User note: Code change proposals to sections preceded by the designation [BS] will be considered by the IBC — Structural Code Development Committee during the 2016 (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, and towers and antennas.
The provisions of Sections 3102.1 through 3102.8 shall apply to air-supported, air-inflated, membrane-covered cable, membrane-covered frame and tensile membrane structures, collectively known as membrane structures, erected for a period of 180 days or longer. Those erected for a shorter period of time shall comply with the International Fire Code. Membrane structures covering water storage facilities, water clarifiers, water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, greenhouses and similar facilities not used for human occupancy are required to meet only the requirements of Sections 3102.3.1 and 3102.7. Membrane structures erected on a building, balcony, deck or other structure for any period of time shall comply with this section.
Tensile membrane structures, including permanent and temporary structures, shall be designed and constructed in accordance with ASCE 55. The provisions in Sections 3102.3 through 3102.6 shall apply.
Noncombustible membrane structures shall be classified as Type IIB construction. Noncombustible frame or cable-supported structures covered by an approved membrane in accordance with Section 3102.3.1 shall be classified as Type IIB construction. Heavy timber frame-supported structures covered by an approved membrane in accordance with Section 3102.3.1 shall be classified as Type IV construction. Other membrane structures shall be classified as Type V construction.
Exception: Plastic less than 30 feet (9144 mm) above any floor 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.
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.
The area of a membrane structure shall not exceed the limitations specified in Section 506.
Membrane structures shall not exceed one story nor shall such structures exceed the height limitations in feet specified in Section 504.3.
Exception: Noncombustible membrane structures serving as roofs only.
Membrane structures shall be permitted to be utilized as specified in this section as a portion of buildings of other types of construction. Height and area limits shall be as specified for the type of construction and occupancy of the building.
A membrane meeting the fire propagation performance criteria of Test Method 1 or Test Method 2, as appropriate, of NFPA 701 shall be permitted to be used as the roof or as a skylight on buildings of Type IIB, III, IV and V construction, provided the membrane is not less than 20 feet (6096 mm) above any floor, balcony or gallery.
The structure shall be designed and constructed to sustain dead loads; loads due to tension or inflation; live loads including wind, snow or flood and seismic loads and in accordance with Chapter 16.
For membrane-covered frame structures, the membrane shall not be considered to provide lateral restraint in the calculation of the capacities of the frame members.
Air-supported and air-inflated structures shall be provided with primary and auxiliary inflation systems to meet the minimum requirements of Sections 3102.8.1 through 3102.8.3.
This inflation system shall consist of one or more blowers and shall include provisions for automatic control to maintain the required inflation pressures. The system shall be so designed as to prevent overpressurization of the system.
In addition to the primary inflation system, in buildings larger than 1,500 square feet (140 m2) in area, an auxiliary inflation system shall be provided with sufficient capacity to maintain the inflation of the structure in case of primary system failure. The auxiliary inflation system shall operate automatically when there is a loss of internal pressure and when the primary blower system becomes inoperative.
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.
Wherever an auxiliary inflation system is required, an approved standby power-generating system shall be provided. The system shall be equipped with a suitable means for automatically starting the generator set upon failure of the normal electrical service and for automatic transfer and operation of all of the required electrical functions at full power within 60 seconds of such service failure. Standby power shall be capable of operating independently for not less than 4 hours.
A system capable of supporting the membrane in the event of deflation shall be provided for in air-supported and air-inflated structures having an occupant load of 50 or more or where covering a swimming pool regardless of occupant load. The support system shall be capable of maintaining membrane structures used as a roof for Type I construction not less than 20 feet (6096 mm) above floor or seating areas. The support system shall be capable of maintaining other membranes not less than 7 feet (2134 mm) above the floor, seating area or surface of the water.
The provisions of Sections 3103.1 through 3103.4 shall apply to structures erected for a period of less than 180 days. Tents and other membrane structures erected for a period of less than 180 days shall comply with the International Fire Code. Those erected for a longer period of time shall comply with applicable sections of this code.
Temporary structures and uses shall conform to the structural strength, fire safety, means of egress, accessibility, light, ventilation and sanitary requirements of this code as necessary to ensure public health, safety and general welfare.
Temporary structures that cover an area greater than 120 square feet (11.16 m2), including connecting areas or spaces with a common means of egress or entrance that are used or intended to be used for the gathering together of 10 or more persons, shall not be erected, operated or maintained for any purpose without obtaining a permit from the building official.
A permit application and construction documents shall be submitted for each installation of a temporary structure. The construction documents shall include a site plan indicating the location of the temporary structure and information delineating the means of egress and the occupant load.
Temporary structures shall be located in accordance with the requirements of Table 602 based on the fire-resistance rating of the exterior walls for the proposed type of construction.
Temporary structures shall conform to the means of egress requirements of Chapter 10 and shall have an exit access travel distance of 100 feet (30 480 mm) or less.
This section shall apply to connections between buildings such as pedestrian walkways or tunnels, located at, above or below grade level, that are used as a means of travel by persons. The pedestrian walkway shall not contribute to the building area or the number of stories or height of connected buildings.
Pedestrian walkways shall be designed and constructed in accordance with Sections 3104.2 through 3104.9. Tunnels shall be designed and constructed in accordance with Sections 3104.2 and 3104.10.
