ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Existing Building Code 2018 (IEBC 2018)

Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, Part II, Existing Buildings, may be cited as the "Virginia Existing Building Code" or as the "VEBC."
Chapters 2—16 of the 2018 International Existing Building Code, published by the International Code Council, Inc., are adopted and incorporated by reference to be an enforceable part of the VEBC. The term "IEBC®" means the 2018 International Existing Building Code®, published by the International Code Council, Inc. Any codes and standards referenced in the IEBC are also considered to be part of the incorporation by reference, except that such codes and standards are used only to the prescribed extent of each such reference.
A dual numbering system is used in the VEBC to correlate the numbering system of the Virginia Administrative Code with the numbering system of the IEBC. IEBC numbering system designations are provided in the catchlines of the Virginia Administrative Code sections and cross references between sections or chapters of the VEBC use only the IEBC numbering system designations. The term "chapter" is used in the context of the numbering system of the IEBC and may mean a chapter in the VEBC, a chapter in the IEBC or a chapter in a referenced code or standard, depending on the context of the use of the term. The term "chapter" is not used to designate a chapter of the Virginia Administrative Code, unless clearly indicated.
The VEBC is comprised of the combination of (i) the provisions of Chapter 1, Administration, which are established herein, (ii) Chapters 2—16 of the IEBC, which are incorporated by reference in Section 101.2, and (iii) the changes to the text of the incorporated chapters of the IEBC that are specifically identified, including any new chapters added. The terminology "changes to the text of the incorporated chapters of the IEBC that are specifically identified, including any new chapters added" shall also be referred to as the "state amendments to the IEBC." Such state amendments to the IEBC are set out using corresponding chapter and section numbers of the IEBC numbering system. In addition, since Chapter 1 of the IEBC is not incorporated as part of the VEBC, any reference to a provision of Chapter 1 of the IEBC in the provisions of Chapters 2—16 of the IEBC is generally invalid. However, where the purpose of such a reference would clearly correspond to a provision of Chapter 1 established herein, then the reference may be construed to be a valid reference to such corresponding Chapter 1 provision.

The provisions of this code shall be used as follows:

  1. The term "this code," or "the code," where used in the provisions of Chapter 1, in Chapters 2—16 of the IEBC, or in the state amendments to the IEBC, means the VEBC, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
  2. The term "this code," or "the code," where used in a code or standard referenced in the VEBC, means that code or standard, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
  3. The term "USBC," where used in this code, means the Virginia Construction Code (VCC), unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
  4. The use of notes in Chapter 1 is to provide information only and shall not be construed as changing the meaning of any code provision.
  5. Notes in the IEBC, in the codes and standards referenced in the IEBC and in the state amendments to the IEBC, may modify the content of a related provision and shall be considered to be a valid part of the provision, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
  6. References to International Codes and standards, where used in this code, include state amendments made to those International Codes and standards in the VCC.

Note:See Section 101.2 of the VCC for a list of major codes and standards referenced in the VCC.

The provisions of this code shall be used as follows:

  1. The provisions of Chapter 1 of this code supersede any provisions of Chapters 2—16 of the IEBC that address the same subject matter and impose differing requirements.
  2. The provisions of Chapter 1 of this code supersede any provisions of the codes and standards referenced in the IEBC that address the same subject matter and impose differing requirements.
  3. The state amendments to the IEBC supersede any provisions of Chapters 2—16 of the IEBC that address the same subject matter and impose differing requirements.
  4. The state amendments to the IEBC supersede any provisions of the codes and standards referenced in the IEBC that address the same subject matter and impose differing requirements.
  5. The provisions of Chapters 2—16 of the IEBC supersede any provisions of the codes and standards referenced in the IEBC that address the same subject matter and impose differing requirements.

The provisions of Chapter 1 establish administrative requirements, which include but are not limited to provisions relating to the scope and enforcement of the code. Any provisions of Chapters 2—16 of the IEBC or any provisions of the codes and standards referenced in the IEBC that address the same subject matter to a lesser or greater extent are deleted and replaced by the provisions of Chapter 1. Further, any administrative requirements contained in the state amendments to the IEBC shall be given the same precedence as the provisions of Chapter 1. Notwithstanding the above, where administrative requirements of Chapters 2—16 of the IEBC or of the codes and standards referenced in the IEBC are specifically identified as valid administrative requirements in Chapter 1 of this code or in the state amendments to the IEBC, then such requirements are not deleted and replaced.

Note:The purpose of this provision is to eliminate overlap, conflicts and duplication by providing a single standard for administrative, procedural and enforcement requirements of this code.

The definitions of terms used in this code are contained in Chapter 2 along with specific provisions addressing the use of definitions. Terms may be defined in other chapters or provisions of the code and such definitions are also valid.

In accordance with § 36-99.01 of the Code of Virginia, the General Assembly of Virginia has declared that (i) there is an urgent need to improve the housing conditions of low and moderate income individuals and families, many of whom live in substandard housing, particularly in the older cities of the Commonwealth; (ii) there are large numbers of older residential buildings in the Commonwealth, both occupied and vacant, which are in urgent need of rehabilitation and must be rehabilitated if the state's citizens are to be housed in decent, sound, and sanitary conditions; and (iii) the application of those building code requirements currently in force to housing rehabilitation has sometimes led to the imposition of costly and time-consuming requirements that result in a significant reduction in the amount of rehabilitation activity taking place.

The General Assembly further declares that (i) there is an urgent need to improve the existing condition of many of the Commonwealth's stock of commercial properties, particularly in older cities; (ii) there are large numbers of older commercial buildings in the Commonwealth, both occupied and vacant, that are in urgent need of rehabilitation and that must be rehabilitated if the citizens of the Commonwealth are to be provided with decent, sound and sanitary work spaces; and (iii) the application of the existing building code to such rehabilitation has sometimes led to the imposition of costly and time-consuming requirements that result in a significant reduction in the amount of rehabilitation activity taking place.

