The provisions contained in this appendix are not mandatory unless specifically referenced in the adopting ordinance.
About this appendix: Appendix J regulates the repair, renovation alteration and reconstruction of existing buildings that are within the scope of this code. It is intended to encourage the continued safe use of existing buildings and ensure that new work conforms to the intent of the code and that exiting conditions remain at their current level of compliance or are improved.
Work of more than one category shall be part of a single work project. Related work permitted within a 12-month period shall be considered to be a single work project. Where a project includes one category of work in one building area and another category of work in a separate and unrelated area of the building, each project area shall comply with the requirements of the respective category of work. Where a project with more than one category of work is performed in the same area or in related areas of the building, the project shall comply with the requirements of the more stringent category of work.
Where windows are required to provide emergency escape and rescue openings, replacement windows shall be exempt from the maximum sill height requirements of Section R310.2.2 and the requirements of Sections R310.2.1 and R310.2.3 provided that the replacement window meets the following conditions:
- The replacement window is the manufacturer's largest standard size window that will fit within the existing frame or existing rough opening. The replacement window shall be permitted to be of the same operating style as the existing window or a style that provides for an equal or greater window opening area than the existing window.
- The replacement window is not part of a change of occupancy.
- Window opening control devices complying with ASTM F2090 shall be permitted for use on windows required to provide emergency escape and rescue openings.
Where window fall prevention devices complying with ASTM F2090 are not provided, window opening control devices complying with ASTM F2090 shall be installed where an existing window is replaced and where all of the following apply to the replacement window:
- The window is operable.
- The window replacement includes replacement of the sash and the frame.
- The top of the sill of the window opening is at a height less than 24 inches (610 mm) above the finished floor.
- The window will permit openings that will allow passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere where the window is in its largest opened position.
- The vertical distance from the top of the sill of the window opening to the finished grade or other surface below, on the exterior of the building, is greater than 72 inches (1829 mm).
The window opening control device, after operation to release the control device allowing the window to fully open, shall not reduce the minimum net clear opening area of the window unit.
The building official shall have the authority to require an existing building to be investigated and evaluated by a registered design professional in the case of proposed reconstruction of any portion of a building. The evaluation shall determine the existence of any potential nonconformities to these provisions, and shall provide a basis for determining the impact of the proposed changes on the performance of the building. The evaluation shall use the following sources of information, as applicable:
- 1.1. Field surveys.
- 1.2. Tests (nondestructive and destructive).
- 1.3. Laboratory analysis.
Exception: Detached one- or two-family dwellings that are not irregular buildings under Section R301.2.2.2.5 and are not undergoing an extensive reconstruction shall not be required to be evaluated.
For purposes of this appendix, the terms used are defined as follows.
CATEGORIES OF WORK. The nature and extent of construction work undertaken in an existing building. The categories of work covered in this appendix, listed in increasing order of stringency of requirements, are repair, renovation, alteration and reconstruction.
DANGEROUS. Where the stresses in any member; the condition of the building, or any of its components or elements or attachments; or other condition that results in an overload exceeding 150 percent of the stress allowed for the member or material in this code.
EQUIPMENT OR FIXTURE. Any plumbing, heating, electrical, ventilating, air-conditioning, refrigerating and fire protection equipment; and elevators, dumb waiters, boilers, pressure vessels, and other mechanical facilities or installations that are related to building services.
MATERIALS AND METHODS REQUIREMENTS. Those requirements in this code that specify material standards; details of installation and connection; joints; penetrations; and continuity of any element, component or system in the building. The required quantity, fire resistance, flame spread, acoustic or thermal performance, or other performance attribute is specifically excluded from materials and methods requirements.
RECONSTRUCTION. The reconfiguration of a space that affects an exit, a renovation or alteration where the work area is not permitted to be occupied because existing means-of-egress and fire protection systems, or their equivalent, are not in place or continuously maintained; or there are extensive alterations as defined in Section AJ501.3.
RENOVATION. The change, strengthening or addition of load-bearing elements; or the refinishing, replacement, bracing, strengthening, upgrading or extensive repair of existing materials, elements, components, equipment or fixtures. Renovation does not involve reconfiguration of spaces. Interior and exterior painting are not considered refinishing for purposes of this definition, and are not renovation.
REPAIR. The patching, restoration or minor replacement of materials, elements, components, equipment or fixtures for the purposes of maintaining those materials, elements, components, equipment or fixtures in good or sound condition.
WORK AREA. That portion of a building affected by any renovation, alteration or reconstruction work as initially intended by the owner and indicated as such in the permit. Work area excludes other portions of the building where incidental work entailed by the intended work must be performed, and portions of the building where work not initially intended by the owner is specifically required by these provisions for a renovation, alteration or reconstruction.
- Replacement of electrical receptacles shall comply with the requirements of Chapters 34 through 43.
- Plug fuses of the Edison-base type shall be used for replacements only where there is not evidence of overfusing or tampering in accordance with the applicable requirements of Chapters 34 through 43.
- For replacement of nongrounding-type receptacles with grounding-type receptacles and for branch circuits that do not have an equipment grounding conductor in the branch circuitry, the grounding conductor of a grounding-type receptacle outlet shall be permitted to be grounded to any accessible point on the grounding electrode system, or to any accessible point on the grounding electrode conductor, as allowed and described in Chapters 34 through 43.
Newly constructed elements, components and systems shall comply with the requirements of this code.
Where the total area of all of the work areas included in an alteration exceeds 50 percent of the area of the dwelling unit, the work shall be considered to be a reconstruction and shall comply with the requirements of these provisions for reconstruction work.
Service to the dwelling unit shall be not less than 100 ampere, three-wire capacity and service equipment shall be dead front having no live parts exposed that could allow accidental contact. Type "S" fuses shall be installed where fused equipment is used.
Exception: Existing service of 60 ampere, three-wire capacity, and feeders of 30 ampere or larger two- or three-wire capacity shall be accepted if adequate for the electrical load being served.