As an alternative to the requirements in Section R301.1 the following standards are permitted subject to the limitations of this code and the limitations therein. Where engineered design is used in conjunction with these standards, the design shall comply with the International Building Code.
- AF&PA Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM).
- AISI Standard for Cold-Formed Steel Framing—Prescriptive Method for One- and Two-Family Dwellings (AISI S230).
- ICC Standard on the Design and Construction of Log Structures (ICC 400).
Buildings shall be constructed in accordance with the provisions of this code as limited by the provisions of this section. Additional criteria shall be established by the local jurisdiction and set forth in Table R301.2(1).
CLIMATIC AND GEOGRAPHIC DESIGN CRITERIA
|SUBJECT TO DAMAGE FROM||WINTER|
For SI: 1 pound per square foot = 0.0479 kPa, 1 mile per hour = 0.447 m/s.
- Weathering may require a higher strength concrete or grade of masonry than necessary to satisfy the structural requirements of this code. The weathering column shall be filled in with the weathering index (i.e., “negligible,” “moderate” or “severe”) for concrete as determined from the Weathering Probability Map [Figure R301.2(3)]. The grade of masonry units shall be determined from ASTM C 34, C 55, C 62, C 73, C 90, C 129, C 145, C 216 or C 652.
- The frost line depth may require deeper footings than indicated in Figure R403.1(1). The jurisdiction shall fill in the frost line depth column with the minimum depth of footing below finish grade.
- The jurisdiction shall fill in this part of the table to indicate the need for protection depending on whether there has been a history of local subterranean termite damage.
- The jurisdiction shall fill in this part of the table with the wind speed from the basic wind speed map [Figure R301.2(4)A]. Wind exposure category shall be determined on a site-specific basis in accordance with Section R301.2.1.4.
- The outdoor design dry-bulb temperature shall be selected from the columns of 971/2-percent values for winter from Appendix D of the International Plumbing Code. Deviations from the Appendix D temperatures shall be permitted to reflect local climates or local weather experience as determined by the building official.
- The jurisdiction shall fill in this part of the table with the seismic design category determined from Section R301.2.2.1.
- The jurisdiction shall fill in this part of the table with (a) the date of the jurisdiction’s entry into the National Flood Insurance Program (date of adoption of the first code or ordinance for management of flood hazard areas), (b) the date(s) of the Flood Insurance Study and (c) the panel numbers and dates of all currently effective FIRMs and FBFMs or other flood hazard map adopted by the authority having jurisdiction, as amended.
- In accordance with Sections R905.2.7.1, R905.4.3.1, R905.5.3.1, R905.6.3.1, R905.7.3.1 and R905.8.3.1, where there has been a history of local damage from the effects of ice damming, the jurisdiction shall fill in this part of the table with “YES.” Otherwise, the jurisdiction shall fill in this part of the table with “NO.”
- The jurisdiction shall fill in this part of the table with the 100-year return period air freezing index (BF-days) from Figure R403.3(2) or from the 100-year (99 percent) value on the National Climatic Data Center data table “Air Freezing Index-USA Method (Base 32°F)” at www.ncdc.noaa.gov/fpsf.html.
- The jurisdiction shall fill in this part of the table with the mean annual temperature from the National Climatic Data Center data table “Air Freezing IndexUSA Method (Base 32°F)” at www.ncdc.noaa.gov/fpsf.html.
- In accordance with Section R301.2.1.5, where there is local historical data documenting structural damage to buildings due to topographic wind speed-up effects, the jurisdiction shall fill in this part of the table with “YES.” Otherwise, the jurisdiction shall indicate “NO” in this part of the table.
|BASIC WIND SPEED (mph-3-second gust)|
|Roof > 0 to 10 degrees||1||10||10.0||-13.0||10.0||-14.6||10.0||-18.0||10.0||-19.8||10.0||-21.8||10.5||-25.9||11.4||-28.1||12.4||-30.4||14.3||-35.3||15.4||-37.8||16.5||-40.5||21.1||-52.0|
|Roof > 10 to 30 degrees||1||10||10.0||-11.9||10.0||-13.3||10.4||-16.5||11.4||-18.2||12.5||-19.9||14.9||-23.7||16.2||-25.7||17.5||-27.8||20.3||-32.3||21.8||-34.6||23.3||-37.0||30.0||-47.6|
|Roof > 30 to 45 degrees||1||10||11.9||-13.0||13.3||-14.6||16.5||-18.0||18.2||-19.8||19.9||-21.8||23.7||-25.9||25.7||-28.1||27.8||-30.4||32.3||-35.3||34.6||-37.8||37.0||-40.5||47.6||-52.0|
For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 square foot = 0.0929 m2, 1 mile per hour = 0.447 m/s, 1 pound per square foot = 0.0479 kPa.
- The effective wind area shall be equal to the span length multiplied by an effective width. This width shall be permitted to be not be less than one-third the span length. For cladding fasteners, the effective wind area shall not be greater than the area that is tributary to an individual fastener.
- For effective areas between those given above, the load may be interpolated; otherwise, use the load associated with the lower effective area.
- Table values shall be adjusted for height and exposure by multiplying by the adjustment coefficient in Table R301.2(3).
- See Figure R301.2(7) for location of zones.
- Plus and minus signs signify pressures acting toward and away from the building surfaces.
HEIGHT AND EXPOSURE ADJUSTMENT COEFFICIENTS FOR TABLE R301.2(2)
|MEAN ROOF HEIGHT||EXPOSURE|
Buildings and portions thereof shall be constructed in accordance with the wind provisions of this code using the basic wind speed in Table R301.2(1) as determined from Figure R301.2(4)A. The structural provisions of this code for wind loads are not permitted where wind design is required as specified in Section R301.2.1.1. Where different construction methods and structural materials are used for various portions of a building, the applicable requirements of this section for each portion shall apply. Where not otherwise specified, the wind loads listed in Table R301.2(2) adjusted for height and exposure using Table R301.2(3) shall be used to determine design load performance requirements for wall coverings, curtain walls, roof coverings, exterior windows, skylights, garage doors and exterior doors. Asphalt shingles shall be designed for wind speeds in accordance with Section R905.2.4. A continuous load path shall be provided to transmit the applicable uplift forces in Section R802.11.1 from the roof assembly to the foundation. Wind speeds for localities in special wind regions, near mountainous terrain, and near gorges shall be based on elevation. Areas at 4,000 feet in elevation or higher shall use 110 V mph (48.4 m/s) and areas under 4,000 feet in elevation shall use 90 V mph (39.6 m/s). Gorge areas shall be based on the highest recorded speed per locality or in accordance with local jurisdiction requirements determined in accordance with Section 26.5.1 of ASCE 7.
The wind provisions of this code shall not apply to the design of buildings where wind design is required in accordance with Figure R301.2(4)B or where the basic wind speed from Figure R301.2(4)A equals or exceeds 110 miles per hour (49 m/s).
In regions where wind design is required in accordance with Figure R301.2(4)B or where the basic wind speed shown on Figure R301.2(4)A equals or exceeds 110 miles per hour (49 m/s), the design of buildings for wind loads shall be in accordance with one or more of the following methods:
- AF&PA Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM); or
- ICC Standard for Residential Construction in High-Wind Regions (ICC 600); or
- ASCE Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE 7); or
- AISI Standard for Cold-Formed Steel Framing—Prescriptive Method For One- and Two-Family Dwellings (AISI S230); or
- International Building Code.
