of travel.

[F] CRYOGENIC FLUID. A liquid having a boiling point lower than -150°F (-101°C) at 14.7 pounds per square inch atmosphere (psia) (an absolute pressure of 101 kPa).

CURB CUT. An interruption of a curb at a pedestrian way, which separates surfaces that are substantially at the same elevation.

CURB RAMP. A sloping pedestrian way, intended for pedestrian traffic, which provides access between a walk or sidewalk and a surface located above or below an adjacent curb face.

CUSTODIAL CARE. Assistance with day-to-day living tasks; such as assistance with cooking, taking medication, bathing, using toilet facilities and other tasks of daily living. Custodial care includes persons receiving care who have the ability to respond to emergency situations and evacuate at a slower rate and/or who have mental and psychiatric complications.

[BS] DALLE GLASS. A decorative composite glazing material made of individual pieces of glass that are embedded in a cast matrix of concrete or epoxy.

DAMPER. See “Ceiling radiation damper,” “Combination fire/smoke damper,” “Corridor damper,” “Fire damper” and “Smoke damper.”

[BS] DANGEROUS. Any building, structure or portion thereof that meets any of the conditions described below shall be deemed dangerous:

  1. The building or structure has collapsed, has partially collapsed, has moved off its foundation or lacks the necessary support of the ground.
  2. There exists a significant risk of collapse, detachment or dislodgment of any portion, member, appurtenance or ornamentation of the building or structure under service loads.

[F] DAY BOX. A portable magazine designed to hold explosive materials constructed in accordance with the requirements for a Type 3 magazine as defined and classified in Chapter 56 of the California Fire Code.

DAY-CARE. For the purposes of these regulations, means the care of persons during any period of a 24-hour day where permanent sleeping accommodations are not provided.

Note: “Daycare” shall not be construed to preclude the use of cots or mats for napping purposes, provided all employees, attendants and staff personnel are awake and on duty in the area where napping occurs.

DAY-CARE HOME, FAMILY. A home that regularly provides care, protection and supervision for 14 or fewer children, in the provider’s own home, for periods of less than 24 hours per day, while the parents or guardians are away, and is either a large family day-care home or a small family day-care home.

DAY-CARE HOME, LARGE FAMILY. A provider’s own home which is licensed to provide day care for periods less than 24 hours per day for nine to 14 persons, including children under the age of 10 years who reside at the home.

DAY-CARE HOME, SMALL FAMILY. A home which provides family day-care to eight or fewer children, including children under the age of 10 years who reside at the home, in the provider’s own home, for periods of less than 24 hours per day. Small family day-care homes are exempted from state fire and life safety regulations other than those state and local standards applicable to Group R-3 occupancies. (See Health and Safety Code, Section 13143 (b).)

DAY ROOM. A room which is adjacent to a cell, or cell tier, or dormitory and which is used as a dining, exercise or other activity room for inmates.

[BS] DEAD LOAD. The weight of materials of construction incorporated into the building, including but not limited to walls, floors, roofs, ceilings, stairways, built-in partitions, finishes, cladding and other similarly incorporated architectural and structural items, and the weight of fixed service equipment, such as cranes, plumbing stacks and risers, electrical feeders, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems and automatic sprinkler systems.

DECK. Is an area surrounding a pool which is specifically constructed or installed for use by bathers.

[BS] DECORATIVE GLASS. A carved, leaded or Dalle glass or glazing material whose purpose is decorative or artistic, not functional; whose coloring, texture or other design qualities or components cannot be removed without destroying the glazing material and whose surface, or assembly into which it is incorporated, is divided into segments.

[F] DECORATIVE MATERIALS. All materials applied over the building interior finish for decorative, acoustical or other effect including, but not limited to, curtains, draperies, fabrics and streamers; and all other materials utilized for decorative effect including, but not limited to, bulletin boards, artwork, posters, photographs, batting, cloth, cotton, hay, stalks, straw, vines, leaves, trees, moss and similar items, foam plastics and materials containing foam plastics. Decorative materials do not include wall coverings, ceiling coverings, floor coverings, ordinary window shades, interior finish and materials 0.025 inch (0.64 mm) or less in thickness applied directly to and adhering tightly to a substrate.

[BS] DEEP FOUNDATION. A deep foundation is a foundation element that does not satisfy the definition of a shallow foundation.

DEFEND IN PLACE. A method of emergency response that engages building components and trained staff to provide occupant safety during an emergency. Emergency response involves remaining in place, relocating within the building, or both, without evacuating the building.

[A] DEFERRED SUBMITTAL. Those portions of the design that are not submitted at the time of the application and that are to be submitted to the building official within a specified period.

[F] DEFLAGRATION. An exothermic reaction, such as the extremely rapid oxidation of a flammable dust or vapor in air, in which the reaction progresses through the unburned material at a rate less than the velocity of sound. A deflagration can have an explosive effect.

[F] DELUGE SYSTEM. A sprinkler system employing open sprinklers attached to a piping system connected to a water supply through a valve that is opened by the operation of a detection system installed in the same areas as the sprinklers. When this valve opens, water flows into the piping system and discharges from all sprinklers attached thereto.

DEPARTMENT. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] The Department of Housing and Community Development.

[BS] DESIGN DISPLACEMENT. See Section 1905.1.1.

[BS] DESIGN EARTHQUAKE GROUND MOTION. The earthquake ground motion that buildings and structures are specifically proportioned to resist in Section 1613.

[BS] DESIGN FLOOD. The flood associated with the greater of the following two areas:

  1. Area with a flood plain subject to a 1-percent or greater chance of flooding in any year; or
  2. Area designated as a flood hazard area on a community’s flood hazard map, or otherwise legally designated.

[BS] DESIGN FLOOD ELEVATION. The elevation of the “design flood,” including wave height, relative to the datum specified on the community’s legally designated flood hazard map. In areas designated as Zone AO, the design flood elevation shall be the elevation of the highest existing grade of the building’s perimeter plus the depth number (in feet) specified on the flood hazard map. In areas designated as Zone AO where a depth number is not specified on the map, the depth number shall be taken as being equal to 2 feet (610 mm).

[A] DESIGN PROFESSIONAL, REGISTERED. See “Registered design professional.”

[A] DESIGN PROFESSIONAL IN RESPONSIBLE CHARGE, REGISTERED. See “Registered design professional in responsible charge.”

[BS] DESIGN STRENGTH. The product of the nominal strength and a resistance factor (or strength reduction factor).

DESIGNATED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. [DSA-AC] Transportation provided by a public entity (other than public school transportation) by bus, rail, or other conveyance (other than transportation by aircraft or intercity or commuter rail transportation) that provides the general public with general or special service, including charter service, on a regular and continuing basis.

[BS] DESIGNATED SEISMIC SYSTEM. Those nonstructural components that require design in accordance with Chapter 13 of ASCE 7 and for which the component importance factor, Ip, is greater than 1 in accordance with Section 13.1.3 of ASCE 7.

DESTINATION-ORIENTED ELEVATOR. [DSA-AC] Destination-oriented elevators are operated by the user selecting a destination floor at a hall call console located at or near an elevator landing. The destination-oriented elevator system then assigns an elevator car which transports the user to the selected destination floor. Destination-oriented elevators do not provide floor selection within elevator cars.

[F] DETACHED BUILDING. A separate single-story building, without a basement or crawl space, used for the storage or use of hazardous materials and located an approved distance from all structures.

DETACHED SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] Any single-family dwelling which is separated (detached) from adjacent buildings.

[BS] DETAILED PLAIN CONCRETE STRUCTURAL WALL. See Section 1905.1.1.

DETECTABLE WARNING. A standardized surface feature built in or applied to walking surfaces or other elements to warn of hazards on a circulation path.

[F] DETECTOR, HEAT. A fire detector that senses heat—either abnormally high temperature or rate of rise, or both.

DETENTION ELEVATOR [SFM]. Detention elevator shall mean an elevator which moves in-custody individuals within a secure and restrained environment.

DETENTION TREATMENT ROOM. [SFM]. Detention treatment room shall mean a lockable room or rooms within Group I-3 occupancies used for recreational therapy, group rooms, interdisciplinary treatment team rooms, and interview rooms not classified solely as a Group I-2 occupancy.

[F] DETONATION. An exothermic reaction characterized by the presence of a shock wave in the material which establishes and maintains the reaction. The reaction zone progresses through the material at a rate greater than the velocity of sound. The principal heating mechanism is one of shock compression. Detonations have an explosive effect.

DETOXIFICATION FACILITIES. Facilities that provide treatment for substance abuse, serving care recipients who are incapable of self-preservation or classified as non-ambulatory or who are harmful to themselves or others.

[BS] DIAPHRAGM. A horizontal or sloped system acting to transmit lateral forces to vertical elements of the lateral force-resisting system. When the term “diaphragm” is used, it shall include horizontal bracing systems.

Diaphragm, blocked. In light-frame construction, a diaphragm in which all sheathing edges not occurring on a framing member are supported on and fastened to blocking.

Diaphragm boundary. In light-frame construction, a location where shear is transferred into or out of the diaphragm sheathing. Transfer is either to a boundary element or to another force-resisting element.

Diaphragm chord. A diaphragm boundary element perpendicular to the applied load that is assumed to take axial stresses due to the diaphragm moment.

Diaphram, unblocked. A diaphragm that has edge nailing at supporting members only. Blocking between supporting structural members at panel edges is not included. Diaphragm panels are field nailed to supporting members.

DIMENSIONS (for Chapter 21).

Nominal. The specified dimension plus an allowance for the joints with which the units are to be laid. Nominal dimensions are usually stated in whole numbers. Thickness is given first, followed by height and then length.

Specified. Dimensions specified for the manufacture or construction of a unit, joint or element.

DIRECT ACCESS. A path of travel from a space to an immediately adjacent space through an opening in the common wall between the two spaces.

DIRECTIONAL SIGN. [DSA-AC, HCD 1 & HCD 2] A publicly displayed notice which indicates by use of words or symbols a recommended direction or route of travel.

DISABILITY [DSA-AC] Disability is (1) a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual, (2) a record of such an impairment, or (3) being regarded as having such an impairment.

[F] DISPENSING. The pouring or transferring of any material from a container, tank or similar vessel, whereby vapors, dusts, fumes, mists or gases are liberated to the atmosphere.

DOOR, BALANCED. See “Balanced door.”

DOOR, LOW-ENERGY POWER-OPERATED. See “Low-energy power-operated door.”

DOOR, POWER-ASSISTED. See “Power-assisted door.”

DOOR, POWER-OPERATED. See “Power-operated door.”

DOORWAY, EXIT ACCESS. See “Exit access doorway.”

DORMITORY. A space in a building where group sleeping accommodations are provided in one room, or in a series of closely associated rooms, for persons not members of the same family group, under joint occupancy and single management, as in college dormitories or fraternity houses. [SFM] For Group I-3 occupancies “Dormitory” is an area occupied by no less than three inmates.

DRAFTSTOP. A material, device or construction installed to restrict the movement of air within open spaces of concealed areas of building components such as crawl spaces, floor/ceiling assemblies, roof/ceiling assemblies and attics.

[BS] DRAG STRUT. See “Collector.”

DRAIN. A fitting or fixture, usually at or near the bottom of a pool, through which water leaves the pool normally to the recirculation pump.

[BS] DRILLED SHAFT. A drilled shaft is a cast-in-place deep foundation element constructed by drilling a hole (with or without permanent casing) into soil or rock and filling it with fluid concrete.

Socketed drilled shaft. A socketed drilled shaft is a drilled shaft with a permanent pipe or tube casing that extends down to bedrock and an uncased socket drilled into the bedrock.

DRIVE-UP ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION. An electric vehicle charging station in which use is limited to 30 minutes maximum and is provided at a location where the electric vehicle approaches in the forward direction, stops in the vehicle space, charges the vehicle, and proceeds forward to depart the vehicle space. The arrangement of a drive-up electric vehicle charger and its associated vehicle space is similar to a gasoline filling station island.

[F] DRY-CHEMICAL EXTINGUISHING AGENT. A powder composed of small particles, usually of sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, urea-potassium-based bicarbonate, potassium chloride or monoammonium phosphate, with added particulate material supplemented by special treatment to provide resistance to packing, resistance to moisture absorption (caking) and the proper flow capabilities.

[BS] DRY FLOODPROOFING. A combination of design modifications that results in a building or structure, including the attendant utilities and equipment and sanitary facilities, being water tight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water and with structural components having the capacity to resist loads as identified in ASCE 7.

DWELLING. A building that contains one or two dwelling units used, intended or designed to be used, rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied for living purposes.

DWELLING UNIT. A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation. [HCD 1-AC] For the purposes of Chapter 11A, a single unit of residence for a family of one or more persons. Examples of dwelling units covered by Chapter 11A include condominiums, an apartment unit within an apartment building, and other types of dwellings in which sleeping accommodations are provided but toileting or cooking facilities are shared by occupants of more than one room or portion of the dwelling. Examples of the latter include dormitory rooms and sleeping accommodations in shelters intended for occupancy as residences for homeless persons.

DWELLING UNIT OR SLEEPING UNIT, MULTISTORY. See “Multistory unit.”

EFFECTIVE PARTICLE SIZE. The theoretical size of a sieve in mm that will pass 10 percent by weight of sand.

EFFICIENCY DWELLING UNIT. [HCD 1] A dwelling unit containing only one habitable room and includes an efficiency unit as defined by Health and Safety Code Section 17958.1. See Section 1208.4.

EGRESS COURT. A court or yard which provides access to a public way for one or more exits.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) [DSA-AC & SFM]. An automotive-type vehicle for on-road use, such as passenger automobiles, buses, trucks, vans, neighborhood electric vehicles, electric motorcycles, and the like, primarily powered by an electric motor that draws current from a rechargeable storage battery, fuel cell, photovoltaic array, or other source of electric current. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are considered electric vehicles. For the purpose of this code, off-road, self-propelled electric vehicles, such as industrial trucks, hoists, lifts, transports, golf carts, airline ground support equipment, tractors, boats, and the like, are not included.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) CHARGER. Off-board charging equipment used to charge an electric vehicle.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING SPACE (EV Space). A space intended for charging electric vehicles.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION (EVCS). One or more electric vehicle charging spaces served by an electric vehicle charger or other charging equipment. Where a multiport electric vehicle charger can simultaneously charge more than one vehicle, the number of electric vehicle charging stations shall be considered equivalent to the number of electric vehicles that can be simultaneously charged.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) CONNECTOR. A device that, when electrically coupled (conductive or inductive) to an electric vehicle inlet, establishes an electrical connection to the electric vehicle for the purpose of power transfer and information exchange. This device is part of the electric vehicle coupler.

ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT PROTECTIVE SYSTEM. A specific construction of devices, materials, or coatings installed as a fire-resistive barrier system applied to electrical system components, such as cable trays, conduits and other raceways, open run cables and conductors, cables, and conductors.

ELEMENT. [DSA-AC] An architectural or mechanical component of a building, facility, space or site.

ELEVATED PLAY COMPONENT. [DSA-AC] A play component that is approached above or below grade and that is part of a composite play structure consisting of two or more play components attached or functionally linked to create an integrated unit providing more than one play activity.

[F] ELEVATOR GROUP. A grouping of elevators in a building located adjacent or directly across from one another that responds to common hall call buttons.

ELEVATOR, PASSENGER. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] See “PASSENGER ELEVATOR.” [DSA-AC] An elevator used primarily to carry passengers.

[F] EMERGENCY ALARM SYSTEM. A system to provide indication and warning of emergency situations involving hazardous materials.

[F] EMERGENCY CONTROL STATION. An approved location on the premises where signals from emergency equipment are received and which is staffed by trained personnel.

EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPENING. An operable window, door or other similar device that provides for a means of escape and access for rescue in the event of an emergency.

[F] EMERGENCY POWER SYSTEM. A source of automatic electric power of a required capacity and duration to operate required life safety, fire alarm, detection and ventilation systems in the event of a failure of the primary power. Emergency power systems are required for electrical loads where interruption of the primary power could result in loss of human life or serious injuries.

[F] EMERGENCY VOICE/ALARM COMMUNICATIONS. Dedicated manual or automatic facilities for originating and distributing voice instructions, as well as alert and evacuation signals pertaining to a fire emergency, to the occupants of a building.

EMPLOYEE WORK AREA. All or any portion of a space used only by employees and only for work. Corridors, toilet rooms, kitchenettes and break rooms are not employee work areas.

ENFORCEMENT. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] The applicable section of the Health and Safety Code is repeated here for clarity and reads as follows:

Section 17920. “Enforcement” means diligent effort to secure compliance, including review of plans and permit applications, response to complaints, citation of violations, and other legal process. Except as otherwise provided in this part, “enforcement” may, but need not, include inspections of existing buildings on which no complaint or permit application has been filed, and effort to secure compliance as to these existing buildings.

ENFORCEMENT AGENT. [DSA-SS, DSA-SS/CC & OSHPD 1 & 4] That individual within the agency or organization charged with responsibility for agency or organization compliance with the requirements of this Code. Used interchangeably with Building Official and Code Official.

ENFORCING AGENCY. (DSA-AC, HCD 1 & HCD 2) The designated department or agency as specified by statute or regulation.

[BS] ENGINEERED WOOD RIM BOARD. A full-depth structural composite lumber, wood structural panel, structural glued laminated timber or prefabricated wood I-joist member designed to transfer horizontal (shear) and vertical (compression) loads, provide attachment for diaphragm sheathing, siding and exterior deck ledgers, and provide lateral support at the ends of floor or roof joists or rafters.

ENTRANCE. Any access point to a building or portion of a building or facility used for the purpose of entering. An entrance includes the approach walk, the vertical access leading to the entrance platform, the entrance platform itself, vestibule if provided, the entry door or gate, and the hardware of the entry door or gate.

ENTRANCE, PUBLIC. See “Public entrance.”

ENTRANCE, RESTRICTED. See “Restricted entrance.”

ENTRANCE, SERVICE. See “Service entrance.”

EQUIPMENT PLATFORM. An unoccupied, elevated platform used exclusively for mechanical systems or industrial process equipment, including the associated elevated walkways, stairways, alternating tread devices and ladders necessary to access the platform (see Section 505.3).

EQUIPMENT AREA. An area used for pool recirculation and purification equipment and related piping appurtenances.

EQUIVALENT FACILITATION. The use of designs, products or technologies as alternatives to those prescribed, resulting in substantially equivalent or greater accessibility and usability.

Note: In determining equivalent facilitation, consideration shall be given to means that provide for the maximum independence of persons with disabilities while presenting the least risk of harm, injury or other hazard to such persons or others.

ESSENTIAL FACILITIES. Buildings and other structures that are intended to remain operational in the event of extreme environmental loading from flood, wind, snow or earthquakes

[F] EXHAUSTED ENCLOSURE. An appliance or piece of equipment that consists of a top, a back and two sides providing a means of local exhaust for capturing gases, fumes, vapors and mists. Such enclosures include laboratory hoods, exhaust fume hoods and similar appliances and equipment used to locally retain and exhaust the gases, fumes, vapors and mists that could be released. Rooms or areas provided with general ventilation, in themselves, are not exhausted enclosures.

EXISTING BUILDING OR FACILITY. [DSA-AC] A facility in existence on any given date, without regard to whether the facility may also be considered newly constructed or altered under this code.

EXISTING STRUCTURE. A structure erected prior to the date of adoption of the appropriate code, or one for which a legal building permit has been issued. For application of provisions in flood hazard areas, an existing structure is any building or structure for which the start of construction commenced before the effective date of the community’s first flood plain management code, ordinance or standard.