The provisions of this code shall govern construction and rehabilitation activities in existing buildings and structures.
A change of occupancy to Group I-2 or I-3 shall comply with the provisions of the VCC. Written application shall be made to the local building department for a new certificate of occupancy, and the new certificate of occupancy shall be obtained prior to the change of occupancy. When impractical to achieve compliance with the VCC for the new occupancy classification, the building official shall consider modifications upon application and as provided for in Section 106.3 of the VCC.

Compliance with this section shall be an acceptable alternative to compliance with this code at the discretion of the owner or owner's agent. The VCC may be used for the reconstruction, alteration, or repair of Group R-5 buildings or structures subject to the following criteria:

  1. Any reconstruction, alteration or repair shall not adversely affect the performance of the building or structure, or cause the building or structure to become unsafe or lower existing levels of health and safety.
  2. Parts of the building or structure not being reconstructed, altered, or repaired shall not be required to comply with the requirements of the VCC applicable to newly constructed buildings or structures.
  3. The installation of material or equipment, or both, that is neither required nor prohibited shall only be required to comply with the provisions of the VCC relating to the safe installation of such material or equipment.
  4. Material or equipment, or both, may be replaced in the same location with material or equipment of a similar kind or capacity.
  5. In accordance with § 36-99.2 of the Code of Virginia, installation or replacement of glass shall comply with Section R308 or Chapter 24 of the VCC.

Exceptions:

  1. This section shall not be construed to permit non-compliance with any applicable flood load or flood-resistant construction requirements of the VCC.
  2. Reconstructed decks, balconies, porches, and similar structures located 30 inches (762 mm) or more above grade shall meet the current code provisions for structural loading capacity, connections, and structural attachment. This requirement excludes the configuration and height of handrails and guardrails.
Where one or more newly constructed fire walls that comply with Section 706 of the VCC is provided between an addition and the existing building or structure or portions thereof, the addition shall be considered a separate building, and therefore, not an addition within the scope of this code. Such separate building including the fire wall shall be constructed in accordance with the VCC and shall not place the existing building or structure in nonconformance with the building code under which the existing building or structure or the affected portions thereof was built, or as previously approved.
All administrative provisions of the VCC, including requirements for permits, inspections and approvals by the local building department, provisions for appeals from decisions of the local building department and the issuance of modifications, are applicable to the use of this code, except where this code sets out differing requirements. Where there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement in the VEBC, the specific requirement shall govern.
Compliance with the provisions of a nationally recognized performance code when approved as a modification shall be considered to constitute compliance with this code. All documents submitted as part of such consideration shall be retained in the permanent records of the local building department.
When requested by a prospective permit applicant or when determined necessary by the code official, the code official shall meet with the prospective permit applicant prior to the application for a permit to discuss plans for the proposed work or change of occupancy in order to establish the specific applicability of the provisions of this code.

Prior to a change of occupancy of the building or structure, the owner or the owner's agent shall make written application to the local building department for a new certificate of occupancy and shall obtain the new certificate of occupancy.

When impractical to achieve compliance with this code for the new occupancy, the building official shall consider modifications upon application and as provided for in Section 106.3 of the VCC.

The local building department shall enforce the provisions of Section 1101 that require certain existing buildings to be retrofitted with fire protection systems and other safety equipment. Retroactive fire protection system requirements contained in the International Fire Code shall not be applicable unless required for compliance with the provisions of Section 1101.
The following criteria for nonrequired equipment are in accordance with § 36-103 of the Code of Virginia. Building owners may elect to install partial or full fire alarms or other safety equipment that was not required by the edition of the VCC in effect at the time a building was constructed without meeting current requirements of the code, provided the installation does not create a hazardous condition. Permits for installation shall be obtained in accordance with the VCC. In addition, as a requirement of this code, when such nonrequired equipment is to be installed, the building official shall notify the appropriate fire official or fire chief.
When a nonrequired fire protection system is to be reduced in function or discontinued, it shall be done in such a manner so as not to create a false sense of protection. Generally, in such cases, any features visible from interior areas shall be removed, such as sprinkler heads, smoke detectors, or alarm panels or devices, but any wiring or piping hidden within the construction of the building may remain. Approval of the proposed method of reduction or discontinuance shall be obtained from the building official.

Any requirements of the IEBC requiring the maintenance of existing buildings or structures are invalid.

Note:Requirements for the maintenance of existing buildings and structures and for unsafe conditions are contained in the Virginia Mechanical Code (VMC).

Appendix A of the IEBC provides guidelines for the seismic retrofit of existing buildings. The use of this appendix is not mandatory but shall be permitted to be utilized at the option of an owner, the owner's agent or the registered design professional (RDP) involved in a rehabilitation project. However, in no case shall the use of Appendix A be construed to authorize the lowering of existing levels of health or safety in buildings or structures being rehabilitated.
Appendix B of the IEBC provides supplementary accessibility requirements for existing buildings and facilities. All applicable requirements of Appendix B shall be met in buildings and structures being rehabilitated.
Resource A of the IEBC provides guidelines for the evaluation of fire-resistance ratings of archaic materials and may be used in conjunction with rehabilitation projects.

Construction documents shall be submitted with the application for a permit. The work proposed to be performed on an existing building or structure shall be classified on the construction documents as repairs, alterations, change of occupancy, addition, historic building, or moved building. Alterations shall further be classified as Level 1 or Level 2.

Exception:Construction documents or classification of the work does not need to be submitted when the building official determines the proposed work does not require such documents, classification, or identification.

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