The elements of design not addressed by the methods in Items 1 through 5 shall be in accordance with the provisions of this code. When ASCE 7 or the International Building Code is used for the design of the building, the wind speed map and exposure category requirements as specified in ASCE 7 and the International Building Code shall be used.
Exterior glazing in buildings located in windborne debris regions shall be protected from windborne debris. Glazed opening protection for windborne debris shall meet the requirements of the Large Missile Test of ASTM E 1996 and ASTM E 1886 referenced therein. The applicable wind zones for establishing misile types in ASTM E 1996 are shown on Figure R301.2(4)C. Garage door glazed opening protection for windborne debris shall meet the requirements of an approved impact-resisting standard or ANSI/DASMA 115.
Exception: Wood structural panels with a minimum thickness of 7/16 inch (11 mm) and a maximum span of 8 feet (2438 mm) shall be permitted for opening protection in one- and two-story buildings. Panels shall be precut and attached to the framing surrounding the opening containing the product with the glazed opening. Panels shall be predrilled as required for the anchorage method and shall be secured with the attachment hardware provided. Attachments shall be designed to resist the component and cladding loads determined in accordance with either Table R301.2(2) or ASCE 7, with the permanent corrosion-resistant attachment hardware provided and anchors permanently installed on the building. Attachment in accordance with Table R301.2.1.2 is permitted for buildings with a mean roof height of 33 feet (10 058 mm) or less where located in Wind Zones 1 and 2 in accordance with Figure R301.2(4)C.
WINDBORNE DEBRIS PROTECTION FASTENING SCHEDULE FOR WOOD STRUCTURAL PANELSa, b, c, d
|FASTENER TYPE||FASTENER SPACING (inches)a,b|
≤ 4 feet
|4 feet <|
≤ 6 feet
|6 feet <|
≤ 8 feet
|No. 8 wood screw based|
anchor with 2-inch embedment
|No. 10 wood screw based|
anchor with 2-inch embedment
|1/4-inch lag screw based anchor|
with 2-inch embedment length
For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 pound = 4.448 N,1 mile per hour = 0.447 m/s.
- This table is based on 130 mph wind speeds and a 33-foot mean roof height.
- Fasteners shall be installed at opposing ends of the wood structural panel. Fasteners shall be located a minimum of 1 inch from the edge of the panel.
- Anchors shall penetrate through the exterior wall covering with an embedment length of 2 inches minimum into the building frame. Fasteners shall be located a minimum of 21/2 inches from the edge of concrete block or concrete.
- Where panels are attached to masonry or masonry/stucco, they shall be attached using vibration-resistant anchors having a minimum ultimate withdrawal capacity of 1500 pounds.
When referenced documents are based on fastest mile wind speeds, the three-second gust basic wind speeds, V3s, of Figure R301.2(4) shall be converted to fastest mile wind speeds, Vfm, using Table R301.2.1.3.
EQUIVALENT BASIC WIND SPEEDSa
|3-second gust, V3s||85||90||100||105||110||120||125||130||140||145||150||160||170|
|Fastest mile, Vfm||71||76||85||90||95||104||109||114||123||128||133||142||152|
For SI: 1 mile per hour = 0.447 m/s.
- Linear interpolation is permitted.
For each wind direction considered, an exposure category that adequately reflects the characteristics of ground surface irregularities shall be determined for the site at which the building or structure is to be constructed. For a site located in the transition zone between categories, the category resulting in the largest wind forces shall apply. Account shall be taken of variations in ground surface roughness that arise from natural topography and vegetation as well as from constructed features. For a site where multiple detached one- and two-family dwellings, townhouses or other structures are to be constructed as part of a subdivision, master-planned community, or otherwise designated as a developed area by the authority having jurisdiction, the exposure category for an individual structure shall be based upon the site conditions that will exist at the time when all adjacent structures on the site have been constructed, provided their construction is expected to begin within one year of the start of construction for the structure for which the exposure category is determined. For any given wind direction, the exposure in which a specific building or other structure is sited shall be assessed as being one of the following categories:
- Exposure A. Large city centers with at least 50 percent of the buildings having a height in excess of 70 feet (21 336 mm). Use of this exposure category shall be limited to those areas for which terrain representative of Exposure A prevails in the upwind direction for a distance of at least 0.5 mile (0.8 km) or 10 times the height of the building or other structure, whichever is greater. Possible channeling effects or increased velocity pressures due to the building or structure being located in the wake of adjacent buildings shall be taken into account.
- Exposure B. Urban and suburban areas, wooded areas, or other terrain with numerous closely spaced obstructions having the size of single-family dwellings or larger. Exposure B shall be assumed unless the site meets the definition of another type exposure.
- Exposure C. Open terrain with scattered obstructions, including surface undulations or other irregularities, having heights generally less than 30 feet (9144 mm) extending more than 1,500 feet (457 m) from the building site in any quadrant. This exposure shall also apply to any building located within Exposure B type terrain where the building is directly adjacent to open areas of Exposure C type terrain in any quadrant for a distance of more than 600 feet (183 m). This category includes flat, open country and grasslands.
- Exposure D. Flat, unobstructed areas exposed to wind flowing over open water for a distance of at least 1 mile (1.61 km). Shorelines in Exposure D include inland waterways, the Great Lakes, and coastal areas of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. This exposure shall apply only to those buildings and other structures exposed to the wind coming from over the water. Exposure D extends inland from the shoreline a distance of 1500 feet (457 m) or 10 times the height of the building or structure, whichever is greater.
In areas designated in Table R301.2(1) as having local historical data documenting structural damage to buildings caused by wind speed-up at isolated hills, ridges and escarpments that are abrupt changes from the general topography of the area, topographic wind effects shall be considered in the design of the building in accordance with Section R301.2.1.5.1 or in accordance with the provisions of ASCE 7. See Figure R301.2.1.5.1(1) for topographic features for wind speed-up effect.
- The average slope of the top half of the hill, ridge or escarpment is 10 percent or greater.
- The hill, ridge or escarpment is 60 feet (18 288 mm) or greater in height for Exposure B, 30 feet (9144 mm) or greater in height for Exposure C, and 15 feet (4572 mm) or greater in height for Exposure D.
- The hill, ridge or escarpment is isolated or unobstructed by other topographic features of similar height in the upwind direction for a distance measured from its high point of 100 times its height or 2 miles, whichever is less. See Figure R301.2.1.5.1(3) for upwind obstruction.
- The hill, ridge or escarpment protrudes by a factor of two or more above the height of other upwind topographic features located in any quadrant within a radius of 2 miles measured from its high point.
As an alternative to the ASCE 7 topographic wind provisions, the provisions of Section R301.2.1.5.1 shall be permitted to be used to design for wind speed-up effects, where required by Section R301.2.1.5.
Structures located on the top half of isolated hills, ridges or escarpments meeting the conditions of Section R301.2.1.5 shall be designed for an increased basic wind speed as determined by Table R301.2.1.5.1. On the high side of an escarpment, the increased basic wind speed shall extend horizontally downwind from the edge of the escarpment 1.5 times the horizontal length of the upwind slope (1.5L) or 6 times the height of the escarpment (6H), whichever is greater. See Figure R301.2.1.5.1(2) for where wind speed increase is applied.