EXIT. That portion of a means of egress system between the exit access and the exit discharge or public way. Exit components include exterior exit doors at the level of exit discharge, interior exit stairways and ramps, exit passageways, exterior exit stairways and ramps and horizontal exits.

EXIT ACCESS. That portion of a means of egress system that leads from any occupied portion of a building or structure to an exit.

EXIT ACCESS DOORWAY. A door or access point along the path of egress travel from an occupied room, area or space where the path of egress enters an intervening room, corridor, exit access stairway or ramp.

EXIT ACCESS RAMP. A ramp within the exit access portion of the means of egress system.

EXIT ACCESS STAIRWAY. A stairway with the exit access portion of the means of egress system.

EXIT DISCHARGE. That portion of a means of egress system between the termination of an exit and a public way.

EXIT DISCHARGE, LEVEL OF. The story at the point at which an exit terminates and an exit discharge begins.

EXIT, HORIZONTAL. See “Horizontal exit.”

EXIT PASSAGEWAY. An exit component that is separated from other interior spaces of a building or structure by fire-resistance-rated construction and opening protectives, and provides for a protected path of egress travel in a horizontal direction to an exit or to the exit discharge.

EXPANDED VINYL WALL COVERING. Wall covering consisting of a woven textile backing, an expanded vinyl base coat layer and a nonexpanded vinyl skin coat. The expanded base coat layer is a homogeneous vinyl layer that contains a blowing agent. During processing, the blowing agent decomposes, causing this layer to expand by forming closed cells. The total thickness of the wall covering is approximately 0.055 inch to 0.070 inch (1.4 mm to 1.78 mm).

[F] EXPLOSION. An effect produced by the sudden violent expansion of gases, which may be accompanied by a shock wave or disruption, or both, of enclosing materials or structures. An explosion could result from any of the following:

  1. Chemical changes such as rapid oxidation, deflagration or detonation, decomposition of molecules and runaway polymerization (usually detonations).
  2. Physical changes such as pressure tank ruptures.
  3. Atomic changes (nuclear fission or fusion).

[F] EXPLOSIVE. A chemical compound, mixture or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion. The term includes, but is not limited to, dynamite, black powder, pellet powder, initiating explosives, detonators, safety fuses, squibs, detonating cord, igniter cord, igniters and display fireworks, 1.3G.

The term “explosive” includes any material determined to be within the scope of USC Title 18: Chapter 40 and also includes any material classified as an explosive other than consumer fireworks, 1.4G by the hazardous materials regulations of DOTn 49 CFR Parts 100-185.

High explosive. Explosive material, such as dynamite, which can be caused to detonate by means of a No. 8 test blasting cap when unconfined.

Low explosive. Explosive material that will burn or deflagrate when ignited. It is characterized by a rate of reaction that is less than the speed of sound. Examples of low explosives include, but are not limited to, black powder; safety fuse; igniters; igniter cord; fuse lighters; fireworks, 1.3G and propellants, 1.3C.

Mass-detonating explosives. Division 1.1, 1.2 and 1.5 explosives alone or in combination, or loaded into various types of ammunition or containers, most of which can be expected to explode virtually instantaneously when a small portion is subjected to fire, severe concussion, impact, the impulse of an initiating agent or the effect of a considerable discharge of energy from without. Materials that react in this manner represent a mass explosion hazard. Such an explosive will normally cause severe structural damage to adjacent objects. Explosive propagation could occur immediately to other items of ammunition and explosives stored sufficiently close to and not adequately protected from the initially exploding pile with a time interval short enough so that two or more quantities must be considered as one for quantity-distance purposes.

UN/DOTn Class 1 explosives. The former classification system used by DOTn included the terms “high” and “low” explosives as defined herein. The following terms further define explosives under the current system applied by DOTn for all explosive materials defined as hazard Class 1 materials. Compatibility group letters are used in concert with the division to specify further limitations on each division noted (i.e., the letter G identifies the material as a pyrotechnic substance or article containing a pyrotechnic substance and similar materials).

  • Division 1.1. Explosives that have a mass explosion hazard. A mass explosion is one which affects almost the entire load instantaneously.
  • Division 1.2. Explosives that have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard.
  • Division 1.3. Explosives that have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard.
  • Division 1.4. Explosives that pose a minor explosion hazard. The explosive effects are largely confined to the package and no projection of fragments of appreciable size or range is to be expected. An external fire must not cause virtually instantaneous explosion of almost the entire contents of the package.
  • Division 1.5. Very insensitive explosives. This division is comprised of substances that have a mass explosion hazard, but that are so insensitive there is very little probability of initiation or of transition from burning to detonation under normal conditions of transport.
  • Division 1.6. Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard. This division is comprised of articles that contain only extremely insensitive detonating substances and which demonstrate a negligible probability of accidental initiation or propagation.

EXTERIOR COVERING. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

EXTERIOR EXIT RAMP. An exit component that serves to meet one or more means of egress design requirements, such as required number of exits or exit access travel distance, and is open to yards, courts or public ways.

EXTERIOR EXIT STAIRWAY. An exit component that serves to meet one or more means of egress design requirements, such as required number of exits or exit access travel distance, and is open to yards, courts or public ways.

EXTERIOR INSULATION AND FINISH SYSTEMS (EIFS). EIFS are nonstructural, nonload-bearing, exterior wall cladding systems that consist of an insulation board attached either adhesively or mechanically, or both, to the substrate; an integrally reinforced base coat and a textured protective finish coat.

EXTERIOR INSULATION AND FINISH SYSTEMS (EIFS) WITH DRAINAGE. An EIFS that incorporates a means of drainage applied over a water-resistive barrier.

EXTERIOR SURFACES. Weather-exposed surfaces.

EXTERIOR WALL. A wall, bearing or nonbearing, that is used as an enclosing wall for a building, other than a fire wall, and that has a slope of 60 degrees (1.05 rad) or greater with the horizontal plane.

EXTERIOR WALL COVERING. A material or assembly of materials applied on the exterior side of exterior walls for the purpose of providing a weather-resisting barrier, insulation or for aesthetics, including but not limited to, veneers, siding, exterior insulation and finish systems, architectural trim and embellishments such as cornices, soffits, facias, gutters and leaders.

EXTERIOR WALL ENVELOPE. A system or assembly of exterior wall components, including exterior wall finish materials, that provides protection of the building structural members, including framing and sheathing materials, and conditioned interior space, from the detrimental effects of the exterior environment.

F RATING. The time period that the through-penetration firestop system limits the spread of fire through the penetration when tested in accordance with ASTM E814 or UL 1479.

FABRIC PARTITION. A partition consisting of a finished surface made of fabric, without a continuous rigid backing, that is directly attached to a framing system in which the vertical framing members are spaced greater than 4 feet (1219 mm) on center.

[BS] FABRICATED ITEM. Structural, load-bearing or lateral load-resisting members of assemblies consisting of materials assembled prior to installation in a building or structure, or subjected to operations such as heat treatment, thermal cutting, cold working or reforming after manufacture and prior to installation in a building or structure. Materials produced in accordance with standards referenced by this code, such as rolled structural steel shapes, steel reinforcing bars, masonry units and wood structural panels, or in accordance with a referenced standard that provides requirements for quality control done under the supervision of a third-party quality control agency, are not “fabricated items.”

[F] FABRICATION AREA. An area within a semiconductor fabrication facility and related research and development areas in which there are processes using hazardous production materials. Such areas are allowed to include ancillary rooms or areas such as dressing rooms and offices that are directly related to the fabrication area processes.

[A] FACILITY. All or any portion of buildings, structures, site improvements, elements and pedestrian or vehicular routes located on a site. [DSA-AC] All or any portion of buildings, structures, site improvements, elements, and pedestrian routes or vehicular ways located on a site.

[BS] FACTORED LOAD. The product of a nominal load and a load factor.

FAMILY [HCD 1]. An individual or two or more persons who are related by blood or marriage; or otherwise live together in a dwelling unit.

FENESTRATION. Skylights, roof windows, vertical windows (fixed or moveable), opaque doors, glazed doors, glazed block and combination opaque/glazed doors. Fenestration includes products with glass and nonglass glazing materials.

[BS] FIBER-CEMENT (BACKER BOARD, SIDING, SOFFIT, TRIM AND UNDERLAYMENT) PRODUCTS. Manufactured thin section composites of hydraulic cementitious matrices and discrete nonasbestos fibers.

[BS] FIBER-REINFORCED POLYMER. A polymeric composite material consisting of reinforcement fibers, such as glass, impregnated with a fiber-binding polymer which is then molded and hardened. Fiber-reinforced polymers are permitted to contain cores laminated between fiber-reinforced polymer facings.

[BS] FIBERBOARD. A fibrous, homogeneous panel made from lignocellulosic fibers (usually wood or cane) and having a density of less than 31 pounds per cubic foot (pcf) (497 kg/m3) but more than 10 pcf (160 kg/m3).

[BS] FIELD NAILING. See “Nailing, field.”

[F] FIRE ALARM BOX, MANUAL. See “Manual fire alarm box.”

[F] FIRE ALARM CONTROL UNIT. A system component that receives inputs from automatic and manual fire alarm devices and may be capable of supplying power to detection devices and transponders or off-premises transmitters. The control unit may be capable of providing a transfer of power to the notification appliances and transfer of condition to relays or devices.

[F] FIRE ALARM SIGNAL. A signal initiated by a fire alarm-initiating device such as a manual fire alarm box, automatic fire detector, waterflow switch or other device whose activation is indicative of the presence of a fire or fire signature.

[F] FIRE ALARM SYSTEM. A system or portion of a combination system consisting of components and circuits arranged to monitor and annunciate the status of fire alarm or supervisory signal-initiating devices and to initiate the appropriate response to those signals.

FIRE APPLIANCE. [SFM] The apparatus or equipment provided or installed for use in the event of an emergency.

FIRE AREA. The aggregate floor area enclosed and bounded by fire walls, fire barriers, exterior walls or horizontal assemblies of a building. Areas of the building not provided with surrounding walls shall be included in the fire area if such areas are included within the horizontal projection of the roof or floor next above.

FIRE BARRIER. A fire-resistance-rated wall assembly of materials designed to restrict the spread of fire in which continuity is maintained.

[F] FIRE COMMAND CENTER. The principal attended or unattended location where the status of detection, alarm communications and control systems is displayed, and from which the systems can be manually controlled.

FIRE DAMPER. A listed device installed in ducts and air transfer openings designed to close automatically upon detection of heat and resist the passage of flame. Fire dampers are classified for use in either static systems that will automatically shut down in the event of a fire, or in dynamic systems that continue to operate during a fire. A dynamic fire damper is tested and rated for closure under elevated temperature airflow.

[F] FIRE DETECTOR, AUTOMATIC. A device designed to detect the presence of a fire signature and to initiate action.

FIRE DOOR. The door component of a fire door assembly.

FIRE DOOR ASSEMBLY. Any combination of a fire door, frame, hardware and other accessories that together provide a specific degree of fire protection to the opening.

FIRE DOOR ASSEMBLY, FLOOR. See “Floor fire door assembly.”

FIRE EXIT HARDWARE. Panic hardware that is listed for use on fire door assemblies.

FIRE HAZARD SEVERITY ZONES. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

[F] FIRE LANE. A road or other passageway developed to allow the passage of fire apparatus. A fire lane is not necessarily intended for vehicular traffic other than fire apparatus.

FIRE PARTITION. A vertical assembly of materials designed to restrict the spread of fire in which openings are protected.

FIRE PROTECTION PLAN. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

FIRE PROTECTION RATING. The period of time that an opening protective will maintain the ability to confine a fire as determined by tests prescribed in Section 715. Ratings are stated in hours or minutes.

[F] FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEM. Approved devices, equipment and systems or combinations of systems used to detect a fire, activate an alarm, extinguish or control a fire, control or manage smoke and products of a fire or any combination thereof.

FIRE-RATED GLAZING. Glazing with either a fire protection rating or a fire-resistance rating.

FIRE RESISTANCE. That property of materials or their assemblies that prevents or retards the passage of excessive heat, hot gases or flames under conditions of use.

FIRE-RESISTANCE RATING. The period of time a building element, component or assembly maintains the ability to confine a fire, continues to perform a given structural function, or both, as determined by the tests, or the methods based on tests, prescribed in Section 703.

FIRE-RESISTANT JOINT SYSTEM. An assemblage of specific materials or products that are designed, tested and fire-resistance rated in accordance with either ASTM E1966 or UL 2079 to resist for a prescribed period of time the passage of fire through joints made in or between fire-resistance-rated assemblies.

FIRE-RETARDANT TREATED WOOD. [SFM] See Section 2303.2.

[F] FIRE SAFETY FUNCTIONS. Building and fire control functions that are intended to increase the level of life safety for occupants or to control the spread of harmful effects of fire.

FIRE SEPARATION DISTANCE. The distance measured from the building face to one of the following:

  1. The closest interior lot line;
  2. To the centerline of a street, an alley or public way; or
  3. To an imaginary line between two buildings on the lot.

The distance shall be measured at right angles from the face of the wall.

FIRE-SMOKE BARRIER. [SFM] A fire-resistance-rated wall assembly of materials designed to restrict the spread of fire in which continuity is maintained in accordance with Section 707 and that is designed and constructed to restrict the movement of smoke in accordance with Section 710.

FIRE WALL. A fire-resistance-rated wall having protected openings, which restricts the spread of fire and extends continuously from the foundation to or through the roof, with sufficient structural stability under fire conditions to allow collapse of construction on either side without collapse of the wall.

FIRE WINDOW ASSEMBLY. A window constructed and glazed to give protection against the passage of fire.

FIREBLOCKING. Building materials, or materials approved for use as fireblocking, installed to resist the free passage of flame to other areas of the building through concealed spaces.

[M] FIREPLACE. A hearth and fire chamber or similar prepared place in which a fire may be made and which is built in conjunction with a chimney.

FIREPLACE THROAT. The opening between the top of the firebox and the smoke chamber.

FIRESTOP, MEMBRANE PENETRATION. See “Membrane penetration firestop.”

FIRESTOP, PENETRATION. See “Penetration firestop.”

FIRESTOP SYSTEM, THROUGH PENETRATION. See “Through penetration firestop system.”

[F] FIREWORKS. Any composition or device for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect for entertainment purposes by combustion, deflagration or detonation that meets the definition of 1.4G fireworks or 1.3G fireworks as set forth herein.

Fireworks, 1.3G. Large fireworks devices, which are explosive materials, intended for use in fireworks displays and designed to produce audible or visible effects by combustion, deflagration or detonation. Such 1.3G fireworks include, but are not limited to, firecrackers containing more than 130 milligrams (2 grains) of explosive composition, aerial shells containing more than 40 grams of pyrotechnic composition, and other display pieces which exceed the limits for classification as 1.4G fireworks. Such 1.3G fireworks are also described as fireworks, UN0335 by the DOTn.

Note: Fireworks shall have the same meaning as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 12511 which has been reprinted as follows:

  1. 12511. “Fireworks” means any device containing chemical elements and chemical compounds capable of burning independently of the oxygen of the atmosphere and producing audible, visual, mechanical, or thermal effects which are useful as pyrotechnic devices or for entertainment.

    The term “fireworks” includes, but is not limited to, devices designated by the manufacturer as fireworks, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, rockets, Daygo bombs, sparklers, party poppers, paper caps, chasers, fountains, smoke sparks, aerial bombs, and fireworks kits.

  2. 12512. “Fireworks kit” means any assembly of materials or explosive substances, which is designed and intended by the seller to be assembled by the person receiving such material or explosive substance and when so assembled would come within the definition of fireworks in Section 12511.

Fireworks, 1.4G. Small fireworks devices containing restricted amounts of pyrotechnic composition designed primarily to produce visible or audible effects by combustion. Such 1.4G fireworks which comply with the construction, chemical composition and labeling regulations of the DOTn for fireworks, UN0336, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as set forth in CPSC 16 CFR: Parts 1500 and 1507, are not explosive materials for the purpose of this code.

FIXED BASE OPERATOR (FBO). A commercial business granted the right by the airport sponsor to operate on an airport and provide aeronautical services, such as fueling, hangaring, tie-down and parking, aircraft rental, aircraft maintenance and flight instruction.

FIXED SEATING. Furniture or fixture designed and installed for the use of sitting and secured in place including bench-type seats and seats with or without backs or arm rests.

FLAME SPREAD. The propagation of flame over a surface.

FLAME SPREAD INDEX. A comparative measure, expressed as a dimensionless number, derived from visual measurements of the spread of flame versus time for a material tested in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 723.

[F] FLAMMABLE GAS. A material that is a gas at 68°F (20°C) or less at 14.7 pounds per square inch atmosphere (psia) (101 kPa) of pressure [a material that has a boiling point of 68°F (20°C) or less at 14.7 psia (101 kPa)] which:

  1. Is ignitable at 14.7 psia (101 kPa) when in a mixture of 13 percent or less by volume with air; or
  2. Has a flammable range at 14.7 psia (101 kPa) with air of at least 12 percent, regardless of the lower limit.

The limits specified shall be determined at 14.7 psi (101 kPa) of pressure and a temperature of 68°F (20°C) in accordance with ASTM E681.

[F] FLAMMABLE LIQUEFIED GAS. A liquefied compressed gas which, under a charged pressure, is partially liquid at a temperature of 68°F (20°C) and which is flammable.

[F] FLAMMABLE LIQUID. A liquid having a closed cup flash point below 100°F (38°C). Flammable liquids are further categorized into a group known as Class I liquids. The Class I category is subdivided as follows:

  • Class IA. Liquids having a flash point below 73°F (23°C) and a boiling point below 100°F (38°C).
  • Class IB. Liquids having a flash point below 73°F (23°C) and a boiling point at or above 100°F (38°C).
  • Class IC. Liquids having a flash point at or above 73°F (23°C) and below 100°F (38°C). The category of flammable liquids does not include compressed gases or cryogenic fluids.

[F] FLAMMABLE MATERIAL. A material capable of being readily ignited from common sources of heat or at a temperature of 600°F (316°C) or less.

[F] FLAMMABLE SOLID. A solid, other than a blasting agent or explosive, that is capable of causing fire through friction, absorption or moisture, spontaneous chemical change, or retained heat from manufacturing or processing, or which has an ignition temperature below 212°F (100°C) or which burns so vigorously and persistently when ignited as to create a serious hazard. A chemical shall be considered a flammable solid as determined in accordance with the test method of CPSC 16 CFR; Part 1500.44, if it ignites and burns with a self-sustained flame at a rate greater than 0.1 inch (2.5 mm) per second along its major axis.

[F] FLAMMABLE VAPORS OR FUMES. The concentration of flammable constituents in air that exceed 25 percent of their lower flammable limit (LFL).

[F] FLASH POINT. The minimum temperature in degrees Fahrenheit at which a liquid will give off sufficient vapors to form an ignitable mixture with air near the surface or in the container, but will not sustain combustion. The flash point of a liquid shall be determined by appropriate test procedure and apparatus as specified in ASTM D56, ASTM D93 or ASTM D3278.

FLIGHT. A continuous run of rectangular treads, winders or combination thereof from one landing to another.

[BS] FLOOD or FLOODING. A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land from:

  1. The overflow of inland or tidal waters.
  2. The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.

[BS] FLOOD DAMAGE-RESISTANT MATERIALS. Any construction material capable of withstanding direct and prolonged contact with floodwaters without sustaining any damage that requires more than cosmetic repair.

FLOOD, DESIGN. See “Design flood.”

FLOOD ELEVATION, DESIGN. See “Design flood elevation.”

