About this chapter: Codes, by their very nature, are technical documents. Every word, term and punctuation mark can add to or change the meaning of a technical requirement. It is necessary to maintain a consensus on the specific meaning of each term contained in the code. Chapter 2 performs this function by stating clearly what specific terms mean for the purpose of the code.
Terms not defined by this chapter shall have ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context implies.
ABOVE-GRADE WALL. A wall more than 50 percent above grade and enclosing conditioned space. This includes between-floor spandrels, peripheral edges of floors, roof and basement knee walls, dormer walls, gable end walls, walls enclosing a mansard roof and skylight shafts.
ACCESSIBLE. Admitting close approach as a result of not being guarded by locked doors, elevation or other effective means (see "Readily accessible").
ALTERATION. Any construction, retrofit or renovation to an existing structure other than repair or addition. Also, a change in a building, electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system that involves an extension, addition or change to the arrangement, type or purpose of the original installation.
APPROVED AGENCY. An established and recognized agency that is regularly engaged in conducting tests furnishing inspection services, or furnishing product certification, where such agency has been approved by the code official.
AUTOMATIC. Self-acting, operating by its own mechanism when actuated by some impersonal influence, as, for example, a change in current strength, pressure, temperature or mechanical configuration (see "Manual").
BUILDING. Any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy, including any mechanical systems, service water heating systems and electric power and lighting systems located on the building site and supporting the building.
BUILDING SITE. A contiguous area of land that is under the ownership or control of one entity.
BUILDING THERMAL ENVELOPE. The basement walls, exterior walls, floors, ceiling, roofs and any other building element assemblies that enclose conditioned space or provide a boundary between conditioned space and exempt or unconditioned space.
CIRCULATING HOT WATER SYSTEM. A specifically designed water distribution system where one or more pumps are operated in the service hot water piping to circulate heated water from the water-heating equipment to fixtures and back to the water-heating equipment.
CLIMATE ZONE. A geographical region based on climatic criteria as specified in this code.
CODE OFFICIAL. The officer or other designated authority of the government agency having jurisdiction responsible for the enforcement of the pertaining code, or a duly authorized representative.
CONDITIONED SPACE. An area, room or space that is enclosed within the building thermal envelope and that is directly or indirectly heated or cooled. Spaces are indirectly heated or cooled where they communicate through openings with conditioned spaces, where they are separated from conditioned spaces by uninsulated walls, floors or ceilings, or where they contain uninsulated ducts, piping or other sources of heating or cooling.
CONTINUOUS INSULATION (ci). Insulating material that is continuous across all structural members without thermal bridges other than fasteners and service openings. It is installed on the interior or exterior, or is integral to any opaque surface, of the building envelope.
CRAWL SPACE WALL. The opaque portion of a wall that encloses a crawl space and is partially or totally below grade.
DEMAND RECIRCULATION WATER SYSTEM. A water distribution system having one or more recirculation pumps that pump water from a heated water supply pipe back to the heated water source through a cold water supply pipe.
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.
ENERGY COST. The total estimated annual cost for purchased energy for the building functions regulated by this code, including applicable demand charges.
Skylights. Glass or other transparent or translucent glazing material installed at a slope of less than 60 degrees (1.05 rad) from horizontal.
Vertical fenestration. Windows that are fixed or operable, opaque doors, glazed doors, glazed block and combination opaque/glazed doors composed of glass or other transparent or translucent glazing materials and installed at a slope of not less than 60 degrees (1.05 rad) from horizontal.
FENESTRATION PRODUCT, SITE-BUILT. A fenestration designed to be made up of field-glazed or field-assembled units using specific factory cut or otherwise factory-formed framing and glazing units. Examples of site-built fenestration include storefront systems, curtain walls and atrium roof systems.
HEATED SLAB. Slab-on-grade construction in which the heating elements, hydronic tubing, or hot air distribution system is in contact with, or placed within or under, the slab.
HIGH-EFFICACY LAMPS. Compact fluorescent lamps, light-emitting diode (LED) lamps, T-8 or smaller diameter linear fluorescent lamps, or other lamps with an efficacy of not less than the following:
- 60 lumens per watt for lamps over 40 watts.
- 50 lumens per watt for lamps over 15 watts to 40 watts.
- 40 lumens per watt for lamps 15 watts or less.
HISTORIC BUILDING OR PROPERTY. Any building or site, object, place, location, district or zone, or collection of structures and their associated sites, deemed of importance to the history, architecture or culture of an area by an appropriate local, state or federal governmental jurisdiction and as defined by the Joint Regulation. This includes historical buildings or properties:
- Listed or certified as eligible for listing by the State Historic Preservation Officer or the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Designated as historic or having historic significance under an applicable state or local law, ordinance or resolution.
- Designated as historic or having historic significance by the Puerto Rico Planning Board in the Register of Historic Places and Zones, Board of Directors of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, and the Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly.
- Certified as a contributing or eligible resource within a National Register, state designated or locally designated historic district or zone.
