About this chapter: While the balance of the chapters in this code specify how a building is to be designed and constructed in order to be in compliance with the code, Chapter 33 looks to the actual construction process. Parameters are provided for demolition and for protecting adjacent property during demolition and construction. This chapter also addresses the need for a fire watch during nonworking hours for certain buildings once the construction has progressed significantly. Issues such as how to provide egress while the building is growing, the timing of standpipe and sprinkler installation, and protection of pedestrians are addressed.
Code development reminder: Code change proposals to sections preceded by the designation [BS] will be considered by the IBC—Structural Code Development Committee during the 2022 (Group B) Code Development Cycle.
The provisions of this chapter shall govern safety during construction and the protection of adjacent public and private properties.
Construction equipment and materials shall be stored and placed so as not to endanger the public, the workers or adjoining property for the duration of the construction project.
Structural roof components shall be capable of supporting the roof-covering system and the material and equipment loads that will be encountered during installation of the system.
Required exits, existing structural elements, fire protection devices and sanitary safeguards shall be maintained at all times during alterations, repairs or additions to any building or structure.
- Where such required elements or devices are being altered or repaired, adequate substitute provisions shall be made.
- Maintenance of such elements and devices is not required where the existing building is not occupied.
Waste materials shall be removed in a manner that prevents injury or damage to persons, adjoining properties and public rights-of-way.
Fire safety during construction shall comply with the applicable requirements of this code and the applicable provisions of Chapter 33 of the International Fire Code.
Construction documents and a schedule for demolition shall be submitted where required by the building official. Where such information is required, work shall not be done until such construction documents or schedule, or both, are approved.
The work of demolishing any building shall not be commenced until pedestrian protection is in place as required by this chapter.
A horizontal exit shall not be destroyed unless and until a substitute means of egress has been provided and approved.
Where a structure has been demolished or removed, the vacant lot shall be filled and maintained to the existing grade or in accordance with the ordinances of the jurisdiction having authority.
Provision shall be made to prevent the accumulation of water or damage to any foundations on the premises or the adjoining property.
Service utility connections shall be discontinued and capped in accordance with the approved rules and the requirements of the applicable governing authority.
Fire safety during demolition shall comply with the applicable requirements of this code and the applicable provisions of Chapter 33 of the International Fire Code.
Excavation and fill for buildings and structures shall be constructed or protected so as not to endanger life or property. Stumps and roots shall be removed from the soil to a depth of not less than 12 inches (305 mm) below the surface of the ground in the area to be occupied by the building. Wood forms that have been used in placing concrete, if within the ground or between foundation sills and the ground, shall be removed before a building is occupied or used for any purpose. Before completion, loose or casual wood shall be removed from direct contact with the ground under the building.
Slopes for permanent fill shall be not steeper than one unit vertical in two units horizontal (50-percent slope). Cut slopes for permanent excavations shall be not steeper than one unit vertical in two units horizontal (50-percent slope). Deviation from the foregoing limitations for cut slopes shall be permitted only upon the presentation of a soil investigation report acceptable to the building official.
Fill or other surcharge loads shall not be placed adjacent to any building or structure unless such building or structure is capable of withstanding the additional loads caused by the fill or surcharge. Existing footings or foundations that can be affected by any excavation shall be underpinned adequately or otherwise protected against settlement and shall be protected against lateral movement.
For footings on adjacent slopes, see Chapter 18.
Fill to be used to support the foundations of any building or structure shall comply with Section 1804.6. Special inspections of compacted fill shall be in accordance with Section 1705.6.
Sanitary facilities shall be provided during construction, remodeling or demolition activities in accordance with the International Plumbing Code.
Pedestrians shall be protected during construction, remodeling and demolition activities as required by this chapter and Table 3306.1. Signs shall be provided to direct pedestrian traffic.
PROTECTION OF PEDESTRIANS
|HEIGHT OF CONSTRUCTION||DISTANCE FROM CONSTRUCTION TO LOT LINE||TYPE OF PROTECTION REQUIRED|
|8 feet or less||Less than 5 feet||Construction railings|
|5 feet or more||None|
|More than 8 feet||Less than 5 feet||Barrier and covered walkway|
|5 feet or more, but not more than one-fourth the height of construction||Barrier and covered walkway|
|5 feet or more, but between one-fourth and one-half the height of construction||Barrier|
|5 feet or more, but exceeding one-half the height of construction||None|
For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm.
A walkway shall be provided for pedestrian travel in front of every construction and demolition site unless the applicable governing authority authorizes the sidewalk to be fenced or closed. A walkway shall be provided for pedestrian travel that leads from a building entrance or exit of an occupied structure to a public way. Walkways shall be of sufficient width to accommodate the pedestrian traffic, but shall be not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) in width. Walkways shall be provided with a durable walking surface. Walkways shall be accessible in accordance with Chapter 11 and shall be designed to support all imposed loads, and the design live load shall be not less than 150 pounds per square foot (psf) (7.2 kN/m2).