[BS] FLOOD HAZARD AREA. The greater of the following two areas:

  1. The area within a flood plain subject to a 1-percent or greater chance of flooding in any year.
  2. The area designated as a flood hazard area on a community’s flood hazard map, or otherwise legally designated.

FLOOD HAZARD AREAS, SPECIAL. See “Special flood hazard areas.”

[BS] FLOOD HAZARD AREA SUBJECT TO HIGH-VELOCITY WAVE ACTION. Area within the flood hazard area that is subject to high-velocity wave action, and shown on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or other flood hazard map as Zone V, VO, VE or V1-30.

[BS] FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM). An official map of a community on which the Federal emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has delineated both the special flood hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.

[BS] FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY. The official report provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency containing the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM), the water surface elevation of the base flood and supporting technical data.

[BS] FLOODWAY. The channel of the river, creek or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height.

FLOOR AREA, GROSS. The floor area within the inside perimeter of the exterior walls of the building under consideration, exclusive of vent shafts and courts, without deduction for corridors, stairways, ramps, closets, the thickness of interior walls, columns or other features. The floor area of a building, or portion thereof, not provided with surrounding exterior walls shall be the usable area under the horizontal projection of the roof or floor above. The gross floor area shall not include shafts with no openings or interior courts.

FLOOR AREA, NET. The actual occupied area not including unoccupied accessory areas such as corridors, stairways, ramps, toilet rooms, mechanical rooms and closets.

FLOOR FIRE DOOR ASSEMBLY. A combination of a fire door, a frame, hardware and other accessories installed in a horizontal plane, which together provide a specific degree of fire protection to a through-opening in a fire-resistance-rated floor (see Section 712.1.13.1).

[F] FOAM-EXTINGUISHING SYSTEM. A special system discharging a foam made from concentrates, either mechanically or chemically, over the area to be protected.

FOAM PLASTIC INSULATION. A plastic that is intentionally expanded by the use of a foaming agent to produce a reduced-density plastic containing voids consisting of open or closed cells distributed throughout the plastic for thermal insulating or acoustical purposes and that has a density less than 20 pounds per cubic foot (pcf) (320 kg/m3).

[BS] FOLDING AND TELESCOPIC SEATING. Tiered seating having an overall shape and size that is capable of being reduced for purposes of moving or storing and is not a building element.

FOOD COURT. A public seating area located in the mall that serves adjacent food preparation tenant spaces.

FOSTER CARE FACILITIES. See FOSTER FAMILY HOME.

FOSTER FAMILY HOME. Any residential facility providing 24-hour care for six or fewer foster children that is owned, leased or rented and is the residence of the foster parent or parents, including their family, in whose care the foster children have been placed. The placement may be by a public or private child placement agency or by a court order, or by voluntary placement by a parent, parents or guardian. It also means a foster family home described in Section 1505.2.

[BS] FOUNDATION PIER (for Chapter 21). An isolated vertical foundation member whose horizontal dimension measured at right angles to its thickness does not exceed three times its thickness and whose height is equal to or less than four times its thickness.

FRAME STRUCTURE. A building or other structure in which vertical loads from floors and roofs are primarily supported by columns.

FREESTANDING ACUTE PSYCHIATRIC BUILDING (APB). [OSHPD 1] A freestanding building, as defined in the California Administrative Code Section 7-111, that provides 24-hour inpatient Acute Psychiatric Services as defined in the Health and Safety Code (H&SC) Section 1250(b) or as special services in accordance with H&SC Section 1255(a)(5) of a general acute care hospital defined in H&SC Section 1250(a) and all structures required for their continuous operation or access/egress.

FREESTANDING SKILLED NURSING BUILDING (SNB). [OSHPD 1] A freestanding building, as defined in the California Administrative Code Section 7-111, that provides skilled nursing and/or intermediate care as defined in the Health and Safety Code Section 1250(c) or (d), and all structures required for their continuous operation or access/egress.

FULL-TIME CARE. Shall mean the establishment and routine care of persons on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or permanent basis, whether for 24-hours per day or less, and where sleeping accommodations are provided.

FUNCTIONAL AREA. [DSA-AC] A room, space or area intended or designated for a group of related activities or processes.

GABLE. The triangular portion of a wall beneath the end of a dual-slope, pitched, or mono-slope roof or portion thereof and above the top plates of the story or level of the ceiling below.

GANGWAY. [DSA-AC] A variable-sloped pedestrian walkway that links a fixed structure or land with a floating structure. Gangways that connect to vessels are not addressed by this code.

[F] GAS CABINET. A fully enclosed, ventilated noncombustible enclosure used to provide an isolated environment for compressed gas cylinders in storage or use. Doors and access ports for exchanging cylinders and accessing pressure-regulating controls are allowed to be included.

[F] GAS ROOM. A separately ventilated, fully enclosed room in which only compressed gases and associated equipment and supplies are stored or used.

[F] GASEOUS HYDROGEN SYSTEM. An assembly of piping, devices and apparatus designed to generate, store, contain, distribute or transport a nontoxic, gaseous hydrogen-containing mixture having not less than 95-percent hydrogen gas by volume and not more than 1-percent oxygen by volume. Gaseous hydrogen systems consist of items such as compressed gas containers, reactors and appurtenances, including pressure regulators, pressure relief devices, manifolds, pumps, compressors and interconnecting piping and tubing and controls.

GENERAL ACUTE CARE BUILDING (GAC Building). [OSHPD 1] Hospital buildings as defined in the California Administrative Code Section 7-111 and all structures required for their continuous operation or access/egress, except Freestanding Skilled Nursing Building (SNB) and Acute Psychiatric Building (APB).

GLASS FIBERBOARD. Fibrous glass roof insulation consisting of inorganic glass fibers formed into rigid boards using a binder. The board has a top surface faced with asphalt and kraft reinforced with glass fiber.

GOLF CAR PASSAGE. [DSA-AC] A continuous passage on which a motorized golf car can operate.

GRAB BAR. [DSA-AC & HCD 1-AC] A bar for the purpose of being grasped by the hand for support.

GRADE (Adjacent Ground Elevation) [DSA-AC & HCD 1-AC] The lowest point of elevation of the finished surface of the ground, paving or sidewalk within the area between the building and the property line or, when the property line is more than 5 feet (1524 mm) from the building, between the building and a line 5 feet (1524 mm) from the building. See Health and Safety Code Section 19955.3(d).

GRADE BREAK. [DSA-AC] The line where two surface planes with different slopes meet.

GRADE FLOOR OPENING. A window or other opening located such that the sill height of the opening is not more than 44 inches (1118 mm) above or below the finished ground level adjacent to the opening.

[BS} GRADE (LUMBER). The classification of lumber in regard to strength and utility in accordance with American Softwood Lumber Standard DOC PS 20 and the grading rules of an approved lumber rules-writing agency.

GRADE PLANE. A reference plane representing the average of finished ground level adjoining the building at exterior walls. Where the finished ground level slopes away from the exterior walls, the reference plane shall be established by the lowest points within the area between the building and the lot line or, where the lot line is more than 6 feet (1829 mm) from the building, between the building and a point 6 feet (1829 mm) from the building.

GRADE PLANE, STORY ABOVE. See “Story above grade plane.”

GRANDSTAND. Tiered seating supported on a dedicated structural system and two or more rows high and is not a building element (see “Bleachers”).

GROSS LEASABLE AREA. The total floor area designed for tenant occupancy and exclusive use. The area of tenant occupancy is measured from the centerlines of joint partitions to the outside of the tenant walls. All tenant areas, including areas used for storage, shall be included in calculating gross leasable area.

GROUND FLOOR. The floor of a building with a building entrance on an accessible route. A building may have one or more ground floors.

GROUND LEVEL PLAY COMPONENT. [DSA-AC] A play component that is approached and exited at the ground level.

GROUP HOME. A facility that provides 24-hour care and supervision to children, provides services specified in this chapter to a specific client group, and maintains a structured environment, with such services provided at least in part by staff employed by the licensee. The care and supervision provided by a group home shall be nonmedical except as permitted by Welfare and Institutions Code Section 17736(b). Since small-family and foster family homes, by definition, care for six or fewer children only, any facility providing 24-hour care for seven or more children must be licensed as a group home.

GROUP HOME. Group Home means a facility which provides 24-hour care and supervision to children, provides services specified in this chapter to a specific client group, and maintains a structured environment, with such services provided at least in part by staff employed by the licensee. The care and supervision provided by a group home shall be nonmedical except as permitted by Welfare and Institutions Code Section 17736(b). Since small family and foster family homes, by definition, care for six or fewer children only, any facility providing 24-hour care for seven or more children must be licensed as a group home.

[BS] GUARD [DSA-AC, HCD 1, HCD 2 & HCD 1-AC] OR GUARDRAIL. A building component or a system of building components located at or near the open sides of elevated walking surfaces that minimizes the possibility of a fall from the walking surface to a lower level.

GUEST ROOM. A room used or intended to be used by one or more guests for living or sleeping purposes.

GYPSUM BOARD. The generic name for a family of sheet products consisting of a noncombustible core primarily of gypsum with paper surfacing. Gypsum wallboard, gypsum sheathing, gypsum base for gypsum veneer plaster, exterior gypsum soffit board, predecorated gypsum board and water-resistant gypsum backing board complying with the standards listed in Tables 2506.2, 2507.2 and Chapter 35 are types of gypsum board.

[BS] GYPSUM PANEL PRODUCT. The general name for a family of sheet products consisting essentially of gypsum.

[BS] GYPSUM PLASTER. A mixture of calcined gypsum or calcined gypsum and lime and aggregate and other approved materials as specified in this code.

[BS] GYPSUM VENEER PLASTER. Gypsum plaster applied to an approved base in one or more coats normally not exceeding 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) in total thickness.

HABITABLE SPACE. A space in a building for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces.

HALL CALL CONSOLE. [DSA-AC] An elevator call user interface exclusive to a destination-oriented elevator system that requires the user to select a destination floor prior to entering the elevator car.

[F] HALOGENATED EXTINGUISHING SYSTEM. A fire-extinguishing system using one or more atoms of an element from the halogen chemical series: fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine.

[F] HANDLING. The deliberate transport by any means to a point of storage or use.

[BS] HANDRAIL. A horizontal or sloping rail intended for grasping by the hand for guidance or support.

HANDWASHING FIXTURE. Refer to the California Plumbing Code, Section 210.0.

HARDBOARD. A fibrous-felted, homogeneous panel made from lignocellulosic fibers consolidated under heat and pressure in a hot press to a density not less than 31 pcf (497 kg/m3).

HARDWARE. See “Fire exit hardware” and “Panic hardware.”

[F] HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. Those chemicals or substances that are physical hazards or health hazards as classified in Section 307 and the California Fire Code, whether the materials are in usable or waste condition.

[F] HAZARDOUS PRODUCTION MATERIAL (HPM). A solid, liquid or gas associated with semiconductor manufacturing that has a degree-of-hazard rating in health, flammability or instability of Class 3 or 4 as ranked by NFPA 704 and which is used directly in research, laboratory or production processes which have as their end product materials that are not hazardous.

HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE. [SFM] Hazardous Substance is a substance which, by reason of being explosive, flammable, toxic, poisonous, corrosive, oxidizing, irritant or otherwise harmful, is likely to cause injury.

[BS] HEAD JOINT. Vertical mortar joint placed between masonry units within the wythe at the time the masonry units are laid.

HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. [DSA-AC] See “Professional Office of a Health Care Provider”

[F] HEALTH HAZARD. A classification of a chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence that acute or chronic health effects are capable of occurring in exposed persons. The term “health hazard” includes chemicals that are toxic or highly toxic, and corrosive.

HEAT DETECTOR. See “Detector, heat.”

HEAVY TIMBER. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

HEIGHT, BUILDING. The vertical distance from grade plane to the average height of the highest roof surface.

HELICAL PILE. Manufactured steel deep foundation element consisting of a central shaft and one or more helical bearing plates. A helical pile is installed by rotating it into the ground. Each helical bearing plate is formed into a screw thread with a uniform defined pitch.

HELIPAD. A structural surface that is used for the landing, taking off, taxiing and parking of helicopters.

HELIPORT. An area of land or water or a structural surface that is used, or intended for the use, for the landing and taking off of helicopters, and any appurtenant areas that are used, or intended for use, for heliport buildings or other heliport facilities.

HELISTOP. The same as “heliport,” except that no fueling, defueling, maintenance, repairs or storage of helicopters is permitted.

HIGH-PRESSURE DECORATIVE EXTERIOR-GRADE COMPACT LAMINATE (HPL). Panels consisting of layers of cellulose fibrous material impregnated with thermosetting resins and bonded together by a high-pressure process to form a homogeneous nonporous core suitable for exterior use.

HIGH-PRESSURE DECORATIVE EXTERIOR-GRADE COMPACT LAMINATE (HPL) SYSTEM. An exterior wall covering fabricated using HPL in a specific assembly including joints, seams, attachments, substrate, framing and other details as appropriate to a particular design.

HIGH-RISE BUILDING. In other than Group I-2 occupancies “high-rise buildings” as used in this code:

Existing high-rise structure. A high-rise structure, the construction of which is commenced or completed prior to July 1, 1974.

High-rise structure. Every building of any type of construction or occupancy having floors used for human occupancy located more than 75 feet above the lowest floor level having building access (see Section 403.1.2), except buildings used as hospitals as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 1250.

New High-rise Building. A high-rise structure, the construction of which is commenced on or after July 1, 1974. For the purpose of this section, construction shall be deemed to have commenced when plans and specifications are more than 50 percent complete and have been presented to the local jurisdiction prior to July 1, 1974. Unless all provisions of this section have been met, the construction of such buildings shall commence on or before January 1, 1976.

New high-rise structure. A high-rise structure, the construction of which is commenced on or after July 1, 1974.

HIGH-RISE BUILDING ACCESS. An exterior door opening conforming to all of the following:

  1. Suitable and available for fire department use.
  2. Located not more than 2 feet (610 mm) above the adjacent ground level.
  3. Leading to a space, room or area having foot traffic communication capabilities with the remainder of the building.
  4. Designed to permit penetration through the use of fire department forcible-entry tools and equipment unless other approved arrangements have been made with the fire authority having jurisdiction.

[F] HIGHLY TOXIC. A material which produces a lethal dose or lethal concentration that falls within any of the following categories:

  1. A chemical that has a median lethal dose (LD50) of 50 milligrams or less per kilogram of body weight when administered orally to albino rats weighing between 200 and 300 grams each.
  2. A chemical that has a median lethal dose (LD50) of 200 milligrams or less per kilogram of body weight when administered by continuous contact for 24 hours (or less if death occurs within 24 hours) with the bare skin of albino rabbits weighing between 2 and 3 kilograms each.
  3. A chemical that has a median lethal concentration (LC50) in air of 200 parts per million by volume or less of gas or vapor, or 2 milligrams per liter or less of mist, fume or dust, when administered by continuous inhalation for 1 hour (or less if death occurs within 1 hour) to albino rats weighing between 200 and 300 grams each.

Mixtures of these materials with ordinary materials, such as water, might not warrant classification as highly toxic. While this system is basically simple in application, any hazard evaluation that is required for the precise categorization of this type of material shall be performed by experienced, technically competent persons.

[A] HISTORIC BUILDINGS. Buildings that are listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, or designated as historic under an appropriate state or local law (see Sections 3409 and 3411.9). [DSA-AC] See “Qualified historical building or property,” C.C.R., Title 24, Part 8.

HOLDING FACILITY. A detention or correctional facility or area where inmates, staff and public are not housed but are restrained.

[BF] HORIZONTAL ASSEMBLY. A fire-resistance-rated floor or roof assembly of materials designed to restrict the spread of fire in which continuity is maintained.

HORIZONTAL EXIT. An exit component consisting of fire-resistance-rated construction and opening protectives intended to compartmentalize portions of a building thereby creating refuge areas that afford safety from the fire and smoke from the area of fire origin.

HOSPITALS AND PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS. Facilities that provide care or treatment for the medical, psychiatric, obstetrical, or surgical treatment of care recipients who are incapable of self-preservation or classified as nonambulatory or bedridden.

HOTEL OR MOTEL. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] Any building containing six or more guest rooms intended or designed to be used, or which are used, rented or hired out to be occupied, or which are occupied for sleeping purposes by guests.

HOUSING AT A PLACE OF EDUCATION. Housing operated by or on behalf of an elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate school, or other place of education, including dormitories, suites, apartments, or other places of residence.

HOUSING UNIT. An area intended to lodge inmates on a 24-hour basis where accommodations are provided for sleeping.

[F] HPM ROOM. A room used in conjunction with or serving a Group H-5 occupancy, where HPM is stored or used and which is classified as a Group H-2, H-3 or H-4 occupancy.

[BS] HURRICANE-PRONE REGIONS. Areas vulnerable to hurricanes defined as:

  1. The U. S. Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico coasts where the ultimate design wind speed, Vult, for Risk Category buildings is greater than 115 mph (51.4 m/s); and
  2. Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands and American Samoa.

[F] HYDROGEN FUEL GAS ROOM. A room or space that is intended exclusively to house a gaseous hydrogen system.

[BS] ICE-SENSITIVE STRUCTURE. A structure for which the effect of an atmospheric ice load governs the design of a structure or portion thereof. This includes, but is not limited to, lattice structures, guyed masts, overhead lines, light suspension and cable-stayed bridges, aerial cable systems (e.g., for ski lifts or logging operations), amusement rides, open catwalks and platforms, flagpoles and signs.

IF, IF … THEN. [DSA-AC] The terms “if” and “if … then” denote a specification that applies only when the conditions described are present.

IGNITION-RESISTANT MATERIAL. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

[F] IMMEDIATELY DANGEROUS TO LIFE AND HEALTH (IDLH). The concentration of air-borne contaminants which poses a threat of death, immediate or delayed permanent adverse health effects, or effects that could prevent escape from such an environment. This contaminant concentration level is established by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) based on both toxicity and flammability. It generally is expressed in parts per million by volume (ppmv/v) or milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3). If adequate data do not exist for precise establishment of IDLH concentrations, an independent certified industrial hygienist, industrial toxicologist, appropriate regulatory agency or other source approved by the building official shall make such determination.

[BS] IMPACT LOAD. The load resulting from moving machinery, elevators, craneways, vehicles and other similar forces and kinetic loads, pressure and possible surcharge from fixed or moving loads.

INCIDENTAL STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS, ADDITIONS, OR REPAIRS. [OSHPD 1, 2 & 4] Alterations, additions or repairs which would not reduce the story lateral shear force-resisting capacity by more than 5 percent or increase the story shear by more than 5 percent in any existing story or a combination thereof with equivalent effect (not exceeding 5 percent total). The calculation of lateral shear force-resisting capacity and story shear shall account for the cumulative effects of additions and alterations since original construction.

INCAPABLE OF SELF-PRESERVATION. Persons who, because of age, physical limitations, mental limitations, chemical dependency or medical treatment, cannot respond as an individual to an emergency situation.

[F] INCOMPATIBLE MATERIALS. Materials that, when mixed, have the potential to react in a manner that generates heat, fumes, gases or byproducts which are hazardous to life or property.

[F] INERT GAS. A gas that is capable of reacting with other materials only under abnormal conditions such as high temperatures, pressures and similar extrinsic physical forces. Within the context of the code, inert gases do not exhibit either physical or health hazard properties as defined (other than acting as a simple asphyxiant) or hazard properties other than those of a compressed gas. Some of the more common inert gases include argon, helium, krypton, neon, nitrogen and xenon.

INFANT. Any child who because of age only, is unable to walk and requires the aid of another person to evacuate the building. In no case shall the term “infant” mean a child 2 years of age or older.