BASIC WIND MODIFICATION FOR TOPOGRAPHIC WIND EFFECT
|BASIC WIND SPEED|
FROMFIGURE R301.2(4) (mph)
|AVERAGE SLOPE OF THE TOP HALF OF HILL, RIDGE OR ESCARPMENT (percent)|
|0.10||0.125||0.15||0.175||0.20||0.23||0.25 or greater|
|Required basic wind speed-up, modified for topographic wind speed up (mph)|
For SI: 1 mile per hour = 0.447 m/s.
The seismic design categories and corresponding short period design spectral response accelerations, SDS shown in Figure R301.2(2) are based on soil Site Class D, as defined in Section 1613.3.2 of the International Building Code. If soil conditions are other than Site Class D, the short period design spectral response accelerations, SDS, for a site can be determined according to Section 1613.3 of the International Building Code. The value of SDS determined according to Section 1613.3 of the International Building Code is permitted to be used to set the seismic design category according to Table R301.2.2.1.1, and to interpolate between values in Tables R602.10.1.3(3), R603.9.2(1) and other seismic design requirements of this code.
- A more detailed evaluation of the seismic design category is made in accordance with the provisions and maps of the International Building Code. Buildings located in Seismic Design Category E per Table R301.2.2.1.1, but located in Seismic Design Category D per the International Building Code, may be designed using the Seismic Design Category D2 requirements of this code.
- Buildings located in Seismic Design Category E that conform to the following additional restrictions are permitted to be constructed in accordance with the provisions for Seismic Design Category D2 of this code:
Average dead loads shall not exceed 15 pounds per square foot (720 Pa) for the combined roof and ceiling assemblies (on a horizontal projection) or 10 pounds per square foot (480 Pa) for floor assemblies, except as further limited by Section R301.2.2. Dead loads for walls above grade shall not exceed:
- Fifteen pounds per square foot (720 Pa) for exterior light-frame wood walls.
- Fourteen pounds per square foot (670 Pa) for exterior light-frame cold-formed steel walls.
- Ten pounds per square foot (480 Pa) for interior light-frame wood walls.
- Five pounds per square foot (240 Pa) for interior light-frame cold-formed steel walls.
- Eighty pounds per square foot (3830 Pa) for 8-inch-thick (203 mm) masonry walls.
- Eighty-five pounds per square foot (4070 Pa) for 6-inch-thick (152 mm) concrete walls.
- Ten pounds per square foot (480 Pa) for SIP walls.
- Roof and ceiling dead loads not exceeding 25 pounds per square foot (1190 Pa) shall be permitted provided the wall bracing amounts in Chapter 6 are increased in accordance with Table R301.2.2.2.1.
- Light-frame walls with stone or masonry veneer shall be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Sections R702.1 and R703.
- Fireplaces and chimneys shall be permitted in accordance with Chapter 10.
The seismic provisions of this code shall not be used for irregular structures located in Seismic Design Categories C, D0, D1 and D2. Irregular portions of structures shall be designed in accordance with accepted engineering practice to the extent the irregular features affect the performance of the remaining structural system. When the forces associated with the irregularity are resisted by a structural system designed in accordance with accepted engineering practice, design of the remainder of the building shall be permitted using the provisions of this code. A building or portion of a building shall be considered to be irregular when one or more of the following conditions occur:
- Floor joists are nominal 2 inches by 10 inches (51 mm by 254 mm) or larger and spaced not more than 16 inches (406 mm) on center.
- The ratio of the back span to the cantilever is at least 2 to 1.
- Floor joists at ends of braced wall panels are doubled.
- For wood-frame construction, a continuous rim joist is connected to ends of all cantilever joists. When spliced, the rim joists shall be spliced using a galvanized metal tie not less than 0.058 inch (1.5 mm) (16 gage) and 11/2 inches (38 mm) wide fastened with six 16d nails on each side of the splice or a block of the same size as the rim joist of sufficient length to fit securely between the joist space at which the splice occurs fastened with eight 16d nails on each side of the splice; and
- Gravity loads carried at the end of cantilevered joists are limited to uniform wall and roof loads and the reactions from headers having a span of 8 feet (2438 mm) or less.
- When a section of floor or roof is not laterally supported by shear walls or braced wall lines on all edges.
- The building width, loading condition and framing member species limitations of Table R502.5(1) shall apply; and
- Not less than one 2 × 12 or two 2 × 10 for an opening not more than 4 feet (1219 mm) wide; or
- Not less than two 2 × 12 or three 2 × 10 for an opening not more than 6 feet (1829 mm) wide; or
- Not less than three 2 × 12 or four 2 × 10 for an opening not more than 8 feet (2438 mm) wide; and
- The entire length of the braced wall panel does not occur over an opening in the wall below.
- When an opening in a floor or roof exceeds the lesser of 12 feet (3658 mm) or 50 percent of the least floor or roof dimension.
- When shear walls and braced wall lines do not occur in two perpendicular directions.
The wind and seismic provisions of this code shall apply to buildings with story heights not exceeding the following:
- For steel wall framing, a stud height of 10 feet (3048 mm), plus a height of floor framing not to exceed 16 inches (406 mm).
- For insulating concrete form walls, the maximum bearing wall height per story as permitted by Section R611 tables plus a height of floor framing not to exceed 16 inches (406 mm).
- For structural insulated panel (SIP) walls, the maximum bearing wall height per story as permitted by Section R613 tables shall not exceed 10 feet (3048 mm) plus a height of floor framing not to exceed 16 inches (406 mm).
Individual walls or walls studs shall be permitted to exceed these limits as permitted by Chapter 6 provisions, provided story heights are not exceeded. Floor framing height shall be permitted to exceed these limits provided the story height does not exceed 11 feet 7 inches (3531 mm). An engineered design shall be provided for the wall or wall framing members when they exceed the limits of Chapter 6. Where the story height limits of this section are exceeded, the design of the building, or the noncompliant portions thereof, to resist wind and seismic loads shall be in accordance with the International Building Code.
The minimum uniformly distributed live load shall be as provided in Table R301.5.
MINIMUM UNIFORMLY DISTRIBUTED LIVE LOADS (in pounds per square foot)
|Uninhabitable attics without storageb||10|
|Uninhabitable attics with limited storageb,g||20|
|Habitable attics and attics served with fixed stairs||30|
|Balconies (exterior) and deckse||40|
|Guardrails and handrailsd||200h|
|Guardrail in-fill componentsf||50h|
|Passenger vehicle garagesa||50a|
|Rooms other than sleeping room||40|
For SI: 1 pound per square foot = 0.0479 kPa, 1 square inch = 645 mm2, 1 pound = 4.45 N.
- Elevated garage floors shall be capable of supporting a 2,000-pound load applied over a 20-square-inch area.
- Uninhabitable attics without storage are those where the maximum clear height between joists and rafters is less than 42 inches, or where there are not two or more adjacent trusses with web configurations capable of accommodating an assumed rectangle 42 inches high by 24 inches in width, or greater, within the plane of the trusses. This live load need not be assumed to act concurrently with any other live load requirements.
- Individual stair treads shall be designed for the uniformly distributed live load or a 300-pound concentrated load acting over an area of 4 square inches, whichever produces the greater stresses.
- A single concentrated load applied in any direction at any point along the top.
