About this chapter: Chapter 31 provides regulations for unique buildings and building elements. Those include buildings such as membrane structures, greenhouses and relocatable buildings. Special elements include pedestrian walkways and tunnels, awnings, canopies and marquees, vehicular gates and solar energy systems.
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 2019 (Group B) Code Development Cycle. See explanation on page iv.
The provisions of this chapter shall govern special building construction including membrane structures, temporary structures, pedestrian walkways and tunnels, automatic vehicular gates, awnings and canopies, marquees, signs, towers, antennas, relocatable buildings, swimming pool enclosures and safety devices, and solar energy systems.
Membranes and interior liners shall be either noncombustible as set forth in Section 703.5 or meet the fire propagation performance criteria of Test Method 1 or Test Method 2, as appropriate, of NFPA 701 and the manufacturer's test protocol.
Exception: Plastic less than 20 mil (0.5 mm) in thickness used in greenhouses, where occupancy by the general public is not authorized, and for aquaculture pond covers is not required to meet the fire propagation performance criteria of Test Method 1 or Test Method 2, as appropriate, of NFPA 701.
Blower equipment shall meet all of the following requirements:
- Blowers shall be powered by continuous-rated motors at the maximum power required for any flow condition as required by the structural design.
- Blowers shall be provided with inlet screens, belt guards and other protective devices as required by the building official to provide protection from injury.
- Blowers shall be housed within a weather-protecting structure.
- Blowers shall be equipped with backdraft check dampers to minimize air loss when inoperative.
- Blower inlets shall be located to provide protection from air contamination. The location of inlets shall be approved.
Buildings connected by pedestrian walkways or tunnels shall be considered to be separate structures.
- Buildings that are on the same lot and considered as portions of a single building in accordance with Section 503.1.2.
- For purposes of calculating the number of Type B units required by Chapter 11, structurally connected buildings and buildings with multiple wings shall be considered to be one structure.
The pedestrian walkway shall be of noncombustible construction.
- Combustible construction shall be permitted where connected buildings are of combustible construction.
- Fire-retardant-treated wood, in accordance with Section 603.1, Item 1.3, shall be permitted for the roof construction of the pedestrian walkway where connected buildings are not less than Type I or II construction.
- The distance between the connected buildings is more than 10 feet (3048 mm).
- The pedestrian walkway and connected buildings are equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, and the roof of the walkway is not more than 55 feet (16 764 mm) above grade connecting to the fifth, or lower, story above grade plane, of each building.
Where the distance between the connected buildings is more than 10 feet (3048 mm), the walls at the intersection of the pedestrian walkway and each building need not be fire-resistance rated provided that both sidewalls of the pedestrian walkway are not less than 50 percent open with the open area uniformly distributed to prevent the accumulation of smoke and toxic gases. The roof of the walkway shall be located not more than 40 feet (12 160 mm) above grade plane, and the walkway shall only be permitted to connect to the third or lower story of each building.
Exception: Where the pedestrian walkway is protected with a sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, the roof of the walkway shall be located not more than 55 feet (16 764 mm) above grade plane and the walkway shall only be permitted to connect to the fifth or lower story of each building.
Where exterior walls of connected buildings are required by Section 705 to have a fire-resistance rating greater than 2 hours, the walls at the intersection of the pedestrian walkway and each building need not be fire-resistance rated provided:
- The pedestrian walkway is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
- The roof of the walkway is not located more than 55 feet (16 764 mm) above grade plane and the walkway connects to the fifth, or lower, story above grade plane of each building.
The length of exit access travel shall be 200 feet (60 960 mm) or less.
- Exit access travel distance on a pedestrian walkway equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 shall be 250 feet (76 200 mm) or less.
- Exit access travel distance on a pedestrian walkway constructed with both sides not less than 50 percent open shall be 300 feet (91 440 mm) or less.
- Exit access travel distance on a pedestrian walkway constructed with both sides not less than 50 percent open, and equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, shall be 400 feet (122 m) or less.
- The fire propagation performance criteria of Test Method 1 or Test Method 2, as appropriate, of NFPA 701.
- Has a flame spread index not greater than 25 when tested in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 723.
- 3.1. During the 40 kW exposure, flames shall not spread to the ceiling.
- 3.2. Flashover, as defined in NFPA 286, shall not occur.
- 3.3. The flame shall not spread to the outer extremity of the sample on any wall or ceiling.
- 3.4. The peak heat release rate throughout the test shall not exceed 800 kW.