[F] INITIATING DEVICE. A system component that originates transmission of a change-of-state condition, such as in a smoke detector, manual fire alarm box or supervisory switch.

INLET. A fitting or fixture through which circulation water enters the pool.

INTENDED TO BE OCCUPIED AS A RESIDENCE. This refers to a dwelling unit or sleeping unit that can or will be used all or part of the time as the occupant’s place of abode.

INTERIOR EXIT RAMP. An exit component that serves to meet one or more means of egress design requirements, such as required number of exits or exit access travel distance, and provides for a protected path of egress travel to the exit discharge or public way.

INTERIOR EXIT STAIRWAY. An exit component that serves to meet one or more means of egress design requirements, such as required number of exits or exit access travel distance, and provides for a protected path of egress travel to the exit discharge or public way.

INTERIOR FINISH. Interior finish includes interior wall and ceiling finish and interior floor finish.

INTERIOR FLOOR FINISH. The exposed floor surfaces of buildings including coverings applied over a finished floor or stair, including risers.

INTERIOR FLOOR-WALL BASE. Interior floor finish trim used to provide a functional or decorative border at the intersection of walls and floors.

INTERIOR SURFACES. Surfaces other than weather exposed surfaces.

INTERIOR WALL AND CEILING FINISH. The exposed interior surfaces of buildings, including but not limited to: fixed or movable walls and partitions; toilet room privacy partitions; columns; ceilings; and interior wainscoting, paneling or other finish applied structurally or for decoration, acoustical correction, surface insulation, structural fire resistance or similar purposes, but not including trim.

[BS] INTERLAYMENT. A layer of felt or nonbituminous saturated felt not less than 18 inches (457 mm) wide, shingled between each course of a wood-shake roof covering.

INTERNATIONAL SYMBOL OF ACCESSIBILITY. The symbol adopted by Rehabilitation International’s 11th World Congress for the purpose of indicating that buildings and facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities.

INTUMESCENT FIRE-RESISTANT COATINGS. Thin film liquid mixture applied to substrates by brush, roller, spray or trowel which expands into a protective foamed layer to provide fire-resistant protection of the substrates when exposed to flame or intense heat.

[BS] JOINT. The opening in or between adjacent assemblies that is created due to building tolerances, or is designed to allow independent movement of the building in any plane caused by thermal, seismic, wind or any other loading.

[A] JURISDICTION. The governmental unit that has adopted this code under due legislative authority.

KEY STATION. [DSA-AC] Certain rapid and light rail stations, and commuter rail stations, as defined under criteria established by the Department of Transportation in 49 CFR 37.47 and 49 CFR 37.51, respectively.

KICK PLATE. An abrasion-resistant plate affixed to the bottom portion of a door to prevent a trap condition and protect its surface.

KITCHEN OR KITCHENETTE. [DSA-AC] A room, space or area with equipment for the preparation and cooking of food.

L RATING. The air leakage rating of a through penetration firestop system or a fire-resistant joint system when tested in accordance with UL 1479 or UL 2079, respectively.

[A] LABEL. An identification applied on a product by the manufacturer that contains the name of the manufacturer, the function and performance characteristics of the product or material and the name and identification of an approved agency, and that indicates that the representative sample of the product or material has been tested and evaluated by an approved agency (see Section 1703.5, “Manufacturer’s designation” and “Mark”).

[A] LABELED. Equipment, materials or products to which has been affixed a label, seal, symbol or other identifying mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory, approved agency or other organization concerned with product evaluation that maintains periodic inspection of the production of the above-labeled items and whose labeling indicates either that the equipment, material or product meets identified standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] “Labeled” means equipment or materials to which has been attached a label, symbol or other identifying mark of an organization, approved by the Department, that maintains a periodic inspection program of production of labeled products, installations, equipment, or materials and by whose labeling the manufacturer indicates compliance with appropriate standards or performance in a specified manner.

LABORATORY. [SFM] A room, building or area where the use and storage of hazardous materials are utilized for testing, analysis, instruction, research or developmental activities.

LABORATORY SUITE. [SFM] A laboratory suite is a space within a building or structure, which may include multiple laboratories, offices, storage, equipment rooms or similar support functions, where the aggregate quantities of hazardous materials stored and used do not exceed the quantities set forth in Table 453.7.3.1.

LADDER. A series of vertically separate treads or rungs either connected by vertical rail members or independently fastened to an adjacent vertical pool wall.

LAVATORY. A fixed bowl or basin with running water and drainpipe, as in a toilet or bathing facility, for washing or bathing purposes. (As differentiated from the definition of “Sink”.)

LEVEL AREA. [HCD 1-AC] A specified surface that does not have a slope in any direction exceeding 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) in 1 foot (305 mm) from the horizontal (2.083-percent gradient).

LEVEL OF EXIT DISCHARGE. See “Exit discharge, level of.”

LICENSING AGENCY. [OSHPD 1] (See Chapter 12, Section 1224.3 for defined term.)

LIFT, PLATFORM (WHEELCHAIR). [HCD 1-AC] See “Platform (Wheelchair) Lift”.

LIGHT-DIFFUSING SYSTEM. Construction consisting in whole or in part of lenses, panels, grids or baffles made with light-transmitting plastics positioned below independently mounted electrical light sources, skylights or light-transmitting plastic roof panels. Lenses, panels, grids and baffles that are part of an electrical fixture shall not be considered as a light-diffusing system.

LIGHT-FRAME CONSTRUCTION. A type of construction whose vertical and horizontal structural elements are primarily formed by a system of repetitive wood or cold-formed steel framing members.

LIGHT-TRANSMITTING PLASTIC ROOF PANELS. Structural plastic panels other than skylights that are fastened to structural members, or panels or sheathing and that are used as light-transmitting media in the plane of the roof.

LIGHT-TRANSMITTING PLASTIC WALL PANELS. Plastic materials that are fastened to structural members, or to structural panels or sheathing, and that are used as light-transmitting media in exterior walls.

[BS] LIMIT OF MODERATE WAVE ACTION. Line shown on FIRMs to indicate the inland limit of the 11/2-foot (457 mm) breaking wave height during the base flood.

[BS] LIMIT STATE. A condition beyond which a structure or member becomes unfit for service and is judged to be no longer useful for its intended function (serviceability limit state) or to be unsafe (strength limit state).

[F] LIQUID. A material that has a melting point that is equal to or less than 68°F (20°C) and a boiling point that is greater than 68°F (20°C) at 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute (psia) (101 kPa). When not otherwise identified, the term “liquid” includes both flammable and combustible liquids.

[F] LIQUID STORAGE ROOM. A room classified as a Group H-3 occupancy used for the storage of flammable or combustible liquids in a closed condition.

LIQUID TIGHT FLOOR. [SFM] A nonpermeable barrier capable of containing hazardous material liquids without degradation.

[F] LIQUID USE, DISPENSING AND MIXING ROOM. A room in which Class I, II and IIIA flammable or combustible liquids are used, dispensed or mixed in open containers.

[A] LISTED. Equipment, materials, products or services included in a list published by an organization acceptable to the building official and concerned with evaluation of products or services that maintains periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials or periodic evaluation of services and whose listing states either that the equipment, material, product or service meets identified standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose.

[HCD 1 & HCD 2] “Listed” means all products that appear in a list published by an approved testing or listing agency. For additional information, see Health and Safety Code Section 17920(h).

[SFM] For applications listed in Section 1.11 regulated by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, “listed” shall also mean equipment or materials accepted by the state fire marshal as conforming to the provisions of the State Fire Marshal’s regulations and which are included in a list published by the State Fire Marshal.

LISTING AGENCY. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] An agency approved by the department that is in the business of listing and labeling products, materials, equipment and installations tested by an approved testing agency, and that maintains a periodic inspection program on current production of listed products, equipment and installations, and that, at least annually, makes available a published report of these listings. For additional information, see Health and Safety Code Section 17920(i).

LIVE/WORK UNIT. A dwelling unit or sleeping unit in which a significant portion of the space includes a nonresidential use that is operated by the tenant.

[BS] LIVE LOAD. A load produced by the use and occupancy of the building or other structure that does not include construction or environmental loads such as wind load, snow load, rain load, earthquake load, flood load or dead load.

[BS] LIVE LOAD, ROOF. A load on a roof produced:

  1. During maintenance by workers, equipment and materials;
  2. During the life of the structure by movable objects such as planters or other similar small decorative appurtenances that are not occupancy related; or
  3. By the use and occupancy of the roof such as for roof gardens or assembly areas.

[BS] LOAD AND RESISTANCE FACTOR DESIGN (LRFD). A method of proportioning structural members and their connections using load and resistance factors such that no applicable limit state is reached when the structure is subjected to appropriate load combinations. The term “LRFD” is used in the design of steel and wood structures.

[BS] LOAD EFFECTS. Forces and deformations produced in structural members by the applied loads.

[BS] LOAD FACTOR. A factor that accounts for deviations of the actual load from the nominal load, for uncertainties in the analysis that transforms the load into a load effect, and for the probability that more than one extreme load will occur simultaneously.

[BS] LOADS. Forces or other actions that result from the weight of building materials, occupants and their possessions, environmental effects, differential movement and restrained dimensional changes. Permanent loads are those loads in which variations over time are rare or of small magnitude, such as dead loads. All other loads are variable loads (see also “Nominal loads”).

LOBBY. [SFM, HCD 1 & HCD 2] An area not defined as a waiting room at the entrance of a building through which persons must pass.

LOCAL AGENCY VERY HIGH FIRE HAZARD SEVERITY ZONE. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

LODGING HOUSE. [HCD 1 & HCD 1-AC] Any building or portion thereof containing not more than five guest rooms where rent is paid in money, goods, labor or otherwise, and that is occupied by the proprietor as the residence of such proprietor.

LOG WALL CONSTRUCTION. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

[A] LOT. A portion or parcel of land considered as a unit.

[A] LOT LINE. A line dividing one lot from another, or from a street or any public place.

LOW-ENERGY POWER-OPERATED DOOR. Swinging door which opens automatically upon an action by a pedestrian such as pressing a push plate or waving a hand in front of a sensor. The door closes automatically, and operates with decreased forces and decreased speeds (see “Power-assisted door” and “Power-operated door”).

[F] LOWER FLAMMABLE LIMIT (LFL). The minimum concentration of vapor in air at which propagation of flame will occur in the presence of an ignition source. The LFL is sometimes referred to as “LEL” or “lower explosive limit.”

LOWEST FLOOR. The floor of the lowest enclosed area, including basement, but excluding any unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure, usable solely for vehicle parking, building access or limited storage provided that such enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of Section 1612.

MAIL BOXES. [DSA-AC] Receptacles for the receipt of documents, packages or other deliverable matter. Mail boxes include, but are not limited to, post office boxes and receptacles provided by commercial mail-receiving agencies, apartment facilities or schools.

[BS] MAIN WINDFORCE-RESISTING SYSTEM. An assemblage of structural elements assigned to provide support and stability for the overall structure. The system generally receives wind loading from more than one surface

MAJOR STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS, ADDITIONS, OR REPAIRS. [OSHPD 1, 2 & 4] Alterations, additions or repairs of greater extent than minor structural alterations, additions, or repairs.

MALL BUILDING, COVERED and MALL BUILDING, OPEN. See “Covered mall building.”

[F] MANUAL FIRE ALARM BOX. A manually operated device used to initiate an alarm signal.

[A] MANUFACTURER’S DESIGNATION. An identification applied on a product by the manufacturer indicating that a product or material complies with a specified standard or set of rules (see “Label” and “Mark”).

[A] MARK. An identification applied on a product by the manufacturer indicating the name of the manufacturer and the function of a product or material (see “Label” and “Manufacturer’s designation”).

MARKED CROSSING. A crosswalk or other identified path intended for pedestrian use in crossing a vehicular way.

MARQUEE. A canopy that has a top surface which is sloped less than 25 degrees from the horizontal and is located less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from operable openings above or adjacent to the level of the marquee.

[BS] MASONRY. A built-up construction or combination of building units or materials of clay, shale, concrete, glass, gypsum, stone or other approved units bonded together with or without mortar or grout or other accepted methods of joining.

Glass unit masonry. Masonry composed of glass units bonded by mortar.

Plain masonry. Masonry in which the tensile resistance of the masonry is taken into consideration and the effects of stresses in reinforcement are neglected.

Reinforced masonry. Masonry construction in which reinforcement acting in conjunction with the masonry is used to resist forces.

Solid masonry. Masonry consisting of solid masonry units laid contiguously with the joints between the units filled with mortar.

Unreinforced (plain) masonry. Masonry in which the tensile resistance of masonry is taken into consideration and the resistance of the reinforcing steel, if present, is neglected.

[BS] MASONRY UNIT. Brick, tile, stone, glass block or concrete block conforming to the requirements specified in Section 2103.

Hollow. A masonry unit whose net cross-sectional area in any plane parallel to the load-bearing surface is less than 75 percent of its gross cross-sectional area measured in the same plane.

Solid. A masonry unit whose net cross-sectional area in every plane parallel to the load-bearing surface is 75 percent or more of its gross cross-sectional area measured in the same plane.

MASTIC FIRE-RESISTANT COATINGS. Liquid mixture applied to a substrate by brush, roller, spray or trowel that provides fire-resistant protection of a substrate when exposed to flame or intense heat.

MAY. [DSA-AC] May denotes an option or alternative.

MEANS OF EGRESS. A continuous and unobstructed path of vertical and horizontal egress travel from any occupied portion of a building or structure to a public way. A means of egress consists of three separate and distinct parts: the exit access, the exit and the exit discharge.

MECHANICAL-ACCESS OPEN PARKING GARAGES. Open parking garages employing parking machines, lifts, elevators or other mechanical devices for vehicles moving from and to street level and in which public occupancy is prohibited above the street level.

MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT SCREEN. A rooftop structure, not covered by a roof, used to aesthetically conceal plumbing, electrical or mechanical equipment from view.

MEDICAL CARE. Care involving medical or surgical procedures, nursing or for psychiatric purposes.

MEDICAL POOL. A special-purpose pool used by a state-recognized medical institution engaged in the healing arts under the direct supervision of licensed medical personnel for treatment of the infirm.

MEMBRANE-COVERED CABLE STRUCTURE. A nonpressurized structure in which a mast and cable system provides support and tension to the membrane weather barrier and the membrane imparts stability to the structure.

MEMBRANE-COVERED FRAME STRUCTURE. A nonpressurized building wherein the structure is composed of a rigid framework to support a tensioned membrane which provides the weather barrier.

MEMBRANE PENETRATION. A breach in one side of a floor-ceiling, roof-ceiling or wall assembly to accommodate an item installed into or passing through the breach.

MEMBRANE-PENETRATION FIRESTOP. A material, device or construction installed to resist for a prescribed time period the passage of flame and heat through openings in a protective membrane in order to accommodate cables, cable trays, conduit, tubing, pipes or similar items.

MEMBRANE-PENETRATION FIRESTOP SYSTEM. An assemblage consisting of a fire-resistance-rated floor-ceiling, roof-ceiling or wall assembly, one or more penetrating items installed into or passing through the breach in one side of the assembly and the materials or devices, or both, installed to resist the spread of fire into the assembly for a prescribed period of time.

MERCHANDISE PAD. A merchandise pad is an area for display of merchandise surrounded by aisles, permanent fixtures or walls. Merchandise pads contain elements such as nonfixed and moveable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions as indicated in Section 105.2 from which customers browse or shop.

METAL COMPOSITE MATERIAL (MCM). A factory-manufactured panel consisting of metal skins bonded to both faces of a solid plastic core.

METAL COMPOSITE MATERIAL (MCM) SYSTEM. An exterior wall covering fabricated using MCM in a specific assembly including joints, seams, attachments, substrate, framing and other details as appropriate to a particular design.

[BS] METAL ROOF PANEL. An interlocking metal sheet having a minimum installed weather exposure of 3 square feet (0.279 m2) per sheet.

[BS] METAL ROOF SHINGLE. An interlocking metal sheet having an installed weather exposure less than 3 square feet (0.279 m2) per sheet.

MEZZANINE. An intermediate level or levels between the floor and ceiling of any story and in accordance with Section 505. [DSA-AC] An intermediate level or levels between the floor and ceiling of any story with an aggregate floor area of not more than one-third of the area of the room or space in which the level or levels are located. Mezzanines have sufficient elevation that space for human occupancy can be provided on the floor below.

[BS] MICROPILE. A micropile is a bored, grouted-in-place deep foundation element that develops its load-carrying capacity by means of a bond zone in soil, bedrock or a combination of soil and bedrock.

MINERAL BOARD. A rigid felted thermal insulation board consisting of either felted mineral fiber or cellular beads of expanded aggregate formed into flat rectangular units.

MINERAL FIBER. Insulation composed principally of fibers manufactured from rock, slag or glass, with or without binders.

MINERAL WOOL. Synthetic vitreous fiber insulation made by melting predominately igneous rock or furnace slag, and other inorganic materials, and then physically forming the melt into fibers.

MINOR STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS, ADDITIONS, OR REPAIRS. [OSHPD 1, 2 & 4] Alterations, additions or repairs of greater extent than incidental structural additions or alterations which would not reduce the story shear lateral-force-resisting capacity by more than 10 percent or increase the story shear by more than 10 percent in any existing story or a combination thereof with equivalent effect (not exceeding 10 percent total). The calculation of lateral shear force-resisting capacity and story shear shall account for the cumulative effects of additions and alterations since original construction.

[BS] MODIFIED BITUMEN ROOF COVERING. One or more layers of polymer-modified asphalt sheets. The sheet materials shall be fully adhered or mechanically attached to the substrate or held in place with an approved ballast layer.

MONOLITHIC. [OSHPD 1] (See Chapter 12, Section 1224.3 for defined term.)

MONOLITHIC CEILING. [OSHPD 1] (See Chapter 12, Section 1224.3 for defined term.)

[BS] MORTAR. A mixture consisting of cementitious materials, fine aggregates, water, with or without admixtures, that is used to construct unit masonry assemblies.

[BS] MORTAR, SURFACE-BONDING. A mixture to bond concrete masonry units that contains hydraulic cement, glass fiber reinforcement with or without inorganic fillers or organic modifiers and water.

MOTEL. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] See “Hotel” or “Motel.”

MOTION PICTURE AND TELEVISION PRODUCTION STUDIO SOUND STAGES, APPROVED PRODUCTION FACILITIES AND PRODUCTION LOCATIONS. See Chapter 46, California Fire Code.

MULTI-BEDROOM HOUSING UNIT. [DSA-AC] A housing unit, intended for use by students at a place of education, with a kitchen and/or toilet and bathing rooms within the unit, such as an apartment or dormitory. Multi-bedroom housing units are separate from one another and from common use spaces within a building.

MULTILEVEL ASSEMBLY SEATING. Seating that is arranged in distinct levels where each level is comprised of either multiple rows, or a single row of box seats accessed from a separate level.

[F] MULTIPLE-STATION ALARM DEVICE. Two or more single-station alarm devices that can be interconnected such that actuation of one causes all integral or separate audible alarms to operate. A multiple-station alarm device can consist of one single-station alarm device having connections to other detectors or to a manual fire alarm box.

[F] MULTIPLE-STATION SMOKE ALARM. Two or more single-station alarm devices that are capable of interconnection such that actuation of one causes the appropriate alarm signal to operate in all interconnected alarms.

MULTISTORY DWELLING UNIT. [HCD 1-AC] A dwelling unit with finished living space located on one floor and the floor or floors immediately above or below it.

