Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.

(These definitions are taken from the 2018 IBC as amended by Minnesota Rules, Chapter 1305, and the 2018 IEBC as amended by Minnesota Rules, Chapter 1311. Additional definitions for terms used in this code are located in the 2020 Minnesota Building Code and the 2020 Minnesota Conservation Code for Existing Buildings)


201.1 Scope.

Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this code, have the meanings shown in this chapter.

201.2 Interchangeability.

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.

201.3 Terms defined in other codes.

Where terms are not defined in this code and are defined in the International Energy Conservation Code, International Fuel Gas Code, International Fire Code, International Mechanical Code or International Plumbing Code, such terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them as in those codes.

201.4 Terms not defined.

Where terms are not defined through the methods authorized by this code, the MerriamWebster Collegiate Dictionary, available at www.merriamwebster.com, shall be considered as providing ordinarily accepted meanings. The dictionary is incorporated by reference, is subject to frequent change, and is available through the Minitex interlibrary loan system.


[BE] ACCESSIBLE. A site, building, facility or portion thereof that complies with this code.

[BE] ACCESSIBLE ROUTE. A continuous, unobstructed path that complies with this code.

[BE] ACCESSIBLE UNIT. A dwelling unit or sleeping unit that complies with this code and the provisions for Accessible units in ICC A117.1.

[A] ADDITION. An extension or increase in floor area, number of stories or height of a building or structure.

[A] ALTERATION. Any construction or renovation to an existing structure other than repair or addition.

[A] APPROVED. "Approved" means approval by the building official, pursuant to the Minnesota State Building Code, by reason of: inspection, investigation, or testing; accepted principles; computer simulations; research reports; or testing performed by either a licensed engineer or by a locally or nationally recognized testing laboratory.

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

[A] CHANGE OF OCCUPANCY. A change in the use of a building or a portion a building which results in one of the following:

  1. A change of occupancy classification.
  2. A change from one group to another group within an occupancy classification.
  3. Any change in use within a group for which there is a change in application of the requirements of this code.

[BE] CIRCULATION PATH. An exterior or interior way of passage from one place to another for pedestrians.

CODE. For purposes of this chapter, "the code" or "this code" means the Minnesota Accessibility Code, Minnesota Rules, Chapter 1341.

[BE] 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.

[BE] DETECTABLE WARNING. A standardized surface feature built in or applied to walking surfaces or other elements to warn visually impaired persons of hazards on a circulation path.

[A] 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.

[A] 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.

[BG] 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.

[A] EXISTING BUILDING. A building erected prior to the effective date of this code, or one for which a legal building permit has been issued.

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

[BE] 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 armrests.

[BE] GAMING. To deal, operate, carry on, conduct, maintain or expose for play any game played with cards, dice, equipment or any mechanical, electromechanical or electronic device or machine for money, property, checks, credit or any representative of value except where occurring at private home or operated by a charitable or educational organization.

[BE] GAMING AREA. Single or multiple areas of a building or facility where gaming machines or tables are present and gaming occurs, including but not limited to, primary casino gaming areas, VIP gaming areas, high-roller gaming areas, bar tops, lobbies, dedicated rooms or spaces such as in retail or restaurant establishments, sports books and tournament areas.

[BE] GAMING MACHINE TYPE. Categorization of gaming machines per type of game played on them, including, but not limited to, slot machines, video poker and video keno.

[BE] GAMING TABLE TYPE. Categorization of gaming tables per the type of game played on them, including, but not limited to, baccarat, bingo, blackjack/21, craps, pai gow, poker, roulette.

[BG] GUEST ROOM. "Guest room" means a room or group of rooms used or intended to be used for purposes of lodging by guests.

[A] HISTORIC BUILDING. "Historic building" has the meaning given for "historical building" in Minnesota Rules, part 1300.0070, subpart 12a.

[BE] 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.

[BE] 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.

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

[BG] 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.

PRIMARY FUNCTION. A primary function is a major activity for which the facility is intended. Areas that contain a primary function include, but are not limited to, the customer service lobby of a bank, the dining area of a cafeteria, the meeting rooms in a conference center, as well as offices and other work areas in which the activities of the public accommodation or other private entity using the facility are carried out. Mechanical rooms, boiler rooms, supply storage rooms, employee lounges or locker rooms, janitorial closets, entrances, corridors, and restrooms are not areas containing a primary function.

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

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

[BE] PUBLIC-USE AREAS. Interior or exterior rooms or spaces that are made available to the general public.

[A] REPAIR. "Repair" means the reconstruction, individual component replacement, or renewal of any part of an existing building for the purpose of its maintenance or to correct damage.

[BE] 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.

[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.

[BG] SELF-SERVICE STORAGE FACILITY. Real property 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.

[BE] SERVICE ENTRANCE. An entrance intended primarily for delivery of goods or services.

[BG] SITE. A parcel of land bounded by a lot line or a designated portion of a public right-of-way.

[A] SLEEPING UNIT. A single unit that provides rooms or spaces for one or more persons, includes permanent provisions for sleeping and can include 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.

[BG] 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.

[BG] 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.

TECHNICALLY INFEASIBLE, ACCESSIBILITY. "Technically infeasible, accessibility" means an alteration of a building 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 which are in full and strict compliance with the minimum requirements for new construction and which are necessary to provide accessibility.

[BE] TYPE A UNIT. A dwelling unit or sleeping unit designed and constructed for accessibility in accordance with this code and the provisions for Type A units in ICC A117.1.

[BE] TYPE B UNIT. A dwelling unit or sleeping unit designed and constructed for accessibility in accordance with this code and the provisions for Type B units in ICC A117.1, consistent with the design and construction requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act.

[BE] WHEELCHAIR SPACE. A space for a single wheelchair and its occupant.

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