- See Section R502.2.2 for decks attached to exterior walls.
- Guard in-fill components (all those except the handrail), balusters and panel fillers shall be designed to withstand a horizontally applied normal load of 50 pounds on an area equal to 1 square foot. This load need not be assumed to act concurrently with any other live load requirement.
- The attic area is accessible from an opening not less than 20 inches in width by 30 inches in length that is located where the clear height in the attic is a minimum of 30 inches.
- The slopes of the joists or truss bottom chords are no greater than 2 inches vertical to 12 units horizontal.
- Required insulation depth is less than the joist or truss bottom chord member depth.
- Glazing used in handrail assemblies and guards shall be designed with a safety factor of 4. The safety factor shall be applied to each of the concentrated loads applied to the top of the rail, and to the load on the infill components. These loads shall be determined independent of one another, and loads are assumed not to occur with any other live load.
The roof shall be designed for the live load indicated in Table R301.6 or the snow load indicated in Table R301.2(1), whichever is greater.
MINIMUM ROOF LIVE LOADS IN POUNDS-FORCE PER SQUARE FOOT OF HORIZONTAL PROJECTION
|ROOF SLOPE||TRIBUTARY LOADED AREA IN |
SQUARE FEET FOR ANYSTRUCTURAL MEMBER
|0 to 200||201 to 600||Over 600|
|Flat or rise less than 4 inches per|
|Rise 4 inches per foot (1:3)|
to less than 12 inches per foot (1:1)
|Rise 12 inches per foot (1:1)|
For SI: 1 square foot = 0.0929 m2, 1 pound per square foot = 0.0479 kPa, 1 inch per foot = 83.3 mm/m.
ALLOWABLE DEFLECTION OF STRUCTURAL MEMBERSb, c
|Rafters having slopes greater than 3:12 with no finished ceiling attached to rafters||L/180|
|Interior walls and partitions||H/180|
|Floors/ceilings with plaster or stucco finish||L/360|
|All other structural members||L/240|
|Exterior walls—wind loadsa with plaster or stucco finish||H/360|
|Exterior walls with other brittle finishes||H/240|
|Exterior walls with flexible finishes||H/120d|
|Lintels supporting masonry veneer wallse||L/600|
Note: L = span length, H = span height.
- The wind load shall be permitted to be taken as 0.7 times the Component and Cladding loads for the purpose of the determining deflection limits herein.
- For cantilever members, L shall be taken as twice the length of the cantilever.
- For aluminum structural members or panels used in roofs or walls of sunroom additions or patio covers, not supporting edge of glass or sandwich panels, the total load deflection shall not exceed L/60. For continuous aluminum structural members supporting edge of glass, the total load deflection shall not exceed L/175 for each glass lite or L/60 for the entire length of the member, whichever is more stringent. For sandwich panels used in roofs or walls of sunroom additions or patio covers, the total load deflection shall not exceed L/120.
- Deflection for exterior walls with interior gypsum board finish shall be limited to an allowable deflection of H/180.
- Refer to Section R703.7.2.
For the purposes of this code, where dimensions of lumber are specified, they shall be deemed to be nominal dimensions unless specifically designated as actual dimensions.
Construction, projections, openings and penetrations of exterior walls of dwellings and accessory buildings shall comply with Table R302.1(1); or dwellings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section P2904 shall comply with Table R302.1(2).
- Walls, projections, openings or penetrations in walls perpendicular to the line used to determine the fire separation distance.
- Walls of dwellings and accessory structures located on the same lot.
- Detached tool sheds and storage sheds, playhouses and similar structures exempted from permits are not required to provide wall protection based on location on the lot. Projections beyond the exterior wall shall not extend over the lot line.
- Detached garages accessory to a dwelling located within 2 feet (610 mm) of a lot line are permitted to have roof eave projections not exceeding 4 inches (102 mm).
- Foundation vents installed in compliance with this code are permitted.
- Decks and open porches.
|EXTERIOR WALL ELEMENT||MINIMUM|
|Walls||Fire-resistance rated||1 hour—tested in accordance with ASTM E 119|
or UL 263 with exposure from both sides
|< 5 feet|
|Not fire-resistance rated||0 hours||≥ 5 feet|
|Projections||Fire-resistance rated||1 hour on the underside||≥ 2 feet to < 5 feet|
|Not fire-resistance rated||0 hours||≥ 5 feet|
|Openings in walls||Not allowed||N/A||< 3 feet|
|25% maximum of wall area||0 hours||3 feet|
|Unlimited||0 hours||5 feet|
|Penetrations||All||Comply with Section R302.4||< 5 feet|
|None required||5 feet|
For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm.
N/A = Not Applicable.
|EXTERIOR WALL ELEMENT||MINIMUM|
|Walls||Fire-resistance rated||1 hour—tested in accordance with ASTM E 119|
or UL 263 with exposure from the outside
|Not fire-resistance rated||0 hours||3 feeta|
|Projections||Fire-resistance rated||1 hour on the underside||2 feeta|
|Not fire-resistance rated||0 hours||3 feet|
|Openings in walls||Not allowed||N/A||< 3 feet|
|Unlimited||0 hours||3 feeta|
|Penetrations||All||Comply with Section R302.4||< 3 feet|
|None required||3 feeta|
For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm.
N/A = Not Applicable
- For residential subdivisions where all dwellings are equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler systems installed in accordance with Section P2904, the fire separation distance for nonrated exterior walls and rated projections shall be permitted to be reduced to 0 feet, and unlimited unprotected openings and penetrations shall be permitted, where the adjoining lot provides an open setback yard that is 6 feet or more in width on the opposite side of the property line.
Exception: A common 2-hour fire-resistance-rated wall assembly tested in accordance with ASTM E 119 or UL 263 is permitted for townhouses if such walls do not contain plumbing or mechanical equipment, ducts or vents in the cavity of the common wall. The wall shall be rated for fire exposure from both sides and shall extend to and be tight against exterior walls and the underside of the roof sheathing. Electrical installations shall be permitted in accordance with Chapters 34 through 43. Penetrations of electrical outlet boxes shall be in accordance with Section R302.4. Notwithstanding the above, if a townhouse development is fully sprinklered as provided for in Section R313.1, a common 1-hour fire-resistance-rated shall be permitted between townhouses.
- Where roof surfaces adjacent to the wall or walls are at the same elevation, the parapet shall extend not less than 30 inches (762 mm) above the roof surfaces.
- Where roof surfaces adjacent to the wall or walls are at different elevations and the higher roof is not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above the lower roof, the parapet shall extend not less than 30 inches (762 mm) above the lower roof surface.
- A parapet is not required where roof surfaces adjacent to the wall or walls are at different elevations and the higher roof is more than 30 inches (762 mm) above the lower roof. The common wall construction from the lower roof to the underside of the higher roof deck shall have not less than a 1-hour fire-resistance rating. The wall shall be rated for exposure from both sides.
Each individual townhouse shall be structurally independent.
- Foundations supporting exterior walls or common walls.
- Structural roof and wall sheathing from each unit may fasten to the common wall framing.
- Nonstructural wall and roof coverings.
- Flashing at termination of roof covering over common wall.
- Townhouses separated by a common 1-hour fire-resistance-rated wall as provided in Section R302.2.