MULTISTORY UNIT. A dwelling unit or sleeping unit with habitable space located on more than one story.

[BS] NAILING, BOUNDARY. A special nailing pattern required by design at the boundaries of diaphragms.

[BS] NAILING, EDGE. A special nailing pattern required by design at the edges of each panel within the assembly of a diaphragm or shear wall.

[BS] NAILING, FIELD. Nailing required between the sheathing panels and framing members at locations other than boundary nailing and edge nailing.

[BS] NATURALLY DURABLE WOOD. The heartwood of the following species except for the occasional piece with corner sapwood, provided 90 percent or more of the width of each side on which it occurs is heartwood.

Decay resistant. Redwood, cedar, black locust and black walnut.

Termite resistant. Redwood, Alaska yellow cedar, Eastern red cedar and Western red cedar.

NEWLY CONSTRUCTED. [HCD 1-AC] A building that has never before been used or occupied for any purpose.

NEXT GENERATION ATTENUATION (NGA). [DSA-SS, DSA-SS/CC & OSHPD 1 & 4] Attenuation relations used for the 2008 United States Geological Survey (USGS) seismic hazards maps (for the Western United States) or their equivalent as determined by the enforcement agency.

NFPA [DSA-AC] The National Fire Protection Association.

[BS] NOMINAL LOADS. The magnitudes of the loads specified in Chapter 16 (dead, live, soil, wind, snow, rain, flood and earthquake).

[BS] NOMINAL SIZE (LUMBER). The commercial size designation of width and depth, in standard sawn lumber and glued-laminated lumber grades; somewhat larger than the standard net size of dressed lumber, in accordance with DOCPS 20 for sawn lumber and with the AWC NDS for glued-laminated lumber.

NON-GENERAL ACUTE CARE BUILDING (Non-GAC Building). [OSHPD 1] A non-freestanding SPC building, which is removed from general acute care services in accordance with the Section 3418A that remains under OSHPD jurisdiction as part of an OSHPD 1 Hospital building.

NONAMBULATORY PERSONS. Persons unable to leave a building unassisted under emergency conditions. It includes, but is not limited to, persons who depend on mechanical aids such as crutches, walkers and wheelchairs and any person who is unable to physically and mentally respond to a sensory signal approved by the state fire marshal or an oral instruction relating to fire danger.

The determination of ambulatory or nonambulatory status of persons with developmental disabilities shall be made by the Director of Social Services or his or her designated representative, in consultation with the director of Developmental Services or his or her designated representative. The determination of ambulatory or nonambulatory status of all other disabled persons placed after January 1, 1984, who are not developmentally disabled shall be made by the Director of Social Services or his or her designated representative.

NONCOMBUSTIBLE. [SFM] Noncombustible as applied to building construction material means a material which, in the form in which it is used, is either one of the following:

  1. Material of which no part will ignite and burn when subjected to fire. Any material passing ASTM E136 shall be considered noncombustible.
  2. Material having a structural base of noncombustible material as defined in Item 1 above, with a surfacing material not over 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) thick which has a flame-spread index of 50 or less.

“Noncombustible” does not apply to surface finish materials. Material required to be noncombustible for reduced clearances to flues, heating appliances or other sources of high temperature shall refer to material conforming to Item 1. No material shall be classed as noncombustible which is subject to increase in combustibility or flame-spread index, beyond the limits herein established, through the effects of age, moisture or other atmospheric condition.

NONCOMBUSTIBLE MEMBRANE STRUCTURE. A membrane structure in which the membrane and all component parts of the structure are noncombustible.

[BS] NONSTRUCTURAL CONCRETE. Any element made of plain or reinforced concrete that is not part of a structural system required to transfer either gravity or lateral loads to the ground.

NORMAL. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] Conforming to a pattern or standard regarded as usual or typical.

[F] NORMAL TEMPERATURE AND PRESSURE (NTP). A temperature of 70°F (21°C) and a pressure of 1 atmosphere [14.7 psia (101 kPa)].

NOSING. The leading edge of treads of stairs and of landings at the top of stairway flights.

[F] NOTIFICATION ZONE. See “Zone, notification.”

NPC 1, NPC 2, NPC 3/NPC 3R, NPC 4, and NPC 5. [OSHPD 1] Building nonstructural performance categories for Hospital Buildings defined in Table 11.1 of California Administrative Code (Part 1, Title 24 CCR), Chapter 6.

[F] NUISANCE ALARM. An alarm caused by mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or lack of proper maintenance, or an alarm activated by a cause that cannot be determined.

NURSING HOMES. Facilities that provide care, including both intermediate care facilities and skilled nursing facilities where any of the persons are incapable of self-preservation or classified as nonambulatory or bedridden.

OCCUPANT LOAD. The number of persons for which the means of egress of a building or portion thereof is designed.

OCCUPIABLE SPACE. A room or enclosed space designed for human occupancy in which individuals congregate for amusement, educational or similar purposes or in which occupants are engaged at labor, and which is equipped with means of egress and light and ventilation facilities meeting the requirements of this code.

OPEN-ENDED CORRIDOR. An interior corridor that is open on each end and connects to an exterior stairway or ramp at each end with no intervening doors or separation from the corridor.

OPEN PARKING GARAGE. A structure or portion of a structure with the openings as described in Section 406.5.2 on two or more sides that is used for the parking or storage of private motor vehicles as described in Section 406.5.3.

OPEN RISER. The space between two adjacent stair treads not closed by a riser.

[F] OPEN SYSTEM. The use of a solid or liquid hazardous material involving a vessel or system that is continuously open to the atmosphere during normal operations and where vapors are liberated, or the product is exposed to the atmosphere during normal operations. Examples of open systems for solids and liquids include dispensing from or into open beakers or containers, dip tank and plating tank operations.

OPERABLE PART. A component of an element used to insert or withdraw objects, or to activate, deactivate, or adjust the element.

[F] OPERATING BUILDING. A building occupied in conjunction with the manufacture, transportation or use of explosive materials. Operating buildings are separated from one another with the use of intraplant or intraline distances.

[BS] ORDINARY PRECAST STRUCTURAL WALL. See Section 1905.1.1.

[BS] ORDINARY REINFORCED CONCRETE STRUCTURAL WALL. See Section 1905.1.1.

[BS] ORDINARY STRUCTURAL PLAIN CONCRETE WALL. See Section 1905.1.1.

[F] ORGANIC PEROXIDE. An organic compound that contains the bivalent -O-O- structure and which may be considered to be a structural derivative of hydrogen peroxide where one or both of the hydrogen atoms have been replaced by an organic radical. Organic peroxides can pose an explosion hazard (detonation or deflagration) or they can be shock sensitive. They can also decompose into various unstable compounds over an extended period of time.

  • Class I. Those formulations that are capable of deflagration but not detonation.
  • Class II. Those formulations that burn very rapidly and that pose a moderate reactivity hazard.
  • Class III. Those formulations that burn rapidly and that pose a moderate reactivity hazard.
  • Class IV. Those formulations that burn in the same manner as ordinary combustibles and that pose a minimal reactivity hazard.
  • Class V. Those formulations that burn with less intensity than ordinary combustibles or do not sustain combustion and that pose no reactivity hazard.

Unclassified detonable. Organic peroxides that are capable of detonation. These peroxides pose an extremely high explosion hazard through rapid explosive decomposition.

ORGANIZED CAMPS. See Section 450.

[BS] ORTHOGONAL. To be in two horizontal directions, at 90 degrees (1.57 rad) to each other.

[BS] OTHER STRUCTURES (for Chapters 16-23). Structures, other than buildings, for which loads are specified in Chapter 16.

OUTPATIENT CLINIC. See “Clinic, outpatient.”

[A] OWNER. Any person, agent, operator, entity, firm or corporation having any legal or equitable interest in the property; or recorded in the official records of the state, county or municipality as holding an interest or title to the property; or otherwise having possession or control of the property, including the guardian of the estate of any such person, and the executor or administrator of the estate of such person if ordered to take possession of real property by a court.

OVERFLOW SYSTEM. The system which includes perimeter-type overflow gutters, surface skimmers, surge or collector tanks, other surface water collective system components and their interconnecting piping.

[F] OXIDIZER. A material that readily yields oxygen or other oxidizing gas, or that readily reacts to promote or initiate combustion of combustible materials and, if heated or contaminated, can result in vigorous self-sustained decomposition.

  • Class 4. An oxidizer that can undergo an explosive reaction due to contamination or exposure to thermal or physical shock and that causes a severe increase in the burning rate of combustible materials with which it comes into contact. Additionally, the oxidizer causes a severe increase in the burning rate and can cause spontaneous ignition of combustibles.
  • Class 3. An oxidizer that causes a severe increase in the burning rate of combustible materials with which it comes in contact.
  • Class 2. An oxidizer that will cause a moderate increase in the burning rate of combustible materials with which it comes in contact.
  • Class 1. An oxidizer that does not moderately increase the burning rate of combustible materials.

[F] OXIDIZING GAS. A gas that can support and accelerate combustion of other materials more than air does.

[BS] PANEL (PART OF A STRUCTURE). The section of a floor, wall or roof comprised between the supporting frame of two adjacent rows of columns and girders or column bands of floor or roof construction.

PANIC HARDWARE. A door-latching assembly incorporating a device that releases the latch upon the application of a force in the direction of egress travel. See also “Fire exit hardware.”

[BS] PARTICLEBOARD. A generic term for a panel primarily composed of cellulosic materials (usually wood), generally in the form of discrete pieces or particles, as distinguished from fibers. The cellulosic material is combined with synthetic resin or other suitable bonding system by a process in which the interparticle bond is created by the bonding system under heat and pressure.

PASSAGE DOOR. [HCD 1-AC] A door other than an exit door through which persons may traverse.

PASSENGER ELEVATOR. [DSA-AC] See “Elevator, Passenger”

PASSENGER ELEVATOR. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] An elevator used primarily to carry passengers. For additional information, see California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Division 1, Chapter 4.

PASSIVE SOLAR ENERGY COLLECTOR. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] Uses architectural components, rather than mechanical components, to provide heating or cooling for a building interior.

PATH OF TRAVEL. [DSA-AC] An identifiable accessible route within an existing site, building or facility by means of which a particular area may be approached, entered and exited, and which connects a particular area with an exterior approach (including sidewalks, streets and parking areas), an entrance to the facility, and other parts of the facility. When alterations, structural repairs or additions are made to existing buildings or facilities, the term “path of travel” also includes the toilet and bathing facilities, telephones, drinking fountains and signs serving the area of work.

PEDESTRIAN. An individual who moves in walking areas with or without the use of walking assistive devices such as crutches, leg braces, wheelchairs, white cane, service animal, etc.

PEDESTRIAN WAY. A route by which a pedestrian may pass.

PENETRATION FIRESTOP. A through-penetration firestop or a membrane-penetration firestop.

PENTHOUSE. An enclosed, unoccupied rooftop structure used for sheltering mechanical and electrical equipment, tanks, elevators and related machinery, and vertical shaft openings.

[BS] PERFORMANCE CATEGORY. A designation of wood structural panels as related to the panel performance used in Chapter 23.

PERMANENT [DSA-AC] Facilities which, are intended to be used for periods longer than those designated in this code under the definition of “Temporary.”

PERMANENT PORTABLE BUILDING. [SFM] A portable building that is used to serve or house students and is certified as a permanent building on a new public school campus by the public school administration shall comply with the requirements of new campus buildings.

[A] PERMIT. An official document or certificate issued by the building official that authorizes performance of a specified activity.

[A] PERSON. An individual, heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, and also includes a firm, partnership or corporation, its or their successors or assigns, or the agent of any of the aforesaid.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. [HCD 1-AC] For purposes of Chapter 11A, “Persons with disabilities” includes, but is not limited to, any physical or mental disability as defined in Government Code Section 12926.

PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES, PROFOUNDLY OR SEVERELY. Shall mean any persons with intellectual disabilities who is unable to evacuate a building unassisted during emergency conditions.

Note: The determination as to such incapacity shall be made by the Director of the State Department of Public Health or his or her designated representative pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 13131.3.

PHOTOLUMINESCENT. Having the property of emitting light that continues for a length of time after excitation by visible or invisible light has been removed.

PHOTOVOLTAIC MODULE. A complete, environmentally protected unit consisting of solar cells, optics and other components, exclusive of tracker, designed to generate DC power when exposed to sunlight.

PHOTOVOLTAIC PANEL. A collection of modules mechanically fastened together, wired and designed to provide a field-installable unit.

PHOTOVOLTAIC PANEL SYSTEM. A system that incorporates discrete photovoltaic panels, that converts solar radiation into electricity, including rack support systems.

PHOTOVOLTAIC SHINGLES. A roof covering resembling shingles that incorporates photovoltaic modules.

[F] PHYSICAL HAZARD. A chemical for which there is evidence that it is a combustible liquid, cryogenic fluid, explosive, flammable (solid, liquid or gas), organic peroxide (solid or liquid), oxidizer (solid or liquid), oxidizing gas, pyrophoric (solid, liquid or gas), unstable (reactive) material (solid, liquid or gas) or water-reactive material (solid or liquid).

[F] PHYSIOLOGICAL WARNING THRESHOLD LEVEL. A concentration of air-borne contaminants, normally expressed in parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3), that represents the concentration at which persons can sense the presence of the contaminant due to odor, irritation or other quick-acting physiological response. When used in conjunction with the permissible exposure limit (PEL) the physiological warning threshold levels are those consistent with the classification system used to establish the PEL. See the definition of “Permissible exposure limit (PEL)” in the California Fire Code.

PICTOGRAM. A pictorial symbol that represents activities, facilities, or concepts.

PLACE OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION. A facility operated by a private entity whose operations affect commerce and fall within at least one of the following categories:

  1. Place of lodging, except for an establishment located within a facility that contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and that actually is occupied by the proprietor of the establishment as the residence of the proprietor. For purposes of this code, a facility is a “place of lodging” if it is

    1. An inn, hotel or motel; or
    2. A facility that

      1. Provides guest rooms for sleeping for stays that primarily are short-term in nature (generally 30 days or less) where the occupant does not have the right to return to a specific room or unit after the conclusion of his or her stay; and
      2. Provides guest rooms under conditions and with amenities similar to a hotel, motel, or inn, including the following:

        1. On- or off-site management and reservations service;
        2. Rooms available on a walk-up or call-in basis;
        3. Availability of housekeeping or linen service; and
        4. Acceptance of reservations for a guest room type without guaranteeing a particular unit or room until check-in, and without a prior lease or security deposit.
  2. A restaurant, bar, or other establishment serving food or drink;
  3. A motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment;
  4. An auditorium, convention center, lecture hall, or other place of public gathering;
  5. A bakery, grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, shopping center, or other sales or rental establishment;
  6. A laundromat, dry-cleaner, bank, barber shop, beauty shop, travel service, shoe repair service, funeral parlor, gas station, office of an accountant or lawyer, pharmacy, insurance office, professional office of a health care provider, hospital, or other service establishment;
  7. A terminal, depot, or other station used for specified public transportation;
  8. A museum, library, gallery, or other place of public display or collection;
  9. A park, zoo, amusement park, or other place of recreation;
  10. A nursery, elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate private school, or other place of education;
  11. A day-care center, senior citizen center, homeless shelter, food bank, adoption agency, or other social service center establishment;
  12. A gymnasium, health spa, bowling alley, golf course, or other place of exercise or recreation;
  13. A religious facility;
  14. An office building; and
  15. A public curb or sidewalk.

PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP. See “Religious worship, place of.”

PLASTIC, APPROVED. Any thermoplastic, thermosetting or reinforced thermosetting plastic material that conforms to combustibility classifications specified in the section applicable to the application and plastic type.

PLASTIC COMPOSITE. A generic designation that refers to wood/plastic composites and plastic lumber.

PLASTIC GLAZING. Plastic materials that are glazed or set in frame or sash and not held by mechanical fasteners that pass through the glazing material.

[BS] PLASTIC LUMBER. A manufactured product made primarily of plastic materials (filled or unfilled) which is generally rectangular in cross section.

PLATFORM. A raised area within a building used for worship, the presentation of music, plays or other entertainment; the head table for special guests; the raised area for lecturers and speakers; boxing and wrestling rings; theater-in-the-round stages; and similar purposes wherein, other than horizontal sliding curtains, there are no overhead hanging curtains, drops, scenery or stage effects other than lighting and sound. A temporary platform is one installed for not more than 30 days.

PLATFORM (WHEELCHAIR) LIFT. A hoisting and lowering mechanism equipped with a car or platform or support that serves two landings of a building or structure and is designed to carry a passenger or passengers and/or luggage or other material a vertical distance as may be allowed.

PLAY AREA. [DSA-AC] A portion of a site containing play components designed and constructed for children.

PLAY COMPONENT. [DSA-AC] An element intended to generate specific opportunities for play, socialization or learning. Play components are manufactured or natural; and are stand-alone or part of a composite play structure.

POINT-OF-SALE DEVICE. [DSA-AC] A device used for the purchase of a good or service where a personal identification number (PIN), zip code or signature is required.

POLYPROPYLENE SIDING. A shaped material, made principally from polypropylene homopolymer, or copolymer, which in some cases contains fillers or reinforcements, that is used to clad exterior walls of buildings.

POOL. A constructed or prefabricated artificial basin, chamber or tank intended to be used primarily by bathers, and not for cleaning of the body or for individual therapeutic use.

POOL USER. A person using a pool and ancillary facilities for the purpose of water activities such as diving, swimming or wading.

POOL VOLUME. The amount of water expressed in gallons (liters) that a pool holds when filled.

[BS] PORCELAIN TILE. Tile that conforms to the requirements of ANSI 137.1.3 for ceramic tile having an absorption of 0.5 percent or less in accordance with ANSI 137.4.1–Class Table and ANSI 137.1.6.1 Allowable Properties by Tile Type–Table 10.

[BS] POSITIVE ROOF DRAINAGE. The drainage condition in which consideration has been made for all loading deflections of the roof deck, and additional slope has been provided to ensure drainage of the roof within 48 hours of precipitation.

POWDER ROOM. A room containing a water closet (toilet) and a lavatory, and which is not defined as a bathroom.

POWER-ASSISTED DOOR [DSA-AC] A door used for human passage with a mechanism that helps to open the door, or relieves the opening resistance of a door, upon the activation of a switch or a continued force applied to the door itself.

POWER-OPERATED DOOR. Swinging, sliding, or folding door which opens automatically when approached by a pedestrian or opens automatically upon an action by a pedestrian. The door closes automatically and includes provisions such as presence sensors to prevent entrapment. See “Low energy power-operated door” and “Power-assisted door.”

[BS] PREFABRICATED WOOD I-JOIST. Structural member manufactured using sawn or structural composite lumber flanges and wood structural panel webs bonded together with exterior exposure adhesives, which forms an “I” cross-sectional shape.

[BS] PRESTRESSED MASONRY. Masonry in which internal stresses have been introduced to counteract potential tensile stresses in masonry resulting from applied loads.

PRIMARY ENTRY. [HCD 1-AC] The principal entrance through which most people enter the building, as designated by the building official.

PRIMARY ENTRY LEVEL. [HCD 1-AC] The floor or level of the building on which the primary entry is located.

PRIMARY STRUCTURAL FRAME. The primary structural frame shall include all of the following structural members:

  1. The columns;
  2. Structural members having direct connections to the columns, including girders, beams, trusses and spandrels;
  3. Members of the floor construction and roof construction having direct connections to the columns; and
  4. Bracing members that are essential to the vertical stability of the primary structural frame under gravity loading shall be considered part of the primary structural frame whether or not the bracing member carries gravity loads.

