Part 1 — Scope and Application
All references in this code to the International Fuel Gas Code, International Plumbing Code, International Property Maintenance Code,International Fire Code, and the International Electrical Code, are superseded as applicable by MA specialty codes per subsection 101.4 of the Massachusetts Amendments to the International Building Code 2009, unless noted otherwise further on within these amendments. In addition subsection 101.1 of the Massachusetts Amendments to the International Building Code 2009, 101.4 notes Massachusetts specialty codes as they apply to environmental protection, water pollution control, elevators, and accessibility. Reference elsewhere in this code to the International Building Code shall mean 780 CMR Base Volume. Reference elsewhere in this code to the existing buildings pertaining to the International Residential Code shall mean 780 CMR One- and Two-family Dwelling and the existing building provisions contained therein. The requirements in this code for construction of existing buildings in flood hazard areas and/or coastal dunes shall not apply and instead 780 CMR Appendix G shall apply.
The repair, alteration, change of occupancy, addition or relocation of all existing buildings shall comply with one of the methods listed in Sections 101.5.1 through 101.5.3 as selected by the applicant. Application of a method shall be the sole basis for assessing the compliance of work performed under a single permit unless otherwise approved by the code official. Sections 101.5.1 through 101.5.3 shall not be applied in combination with each other. Where this code requires consideration of the seismic-force-resisting system of an existing building subject to repair, alteration, change of occupancy, addition or relocation of existing buildings, the seismic evaluation and design shall be based on Section 101.5.4 regardless of which compliance method is used.
Exception: Subject to the approval of the code official, alterations complying with the laws in existence at the time the building or the affected portion of the building was built shall be considered in compliance with the provisions of this code unless the building is undergoing more than a limited structural alteration as defined in Section 807.5.3. New structural members added as part of the alteration shall comply with the International Building Code. Alterations of existing buildings in flood hazard areas shall comply with Section 601.3.
The investigation and evaluation shall be in sufficient detail to ascertain the effects of the proposed work on the work area under consideration and, the entire building or structure and its foundation if impacted by the proposed work.
The results of the investigation and evaluation, along with any proposed compliance alternatives, shall be submitted to the building official in written report form.
Where compliance with the seismic design provisions of the International Building Code is required, the procedures shall be in accordance with one of the following:
1. The International Building Code using 100 percent of the prescribed forces. The R-factor used for analysis in accordance with Chapter 16 of the International Building Code shall be the R-factor specified for structural systems classified as “Ordinary” in accordance with Table 12.2-1 of ASCE 7, unless it can be demonstrated that the structural system satisfies the proportioning and detailing requirements for systems classified as “Intermediate” or “Special.”
2. Compliance with ASCE 41 using both the BSE-1 and BSE-2 earthquake hazard levels and the corresponding performance levels shown in Table 18.104.22.168.
PERFORMANCE CRITERIA FOR IBC LEVEL SEISMIC FORCES
PERFORMANCE LEVEL FOR USE WITH ASCE 41 BSE-1 EARTHQUAKE HAZARD LEVEL
PERFORMANCE LEVEL FOR USE WITH ASCE 41 BSE-2 EARTHQUAKE HAZARD LEVEL
Life safety (LS)
Collapse prevention (CP)
Life safety (LS)
Collapse prevention (CP)
Note a, Note b
Immediate occupancy (IO)
Life safety (LS)
a. Acceptable criteria for Occupancy Category III shall be taken as 80 percent of the acceptance criteria specified for Occupancy Category IV performance levels.
b. For Occupancy Category III, the ASCE 31 screening phase checklists shall be based on the life safety performance level.
Where seismic evaluation and design is permitted to meet reduced International Building Code seismic force levels, the procedures used shall be in accordance with one of the following:
1. The International Building Code using 75 percent of the prescribed forces. Values of R, Ωo,and Cd used for analysis shall be as specified in Section 22.214.171.124 of this code.
- The International Building Code 2009 with Massachusetts Amendments using 50% of prescribed forces when directed here by sections 807.4.3
- The International Building Code 2009 with Massachusetts Amendments using
- 50 % of prescribed forces when directed here by Section 1003.3.1 and when the vertical addition increases the building area less than or equal to 30%.
- 75% of prescribed forces when directed here by section 1003.3.1 and when the vertical addition increases the building area more than 30% but less than 50%.
2. Structures or portions of structures that comply with the requirements of the applicable chapter in Appendix A as specified in Items 2.1 through 2.5 shall be deemed to comply with this section.
2.1. The seismic evaluation and design of unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings in Occupancy Category I or II are permitted to be based on the procedures specified in Appendix Chapter A1.
2.2. Seismic evaluation and design of the wall anchorage system in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry wall buildings with flexible diaphragms in Occupancy Category I or II are permitted to be based on the procedures specified in Chapter A2.
2.3. Seismic evaluation and design of cripple walls and sill plate anchorage in residential buildings of light-frame wood construction in Occupancy Category I or II are permitted to be based on the procedures specified in Chapter A3.
