About this chapter: Chapter 1 establishes the limits of applicability of the code and describes how the code is to be applied and enforced. Chapter 1 is in two parts: Part 1—Scope and Application (Sections 101—102) and Part 2—Administration and Enforcement (Sections 103— 116). Section 101 identifies which buildings and structures come under its purview and references other I-Codes as applicable. Standards and codes are scoped to the extent referenced (see Section 102.4).
This code is intended to be adopted as a legally enforceable document and it cannot be effective without adequate provisions for its administration and enforcement. The provisions of Chapter 1 establish the authority and duties of the code official appointed by the authority having jurisdiction and also establish the rights and privileges of the design professional, contractor and property owner. Chapter 1 is largely concerned with maintaining "due process of law" in enforcing the building performance criteria contained in the body of the code.
Code development reminder: Code change proposals to this chapter will be considered by the Administrative Code Development Committee during the 2019 (Group B) Code Development Cycle. See explanation on page iv.
Part 1 Scope and Application
The provisions of this code shall apply to the construction, alteration, relocation, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings or structures.
- Exception: 1. Detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress and their accessory structures shall comply with the International Residential Code;
- Exception: 2. Existing buildings undergoing repair, alterations or additions, and change of occupancy shall comply with the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code set forth in COMAR 09.12.58; and
- Exception: 3. Maintenance of residential structures and premises shall comply with the Minimum Livability Code COMAR 09.12.54.
Part 2 Administration and Enforcement
[A] 104.2.1 Determination of Substantially Improved or Substantially Damaged Existing Buildings and Structures in Flood Hazard Areas
- A showing of good and sufficient cause that the unique characteristics of the size, configuration or topography of the site render the elevation standards of Section 1612 inappropriate.
- A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship by rendering the lot undevelopable.
- A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, cause fraud on or victimization of the public, or conflict with existing laws or ordinances.
- A determination that the variance is the minimum necessary to afford relief, considering the flood hazard.
- Submission to the applicant of written notice specifying the difference between the design flood elevation and the elevation to which the building is to be built, stating that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced floor elevation, and stating that construction below the design flood elevation increases risks to life and property.
Exemptions from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. Permits shall not be required for the following:
- One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided that the floor area is not greater than 120 square feet (11 m2).
- Fences not over 7 feet (2134 mm) high.
- Oil derricks.
- Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or IIIA liquids.
- Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity is not greater than 5,000 gallons (18 925 L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width is not greater than 2:1.
- Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
- Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
- Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
- Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep, are not greater than 5,000 gallons (18 925 L) and are installed entirely above ground.
- Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
- Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings.
- Window awnings in Group R-3 and U occupancies, supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
- Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches (1753 mm) in height.
- Repairs and maintenance: Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
- Radio and television transmitting stations: The provisions of this code shall not apply to electrical equipment used for radio and television transmissions, but do apply to equipment and wiring for a power supply and the installations of towers and antennas.
- Temporary testing systems: A permit shall not be required for the installation of any temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus.
- Portable heating appliance.
- Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
- Portable heating appliance.
- Portable ventilation equipment.
- Portable cooling unit.
- Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
- Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
- Portable evaporative cooler.
- Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (0.75 kW) or less.
- The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe, provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.
- The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided that such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.
To obtain a permit, the applicant shall first file an application therefor in writing on a form furnished by the department of building safety for that purpose. Such application shall:
- Identify and describe the work to be covered by the permit for which application is made.
- Describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done by legal description, street address or similar description that will readily identify and definitely locate the proposed building or work.
- Indicate the use and occupancy for which the proposed work is intended.
- Be accompanied by construction documents and other information as required in Section 107.
- State the valuation of the proposed work.
- Be signed by the applicant, or the applicant's authorized agent.
- Give such other data and information as required by the building official.
Submittal documents consisting of construction documents, statement of special inspections, geotechnical report and other data shall be submitted in two or more sets with each permit application. The construction documents shall be prepared by a registered design professional where required by the statutes of the jurisdiction in which the project is to be constructed. Where special conditions exist, the building official is authorized to require additional construction documents to be prepared by a registered design professional.
Exception: The building official is authorized to waive the submission of construction documents and other data not required to be prepared by a registered design professional if it is found that the nature of the work applied for is such that review of construction documents is not necessary to obtain compliance with this code.
The construction documents shall include manufacturer's installation instructions that provide supporting documentation that the proposed penetration and opening details described in the construction documents maintain the weather resistance of the exterior wall envelope. The supporting documentation shall fully describe the exterior wall system that was tested, where applicable, as well as the test procedure used.
Where it is required that documents be prepared by a registered design professional, the building official shall be authorized to require the owner or the owner's authorized agent to engage and designate on the building permit application a registered design professional who shall act as the registered design professional in responsible charge. If the circumstances require, the owner or the owner's authorized agent shall designate a substitute registered design professional in responsible charge who shall perform the duties required of the original registered design professional in responsible charge. The building official shall be notified in writing by the owner or the owner's authorized agent if the registered design professional in responsible charge is changed or is unable to continue to perform the duties.
The registered design professional in responsible charge shall be responsible for reviewing and coordinating submittal documents prepared by others, including phased and deferred submittal items, for compatibility with the design of the building.
Lath, gypsum board and gypsum panel product inspections shall be made after lathing, gypsum board and gypsum panel products, interior and exterior, are in place, but before any plastering is applied or gypsum board and gypsum panel product joints and fasteners are taped and finished.
Where balconies or other elevated walking surfaces are exposed to water from direct or blowing rain, snow or irrigation, and the structural framing is protected by an impervious moisture barrier, all elements of the impervious moisture barrier system shall not be concealed until inspected and approved.
A building or structure shall not be used or occupied, and a change of occupancy of a building or structure or portion thereof shall not be made, until the building official has issued a certificate of occupancy therefor as provided herein. Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as an approval of a violation of the provisions of this code or of other ordinances of the jurisdiction.
After the building official inspects the building or structure and does not find violations of the provisions of this code or other laws that are enforced by the department of building safety, the building official shall issue a certificate of occupancy that contains the following:
- The building permit number.
- The address of the structure.
- The name and address of the owner or the owner's authorized agent.
- A description of that portion of the structure for which the certificate is issued.
- A statement that the described portion of the structure has been inspected for compliance with the requirements of this code for the occupancy and division of occupancy and the use for which the proposed occupancy is classified.
- The name of the building official.
- The edition of the code under which the permit was issued.
- The use and occupancy, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3.
- The type of construction as defined in Chapter 6.
- The design occupant load.
- If an automatic sprinkler system is provided, whether the sprinkler system is required.
- Any special stipulations and conditions of the building permit.