PRIVATE BUILDING OR FACILITY. [DSA-AC] A place of public accommodation or a commercial building or facility subject to Chapter 1, Section 1.9.1.2.

PRIVATE GARAGE. A building or portion of a building in which motor vehicles used by the tenants of the building or buildings on the premises are stored or kept, without provisions for repairing or servicing such vehicles for profit.

PRIVATE POOL. Any constructed pool, permanent or portable, that is intended for noncommercial use as a swimming pool by not more than three owner families and their guests.

Note: A single-family residence is a Group R, Division 3 occupancy.

PROFESSIONAL OFFICE OF A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. [DSA-AC] A location where a person or entity, regulated by the State to provide professional services related to the physical or mental health of an individual, makes such services available to the public. The facility housing the professional office of a health care provider only includes floor levels housing at least one health care provider, or any floor level designed or intended for use by at least one health care provider.

PROSCENIUM WALL. The wall that separates the stage from the auditorium or assembly seating area.

PROTECTIVE SOCIAL CARE FACILITY. [SFM] A facility housing persons, who are referred, placed or caused to be placed in the facility, by any governmental agency and for whom the services, or a portion thereof, are paid for by any governmental agency. These occupancies shall include, but are not limited to, those commonly referred to as “assisted living facilities,” “social rehabilitation facilities,” “certified family care homes,” “out-of-home placement facilities,” and “halfway houses.”

PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS. See “Hospitals.”

PUBLIC BUILDING OR FACILITY. [DSA-AC] A building or facility or portion of a building or facility designed, constructed, or altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity subject to Chapter 1, Section 1.9.1.1.

PUBLIC ENTITY. Any state or local government; any department, agency, special-purpose district, or other instrumentality of a state or local government.

PUBLIC ENTRANCE. An entrance that is not a service entrance or a restricted entrance.

PUBLIC HOUSING. [DSA-AC & HCD 1-AC] Housing facilities owned, operated, or constructed by, for or on behalf of a public entity including but not limited to the following:

  1. Publically owned and/or operated one- or two-family dwelling units or congregate residences;
  2. Publically owned and/or operated buildings or complexes with three or more residential dwelling units;
  3. Reserved.
  4. Publically owned and/or operated homeless shelters, group homes and similar social service establishments;
  5. Publically owned and/or operated transient lodging, such as hotels, motels, hostels and other facilities providing accommodations of a short term nature of not more than 30 days duration;
  6. Housing at a place of education owned or operated by a public entity, such as housing on or serving a public school, public college or public university campus;
  7. Privately owned housing made available for public use as housing.

PUBLIC POOL. A pool other than a private pool.

PUBLIC USE. [DSA-AC] Interior or exterior rooms, spaces or elements that are made available to the public. Public use may be provided at a building or facility that is privately or publicly owned. Private interior or exterior rooms, spaces or elements associated with a residential dwelling unit provided by a public housing program or in a public housing facility are not public use areas and shall not be required to be made available to the public. In the context of public housing, public use is the provision of housing programs by, for or on behalf of a public entity.

PUBLIC-USE AREAS. Interior or exterior rooms or spaces of a building or facility that are made available to the general public and do not include common use areas. Public use areas may be provided at a building or facility that is privately or publicly owned.

[A] PUBLIC WAY. A street, alley or other parcel of land open to the outside air leading to a street, that has been deeded, dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated to the public for public use and which has a clear width and height of not less than 10 feet (3048 mm).

[F] PYROPHORIC. A chemical with an auto-ignition temperature in air, at or below a temperature of 130°F (54.4°C).

[F] PYROTECHNIC COMPOSITION. A chemical mixture that produces visible light displays or sounds through a self-propagating, heat-releasing chemical reaction which is initiated by ignition.

QUALIFIED HISTORIC BUILDING OR FACILITY. [DSA-AC] A building or facility that is listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, or designated as historic under an appropriate State or local law. See C.C.R. Title 24, Part 8.

RADIANT BARRIER. A material having a low-emittance surface of 0.1 or less installed in building assemblies.

RAFTERTAIL. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

RAMP. A walking surface that has a running slope steeper than one unit vertical in 20 units horizontal (5-percent slope).

RAMP-ACCESS OPEN PARKING GARAGES. Open parking garages employing a series of continuously rising floors or a series of interconnecting ramps between floors permitting the movement of vehicles under their own power from and to the street level.

RAMP, EXIT ACCESS. See “Exit access ramp.”

RAMP, EXTERIOR EXIT. See “Exterior exit ramp.”

RAMP, INTERIOR EXIT. See “Interior exit ramp.”

REASONABLE PORTION [DSA-AC] That segment of a building, facility, area, space or condition, which would normally be necessary if the activity therein is to be accessible by persons with disabilities.

RECESSED STEPS. A riser/tread or series of risers/treads extending down into the deck with the bottom riser or tread terminating at the pool wall (thus creating a “stairwell”).

RECESSED TREADS. A series of vertically spaced cavities in the pool wall creating tread areas for step holes.

RECIRCULATION SYSTEM. The interconnected system traversed by the recirculated water from the pool until it is returned to the pool, i.e., from the pool through the collector or surge tank, recirculation pump, filters, chemical treatment and heater (if provided), and returned to the pool.

RECOMMEND. [DSA-AC, HCD 1 & HCD 2] Does not require mandatory acceptance, but identifies a suggested action that shall be considered for the purpose of providing a greater degree of accessibility to persons with disabilities.

[A] RECORD DRAWINGS. Drawings (“as builts”) that document the location of all devices, appliances, wiring sequences, wiring methods and connections of the components of a fire alarm system as installed.

REFLECTIVE PLASTIC CORE INSULATION. An insulation material packaged in rolls, that is less than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) thick, with not less than one exterior low-emittance surface (0.1 or less) and a core material containing voids or cells.

[A] REGISTERED DESIGN PROFESSIONAL. An individual who is registered or licensed to practice their respective design profession as defined by the statutory requirements of the professional registration laws of the state or jurisdiction in which the project is to be constructed.

[A] REGISTERED DESIGN PROFESSIONAL IN RESPONSIBLE CHARGE. A registered design professional engaged by the owner or the owner’s authorized agent to review and coordinate certain aspects of the project, as determined by the building official, for compatibility with the design of the building or structure, including submittal documents prepared by others, deferred submittal documents and phased submittal documents.

RELIGIOUS WORSHIP, PLACE OF. A building or portion thereof intended for the performance of religious services.

RELOCATABLE BUILDING (PUBLIC SCHOOL). Any building with an integral floor structure which is capable of being readily moved. (See Education Code Section 17350.) Relocatable buildings that are to be placed on substandard foundations not complying with the requirements of Part 2, Title 24, C.C.R., require a statement from the school district stating that the durability requirements for those foundations may be waived and acknowledging the temporary nature of the foundations.

REMODELING. [DSA-AC] See “Alteration.”

[A] REPAIR. The reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing building for the purpose of its maintenance or to correct damage.

[EB] REROOFING. The process of recovering or replacing an existing roof covering. See “Roof recover” and “Roof replacement.”

RESIDENTIAL AIRCRAFT HANGAR. An accessory building less than 2,000 square feet (186 m2) and 20 feet (6096 mm) in building height constructed on a one- or two-family property where aircraft are stored. Such use will be considered as a residential accessory use incidental to the dwelling.

RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITY FOR THE CHRONICALLY ILL (RCF/CI). As termed, means a housing arrangement with a maximum capacity of 25 residents that provides a range of services to residents who have chronic, life-threatening illnesses.

RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITY FOR THE ELDERLY (RCFE). As defined in Health and Safety Code Section 1569.2, shall mean a facility with a housing arrangement chosen voluntarily by persons 60 years of age or over, or their authorized representative, where varying levels and intensities of care and supervision, protective supervision or personal care are provided, based on their varying needs, as determined in order to be admitted and to remain in the facility. Persons under 60 years of age with compatible needs, as determined by the Department of Social Services in regulations, may be allowed to be admitted or retained in a residential-care facility for the elderly.

Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 13133, regulations of the state fire marshal pertaining to Group R, Division 2 Occupancies classified as residential facilities (RF) and residential- care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) shall apply uniformly throughout the state and no city, county, city and county, including a charter city or charter county, or fire protection district shall adopt or enforce any ordinance or local rule or regulation relating to fire and panic safety which is in consistent with these regulations. A city, county, city and county, including a charter city or charter county may pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 13143.5, or a fire protection district may pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 13869.7, adopt standards more stringent than those adopted by the state fire marshal that are reasonably necessary to accommodate local climate, geological, or topographical conditions relating to roof coverings for residential-care facilities for the elderly.

RESIDENTIAL DWELLING UNIT. [DSA-AC] A unit intended to be used as a residence that is primarily long-term in nature. Residential dwelling units do not include transient lodging, inpatient medical care, licensed long-term care, and detention or correctional facilities.

RESIDENTIAL FACILITY (RF). As defined in Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, shall mean any family home, group care facility or similar facility determined by the director of Social Services, for 24-hour nonmedical care of persons in need of personal services, supervision, or assistance essential for sustaining the activities of daily living or for the protection of the individual. Such facilities include small family homes and social rehabilitation facilities.

Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 13133, regulations of the state fire marshal pertaining to Group R Occupancies classified as residential facilities (RF) and residential-care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) shall apply uniformly throughout the state and no city, county, city and county, including a charter city or charter county, or fire protection district shall adopt or enforce any ordinance or local rule or regulation relating to fire and panic safety which is in consistent with these regulations. A city, county, city and county, including a charter city or charter county may pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 13143.5, or a fire protection district may pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 13869.7, adopt standards more stringent than those adopted by the state fire marshal that are reasonably necessary to accommodate local climate, geological, or topographical conditions relating to roof coverings for residential-care facilities for the elderly.

[BS] RESISTANCE FACTOR. A factor that accounts for deviations of the actual strength from the nominal strength and the manner and consequences of failure (also called “strength reduction factor”).

RESTRAINT. [SFM] The physical retention of a person within a room, cell or cell block, holding cells, temporary holding cell, rooms or area, holding facility, secure interview rooms, courthouse holding facilities, courtroom docks, or similar buildings or portions thereof by any means, or within the exterior walls of a building by means of locked doors inoperable by the person restrained. Restraint shall also mean the physical binding, strapping or similar restriction of any person in a chair, walker, bed or other contrivance for the purpose of deliberately restricting the free movement of ambulatory persons.

Restraint shall not be construed to include nonambulatory persons nor shall it include the use of bandage material, strip sheeting or other fabrics or materials (soft ties) used to restrain persons in hospital-type beds or wheelchairs to prevent injury, provided an approved method of quick release is maintained.

Facilities employing the use of soft ties, however, shall be classified as a building used to house nonambulatory persons. Restraint shall not be practiced in licensed facilities classified as Group R-2.1, R-3.1 and R-4 occupancies unless constructed as a Group I-3 occupancy. For Group I-3 Occupancies see Section 408.1.1.

RESTRICTED AREA. [OSHPD 1] (See Chapter 12, Section 1224.3 for defined term.)

[BS] RESTRICTED ENTRANCE. An entrance that is made available for common use on a controlled basis, but not public use, and that is not a service entrance.

RETRACTABLE AWNING. A retractable awning is a cover with a frame that retracts against a building or other structure to which it is entirely supported.

RETROFIT [DSA-SS, DSA-SS/CC, OSHPD 1, 2 & 4] The construction of any new element or system, or the alteration of any existing element or system required to bring an existing building, or portion thereof, conforming to earlier code requirements, into conformance with standards of the currently effective California Building Standards Code.

RISER. The upright part between two adjacent stair treads.

[BS] RISK CATEGORY. A categorization of buildings and other structures for determination of flood, wind, snow, ice and earthquake loads based on the risk associated with unacceptable performance.

[BS] RISK-TARGETED MAXIMUM CONSIDERED EARTHQUAKE (MCER) GROUND MOTION RESPONSE ACCELERATIONS. The most severe earthquake effects considered by this code, determined for the orientation that results in the largest maximum response to horizontal ground motions and with adjustment for targeted risk.

[BS] ROOF ASSEMBLY (For application to Chapter 15 only). A system designed to provide weather protection and resistance to design loads. The system consists of a roof covering and roof deck or a single component serving as both the roof covering and the roof deck. A roof assembly includes the roof deck, vapor retarder, substrate or thermal barrier, insulation, vapor retarder and roof covering.

[BS] ROOF COVERING. The covering applied to the roof deck for weather resistance, fire classification or appearance.

ROOF COVERING SYSTEM. See “Roof assembly.”

[BS] ROOF DECK. The flat or sloped surface constructed on top of the exterior walls of a building or other supports for the purpose of enclosing the story below, or sheltering an area, to protect it from the elements, not including its supporting members or vertical supports.

ROOF DRAINAGE, POSITIVE. See “Positive roof drainage.”

ROOF EAVE. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

ROOF EAVE SOFFIT. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

[EB] ROOF RECOVER. The process of installing an additional roof covering over a prepared existing roof covering without removing the existing roof covering.

[EB] ROOF REPAIR. Reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing roof for the purposes of its maintenance.

[EB] ROOF REPLACEMENT. The process of removing the existing roof covering, repairing any damaged substrate and installing a new roof covering.

ROOF VENTILATION. The natural or mechanical process of supplying conditioned or unconditioned air to, or removing such air from, attics, cathedral ceilings or other enclosed spaces over which a roof assembly is installed.

ROOFTOP STRUCTURE. A structure erected on top of the roof deck or on top of any part of a building.

RUGGED EQUIPMENT. [DSA-SS, DSA-SS/CC & OSHPD 1, 2, 3 & 4] Rugged equipment refers to an ampleness of construction that gives such equipment the ability to survive earthquake strong motions without significant loss of function.

[BS] RUNNING BOND. The placement of masonry units such that head joints in successive courses are horizontally offset at least one-quarter the unit length.

RUNNING SLOPE. The slope that is parallel to the direction of travel. (As differentiated from the definition of “Cross Slope”.)

SALLYPORT. A security vestibule with two or more doors or gates where the intended purpose is to prevent continuous and unobstructed passage by allowing the release of only one door or gate at a time.

SANITARY FACILITY. [HCD 1 & HCD 1-AC] Any single water closet, urinal, lavatory, bathtub or shower, or a combination thereof, together with the room or space in which they are housed.

SCISSOR STAIRWAY. Two interlocking stairways providing two separate paths of egress located within one exit enclosure.

[BS] SCUPPER. An opening in a wall or parapet that allows water to drain from a roof.

SECONDARY MEMBERS. The following structural members shall be considered secondary members and not part of the primary structural frame:

  1. Structural members not having direct connections to the columns;
  2. Members of the floor construction and roof construction not having direct connections to the columns; and
  3. Bracing members other than those that are part of the primary structural frame.

SECURE INTERVIEW ROOMS. A lockable room used to hold and interview detainees for further processing.

[BS] SEISMIC DESIGN CATEGORY. A classification assigned to a structure based on its risk category and the severity of the design earthquake ground motion at the site.

[BS] SEISMIC FORCE-RESISTING SYSTEM. That part of the structural system that has been considered in the design to provide the required resistance to the prescribed seismic forces.

SELF-CLOSING. As applied to a fire door or other opening protective, means equipped with an device that will ensure closing after having been opened.

SELF-LUMINOUS. Illuminated by a self-contained power source, other than batteries, and operated independently of external power sources.

SELF-PRESERVATION, INCAPABLE OF. See “Incapable of self-preservation.”

SELF-SERVICE STORAGE. [DSA-AC] Building or facility designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage spaces to customers for the purpose of storing and removing personal property on a self-service basis.

[F] SERVICE CORRIDOR. A fully enclosed passage used for transporting HPM and purposes other than required means of egress.

SERVICE ENTRANCE. An entrance intended primarily for delivery of goods or services.

SHAFT. An enclosed space extending through one or more stories of a building, connecting vertical openings in successive floors, or floors and roof.

SHAFT ENCLOSURE. The walls or construction forming the boundaries of a shaft.

SHALL. [DSA-AC] Denotes a mandatory specification or requirement.

[BS] SHALLOW FOUNDATION. A shallow foundation is an individual or strip footing, a mat foundation, a slab-on-grade foundation or a similar foundation element.

SHALLOW POOL. A pool that has a maximum depth of less than 6 feet (1829 mm).

SHEAR WALL (For Chapter 23). A wall designed to resist lateral forces parallel to the plane of a wall.

Shear wall, perforated. A wood structural panel sheathed wall with openings, that has not been specifically designed and detailed for force transfer around openings.

Shear wall segment, perforated. A section of shear wall with full-height sheathing that meets the height-to-width ratio limits of Section 4.3.4 of AWC SDPWS.

[BS] SHINGLE FASHION. A method of installing roof or wall coverings, water-resistive barriers, flashing or other building components such that upper layers of material are placed overlapping lower layers of material to provide for drainage via gravity and moisture control.

SHOPPING CENTER (OR SHOPPING MALL). [DSA-AC] One or more sales or rental establishments or stores. A shopping center may include a series of buildings on a common site, connected by a common pedestrian access route on, above or below the ground floor, that is either under common ownership or common control or developed either as one project or as a series of related projects. For the purposes of this section, “shopping center” or “shopping mall” includes a covered mall building.

SHOULD. [HCD 1 & HCD 2] See “Recommend.”

SIDEWALK. A surfaced pedestrian way contiguous to a street used by the public. (As differentiated from the definition of “Walk”.)

SIGN. [DSA-AC] An element composed of displayed textual, symbolic, tactile, and/or pictorial information.

SIGNIFICANT LOSS OF FUNCTION. [DSA-SS, DSA-SS/CC & OSHPD 1, 2, & 4] Significant loss of function for equipment or components means the equipment or component cannot be restored to its original function by competent technicians after a design earthquake because the equipment or component require parts that are not normally stocked by the owner or not readily available.

SINGLE-ACCOMMODATION SANITARY FACILITY. [HCD 1-AC] A room that has not more than one of each type of sanitary fixture, is intended for use by only one person at a time, has no partition around the toilet, and has a door that can be locked on the inside by the room occupant.

[BS] SINGLE-PLY MEMBRANE. A roofing membrane that is field applied using one layer of membrane material (either homogeneous or composite) rather than multiple layers.

[F] SINGLE-STATION SMOKE ALARM. An assembly incorporating the detector, the control equipment and the alarm-sounding device in one unit, operated from a power supply either in the unit or obtained at the point of installation.

SINK. A fixed bowl or basin with running water and drainpipe, as in a kitchen or laundry, for washing dishes, clothing, etc. (As differentiated from the definition of “Lavatory”.)

SITE. A parcel of land bounded by a lot line or a designated portion of a public right-of-way.

[BS] SITE CLASS. A classification assigned to a site based on the types of soils present and their engineering properties as defined in Section 1613.3.2.

[BS] SITE COEFFICIENTS. The values of Fa and Fv indicated in Tables 1613.3.3(1) and 1613.3.3(2), respectively.

SITE DEVELOPMENT. [HCD 1-AC] “On-site” and “off-site” work, including, but not limited to, walks, sidewalks, ramps, curbs, curb ramps, parking facilities, stairs, planting areas, pools, promenades, exterior gathering or assembly areas and raised or depressed paved areas.

SITE-FABRICATED STRETCH SYSTEM. A system, fabricated on site and intended for acoustical, tackable or aesthetic purposes, that is composed of three elements:

  1. A frame (constructed of plastic, wood, metal or other material) used to hold fabric in place,
  2. A core material (infill, with the correct properties for the application), and
  3. An outside layer, composed of a textile, fabric or vinyl, that is stretched taut and held in place by tension or mechanical fasteners via the frame.