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 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 a minimum of Type I or II construction.
Only materials and decorations approved by the building official shall be located in the pedestrian walkway.
The connection of a pedestrian walkway to a building shall comply with Section 3104.5.1, 3104.5.2, 3104.5.3 or 3104.5.4.
Exception: Buildings that are on the same lot and considered as portions of a single building in accordance with Section 503.1.2.
Pedestrian walkways shall be separated from the interior of the building by not less than 2- hour fire barriers constructed in accordance with Section 707 and Sections 3188.8.131.52 through 3184.108.40.206.
Exterior walls of buildings connected to pedestrian walkways shall be 2-hour fire-resistance rated. This protection shall extend not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) in every direction surrounding the perimeter of the pedestrian walkway.
Openings in exterior walls required to be fire-resistance rated in accordance with Section 3220.127.116.11 shall be equipped with opening protectives providing a not less than 3/4-hour fire protection rating in accordance with Section 716.
The fire barrier shall be supported by construction as required by Section 707.5.1.
The wall separating the pedestrian walkway and the building shall comply with Section 318.104.22.168 or 322.214.171.124 where:
- 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.
Exception: Open parking garages need not be equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.
The wall shall be capable of resisting the passage of smoke.
The wall shall be constructed of a tempered, wired or laminated glass wall and doors or glass separating the interior of the building from the pedestrian walkway. The glass shall be protected by an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 that, when actuated, shall completely wet the entire surface of interior sides of the wall or glass. Obstructions shall not be installed between the sprinkler heads and the wall or glass. The glass shall be in a gasketed frame and installed in such a manner that the framing system will deflect without breaking (loading) the glass before the sprinkler operates.
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 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.
Pedestrian walkways over a public way shall comply with Chapter 32.
Access shall be provided at all times to a pedestrian walkway that serves as a required exit.
The unobstructed width of pedestrian walkways shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm). The total width shall be not greater than 30 feet (9144 mm).
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.
Separation between the tunneled walkway and the building to which it is connected shall be not less than 2-hour fire-resistant construction and openings therein shall be protected in accordance with Table 716.5.
The following term is defined in Chapter 2:
Awnings and canopies shall be designed and constructed to withstand wind or other lateral loads and live loads as required by Chapter 16 with due allowance for shape, open construction and similar features that relieve the pressures or loads. Structural members shall be protected to prevent deterioration. Awnings shall have frames of noncombustible material, fire-retardant-treated wood, wood of Type IV size, or 1-hour construction with combustible or noncombustible covers and shall be either fixed, retractable, folding or collapsible.
Awnings and canopies shall be provided with an approved covering that meets the fire propagation performance criteria of Test Method 1 or Test Method 2, as appropriate, of NFPA 701 or has a flame spread index not greater than 25 when tested in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 723.
Exception: The fire propagation performance and flame spread index requirements shall not apply to awnings installed on detached one- and two-family dwellings.
The height or thickness of a marquee measured vertically from its lowest to its highest point shall be not greater than 3 feet (914 mm) where the marquee projects more than two-thirds of the distance from the lot line to the curb line, and shall be not greater than 9 feet (2743 mm) where the marquee is less than two-thirds of the distance from the lot line to the curb line.
Where the roof or any part thereof is a skylight, the skylight shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 24. Every roof and skylight of a marquee shall be sloped to downspouts that shall conduct any drainage from the marquee in such a manner so as not to spill over the sidewalk.
Every marquee shall be so located as not to interfere with the operation of any exterior standpipe, and such that the marquee does not obstruct the clear passage of stairways or exit discharge from the building or the installation or maintenance of street lighting.
A marquee shall be supported entirely from the building and constructed of noncombustible materials. Marquees shall be designed as required in Chapter 16. Structural members shall be protected to prevent deterioration.
Signs shall be designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with this code.
Towers shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the provisions of TIA-222. Towers shall be designed for seismic loads; exceptions related to seismic design listed in Section 2.7.3 of TIA-222 shall not apply. In Section 126.96.36.199 of TIA 222, the horizontal extent of Topographic Category 2, escarpments, shall be 16 times the height of the escarpment.
Exception: Single free-standing poles used to support antennas not greater than 75 feet (22 860 mm), measured from the top of the pole to grade, shall not be required to be noncombustible.
Towers shall be located such that guy wires and other accessories shall not cross or encroach upon any street or other public space, or over above-ground electric utility lines, or encroach upon any privately owned property without the written consent of the owner of the encroached-upon property, space or aboveground electric utility lines. Towers shall be equipped with climbing and working facilities in compliance with TIA-222. Access to the tower sites shall be limited as required by applicable OSHA, FCC and EPA regulations.
The design and construction of swimming pools, spas and hot tubs shall comply with the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code.
Automatic vehicular gates shall comply with the requirements of Sections 3110.2 through 3110.4 and other applicable sections of this code.
The following term is defined in Chapter 2:
Vehicular gates intended for automation shall be designed, constructed and installed to comply with the requirements of ASTM F2200.
Vehicular gate openers, where provided, shall be listed in accordance with UL 325.
Photovoltaic panels and modules shall comply with the requirements of this code and the International Fire Code.
Photovoltaic panels and modules installed on a roof or as an integral part of a roof assembly shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 15 and the International Fire Code.