Dwelling units in two-family dwellings shall be separated from each other by wall and/or floor assemblies having not less than a 1-hour fire-resistance rating when tested in accordance with ASTM E 119 or UL 263. Fire-resistance-rated floor/ceiling and wall assemblies shall extend to and be tight against the exterior wall, and wall assemblies shall extend from the foundation to the underside of the roof sheathing.
- A fire-resistance rating of 1/2 hour shall be permitted in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with NFPA 13.
- Wall assemblies need not extend through attic spaces when the ceiling is protected by not less than 5/8-inch (15.9 mm) Type X gypsum board and an attic draft stop constructed as specified in Section R302.12.1 is provided above and along the wall assembly separating the dwellings. The structural framing supporting the ceiling shall also be protected by not less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board or equivalent.
Exception: Where the penetrating items are steel, ferrous or copper pipes, tubes or conduits, the annular space shall be protected as follows:
- 1.1. The nominal diameter of the penetrating item is a maximum of 6 inches (152 mm); and
- 1.2. The area of the opening through the wall does not exceed 144 square inches (92 900 mm2).
- The material used to fill the annular space shall prevent the passage of flame and hot gases sufficient to ignite cotton waste where subjected to ASTM E 119 or UL 263 time temperature fire conditions under a minimum positive pressure differential of 0.01 inch of water (3 Pa) at the location of the penetration for the time period equivalent to the fire-resistance rating of the construction penetrated.
Membrane penetrations shall comply with Section R302.4.1. Where walls are required to have a fire-resistance rating, recessed fixtures shall be installed so that the required fire-resistance rating will not be reduced.
- 1.1. By a horizontal distance of not less than 24 inches (610 mm) where the wall or partition is constructed with individual noncommunicating stud cavities;
- 1.2. By a horizontal distance of not less than the depth of the wall cavity when the wall cavity is filled with cellulose loose-fill, rockwool or slag mineral wool insulation;
- 1.3. By solid fire blocking in accordance with Section R302.11;
- 1.4. By protecting both boxes with listed putty pads; or
- 1.5. By other listed materials and methods.
- The annular space created by the penetration of a fire sprinkler provided it is covered by a metal escutcheon plate.
Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 13/8 inches (35 mm) thickness, solid or honeycomb-core steel doors not less than 13/8 inches (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors.
The garage shall be separated as required by Table R302.6. Openings in garage walls shall comply with Section R302.5. This provision does not apply to garage walls that are perpendicular to the adjacent dwelling unit wall.
|From the residence and attics||Not less than 1/2-inch gypsum board or equivalent applied to the garage side|
|From all habitable rooms above the garage||Not less than 5/8-inch Type X gypsum board or equivalent|
|Structure(s) supporting floor/ceiling assemblies used for separation|
required by this section
|Not less than 1/2-inch gypsum board or equivalent|
|Garages located less than 3 feet from a dwelling unit on the|
|Not less than 1/2-inch gypsum board or equivalent applied to the interior side|
of exterior walls that are within this area
For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 foot = 304.8 mm.
Wall and ceiling finishes shall have a flame spread index of not greater than 200.
Exception: Flame spread index requirements for finishes shall not apply to trim defined as picture molds, chair rails, baseboards and handrails; to doors and windows or their frames; or to materials that are less than 1/28 inch (0.91 mm) in thickness cemented to the surface of walls or ceilings if these materials exhibit flame spread index values no greater than those of paper of this thickness cemented to a noncombustible backing.
As an alternative to having a flame spread index of not greater than 200 and a smoke-developed index of not greater than 450 when tested in accordance with ASTM E 84 or UL 723, wall and ceiling finishes shall be permitted to be tested in accordance with NFPA 286. Materials tested in accordance with NFPA 286 shall meet the following criteria:
The interior finish shall comply with the following:
- During the 40 kW exposure, flames shall not spread to the ceiling.
- The flame shall not spread to the outer extremity of the sample on any wall or ceiling.
- Flashover, as defined in NFPA 286, shall not occur.
- The peak heat release rate throughout the test shall not exceed 800 kW.
- The total smoke released throughout the test shall not exceed 1,000 m2.
Insulation materials, including facings, such as vapor retarders and vapor-permeable membranes installed within floor/ceiling assemblies, roof/ceiling assemblies, wall assemblies, crawl spaces and attics shall have a flame spread index not to exceed 25 with an accompanying smoke-developed index not to exceed 450 when tested in accordance with ASTM E 84 or UL 723.
- When such materials are installed in concealed spaces, the flame spread index and smoke-developed index limitations do not apply to the facings, provided that the facing is installed in substantial contact with the unexposed surface of the ceiling, floor or wall finish.
- Cellulose loose-fill insulation, which is not spray applied, complying with the requirements of Section R302.10.3, shall only be required to meet the smoke-developed index of not more than 450.
- Foam plastic insulation shall comply with Section R316.
Loose-fill insulation materials that cannot be mounted in the ASTM E 84 or UL 723 apparatus without a screen or artificial supports shall comply with the flame spread and smoke-developed limits of Section R302.10.1 when tested in accordance with CAN/ULC S102.2.
Exception: Cellulose loose-fill insulation shall not be required to be tested in accordance with CAN/ULC S102.2, provided such insulation complies with the requirements of Section R302.10.1 and Section R302.10.3.
In combustible construction, fireblocking shall be provided to cut off all concealed draft openings (both vertical and horizontal) and to form an effective fire barrier between stories, and between a top story and the roof space.
Fireblocking shall be provided in wood-frame construction in the following locations:
- 1.1. Vertically at the ceiling and floor levels.
- 1.2. Horizontally at intervals not exceeding 10 feet (3048 mm).
- At all interconnections between concealed vertical and horizontal spaces such as occur at soffits, drop ceilings and cove ceilings.
- In concealed spaces between stair stringers at the top and bottom of the run. Enclosed spaces under stairs shall comply with Section R302.7.
- At openings around vents, pipes, ducts, cables and wires at ceiling and floor level, with an approved material to resist the free passage of flame and products of combustion. The material filling this annular space shall not be required to meet the ASTM E 136 requirements.
- For the fireblocking of chimneys and fireplaces, see Section R1003.19.
- Fireblocking of cornices of a two-family dwelling is required at the line of dwelling unit separation.
- Two-inch (51 mm) nominal lumber.
- Two thicknesses of 1-inch (25.4 mm) nominal lumber with broken lap joints.
- One thickness of 23/32-inch (18.3 mm) wood structural panels with joints backed by 23/32-inch (18.3 mm) wood structural panels.
- One thickness of 3/4-inch (19.1 mm) particleboard with joints backed by 3/4-inch (19.1 mm) particleboard.
- One-half-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board.
- One-quarter-inch (6.4 mm) cement-based millboard.
- Batts or blankets of mineral wool or glass fiber or other approved materials installed in such a manner as to be securely retained in place.
- Cellulose insulation installed as tested for the specific application.
In combustible construction where there is usable space both above and below the concealed space of a floor/ceiling assembly, draftstops shall be installed so that the area of the concealed space does not exceed 1,000 square feet (92.9 m2). Draftstopping shall divide the concealed space into approximately equal areas. Where the assembly is enclosed by a floor membrane above and a ceiling membrane below, draftstopping shall be provided in floor/ceiling assemblies under the following circumstances:
- Ceiling is suspended under the floor framing.