2.4. Seismic evaluation and design of soft, weak, or open-front wall conditions in multiunit residential buildings of wood construction in Occupancy Category I or II are permitted to be based on the procedures specified in Chapter A4.
2.5. Seismic evaluation and design of concrete buildings and concrete with masonry infill buildings in all occupancy categories are permitted to be based on the procedures specified in Chapter A5.
3. Compliance with ASCE 31 based on the applicable performance level as shown in Table 126.96.36.199. It shall be permitted to use the BSE-1 earthquake hazard level as defined in ASCE 41 and subject to the limitations in Item 4 below.
4. Compliance with ASCE 41 using the BSE-1 Earthquake Hazard Level and the performance level shown in Table 188.8.131.52. The design spectral response acceleration parameters SXS and SX1 specified in ASCE 41 shall not be taken less than 75 percent of the respective design spectral response acceleration parameters SDS and SD1 defined by the International Building Code.
PERFORMANCE CRITERIA FOR REDUCED IBC
LEVEL SEISMIC FORCES
PERFORMANCE LEVEL FOR USE WITH ASCE 31
PERFORMANCE LEVEL FOR USE WITH ASCE 41 BSE-1 EARTHQUAKE HAZARD LEVEL
Life safety (LS)
Life safety (LS)
Life safety (LS)
Life safety (LS)
a. Performance levels for Occupancy Category III shall be taken as halfway between the performance levels specified for Occupancy Categories II and IV.
- Structural work does not involve more than 2% of the total tributary area of horizontal framing members of any existing framed floor or roof.
- Structural work does not alter shear walls above the foundation.
- Structural work does not alter columns or diagonal braces.
- Structural work does not create an opening in any framed floor or roof that has an area more than 2% of the framed floor or roof.
- Structural work does not alter any floor or roof diaphragm and its connections such that in-plane shear resistance is reduced by more than 5%.
- Structural work does not remove or reconfigure lateral load resisting frames, or foundations supporting them.
- the work area exceeds 50% of the aggregate area of the building, or
- an occupancy increase of more than 25% and to a total of 100 or more, or
- a change of occupancy to a relative hazard category of 1 or 2 per Table 912.5, or educational occupancies K to 12, or
- a Level 2 Alteration, as defined by section 404, to an Occupancy Category IV per ASCE 7.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are required and shall be selected and installed in accordance with the applicable requirements of 527 CMR and/or 248 CMR and Chapter 9 of the International Building Code 2009 with Massachusetts Amendments (780 CMR 9.00).
- Existing buildings or portions thereof when changed in use to an A-2 Nightclub occupancy shall be protected with an automatic fire suppression system. Where the A-2 Nightclub occupancy is created in a mixed use building, the A-2 Nightclub occupancy, including all ingress and egress portions shall require automatic fire suppression when the occupant load is 50 or greater; additionally in such mixed use, the A-2 Nightclub occupancy shall be separated from adjacent uses by one hour horizontal and vertical fire separation assemblies in accordance with the applicable provisions of Chapter 7 of the International Building Code 2009 with Massachusetts Amendments (780 CMR 7.00).
- Notwithstanding the provisions of this code, automatic fire suppression systems are required in municipalities which have adopted the provisions of M.G.L. c. 148, § 26H or I; also see M.G.L. c. 143, § 97A, and M.G.L. c. 148, § 26G1/2 relative to statutory prospective and retroactive sprinkler requirements for A-2 nightclubs and similar uses.
In enforcing the provisions of this section the building official may require or accept engineering or other evaluations of the fire protection systems in order to identify possible noncompliant conditions and acceptable solutions. If the evaluation determines that alterations are necessary, the building official shall order the abatement of such conditions.
- Less than the number of means of egress serving every space and/or story, required byChapter 10 of the International Building Code 2009 with Massachusetts Amendments (780 CMR 10.00);
- Any required means of egress component which is not of sufficient width to provide adequate exit capacityin accordance with section 1005.1 of the International Building Code 2009 with Massachusetts Amendments (780 CMR 1005.1);
- Any means of egress which is not so arranged as to provide safe and adequate means of egress, including exit signage and emergency lighting in accordance with Chapter 10 of the International Building Code 2009 with Massachusetts Amendments (780 CMR 10.00); or
- Where the occupant load of an existing Group A-2 Nightclub use is 50 or greater, the main entrance/exit door shall be a minimum 72 inches (nominal) width. This main entrance/exit door shall consist of a pair of side-hinged swinging type doors without a center mullion and shall be equipped with panic hardware (see Chapter 10 of the International Building Code 2009 with Massachusetts Amendments (780 CMR 10.00). As an alternative, or where construction, regulations or other conditions exist which would preclude the installation of said main entrance/exit door and associated exit access, the ownershall cause the existing means of egress system to be evaluated by a registered design professional. Such evaluation shall determine whether the existing means of egress is sufficient to accommodate the occupant load orwhether the existing means of egress requires improvement to accommodate safely the occupant load. If the existing means of egress is insufficient to accommodate the occupant load, such inadequate means of egress will, as a minimum, be deemed in violation of this code. Calculation methodologies based on alternative approaches to life safety may be utilized in order to effect said egress evaluation.