SKYLIGHT, UNIT. A factory-assembled, glazed fenestration unit, containing one panel of glazing material that allows for natural lighting through an opening in the roof assembly while preserving the weather-resistant barrier of the roof.

SKYLIGHTS AND SLOPED GLAZING. Glass or other transparent or translucent glazing material installed at a slope of 15 degrees (0.26 rad) or more from vertical. Glazing material in skylights, including unit skylights, tubular daylighting devices, solariums, sunrooms, roofs and sloped walls, are included in this definition.

SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS. Rooms intended and designed for sleeping.

SLEEPING UNIT. A room or space in which people sleep, which can also include permanent provisions for living, eating, and either sanitation or kitchen facilities but not both. Such rooms and spaces that are also part of a dwelling unit are not sleeping units.

SLIP RESISTANT. A rough finish that is not abrasive to the bare foot.

SLOPE. [HCD 1-AC] The relative steepness of the land between two points and is calculated as follows:

The horizontal distance and elevation change between the two points (e.g., an entrance and a passenger loading zone). The difference in elevation is divided by the distance and the resulting fraction is multiplied by 100 to obtain the percentage of slope.

For example: if a principal entrance is 10 feet (3048 mm) from a passenger loading zone, and the principal entrance is raised 1 foot (305 mm) higher than the passenger loading zone, then the slope is 1/10 100 = 10 percent.

SMALL MANAGEMENT YARD. An exterior exercise yard within a Group I-3 prison used for inmate exercise for a maximum of 2 hours per day, constructed in accordance with Section 408.1.2.3.

[F] SMOKE ALARM. A single- or multiple-station alarm responsive to smoke. See “Multiple-station smoke alarm” and “Single-station smoke alarm.”

SMOKE BARRIER. A continuous membrane, either vertical or horizontal, such as a wall, floor or ceiling assembly, that is designed and constructed to restrict the movement of smoke.

SMOKE COMPARTMENT. A space within a building enclosed by smoke barriers on all sides, including the top and bottom.

SMOKE DAMPER. A listed device installed in ducts and air transfer openings designed to resist the passage of smoke. The device is installed to operate automatically, controlled by a smoke detection system, and where required, is capable of being positioned from a fire command center.

[F] SMOKE DETECTOR. A listed device that senses visible or invisible particles of combustion.

SMOKE-DEVELOPED INDEX. A comparative measure, expressed as a dimensionless number, derived from measurements of smoke obscuration versus time for a material tested in accordance with ASTM E84.

SMOKE-PROTECTED ASSEMBLY SEATING. Seating served by means of egress that is not subject to smoke accumulation within or under a structure.

SMOKEPROOF ENCLOSURE. An exit stairway designed and constructed so that the movement of the products of combustion produced by a fire occurring in any part of the building into the enclosure is limited.

SOFT CONTAINED PLAY STRUCTURE. [DSA-AC] A play structure made up of one or more play components where the user enters a fully enclosed play environment that utilizes pliable materials, such as plastic, netting or fabric.

[F] SOLID. A material that has a melting point, decomposes or sublimes at a temperature greater than 68°F (20°C).

SPACE. A definable area, such as, a room, toilet room, hall, assembly area, entrance, storage room, alcove, courtyard, or lobby.

SPC 1, SPC 2, SPC 3, SPC 4, SPC 4D and SPC 5. [OSHPD 1] Building structural performance categories for Hospital Buildings defined in Table 2.5.3 of California Administrative Code (Part 1, Title 24 CCR), Chapter 6.

SPC BUILDING. [OSHPD 1] Means a structure with an independent vertical and lateral force-resisting system (LFRS) and a distinct building structural performance category assigned by OSHPD.

SPECIAL AMUSEMENT BUILDING. A special amusement building is any temporary or permanent building or portion thereof that is occupied for amusement, entertainment or educational purposes and that contains a device or system that conveys passengers or provides a walkway along, around or over a course in any direction so arranged that the means of egress path is not readily apparent due to visual or audio distractions or is intentionally confounded or is not readily available because of the nature of the attraction or mode of conveyance through the building or structure.

[BS] SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA. The land area subject to flood hazards and shown on a Flood Insurance Rate Map or other flood hazard map as Zone A, AE, A1-30, A99, AR, AO, AH, V, VO, VE or V1-30.

[BS] SPECIAL INSPECTION. Inspection of construction requiring the expertise of an approved special inspector in order to ensure compliance with this code and the approved construction documents.

Continuous special inspection. Special inspection by the special inspector who is present when and where the work to be inspected is being performed.

Periodic special inspection. Special inspection by the special inspector who is intermittently present where the work to be inspected has been or is being performed.

SPECIAL INSPECTOR. A qualified person employed or retained by an approved agency and approved by the building official as having the competence necessary to inspect a particular type of construction requiring special inspection.

[BS] SPECIAL STRUCTURAL WALL. See Section 1905.1.1.

[BS] SPECIFIED COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF MASONRY, m. Minimum compressive strength, expressed as force per unit of net cross-sectional area, required of the masonry used in construction by the approved construction documents, and upon which the project design is based. Whenever the quantity f'm is under the radical sign, the square root of numerical value only is intended and the result has units of pounds per square inch (psi) (MPa).

SPECIFIED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. [DSA-AC] Transportation by bus, rail, or any other conveyance (other than aircraft) provided by a private entity to the general public, with general or special service (including charter service) on a regular and continuing basis.

[BS] SPLICE. The result of a factory and/or field method of joining or connecting two or more lengths of a fire-resistant joint system into a continuous entity.

SPORT ACTIVITY, AREA OF. See “Area of sport activity.”

SPRAYED FIRE-RESISTANT MATERIALS. Cementitious or fibrous materials that are sprayed to provide fire-resistant protection of the substrates.

STAGE. A space within a building utilized for entertainment or presentations, which includes overhead hanging curtains, drops, scenery or stage effects other than lighting and sound.

STAIR. A change in elevation, consisting of one or more risers.

STAIRS. A series of two or more steps.

STAIRWAY. One or more flights of stairs, either exterior or interior, with the necessary landings and platforms connecting them, to form a continuous and uninterrupted passage from one level to another.

STAIRWAY, EXIT ACCESS. See “Exit access stairway.”

STAIRWAY, EXTERIOR EXIT. See “Exterior exit stairway.”

STAIRWAY, INTERIOR EXIT. See “Interior exit stairway.”

STAIRWAY, SCISSOR. See “Scissor stairway.”

STAIRWAY, SPIRAL. A stairway having a closed circular form in its plan view with uniform section-shaped treads attached to and radiating from a minimum-diameter supporting column.

[F] STANDBY POWER SYSTEM. A source of automatic electric power of a required capacity and duration to operate required building, hazardous materials or ventilation systems in the event of a failure of the primary power. Standby power systems are required for electrical loads where interruption of the primary power could create hazards or hamper rescue or fire-fighting operations.

[F] STANDPIPE SYSTEM, CLASSES OF. Standpipe classes are as follows:

  • Class I system. A system providing 21/2-inch (64 mm) hose connections to supply water for use by fire departments and those trained in handling heavy fire streams.
  • Class II system. A system providing 11/2-inch (38 mm) hose stations to supply water for use primarily by the building occupants or by the fire department during initial response.
  • Class III system. A system providing 11/2-inch (38 mm) hose stations to supply water for use by building occupants and 21/2-inch (64 mm) hose connections to supply a larger volume of water for use by fire departments and those trained in handling heavy fire streams.

[F] STANDPIPE, TYPES OF. Standpipe types are as follows:

Automatic dry. A dry standpipe system, normally filled with pressurized air, that is arranged through the use of a device, such as dry pipe valve, to admit water into the system piping automatically upon the opening of a hose valve. The water supply for an automatic dry standpipe system shall be capable of supplying the system demand.

Automatic wet. A wet standpipe system that has a water supply that is capable of supplying the system demand automatically.

Manual dry. A dry standpipe system that does not have a permanent water supply attached to the system. Manual dry standpipe systems require water from a fire department pumper to be pumped into the system through the fire department connection in order to meet the system demand.

Manual wet. A wet standpipe system connected to a water supply for the purpose of maintaining water within the system but does not have a water supply capable of delivering the system demand attached to the system. Manual-wet standpipe systems require water from a fire department pumper (or the like) to be pumped into the system in order to meet the system demand.

Semiautomatic dry. A dry standpipe system that is arranged through the use of a device, such as a deluge valve, to admit water into the system piping upon activation of a remote control device located at a hose connection. A remote control activation device shall be provided at each hose connection. The water supply for a semiautomatic dry standpipe system shall be capable of supplying the system demand.

START OF CONSTRUCTION. The date of issuance for new construction and substantial improvements to existing structures, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, placement or other improvement is within 180 days after the date of issuance. The actual start of construction means the first placement of permanent construction of a building (including a manufactured home) on a site, such as the pouring of a slab or footings, installation of pilings or construction of columns.

Permanent construction does not include land preparation (such as clearing, excavation, grading or filling), the installation of streets or walkways, excavation for a basement, footings, piers or foundations, the erection of temporary forms or the installation of accessory buildings such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main building. For a substantial improvement, the actual “start of construction” means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.

STATE-OWNED/LEASED BUILDING. [SFM] State-Owned/Leased Building is a building or portion of a building that is owned, leased or rented by the state. State-leased buildings shall include all required exits to a public way serving such leased area or space. Portions of state- leased buildings that are not leased or rented by the state shall not be included within the scope of this section unless such portions present an exposure hazard to the state-leased area or space.

STATE RESPONSIBILITY AREA. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for definition of term.)

[BS] STEEL CONSTRUCTION, COLD-FORMED. That type of construction made up entirely or in part of steel structural members cold formed to shape from sheet or strip steel such as roof deck, floor and wall panels, studs, floor joists, roof joists and other structural elements.

[BS] STEEL ELEMENT, STRUCTURAL. Any steel structural member of a building or structure consisting of rolled shapes, pipe, hollow structural sections, plates, bars, sheets, rods or steel castings other than cold-formed steel or steel joist members.

[BS] STEEL JOIST. Any steel structural member of a building or structure made of hot-rolled or cold-formed solid or open-web sections, or riveted or welded bars, strip or sheet steel members, or slotted and expanded, or otherwise deformed rolled sections.

[BS] STEEL MEMBER, STRUCTURAL. Any steel structural member of a building or structure consisting of a rolled steel structural shape other than cold-formed steel, or steel joist members.

STEEP SLOPE. A roof slope greater than two units vertical in 12 units horizontal (17-percent slope).

STEP. A riser and tread.

STEPS, RECESSED STEPS, LADDERS AND RECESSED TREADS. Those means of entry and exit to and from the pool which may be used in conjunction with each other.

[BS] STONE MASONRY. Masonry composed of field, quarried or cast stone units bonded by mortar.

[F] STORAGE, HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. The keeping, retention or leaving of hazardous materials in closed containers, tanks, cylinders, or similar vessels; or vessels supplying operations through closed connections to the vessel.

[BS] STORAGE RACKS. Cold-formed or hot-rolled steel structural members which are formed into steel storage racks, including pallet storage racks, movable-shelf racks, rack-supported systems, automated storage and retrieval systems (stacker racks), push-back racks, pallet-flow racks, case-flow racks, pick modules and rack-supported platforms. Other types of racks, such as drive-in or drive-through racks, cantilever racks, portable racks or racks made of materials other than steel, are not considered storage racks for the purpose of this code.

[BS] STORM SHELTER. A building, structure or portions thereof, constructed in accordance with ICC 500 and designated for use during a severe wind storm event, such as a hurricane or tornado.

Community storm shelter. A storm shelter not defined as a “Residential storm shelter.”

Residential storm shelter. A storm shelter serving occupants of dwelling units and having an occupant load not exceeding 16 persons.

STORY. That portion of a building included between the upper surface of a floor and the upper surface of the floor or roof next above (see “Basement,” “Building height,” “Grade plane” and “Mezzanine”). A story is measured as the vertical distance from top to top of two successive tiers of beams or finished floor surfaces and, for the topmost story, from the top of the floor finish to the top of the ceiling joists or, where there is not a ceiling, to the top of the roof rafters.

[DSA-AC] That portion of a building or facility designed for human occupancy included between the upper surface of a floor and upper surface of the floor or roof next above. A story containing one or more mezzanines has more than one floor level. If the finished floor level directly above a basement or unused under-floor space is more than six feet (1829 mm) above grade for more than 50 percent of the total perimeter or is more than 12 feet (3658 mm) above grade at any point, the basement or unused under-floor space shall be considered as a story.

STORY ABOVE GRADE PLANE. Any story having its finished floor surface entirely above grade plane, or in which the finished surface of the floor next above is:

  1. More than 6 feet (1829 mm) above grade plane; or
  2. More than 12 feet (3658 mm) above the finished ground level at any point.

[BS] STRENGTH (For Chapter 21).

Design strength. Nominal strength multiplied by a strength reduction factor.

Nominal strength. Strength of a member or cross section calculated in accordance with these provisions before application of any strength-reduction factors.

Required strength. Strength of a member or cross section required to resist factored loads.

[BS] STRENGTH (For Chapter 16).

Nominal strength. The capacity of a structure or member to resist the effects of loads, as determined by computations using specified material strengths and dimensions and equations derived from accepted principles of structural mechanics or by field tests or laboratory tests of scaled models, allowing for modeling effects and differences between laboratory and field conditions.

Required strength. Strength of a member, cross section or connection required to resist factored loads or related internal moments and forces in such combinations as stipulated by these provisions.

Strength design. A method of proportioning structural members such that the computed forces produced in the members by factored loads do not exceed the member design strength [also called “load and resistance factor design” (LRFD)]. The term “strength design” is used in the design of concrete and masonry structural elements.

[BS] STRUCTURAL COMPOSITE LUMBER. Structural member manufactured using wood elements bonded together with exterior adhesives. Examples of structural composite lumber are:

Laminated strand lumber (LSL). A composite of wood strand elements with wood fibers primarily oriented along the length of the member, where the least dimension of the wood strand elements is 0.10 inch (2.54 mm) or less and their average lengths not less than 150 times the least dimension of the wood strand elements.

Laminated veneer lumber (LVL). A composite of wood veneer sheet elements with wood fibers primarily oriented along the length of the member, where the veneer element thicknesses are 0.25 inches (6.4 mm) or less.

Oriented strand lumber (OSL). A composite of wood strand elements with wood fibers primarily oriented along the length of the member, where the least dimension of the wood strand elements is 0.10 inches (2.54 mm) or less and their average lengths not less than 75 times and less than 150 times the least dimension of the strand elements.

Parallel strand lumber (PSL). A composite of wood strand elements with wood fibers primarily oriented along the length of the member where the least dimension of the wood strand elements is 0.25 inches (6.4 mm) or less and their average lengths not less than 300 times the least dimension of the wood strand elements.

STRUCTURAL FRAME. [DSA-AC] The columns and the girders, beams and trusses having direct connections to the columns and all other members that are essential to the stability of the building or facility as a whole.

[BS] STRUCTURAL GLUED-LAMINATED TIMBER. An engineered, stress-rated product of a timber laminating plant, comprised of assemblies of specially selected and prepared wood laminations in which the grain of all laminations is approximately parallel longitudinally and the laminations are bonded with adhesives.

[BS] STRUCTURAL OBSERVATION. The visual observation of the structural system by a registered design professional for general conformance to the approved construction documents.

[A] STRUCTURE. That which is built or constructed.

SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE. Damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT. Any repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, alteration, addition or other improvement of a building or structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the improvement or repair is started. If the structure has sustained substantial damage, any repairs are considered substantial improvement regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:

  1. Any project for improvement of a building required to correct existing health, sanitary or safety code violations identified by the building official and that are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions.
  2. Any alteration of a historic structure provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as a historic structure.

SUBSTANTIAL STRUCTURAL DAMAGE. [OSHPD 1 & 4] A condition where one or both of the following apply:

  1. The vertical elements of the lateral force-resisting system have suffered damage such that the lateral load-carrying capacity of any story in any horizontal direction has been reduced by more than 10 percent from its predamage condition.
  2. The capacity of any vertical component carrying gravity load, or any group of such components has been reduced more than 10 percent from its predamage condition and the remaining capacity of such affected elements, with respect to all dead and live loads, is less than 75 percent of that required by this code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose and location.

SURFACE MOUNTED COMPONENT. [OSHPD 1, 2 & 4] Means component directly attached to only one continuous flat surface of wall, floor or roof, without supports. Surface mounted components are directly attached to a surface by attachments (without any supports) and are not rigidly connected to anything else (e. g. distribution system, other components, etc.).

[E] SUNROOM. A one-story structure attached to a building with a glazing area in excess of 40 percent of the gross area of the structure’s exterior walls and roof.

[F] SUPERVISING STATION. A facility that receives signals and at which personnel are in attendance at all times to respond to these signals.

[F] SUPERVISORY SERVICE. The service required to monitor performance of guard tours and the operative condition of fixed suppression systems or other systems for the protection of life and property.

[F] SUPERVISORY SIGNAL. A signal indicating the need of action in connection with the supervision of guard tours, the fire suppression systems or equipment or the maintenance features of related systems.

[F] SUPERVISORY SIGNAL-INITIATING DEVICE. An initiation device, such as a valve supervisory switch, water-level indicator or low-air pressure switch on a dry-pipe sprinkler system, whose change of state signals an off-normal condition and its restoration to normal of a fire protection or life safety system, or a need for action in connection with guard tours, fire suppression systems or equipment or maintenance features of related systems.

[BS] SUSCEPTIBLE BAY. A roof or portion thereof with:

  1. A slope less than 1/4-inch per foot (0.0208 rad); or
  2. On which water is impounded upon it, in whole or in part, and the secondary drainage system is functional but the primary drainage system is blocked.

A roof surface with a slope of 1/4-inch per foot (0.0208 rad) or greater towards points of free drainage is not a susceptible bay.

SWIMMING POOL. Any structure intended for swimming, recreational bathing or wading that contains water over 24 inches (610 mm) deep. This includes in-ground, aboveground and on-ground pools; hot tubs; spas and fixed-in-place wading pools.

T RATING. The time period that the penetration firestop system, including the penetrating item, limits the maximum temperature rise to 325°F (163°C) above its initial temperature through the penetration on the nonfire side when tested in accordance with ASTM E814 or UL 1479.

TACTILE. An object that can be perceived using the sense of touch.

TACTILE SIGN. A sign containing raised characters and/or symbols and accompanying Braille.

TECHNICAL PRODUCTION AREA. Open elevated areas or spaces intended for entertainment technicians to walk on and occupy for servicing and operating entertainment technology systems and equipment. Galleries, including fly and lighting galleries, gridirons, catwalks, and similar areas are designed for these purposes.

TECHNICALLY INFEASIBLE. [DSA-AC] An alteration of a building or a facility, that has little likelihood of being accomplished because the existing structural conditions require the removal or alteration of a load-bearing member that is an essential part of the structural frame, or because other existing physical or site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces or features that are in full and strict compliance with the minimum requirements for new construction and which are necessary to provide accessibility.

TENSILE MEMBRANE STRUCTURE. A membrane structure having a shape that is determined by tension in the membrane and the geometry of the support structure. Typically, the structure consists of both flexible elements (e.g., membrane and cables), nonflexible elements (e.g., struts, masts, beams and arches) and the anchorage (e.g., supports and foundations). This includes frame-supported tensile membrane structures.

TEEING GROUND. [DSA-AC] In golf, the starting place for the hole to be played.