- Pools located in or on the lot of detached one- and two-family dwellings classified as Group R-3 and constructed under the Building Code of New York State may be regulated by the Residential Code of New York State.
- Swimming pools which contain, are designated to contain, or are capable of containing water less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep at any point shall be regulated by Section 3109.1.1.
- The requirements of Subpart 6-1 (Swimming pools) of Title 10 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (NYCRR), where applicable (DOH 10 NYCRR 6- 1).
- The requirements of Section 8003 (Federal swimming pool and spa drain cover standard) of Title 15 of the United States Code (CPSC 15 USC 8003), where applicable.
BARRIER, PERMANENT. A fence, the walls of a permanent structure, any other structure or combination thereof which completely surrounds the swimming pool and sufficiently obstructs access to the swimming pool.
BARRIER, TEMPORARY. An approved temporary fence, permanent fence, the walls of a permanent structure, any other structure, or any combination thereof that sufficiently prevents access to the swimming pool by any person not engaged in the installation or construction of the swimming pool during its installation or construction.
HOT TUB. See "Spa."
SPA. A portable or nonportable structure intended for recreational or therapeutic bathing, in which all controls, waterheating and water-circulating equipment are an integral part of the product. Spas are shallow in depth and are not designed for swimming or diving.
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE. For the purpose of determining compliance with the pool alarm provisions of this section, damage of any origin sustained by a swimming pool whereby the cost of restoring the swimming pool to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the swimming pool before the damage occurred.
SUBSTANTIAL MODIFICATION. For the purpose of determining compliance with the pool alarm provisions of this section, any repair, alteration, addition or improvement of a swimming pool, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the swimming pool before the improvement or repair is started. If a swimming pool has sustained substantial damage, any repairs are considered substantial modification regardless of the actual repair work performed.
SUCTION OUTLET. A fitting, fitting assembly, cover/ grate, sump, and related components that provide a localized low-pressure area for the transfer of water from a swimming pool.
SWIMMING POOL, INDOOR. A swimming pool which is totally contained within a structure and surrounded on all four sides by the walls of the enclosing structure.
SWIMMING POOL, OUTDOOR. Any swimming pool which is not an indoor pool.
- Above-ground or on-ground pools where the pool structure constitutes a barrier in compliance with Section 322.214.171.124.
- Spas or hot tubs with a safety cover which complies with ASTM F1346, provided that such safety cover is in place during the period of installation or construction of such hot tub or spa. The temporary removal of a safety cover as required to facilitate the installation or construction of a hot tub or spa during periods when at least one person engaged in the installation or construction is present is permitted.
- Doors and windows. All of the following must be met.
- Doors with direct access to the pool through that wall shall be equipped with an alarm that produces an audible warning when the door or its screen, if present, are opened. The alarm shall be listed and labeled in accordance with UL 2017.
- Operable windows in the wall or walls used as a barrier shall have a latching device located not less than 48 inches (1219 mm) above the floor. Openings in operable windows shall not allow a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere to pass through the opening when the window is in its largest opened position.
- Where the building is wholly contained within the pool barrier or enclosure, alarms shall be provided at every door with direct access to the pool.
- Other approved means of protection, such as selfclosing with self-latching devices, so long as the degree of protection afforded is not less than the protection afforded by Item 1 described above.
- The ladder or steps shall be capable of being secured, locked or removed to prevent access. When the ladder or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening created shall not allow the passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.
- The ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a barrier that meets the requirements of Sections 3126.96.36.199 through 3188.8.131.52.
Supplemental information specific to a relocatable building shall be submitted to the authority having jurisdiction. It shall, as a minimum, include the following in addition to the information required by Section 105:
- Manufacturer's name and address.
- Date of manufacture.
- Serial number of module.
- Manufacturer's design drawings.
- Type of construction in accordance with Section 602.
- Design loads including: roof live load, roof snow load, floor live load, wind load and seismic site class, use group and design category.
- Additional building planning and structural design data.
- Site-built structure or appurtenance attached to the relocatable building.
Each relocatable module shall have a data plate that is permanently attached on or adjacent to the electrical panel, and shall include the following information:
- Occupancy group.
- Manufacturer's name and address.
- Date of manufacture.
- Serial number of module.
- Design roof live load, design floor live load, snow load, wind and seismic design.
- Approved quality assurance agency or approved inspection agency.
- Codes and standards of construction.
- Envelope thermal resistance values.
- Electrical service size.
- Fuel-burning equipment and size.
- Special limitations if any.