In enforcing the provisions of this section the building official may require or accept engineering or other evaluations of the lighting and/or ventilation systems in order to evaluate possible dangerous or hazardous conditions and acceptable solutions.
Where full compliance with 780 CMR for new construction is not practical for structural and/or other technical reasons, the building official may accept compliance alternatives, or engineering or other evaluations which adequately address the building or structure livability for the posted use and occupant load.
The codes and standards referenced in this code shall be considered part of the requirements of this code to the prescribed extent of each such reference. Where differences occur between provisions of this code and referenced codes and standards, the provisions of this code shall govern.
Exception: Where enforcement of a code provision would violate the conditions of the listing of the equipment or appliance, the conditions of the listing shall govern.
Part 2 — Administration and Enforcement
When requested by the permit applicant or the code official, the code official shall meet with the permit applicant prior to the application for a construction permit to discuss plans for the proposed work or change of occupancy in order to establish the specific applicability of the provisions of this code.
For existing buildings located in flood hazard areas for which repairs, alterations and additions constitute substantial improvement, the code official shall not grant modifications to provisions related to flood resistance unless a determination is made that:
1. The applicant has presented good and sufficient cause that the unique characteristics of the size, configuration or topography of the site render compliance with the flood-resistant construction provisions inappropriate.
2. Failure to grant the modification would result in exceptional hardship.
3. The granting of the modification will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense nor create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public or conflict with existing laws or ordinances.
4. The modification is the minimum necessary to afford relief, considering the flood hazard.
5. A written notice will be provided to the applicant specifying, if applicable, 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 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:
1. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above grade and not over any basement or story below and that are not part of an accessible route.
2. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and similar finish work.
3. Temporary motion picture, television, and theater stage sets and scenery.
4. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, and not including service systems.
5. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of Group R-3 or Group U occupancies.
6. Movable cases, counters, and partitions not over 69 inches (1753 mm) in height.
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 power supply, 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.
1. Portable heating appliance.
2. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
1. Portable heating appliance.
2. Portable ventilation equipment.
3. Portable cooling unit.
4. Steam, hot, or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
5. Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
6. Portable evaporative cooler.
7. Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (746 W) or less.
1. The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste, or vent pipe; provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drainpipe, 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.
2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves, or fixtures, and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided 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:
1. Identify and describe the work in accordance with Chapter 3 to be covered by the permit for which application is made.
2. 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.
3. Indicate the use and occupancy for which the proposed work is intended.
4. Be accompanied by construction documents and other information as required in Section 106.3.
5. State the valuation of the proposed work.
6. Be signed by the applicant or the applicant’s authorized agent.
7. Give such other data and information as required by the code official.
Submittal documents consisting of construction documents, special inspection and structural observation programs, investigation and evaluation reports, and other data shall be submitted in one or more sets with each application for a permit. 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 code official is authorized to require additional construction documents to be prepared by a registered design professional.
Exception: The code 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 reviewing of construction documents is not necessary to obtain compliance with this code.
Construction documents for all work affecting the exterior wall envelope shall describe the exterior wall envelope in sufficient detail to determine compliance with this code. The construction documents shall provide details of the exterior wall envelope as required, including windows, doors, flashing, intersections with dissimilar materials, corners, end details, control joints, intersections at roof, eaves, or parapets, means of drainage, water-resistive membrane, and details around openings.
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 wind and weather resistance of the exterior wall envelope. The supporting documentation shall fully describe the exterior wall system which was tested, where applicable, as well as the test procedure used.
For the purposes of this section, deferred submittals are defined as those portions of the design that are not submitted at the time of the application and that are to be submitted to the code official within a specified period.
Deferral of any submittal items shall have the prior approval of the code official. The registered design professional in responsible charge shall list the deferred submittals on the construction documents for review by the code official.
Submittal documents for deferred submittal items shall be submitted to the registered design professional in responsible charge who shall review them and forward them to the code official with a notation indicating that the deferred submittal documents have been reviewed and that they have been found to be in general conformance to the design of the building. The deferred submittal items shall not be installed until their deferred submittal documents have been approved by the code official.
Lath and gypsum board inspections shall be made after lathing and gypsum board, interior and exterior, is in place but before any plastering is applied or before gypsum board joints and fasteners are taped and finished.
Exception: Gypsum board that is not part of a fire-resistance-rated assembly or a shear assembly.
After the code official inspects the building and finds no violations of the provisions of this code or other laws that are enforced by the Department of Building Safety, the code official shall issue a certificate of occupancy that shall contain the following:
1. The building permit number.
2. The address of the structure.
3. The name and address of the owner.
4. A description of that portion of the structure for which the certificate is issued.
5. 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.
6. The name of the code official.
7. The edition of the code under which the permit was issued.
8. The use and occupancy in accordance with the provisions of the International Building Code.
9. The type of construction as defined in the International Building Code.
10. The design occupant load and any impact the alteration has on the design occupant load of the area not within the scope of the work.
11. If fire protection systems are provided, whether the fire protection systems are required.
12. Any special stipulations and conditions of the building permit.