- Floor framing is constructed of truss-type open-web or perforated members.
Combustible insulation shall be separated a minimum of 3 inches (76 mm) from recessed luminaires, fan motors and other heat-producing devices.
Exception: Where heat-producing devices are listed for lesser clearances, combustible insulation complying with the listing requirements shall be separated in accordance with the conditions stipulated in the listing.
All habitable rooms shall have an aggregate glazing area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area of such rooms. Natural ventilation shall be through windows, doors, louvers or other approved openings to the outdoor air. Such openings shall be provided with ready access or shall otherwise be readily controllable by the building occupants. The minimum openable area to the outdoors shall be 4 percent of the floor area being ventilated.
- The glazed areas need not be openable where the opening is not required by Section R310 and a whole-house mechanical ventilation system is installed in accordance with Section M1507.
- The glazed areas need not be installed in rooms where Exception 1 above is satisfied and artificial light is provided capable of producing an average illumination of 6 footcandles (65 lux) over the area of the room at a height of 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor level.
- Use of sunroom and patio covers, as defined in Section R202, shall be permitted for natural ventilation if in excess of 40 percent of the exterior sunroom walls are open, or are enclosed only by insect screening.
For the purpose of determining light and ventilation requirements, any room shall be considered as a portion of an adjoining room when at least one-half of the area of the common wall is open and unobstructed and provides an opening of not less than one-tenth of the floor area of the interior room but not less than 25 square feet (2.3 m2).
Exception: Openings required for light and/or ventilation shall be permitted to open into a sunroom with thermal isolation or a patio cover, provided that there is an openable area between the adjoining room and the sunroom or patio cover of not less than one-tenth of the floor area of the interior room but not less than 20 square feet (2 m2). The minimum openable area to the outdoors shall be based upon the total floor area being ventilated.
Exception: The glazed areas shall not be required where artificial light and a local exhaust system are provided. The minimum local exhaust rates shall be determined in accordance with Section M1507. Exhaust air from the space shall be exhausted directly to the outdoors.
Mechanical and gravity outdoor air intake openings shall be located a minimum of 10 feet (3048 mm) from any hazardous or noxious contaminant, such as vents, chimneys, plumbing vents, streets, alleys, parking lots and loading docks, except as otherwise specified in this code. Where a source of contaminant is located within 10 feet (3048 mm) of an intake opening, such opening shall be located a minimum of 3 feet (914 mm) below the contaminant source.
All interior and exterior stairways shall be provided with a means to illuminate the stairs, including the landings and treads. Interior stairways shall be provided with an artificial light source located in the immediate vicinity of each landing of the stairway. For interior stairs the artificial light sources shall be capable of illuminating treads and landings to levels not less than 1 foot-candle (11 lux) measured at the center of treads and landings. Exterior stairways shall be provided with an artificial light source located in the immediate vicinity of the top landing of the stairway. Exterior stairways providing access to a basement from the outside grade level shall be provided with an artificial light source located in the immediate vicinity of the bottom landing of the stairway.
Exception: An artificial light source is not required at the top and bottom landing, provided an artificial light source is located directly over each stairway section.
Where lighting outlets are installed in interior stairways, there shall be a wall switch at each floor level to control the lighting outlet where the stairway has six or more risers. The illumination of exterior stairways shall be controlled from inside the dwelling unit.
Exception: Lights that are continuously illuminated or automatically controlled.
- Required glazed openings may face into a roofed porch where the porch abuts a street, yard or court and the longer side of the porch is at least 65 percent unobstructed and the ceiling height is not less than 7 feet (2134 mm).
- Eave projections shall not be considered as obstructing the clear open space of a yard or court.
- Required glazed openings may face into the area under a deck, balcony, bay or floor cantilever provided a clear vertical space at least 36 inches (914 mm) in height is provided.
When the winter design temperature in Table R301.2(1) is below 60°F (16°C), every dwelling unit shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68°F (20°C) at a point 3 feet (914 mm) above the floor and 2 feet (610 mm) from exterior walls in all habitable rooms at the design temperature. The installation of one or more portable space heaters shall not be used to achieve compliance with this section.
Exception: Seasonal structures not used as a primary residence for more than 90 days per year, unless rented, leased or let on terms expressed or implied to furnish heat, shall not be required to comply with this section.
Other habitable rooms shall have a floor area of not less than 70 square feet (6.5 m2).
Habitable rooms shall not be less than 7 feet (2134 mm) in any horizontal dimension.
- For rooms with sloped ceilings, at least 50 percent of the required floor area of the room must have a ceiling height of at least 7 feet (2134 mm) and no portion of the required floor area may have a ceiling height of less than 5 feet (1524 mm).
- Bathrooms shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) at the center of the front clearance area for fixtures as shown in Figure R307.1. The ceiling height above fixtures shall be such that the fixture is capable of being used for its intended purpose. A shower or tub equipped with a showerhead shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) above a minimum area 30 inches (762 mm) by 30 inches (762 mm) at the showerhead.
Exception: Beams, girders, ducts or other obstructions may project to within 6 feet 4 inches (1931 mm) of the finished floor.
The water and drainage system of any building or premises where plumbing fixtures are installed shall be connected to a public or private water supply and a public or private sewer system. As provided for in Section 103.10 of Part I of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63), for functional design, water supply sources and sewage disposal systems are regulated and approved by the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
Note: See also the Memorandums of Agreement in the “Related Laws Package,” which is available from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
Except as indicated in Section R308.1.1 each pane of glazing installed in hazardous locations as defined in Section R308.4 shall be provided with a manufacturer’s designation specifying who applied the designation, designating the type of glass and the safety glazing standard with which it complies, which is visible in the final installation. The designation shall be acid etched, sandblasted, ceramic-fired, laser etched, embossed, or be of a type which once applied cannot be removed without being destroyed. A label shall be permitted in lieu of the manufacturer’s designation.
- For other than tempered glass, manufacturer’s designations are not required provided the building official approves the use of a certificate, affidavit or other evidence confirming compliance with this code.
- Tempered spandrel glass is permitted to be identified by the manufacturer with a removable paper designation
Where required by other sections of the code, glazing shall be tested in accordance with CPSC 16 CFR 1201. Glazing shall comply with the test criteria for Category II unless otherwise indicated in Table R308.3.1(1).
Exception: Glazing not in doors or enclosures for hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, bathtubs and showers shall be permitted to be tested in accordance with ANSI Z97.1. Glazing shall comply with the test criteria for Class A unless indicated in Table R308.3.1(2).
MINIMUM CATEGORY CLASSIFICATION OF GLAZING USING CPSC 16 CFR 1201
AREA OF ONE SIDEOF ONE LITE
GLAZING INSTORM OR
REGULATED BYSECTION R308.4.3
REGULATED BYSECTION R308.4.2
REGULATED BYSECTION 308.4.5
DOORS PATIO TYPE(Category Class)
|9 square feet or less||I||I||NR||I||II||II|
|More than 9 square feet||II||II||II||II||II||II|
For SI: 1 square foot = 0.0929 m2.
NR means “No Requirement.”