Construction railings shall be not less than 42 inches (1067 mm) in height and shall be sufficient to direct pedestrians around construction areas.
Barriers shall be not less than 8 feet (2438 mm) in height and shall be placed on the side of the walkway nearest the construction. Barriers shall extend the entire length of the construction site. Openings in such barriers shall be protected by doors that are normally kept closed.
Barriers shall be designed to resist loads required in Chapter 16 unless constructed as follows:
- Barriers shall be provided with 2-inch by 4-inch (51 mm by 102 mm) top and bottom plates.
- The barrier material shall be boards not less than 3/4-inch (19.1 mm) thick or wood structural panels not less than 1/4-inch (6.4 mm) thick.
- Wood structural use panels shall be bonded with an adhesive identical to that for exterior wood structural use panels.
- Wood structural use panels 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) or 5/16 inch (23.8 mm) in thickness shall have studs spaced not more than 2 feet (610 mm) on center.
- Wood structural use panels 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) or 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) in thickness shall have studs spaced not more than 4 feet (1219 mm) on center provided that a 2-inch by 4-inch (51 mm by 102 mm) stiffener is placed horizontally at mid-height where the stud spacing is greater than 2 feet (610 mm) on center.
- Wood structural use panels 5/8 inch (15.9 mm) or thicker shall not span over 8 feet (2438 mm).
Covered walkways shall have a clear height of not less than 8 feet (2438 mm) as measured from the floor surface to the canopy overhead. Adequate lighting shall be provided at all times. Covered walkways shall be designed to support all imposed loads. The design live load shall be not less than 150 psf (7.2 kN/m2) for the entire structure.
Exception: Roofs and supporting structures of covered walkways for new, light-frame construction not exceeding two stories above grade plane are permitted to be designed for a live load of 75 psf (3.6kN/m2) or the loads imposed on them, whichever is greater. In lieu of such designs, the roof and supporting structure of a covered walkway are permitted to be constructed as follows:
- Footings shall be continuous 2-inch by 6-inch (51 mm by 152 mm) members.
- Posts not less than 4 inches by 6 inches (102 mm by 152 mm) shall be provided on both sides of the roof and spaced not more than 12 feet (3658 mm) on center.
- Stringers not less than 4 inches by 12 inches (102 mm by 305 mm) shall be placed on edge upon the posts.
- Joists resting on the stringers shall be not less than 2 inches by 8 inches (51 mm by 203 mm) and shall be spaced not more than 2 feet (610 mm) on center.
- The deck shall be planks not less than 2 inches (51 mm) thick or wood structural panels with an exterior exposure durability classification not less than 23/32 inch (18.3 mm) thick nailed to the joists.
- Each post shall be knee braced to joists and stringers by members not less than 2 inches by 4 inches (51 mm by 102 mm); 4 feet (1219 mm) in length.
- A curb that is not less than 2 inches by 4 inches (51 mm by 102 mm) shall be set on edge along the outside edge of the deck.
Pedestrian protection required by this chapter shall be maintained in place and kept in good order for the entire length of time pedestrians are subject to being endangered. The owner or the owner's authorized agent, on completion of the construction activity, shall immediately remove walkways, debris and other obstructions and leave such public property in as good a condition as it was before such work was commenced.
Every excavation on a site located 5 feet (1524 mm) or less from the street lot line shall be enclosed with a barrier not less than 6 feet (1829 mm) in height. Where located more than 5 feet (1524 mm) from the street lot line, a barrier shall be erected where required by the building official. Barriers shall be of adequate strength to resist wind pressure as specified in Chapter 16.
Adjoining public and private property shall be protected from damage during construction, remodeling and demolition work. Protection shall be provided for footings, foundations, party walls, chimneys, skylights and roofs. Provisions shall be made to control water runoff and erosion during construction or demolition activities. The person making or causing an excavation to be made shall provide written notice to the owners of adjoining buildings advising them that the excavation is to be made and that the adjoining buildings should be protected. Said notification shall be delivered not less than 10 days prior to the scheduled starting date of the excavation.
Excavation retention systems shall be designed by a registered design professional to provide vertical and lateral support.
The retention system design shall include requirements for monitoring of the system and adjacent structures for horizontal and vertical movement.
Elements of the system shall only be removed or decommissioned where adequate replacement support is provided by backfill or by the new structure. Removal or decommissioning shall be performed in such a manner that protects the adjacent property.
Construction materials and equipment shall not be placed or stored so as to obstruct access to fire hydrants, standpipes, fire or police alarm boxes, catch basins or manholes, nor shall such material or equipment be located within 20 feet (6096 mm) of a street intersection, or placed so as to obstruct normal observations of traffic signals or to hinder the use of public transit loading platforms.
Building materials, fences, sheds or any obstruction of any kind shall not be placed so as to obstruct free approach to any fire hydrant, fire department connection, utility pole, manhole, fire alarm box or catch basin, or so as to interfere with the passage of water in the gutter. Protection against damage shall be provided to such utility fixtures during the progress of the work, but sight of them shall not be obstructed.