INFILTRATION. The uncontrolled inward air leakage into a building caused by the pressure effects of wind or the effect of differences in the indoor and outdoor air density or both.
INSULATING SHEATHING. An insulating board with a core material having an R-value of not less than R-2.
(JOINT REGULATION) JOINT PERMITS REGULATIONS FOR THE EVALUATION AND ISSUANCE OF PERMITS RELATED TO DEVELOPMENT, LAND USE AND BUSINESS OPERATION. As defined in the "Reglamento Conjunto de Permisos para Obras de Construcción y Uso de Terrenos de Puerto Rico, (Reglamento Conjunto)" as established by the Act No. 161 of December 1, 2009, "Ley para la Reforma del Proceso de Permisos de Puerto Rico, as amended".
LABELED. Equipment, materials or products to which have been affixed a label, seal, symbol or other identifying mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory, approved agency or other organization concerned with product evaluation that maintains periodic inspection of the production of such labeled items and whose labeling indicates either that the equipment, material or product meets identified standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose.
LISTED. Equipment, materials, products or services included in a list published by an organization acceptable to the code official and concerned with evaluation of products or services that maintains periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials or periodic evaluation of services and whose listing states either that the equipment, material, product or service meets identified standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose.
LOW-VOLTAGE LIGHTING. Lighting equipment powered through a transformer such as a cable conductor, a rail conductor and track lighting.
OPAQUE DOOR. A door that is not less than 50-percent opaque in surface area.
PROPOSED DESIGN. A description of the proposed building used to estimate annual energy use for determining compliance based on total building performance.
(PRPB) PUERTO RICO PLANNING BOARD. Government Agency created by ACT No. 75 of June 1975 as amended, hereinafter PRPB. In addition, it is the State Agency Coordinator of the National Flood Insurance Program.
RATED DESIGN. A description of the proposed building used to determine the energy rating index.
READILY ACCESSIBLE. Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal or inspection without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders or access equipment (see "Accessible").
REPAIR. The reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing building for the purpose of its maintenance or to correct damage.
RESIDENTIAL BUILDING. For this code, includes detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses as well as Group R-2, R-3 and R-4 buildings three stories or less in height above grade plane.
ROOF ASSEMBLY. A system designed to provide weather protection and resistance to design loads. The system consists of a roof covering and roof deck or a single component serving as both the roof covering and the roof deck. A roof assembly includes the roof covering, underlayment and roof deck, and can also include a thermal barrier, an ignition barrier, insulation or a vapor retarder.
ROOF RE-COVER. The process of installing an additional roof covering over a prepared existing roof covering without removing the existing roof covering.
ROOF REPAIR. Reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing roof for the purposes of its maintenance.
ROOF REPLACEMENT. The process of removing the existing roof covering, repairing any damaged substrate and installing a new roof covering.
R-VALUE (THERMAL RESISTANCE). The inverse of the time rate of heat flow through a body from one of its bounding surfaces to the other surface for a unit temperature difference between the two surfaces, under steady state conditions, per unit area (h • ft2 • °F/Btu) [(m2 • K)/W].
SERVICE WATER HEATING. Supply of hot water for purposes other than comfort heating.
SOLAR HEAT GAIN COEFFICIENT (SHGC). The ratio of the solar heat gain entering the space through the fenestration assembly to the incident solar radiation. Solar heat gain includes directly transmitted solar heat and absorbed solar radiation that is then reradiated, conducted or convected into the space.
STANDARD REFERENCE DESIGN. A version of the proposed design that meets the minimum requirements of this code and is used to determine the maximum annual energy use requirement for compliance based on total building performance.
THERMAL ISOLATION. Physical and space conditioning separation from conditioned spaces. The conditioned spaces shall be controlled as separate zones for heating and cooling or conditioned by separate equipment.
U-FACTOR (THERMAL TRANSMITTANCE). The coefficient of heat transmission (air to air) through a building component or assembly, equal to the time rate of heat flow per unit area and unit temperature difference between the warm side and cold side air films (Btu/h • ft2 • °F) [W/(m2 • K)].
VENTILATION. The natural or mechanical process of supplying conditioned or unconditioned air to, or removing such air from, any space.
VENTILATION AIR. That portion of supply air that comes from outside (outdoors) plus any recirculated air that has been treated to maintain the desired quality of air within a designated space.
VISIBLE TRANSMITTANCE [VT]. The ratio of visible light entering the space through the fenestration product assembly to the incident visible light, Visible Transmittance, includes the effects of glazing material and frame and is expressed as a number between 0 and 1.
WHOLE HOUSE MECHANICAL VENTILATION SYSTEM. An exhaust system, supply system, or combination thereof that is designed to mechanically exchange indoor air with outdoor air when operating continuously or through a programmed intermittent schedule to satisfy the whole house ventilation rates.
ZONE. A space or group of spaces within a building with heating or cooling requirements that are sufficiently similar so that desired conditions can be maintained throughout using a single controlling device.