MINIMUM CATEGORY CLASSIFICATION OF GLAZING USING ANSI Z97.1
|EXPOSED SURFACE AREA|
OF ONE SIDE OF ONE LITE
GLAZED PANELS REGULATED BYSECTION R308.4.3
GLAZED PANELS REGULATED BYSECTION R308.4.2
DOORS AND ENCLOSURES REGULATEDBY SECTION R308.4.5a
|9 square feet or less||No requirement||B||A|
|More than 9 square feet||A||A||A|
For SI: 1 square foot = 0.0929 m2.
- Use is permitted only by the exception to Section R308.3.1.
Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel adjacent to a door where the nearest vertical edge of the glazing is within a 24-inch (610 mm) arc of either vertical edge of the door in a closed position and where the bottom exposed edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the floor or walking surface shall be considered a hazardous location.
- Decorative glazing.
- When there is an intervening wall or other permanent barrier between the door and the glazing.
- Glazing in walls on the latch side of and perpendicular to the plane of the door in a closed position.
- Where access through the door is to a closet or storage area 3 feet (914 mm) or less in depth. Glazing in this application shall comply with section R308.4.3.
- Glazing that is adjacent to the fixed panel of patio doors.
Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel that meets all of the following conditions shall be considered a hazardous location:
- The exposed area of an individual pane is larger than 9 square feet (0.836 m2);
- The bottom edge of the glazing is less than 18 inches (457 mm) above the floor;
- The top edge of the glazing is more than 36 inches (914 mm) above the floor; and
- Decorative glazing.
- When a horizontal rail is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 34 to 38 inches (864 to 965 mm) above the walking surface. The rail shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 11/2 inches (38 mm) in cross sectional height.
- Outboard panes in insulating glass units and other multiple glazed panels when the bottom edge of the glass is 25 feet (7620 mm) or more above grade, a roof, walking surfaces or other horizontal [within 45 degrees (0.79 rad) of horizontal] surface adjacent to the glass exterior.
Glazing in walls, enclosures or fences containing or facing hot tubs, spas, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, bathtubs, showers and indoor or outdoor swimming pools where the bottom exposed edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) measured vertically above any standing or walking surface shall be considered a hazardous location. This shall apply to single glazing and all panes in multiple glazing.
Exception: Glazing that is more than 60 inches (1524 mm), measured horizontally and in a straight line, from the water’s edge of a bathtub, hot tub, spa, whirlpool, or swimming pool.
Glazing where the bottom exposed edge of the glazing is less than 36 inches (914 mm) above the plane of the adjacent walking surface of stairways, landings between flights of stairs and ramps shall be considered a hazardous location.
- When a rail is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 34 to 38 inches (864 to 965 mm) above the walking surface.The rail shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 11/2 inches (38 mm) in cross sectional height.
- Glazing 36 inches (914 mm) or more measured horizontally from the walking surface.
Glazing adjacent to the landing at the bottom of a stairway where the glazing is less than 36 inches (914 mm) above the landing and within 60 inches (1524 mm) horizontally of the bottom tread shall be considered a hazardous location.
SKYLIGHT, UNIT. A factory assembled, glazed fenestration unit, containing one panel of glazing material, that allows for natural daylighting through an opening in the roof assembly while preserving the weather-resistant barrier of the roof.
SKYLIGHTS AND SLOPED GLAZING. Glass or other transparent or translucent glazing material installed at a slope of 15 degrees (0.26 rad) or more from vertical. Glazing materials in skylights, including unit skylights, tubular daylighting devices, solariums, sunrooms, roofs and sloped walls are included in this definition.
TUBULAR DAYLIGHTING DEVICE (TDD). A nonoperable fenestration unit primarily designed to transmit daylight from a roof surface to an interior ceiling via a tubular conduit. The basic unit consists of an exterior glazed weathering surface, a light-transmitting tube with a reflective interior surface, and an interior-sealing device such as a translucent ceiling panel. The unit may be factory assembled, or field assembled from a manufactured kit.
The following types of glazing may be used:
- Laminated glass with a minimum 0.015-inch (0.38 mm) polyvinyl butyral interlayer for glass panes 16 square feet (1.5 m2) or less in area located such that the highest point of the glass is not more than 12 feet (3658 mm) above a walking surface or other accessible area; for higher or larger sizes, the minimum interlayer thickness shall be 0.030 inch (0.76 mm).
- Fully tempered glass.
- Heat-strengthened glass.
- Wired glass.
- Approved rigid plastics.
Screens shall not be required when fully tempered glass is used as single glazing or the inboard pane in multiple glazing and either of the following conditions are met:
- Glass area 16 square feet (1.49 m2) or less. Highest point of glass not more than 12 feet (3658 mm) above a walking surface or other accessible area, nominal glass thickness not more than 3/16 inch (4.8 mm), and (for multiple glazing only) the other pane or panes fully tempered, laminated or wired glass.
- Glass area greater than 16 square feet (1.49 m2). Glass sloped 30 degrees (0.52 rad) or less from vertical, and highest point of glass not more than 10 feet (3048 mm) above a walking surface or other accessible area.
Carports shall be open on at least two sides. Carport floor surfaces shall be of approved noncombustible material. Carports not open on at least two sides shall be considered a garage and shall comply with the provisions of this section for garages.
For buildings located in flood hazard areas as established by Table R301.2(1), garage floors shall be:
- Elevated to or above the design flood elevation as determined in Section R322; or
- Located below the design flood elevation provided they are at or above grade on at least one side, are used solely for parking, building access or storage, meet the requirements of Section R322 and are otherwise constructed in accordance with this code.
Basements, habitable attics, and every sleeping room designated on the construction documents shall have at least one operable emergency escape and rescue opening. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency egress and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room. Where emergency escape and rescue openings are provided, they shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches (1118 mm) measured from the finished floor to the bottom of the clear opening. Where a door opening having a threshold below the adjacent ground elevation serves as an emergency escape and rescue opening and is provided with a bulkhead enclosure, the bulkhead enclosure shall comply with Section R310.3. The net clear opening dimensions required by this section shall be obtained by the normal operation of the emergency escape and rescue opening from the inside, except that tilt-out or removable sash designed windows shall be permitted to be used. Emergency escape and rescue openings with a finished height below the adjacent ground elevation shall be provided with a window well in accordance with Section R310.2. Emergency escape and rescue openings shall open directly into a public way, or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.
All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet (0.530 m2), including the tilting or removal of the sash as the normal operation to comply with Sections R310.1.2 and R310.1.3.
Exception: Grade floor openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet (0.465 m2).
The minimum horizontal area of the window well shall be 9 square feet (0.9 m2), with a minimum horizontal projection and width of 36 inches (914 mm). The area of the window well shall allow the emergency escape and rescue opening to be fully opened.
Exception: The ladder or steps required by Section R310.2.1 shall be permitted to encroach a maximum of 6 inches (152 mm) into the required dimensions of the window well.
Window wells shall be designed for proper drainage by connecting to the building’s foundation drainage system required by Section R405.1 or by an approved alternative method.
Exception: A drainage system for window wells is not required when the foundation is on well-drained soil or sand-gravel mixture soils according to the United Soil Classification System, Group I Soils, as detailed in Table R405.1.
Where a dwelling unit has both a kitchen and a living or entertainment area on the same level as the egress door required by Section R311.2, an interior passage route shall be provided from such egress door to the kitchen and the living or entertainment area and to at least one bedroom and at least one bathroom containing a water closet, lavatory and bathtub or shower, where such rooms are provided on that same level. Any doors or cased openings along such interior passage route providing access to the areas identified above shall comply with the following.