Structures under construction, alteration or demolition shall be provided with not fewer than one approved portable fire extinguisher in accordance with Section 906 and sized for not less than ordinary hazard as follows:
- At each stairway on all floor levels where combustible materials have accumulated.
- In every storage and construction shed.
- Additional portable fire extinguishers shall be provided where special hazards exist, such as the storage and use of flammable and combustible liquids.
The provisions of this code and the International Fire Code shall be strictly observed to safeguard against all fire hazards attendant upon construction operations.
Where building construction exceeds 40 feet (12 192 mm) in height above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access, a temporary or permanent stairway shall be provided. As construction progresses, such stairway shall be extended to within one floor of the highest point of construction having secured decking or flooring.
Means of egress and required accessible means of egress shall be maintained at all times during construction, demolition, remodeling or alterations and additions to any building.
Exception: Existing means of egress need not be maintained where approved temporary means of egress systems and facilities are provided.
In buildings required to have standpipes by Section 905.3.1, not fewer than one standpipe shall be provided for use during construction. Such standpipes shall be installed prior to construction exceeding 40 feet (12 192 mm) in height above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access. Such standpipes shall be provided with fire department hose connections at locations adjacent to stairways complying with Section 3310.1. As construction progresses, such standpipes shall be extended to within one floor of the highest point of construction having secured decking or flooring.
Where a building is being demolished and a standpipe exists within such a building, such standpipe shall be maintained in an operable condition so as to be available for use by the fire department. Such standpipe shall be demolished with the building but shall not be demolished more than one floor below the floor being demolished.
Standpipes shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 9.
Exception: Standpipes shall be either temporary or permanent in nature, and with or without a water supply, provided that such standpipes conform to the requirements of Section 905 as to capacity, outlets and materials.
In buildings where an automatic sprinkler system is required by this code, it shall be unlawful to occupy any portion of a building or structure until the automatic sprinkler system installation has been tested and approved, except as provided in Section 111.3.
Operation of sprinkler control valves shall be permitted only by properly authorized personnel and shall be accompanied by notification of duly designated parties. When the sprinkler protection is being regularly turned off and on to facilitate connection of newly completed segments, the sprinkler control valves shall be checked at the end of each work period to ascertain that protection is in service.
An approved water supply for fire protection, either temporary or permanent, shall be made available as soon as combustible building materials arrive on the site, on commencement of vertical combustible construction, and on installation of a standpipe system in buildings under construction, in accordance with Sections 3313.2 through 3313.5.
Exception: The fire code official is authorized to reduce the fire-flow requirements for isolated buildings or a group of buildings in rural areas or small communities where the development of full fire-flow requirements is impractical.
When combustible building materials of the building under construction are delivered to a site, a minimum fire flow of 500 gallons per minute (1893 L/m) shall be provided. The fire hydrant used to provide this fire flow supply shall be within 500 feet (152 m) of the combustible building materials, as measured along an approved fire apparatus access lane. Where the site configuration is such that one fire hydrant cannot be located within 500 feet (152 m) of all combustible building materials, additional fire hydrants shall be required to provide coverage in accordance with this section.
Prior to commencement of vertical construction of Type III, IV or V buildings that utilize any combustible building materials, the fire flow required by Sections 3313.3.1 through 3313.3.3 shall be provided, accompanied by fire hydrants in sufficient quantity to deliver the required fire flow and proper coverage.
Where a building of Type III, IV or V construction has a fire separation distance of less than 30 feet (9144 mm) from property lot lines, and an adjacent property has an existing structure or otherwise can be built on, the water supply shall provide either a minimum of 500 gallons per minute (1893 L/m), or the entire fire flow required for the building when constructed, whichever is greater.
Where a building of Type III, IV or V construction has a fire separation distance of 30 feet (9144 mm) up to 60 feet (18 288 mm) from property lot lines, and an adjacent property has an existing structure or otherwise can be built on, the water supply shall provide a minimum of 500 gallons per minute (1893 L/m), or 50 percent of the fire flow required for the building when constructed, whichever is greater.
Where a building of Type III, IV or V construction has a fire separation of 60 feet (18 288 mm) or greater from a property lot line, a water supply of 500 gallons per minute (1893 L/m) shall be provided.
If combustible building materials are delivered to the construction site, water supply in accordance with Section 3313.2 shall be provided. Additional water supply for fire flow is not required prior to commencing vertical construction of Type I and II buildings.
Regardless of the presence of combustible building materials, the construction type or the fire separation distance, where a standpipe is required in accordance with Section 3311, a water supply providing a minimum flow of 500 gallons per minute (1893 L/m) shall be provided. The fire hydrant used for this water supply shall be located within 100 feet (30 480 mm) of the fire department connection supplying the standpipe.
A fire watch shall be provided during nonworking hours for construction that exceeds 40 feet (12 192 mm) in height above the lowest adjacent grade at any point along the building perimeter, for new multistory construction with an aggregate area exceeding 50,000 square feet (4645 m2) per story or as required by the fire code official.