TEMPORARY [DSA-AC] Buildings and facilities intended for use at one location for not more than one year and seats intended for use at one location for not more than 90 days.

TEMPORARY HOLDING CELL, ROOM or AREA. [BSCC and SFM] Temporary Holding cell, room or area shall mean a room for temporary holding of inmates, detainees or in-custody individuals for less than 24 hours.

TEMPORARY HOLDING FACILITY [SFM] A building or portion of a building, operated by law enforcement personnel, with one or more temporary holding cells or rooms.

TENABLE ENVIRONMENT [SFM] Tenable environment shall mean an environment in which the products of combustion, toxic gases, smoke and heat are limited or otherwise restricted to maintain the impact on occupants to a level that is not life threatening.

TENT. A structure, enclosure or shelter, with or without sidewalls or drops, constructed of fabric or pliable material supported in any manner except by air or the contents it protects.

TERMINALLY ILL. As termed for an individual, means the individual has a life expectancy of six months or less as stated in writing by his or her attending physician and surgeon.

TESTING AGENCY. (HCD 1 & HCD 2) An agency approved by the department as qualified and equipped for testing of products, materials, equipment and installations in accordance with nationally recognized standards. For additional information, see Health and Safety Code Section 17920(m).

TEXT TELEPHONE. Machinery or equipment that employs interactive text-based communications through the transmission of coded signals across the standard telephone network. Text telephones can include, for example, devices known as TTYs (teletypewriters) or computers.

[E] THERMAL ISOLATION. A separation of conditioned spaces, between a sunroom and a dwelling unit, consisting of existing or new walls, doors or windows.

THERMOPLASTIC MATERIAL. A plastic material that is capable of being repeatedly softened by increase of temperature and hardened by decrease of temperature.

THERMOSETTING MATERIAL. A plastic material that is capable of being changed into a substantially nonreformable product when cured.

THROUGH PENETRATION. A breach in both sides of a floor, floor-ceiling or wall assembly to accommodate an item passing through the breaches.

THROUGH-PENETRATION FIRESTOP SYSTEM. An assemblage consisting of a fire-resistance-rated floor, floor-ceiling, or wall assembly, one or more penetrating items passing through the breaches in both sides of the assembly and the materials or devices, or both, installed to resist the spread of fire through the assembly for a prescribed period of time.

[BS] TIE-DOWN (HOLD-DOWN). A device used to resist uplift of the chords of shear walls.

[BS] TIE, WALL. Metal connector that connects wythes of masonry walls together.

[BS] TILE, STRUCTURAL CLAY. A hollow masonry unit composed of burned clay, shale, fire clay or mixture thereof, and having parallel cells.

[F] TIRES, BULK STORAGE OF. Storage of tires where the area available for storage exceeds 20,000 cubic feet (566 m3).

TORQUE-CONTROLLED POST-INSTALLED ANCHOR. [DSA-SS, DSA-SS/CC & OSHPD 1, 2 & 4] A post-installed anchor that is set by the expansion of one or more sleeves or other elements against the sides of the drilled hole through the application of torque, which pulls the cone(s) into the expansion sleeve(s); after setting, tensile loading can cause additional expansion (follow-up expansion).

[A] TOWNHOUSE. A single-family dwelling unit constructed in a group of three or more attached units in which each unit extends from the foundation to roof and with open space on at least two sides.

[F] TOXIC. A chemical falling within any of the following categories:

  1. A chemical that has a median lethal dose (LD50) of more than 50 milligrams per kilogram, but not more than 500 milligrams per kilogram of body weight when administered orally to albino rats weighing between 200 and 300 grams each.
  2. A chemical that has a median lethal dose (LD50) of more than 200 milligrams per kilogram, but not more than 1,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight when administered by continuous contact for 24 hours (or less if death occurs within 24 hours) with the bare skin of albino rabbits weighing between 2 and 3 kilograms each.
  3. A chemical that has a median lethal concentration (LC50) in air of more than 200 parts per million, but not more than 2,000 parts per million by volume of gas or vapor, or more than 2 milligrams per liter but not more than 20 milligrams per liter of mist, fume or dust, when administered by continuous inhalation for 1 hour (or less if death occurs within 1 hour) to albino rats weighing between 200 and 300 grams each.

TRANSFER DEVICE. [DSA-AC] Equipment designed to facilitate the transfer of a person from a wheelchair or other mobility aid to and from an amusement ride seat.

TRANSIENT. Occupancy of a dwelling unit or sleeping unit for not more than 30 days.

TRANSIENT AIRCRAFT. Aircraft based at another location and that is at the transient location for not more than 90 days.

TRANSIENT LODGING. A building or facility containing one or more guest room(s) for sleeping that provides accommodations that are primarily short-term in nature (generally 30 days or less). Transient lodging does not include residential dwelling units intended to be used as a residence, inpatient medical care facilities, licensed long-term care facilities, detention or correctional facilities, or private buildings or facilities that contain no more than five rooms for rent or hire and that are actually occupied by the proprietor as the residence of such proprietor.

[DSA-AC] See also the definition of Place of Public Accommodation.

TRANSIT BOARDING PLATFORM. [DSA-AC] A horizontal, generally level surface, whether raised above, recessed below or level with a transit rail, from which persons embark/disembark a fixed rail vehicle.

TRANSITION PLATE. [DSA-AC] A sloping pedestrian walking surface located at the end(s) of a gangway.

TREAD. The horizontal part of a step.

[BS] TREATED WOOD. Wood products that are conditioned to enhance fire-retardant or preservative properties.

Fire-retardant-treated wood. Wood products that, when impregnated with chemicals by a pressure process or other means during manufacture, exhibit reduced surface-burning characteristics and resist propagation of fire.

Preservative-treated wood. Wood products that, conditioned with chemicals by a pressure process or other means, exhibit reduced susceptibility to damage by fungi, insects or marine borers.

TREATMENT OF WATER. The process of conditioning and disinfection of pool water by means of a combination of filtration and the addition of chemicals to the water.

TRIM. Picture molds, chair rails, baseboards, handrails, door and window frames and similar decorative or protective materials used in fixed applications.

[F] TROUBLE SIGNAL. A signal initiated by the fire alarm system or device indicative of a fault in a monitored circuit or component.

TTY. An abbreviation for teletypewriter. Machinery that employs interactive text-based communication through the transmission of coded signals across the telephone network. TTYs may include, for example, devices known as TDDs (telecommunication display devices or telecommunication devices for deaf persons) or computers with special modems. TTYs are also called text telephones.

[BS] TUBULAR DAYLIGHTING DEVICE (TDD). A non-operable fenestration unit primarily designed to transmit daylight from a roof surface to an interior ceiling via a tubular conduit. The basic unit consists of an exterior glazed weathering surface, a light-transmitting tube with a reflective interior surface, and an interior-sealing device such as a translucent ceiling panel. The unit can be factory assembled, or field-assembled from a manufactured kit.

24-HOUR BASIS. See “24-hour basis” located preceding “AAC masonry.”

TURNOVER TIME. The period of time, in hours, required to circulate a volume of water equal to the pool capacity.

[BS] UNDERLAYMENT. One or more layers of felt, sheathing paper, nonbituminous saturated felt or other approved material over which a steep-slope roof covering is applied.

UNIFORMITY COEFFICIENT. The ratio of theoretical size of a sieve that will pass 60 percent of the sand to the theoretical size of sieve that will pass 10 percent.

UNIT SKYLIGHT. See “Skylight, unit.”

UNREASONABLE HARDSHIP. When the enforcing agency finds that compliance with the building standard would make the specific work of the project affected by the building standard infeasible, based on an overall evaluation of the following factors:

  1. The cost of providing access.
  2. The cost of all construction contemplated.
  3. The impact of proposed improvements on financial feasibility of the project.
  4. The nature of the accessibility which would be gained or lost.
  5. The nature of the use of the facility under construction and its availability to persons with disabilities.

The details of any finding of unreasonable hardship shall be recorded and entered in the files of the enforcing agency.

[F] UNSTABLE (REACTIVE) MATERIAL. A material, other than an explosive, which in the pure state or as commercially produced, will vigorously polymerize, decompose, condense or become self-reactive and undergo other violent chemical changes, including explosion, when exposed to heat, friction or shock, or in the absence of an inhibitor, or in the presence of contaminants, or in contact with incompatible materials. Unstable (reactive) materials are subdivided as follows:

  • Class 4. Materials that in themselves are readily capable of detonation or explosive decomposition or explosive reaction at normal temperatures and pressures. This class includes materials that are sensitive to mechanical or localized thermal shock at normal temperatures and pressures.
  • Class 3. Materials that in themselves are capable of detonation or of explosive decomposition or explosive reaction but which require a strong initiating source or which must be heated under confinement before initiation. This class includes materials that are sensitive to thermal or mechanical shock at elevated temperatures and pressures.
  • Class 2. Materials that in themselves are normally unstable and readily undergo violent chemical change but do not detonate. This class includes materials that can undergo chemical change with rapid release of energy at normal temperatures and pressures, and that can undergo violent chemical change at elevated temperatures and pressures.
  • Class 1. Materials that in themselves are normally stable but which can become unstable at elevated temperatures and pressure.

[F] USE (MATERIAL). Placing a material into action, including solids, liquids and gases.

USE ZONE. [DSA-AC] The ground level area beneath and immediately adjacent to a play structure or play equipment that is designated by ASTM F1487 for unrestricted circulation around the play equipment and where it is predicted that a user would land when falling from or exiting the play equipment.

VALUATION THRESHOLD. [DSA-AC] An annually adjusted, dollar-amount figure used in part to determine the extent of required path of travel upgrades. The baseline valuation threshold of $50,000 is based on the January 1981, “ENR US20 Cities” Average Construction Cost Index (CCI) of 3372.02 as published in Engineering News Record, McGraw Hill Publishing Company. The current valuation threshold is determined by multiplying the baseline valuation threshold by a ratio of the current year’s January CCI to the baseline January 1981 CCI.

VAPOR PERMEABLE MEMBRANE. The property of having a moisture vapor permeance rating of 5 perms (2.9 × 10-10 kg/Pa × s × m2) or greater, when tested in accordance with the desiccant method using Procedure A of ASTM E 96. A vapor permeable material permits the passage of moisture vapor.

VAPOR RETARDER CLASS. A measure of a material or assembly’s ability to limit the amount of moisture that passes through that material or assembly. Vapor retarder class shall be defined using the desiccant method of ASTM E96 as follows:

  • Class I: 0.1 perm or less.
  • Class II: 0.1 < perm ≤ 1.0 perm.
  • Class III: 1.0 < perm ≤ 10 perm.

VARIABLE MESSAGE SIGNS (VMS). [DSA-AC] Electronic signs that have a message with the capacity to change by means of scrolling, streaming, or paging across a background.

VARIABLE MESSAGE SIGN (VMS) CHARACTERS. [DSA-AC] Characters of an electronic sign are composed of pixels in an array. High resolution VMS characters have vertical pixel counts of 16 rows or greater. Low resolution VMS characters have vertical pixel counts of 7 to 15 rows.

VEGETATIVE ROOF. An assembly of interacting components designed to waterproof and normally insulate a building’s top surface that includes, by design, vegetation and related landscape elements.

VEHICLE BARRIER. A component or a system of components, near open sides of a garage floor or ramp or building walls that act as restraints for vehicles.

VEHICULAR GATE. A gate that is intended for use at a vehicular entrance or exit to a facility, building or portion thereof, and that is not intended for use by pedestrian traffic.

VEHICULAR OR PEDESTRIAN ARRIVAL POINTS. [HCD 1-AC] Public or resident parking areas, public transportation stops, passenger loading zones, and public streets or sidewalks.

VEHICULAR WAY. A route provided for vehicular traffic, such as in a street, driveway, or parking facility.

VENEER. A facing attached to a wall for the purpose of providing ornamentation, protection or insulation, but not counted as adding strength to the wall.

[M] VENTILATION. The natural or mechanical process of supplying conditioned or unconditioned air to, or removing such air from, any space.

VINYL SIDING. A shaped material, made principally from rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC), that is used as an exterior wall covering.

[F] VISIBLE ALARM NOTIFICATION APPLIANCE. A notification appliance that alerts by the sense of sight.

WAITING ROOM. [SFM] Waiting room is a room or area normally provided with seating and used for persons waiting.

WALK. [DSA-AC] An exterior prepared surface for pedestrian use, including pedestrian areas such as plazas and courts. (As differentiated from the definition of “Sidewalk”.) [HCD 1-AC] A surfaced pedestrian way not located contiguous to a street used by the public. (See also “Sidewallk”.)

WALKWAY, PEDESTRIAN. A walkway used exclusively as a pedestrian trafficway.

[BS] WALL (for Chapter 21). A vertical element with a horizontal length-to-thickness ratio greater than three, used to enclose space.

Cavity wall. A wall built of masonry units or of concrete, or a combination of these materials, arranged to provide an airspace within the wall, and in which the inner and outer parts of the wall are tied together with metal ties.

Dry-stacked, surface-bonded wall. A wall built of concrete masonry units where the units are stacked dry, without mortar on the bed or head joints, and where both sides of the wall are coated with a surface-bonding mortar.

Parapet wall. The part of any wall entirely above the roof line.

[BS] WALL, LOAD-BEARING. Any wall meeting either of the following classifications:

  1. Any metal or wood stud wall that supports more than 100 pounds per linear foot (1459 N/m) of vertical load in addition to its own weight.
  2. Any masonry or concrete wall that supports more than 200 pounds per linear foot (2919 N/m) of vertical load in addition to its own weight.

[BS] WALL, NONLOAD-BEARING. Any wall that is not a load-bearing wall.

WATERLINE. Shall be defined as one of the following:

  1. Skimmer systems. The waterline shall be the midpoint of the operating range of the skimmers.
  2. Overflow system. The waterline shall be the top edge of the overflow rim.

[F] WATER-REACTIVE MATERIAL. A material that explodes; violently reacts; produces flammable, toxic or other hazardous gases; or evolves enough heat to cause autoignition or ignition of combustibles upon exposure to water or moisture. Water-reactive materials are subdivided as follows:

  • Class 3. Materials that react explosively with water without requiring heat or confinement.
  • Class 2. Materials that react violently with water or have the ability to boil water. Materials that produce flammable, toxic or other hazardous gases or evolve enough heat to cause autoignition or ignition of combustibles upon exposure to water or moisture.
  • Class 1. Materials that react with water with some release of energy, but not violently.

WATER-RESISTIVE BARRIER. A material behind an exterior wall covering that is intended to resist liquid water that has penetrated behind the exterior covering from further intruding into the exterior wall assembly.

WEATHER-EXPOSED SURFACES. Surfaces of walls, ceilings, floors, roofs, soffits and similar surfaces exposed to the weather except the following:

  1. Ceilings and roof soffits enclosed by walls, fascia, bulkheads or beams that extend not less than 12 inches (305 mm) below such ceiling or roof soffits.
  2. Walls or portions of walls beneath an unenclosed roof area, where located a horizontal distance from an open exterior opening equal to not less than twice the height of the opening.
  3. Ceiling and roof soffits located a minimum horizontal distance of 10 feet (3048 mm) from the outer edges of the ceiling or roof soffits.

WET BAR. [DSA-AC] An area or space with a counter equipped with a sink and running water but without cooking facilities.

[F] WET-CHEMICAL EXTINGUISHING SYSTEM. A solution of water and potassium-carbonate-based chemical, potassium-acetate-based chemical or a combination thereof, forming an extinguishing agent.

WHEELCHAIR. A chair mounted on wheels to be propelled by its occupant manually or with the aid of electric power, of a size and configuration conforming to the recognized standard models of the trade.

WHEELCHAIR SPACE. A space for a single wheelchair and its occupant.

WILDFIRE. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

WILDFIRE EXPOSURE. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

WILDLAND-URBAN INTERFACE FIRE AREA. [SFM] (See Chapter 7A, Section 702A for defined term.)

WINERY CAVES. See Section 46.

[BS] WIND-BORNE DEBRIS REGION. Areas within hurricane-prone regions located:

  1. Within 1 mile (1.61 km) of the coastal mean high water line where the ultimate design wind speed, Vult, is 130 mph (58 m/s) or greater; or
  2. In areas where the ultimate design wind speed is 140 mph (63.6 m/s) or greater; or Hawaii.

For Risk Category II buildings and structures and Risk Category III buildings and structures, except health care facilities, the wind-borne debris region shall be based on Figure 1609.3.(1). For Risk Category IV buildings and structures and Risk Category III health care facilities, the wind-borne debris region shall be based on Figure 1609.3(2).

WINDFORCE-RESISTING SYSTEM, MAIN. See “Main Windforce-Resisting System.”

[BS] WIND SPEED, Vult. Ultimate design wind speeds.

[BS] WIND SPEED, Vasd. Nominal design wind speeds.

WINDER. A tread with nonparallel edges.

[BS] WIRE BACKING. Horizontal strands of tautened wire attached to surfaces of vertical supports which, when covered with the building paper, provide a backing for cement plaster

[F] WIRELESS PROTECTION SYSTEM. A system or a part of a system that can transmit and receive signals without the aid of wire.

[BS] WOOD/PLASTIC COMPOSITE. A composite material made primarily from wood or cellulose-based materials and plastic.

[BS] WOOD SHEAR PANEL. A wood floor, roof or wall component sheathed to act as a shear wall or diaphragm.

[BS] WOOD STRUCTURAL PANEL. A panel manufactured from veneers, wood strands or wafers or a combination of veneer and wood strands or wafers bonded together with waterproof synthetic resins or other suitable bonding systems. Examples of wood structural panels are:

Composite panels. A wood structural panel that is comprised of wood veneer and reconstituted wood-based material and bonded together with waterproof adhesive;

Oriented strand board (OSB). A mat-formed wood structural panel comprised of thin rectangular wood strands arranged in cross-aligned layers with surface layers normally arranged in the long panel direction and bonded with waterproof adhesive; or

Plywood. A wood structural panel comprised of plies of wood veneer arranged in cross-aligned layers. The plies are bonded with waterproof adhesive that cures on application of heat and pressure.

WORK AREA EQUIPMENT. [DSA-AC] Any machine, instrument, engine, motor, pump, conveyor, or other apparatus used to perform work. As used in this document, this term shall apply only to equipment that is permanently installed or built-in in employee work areas. Work area equipment does not include passenger elevators and other accessible means of vertical transportation.

[F] WORKSTATION. A defined space or an independent principal piece of equipment using HPM within a fabrication area where a specific function, laboratory procedure or research activity occurs. Approved or listed hazardous materials storage cabinets, flammable liquid storage cabinets or gas cabinets serving a workstation are included as part of the workstation. A workstation is allowed to contain ventilation equipment, fire protection devices, detection devices, electrical devices and other processing and scientific equipment.

[DSA-AC] An area defined by equipment and/or work surfaces intended for use by employees only, and generally for one or a small number of employees at a time. Examples include ticket booths; the employee side of grocery store check stands; the bartender area behind a bar; the employee side of snack bars, sales counters and public counters; guardhouses; toll booths; kiosk vending stands; lifeguard stations; maintenance equipment closets; counter and equipment areas in restaurant kitchens; file rooms; storage areas; etc.

[BS] WYTHE. Each continuous, vertical section of a wall, one masonry unit in thickness.

YARD. An open space, other than a court, unobstructed from the ground to the sky, except where specifically provided by this code, on the lot on which a building is situated.

[F] ZONE. A defined area within the protected premises. A zone can define an area from which a signal can be received, an area to which a signal can be sent or an area in which a form of control can be executed.

[F] ZONE, NOTIFICATION. An area within a building or facility covered by notification appliances which are activated simultaneously.

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