- Cased openings shall provide a minimum 34-inch clear width.
- Where a door or cased opening, and its associated molding or trim, is at the end and facing the length of a hallway and the width of the hallway is not wide enough to accommodate such doors or cased openings.
- Closet doors or cased openings.
- Pantry door or cased openings.
- Bathrooms accessed directly from a bedroom that is not required to comply with this section.
There shall be a landing or floor on each side of each exterior door. The width of each landing shall not be less than the door served. Every landing shall have a minimum dimension of 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel. Exterior landings shall be permitted to have a slope not to exceed 1/4 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2-percent).
Exception: Exterior balconies less than 60 square feet (5.6 m2) and only accessible from a door are permitted to have a landing less than 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel.
Landings or finished floors at the required egress door shall not be more than 11/2 inches (38 mm) lower than the top of the threshold.
Exception: The landing or floor on the exterior side shall not be more than 81/4 inches (210 mm) below the top of the threshold provided the door does not swing over the landing or floor.
Where exterior landings or floors serving the required egress door are not at grade, they shall be provided with access to grade by means of a ramp in accordance with Section R311.8 or a stairway in accordance with Section R311.7.
Doors other than the required egress door shall be provided with landings or floors not more than 73/4 inches (196 mm) below the top of the threshold.
Stairways shall not be less than 36 inches (914 mm) in clear width at all points above the permitted handrail height and below the required headroom height. Handrails shall not project more than 4.5 inches (114 mm) on either side of the stairway and the minimum clear width of the stairway at and below the handrail height, including treads and landings, shall not be less than 311/2 inches (787 mm) where a handrail is installed on one side and 27 inches (698 mm) where handrails are provided on both sides.
The minimum headroom in all parts of the stairway shall not be less than 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) measured vertically from the sloped line adjoining the tread nosing or from the floor surface of the landing or platform on that portion of the stairway.
Exception: Where the nosings of treads at the side of a flight extend under the edge of a floor opening through which the stair passes, the floor opening shall be allowed to project horizontally into the required headroom a maximum of 43/4 inches (121 mm).
The maximum riser height shall be 81/4 inches (210 mm). The riser shall be measured vertically between the leading edges of the adjacent treads. The greatest riser height within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm). Risers shall be vertical or sloped from the underside of the nosing of the tread above at an angle not more than 30 degrees (0.51 rad) from the vertical. Open risers are permitted provided that the opening between treads does not permit the passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.
Exception: The opening between adjacent treads is not limited on stairs with a total rise of 30 inches (762 mm) or less.
The minimum tread depth shall be 9 inches (229 mm). The tread depth shall be measured horizontally between the vertical planes of the foremost projection of adjacent treads and at a right angle to the tread’s leading edge. The greatest tread depth within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm).
The radius of curvature at the nosing shall be no greater than 9/16 inch (14 mm). A nosing not less than 3/4 inch (19 mm) but not more than 11/4 inches (32 mm) shall be provided on stairways with solid risers. The greatest nosing projection shall not exceed the smallest nosing projection by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) between two stories, including the nosing at the level of floors and landings. Beveling of nosings shall not exceed 1/2 inch (12.7 mm).
Exception: A nosing is not required where the tread depth is a minimum of 11 inches (279 mm).
There shall be a floor or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway. The minimum width perpendicular to the direction of travel shall be no less than the width of the flight served. Landings of shapes other than square or rectangular shall be permitted provided the depth at the walk line and the total area is not less than that of a quarter circle with a radius equal to the required landing width. Where the stairway has a straight run, the minimum depth in the direction of travel shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm).
- The use of a volute, turnout or starting easing shall be allowed over the lowest tread.
- When handrail fittings or bendings are used to provide continuous transition between flights, transitions at winder treads, the transition from handrail to guardrail, or used at the start of a flight, the handrail height at the fittings or bendings shall be permitted to exceed the maximum height.
Handrails for stairways shall be continuous for the full length of the flight, from a point directly above the top riser of the flight to a point directly above the lowest riser of the flight. Handrail ends shall be returned or shall terminate in newel posts or safety terminals. Handrails adjacent to a wall shall have a space of not less than 11/2 inch (38 mm) between the wall and the handrails.
- Handrails shall be permitted to be interrupted by a newel post at the turn.
- The use of a volute, turnout, starting easing or starting newel shall be allowed over the lowest tread.
All required handrails shall be of one of the following types or provide equivalent graspability.
- Type I. Handrails with a circular cross section shall have an outside diameter of at least 11/4 inches (32 mm) and not greater than 2 inches (51 mm). If the handrail is not circular, it shall have a perimeter dimension of at least 4 inches (102 mm) and not greater than 61/4 inches (160 mm) with a maximum cross section of dimension of 21/4 inches (57 mm). Edges shall have a minimum radius of 0.01 inch (0.25 mm).
- Type II. Handrails with a perimeter greater than 61/4 inches (160 mm) shall have a graspable finger recess area on both sides of the profile. The finger recess shall begin within a distance of 3/4 inch (19 mm) measured vertically from the tallest portion of the profile and achieve a depth of at least 5/16 inch (8 mm) within 7/8 inch (22 mm) below the widest portion of the profile. This required depth shall continue for at least 3/8 inch (10 mm) to a level that is not less than 13/4 inches (45 mm) below the tallest portion of the profile. The minimum width of the handrail above the recess shall be 11/4 inches (32 mm) to a maximum of 23/4 inches (70 mm). Edges shall have a minimum radius of 0.01 inch (0.25 mm).
Required guards at open-sided walking surfaces, including stairs, porches, balconies or landings, shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm) high measured vertically above the adjacent walking surface, adjacent fixed seating or the line connecting the leading edges of the treads.
- Guards on the open sides of stairs shall have a height not less than 34 inches (864 mm) measured vertically from a line connecting the leading edges of the treads.
- Where the top of the guard also serves as a handrail on the open sides of stairs, the top of the guard shall not be less than 34 inches (864 mm) and not more than 38 inches (965 mm) measured vertically from a line connecting the leading edges of the treads.
In dwelling units, where the opening of an operable window is located more than 72 inches (1829 mm) above the finished grade or surface below, the lowest part of the clear opening of the window shall be a minimum of 18 inches (457 mm) above the finished floor of the room in which the window is located. Operable sections of windows shall not permit openings that allow passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere where such openings are located within 18 inches (457 mm) of the finished floor.
- Windows whose openings will not allow a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere to pass through the opening when the opening is in its largest opened position.
- Openings that are provided with window fall prevention devices that comply with ASTM F 2090.
- Windows that are provided with window opening control devices that comply with Section R312.2.2.
Notwithstanding the requirements of Section 103.8, where installed, an automatic residential fire sprinkler system for townhouses shall be designed and installed in accordance with NFPA 13D or Section P2904.
Exception: An automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall not be required when additions or alterations are made to existing townhouses that do not have an automatic residential fire sprinkler system installed.
Exception: An automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall not be required for additions or alterations to existing buildings that are not already provided with an automatic residential fire sprinkler system.
Household fire alarm systems installed in accordance with NFPA 72 that include smoke alarms, or a combination of smoke detector and audible notification device installed as required by this section for smoke alarms, shall be permitted. The household fire alarm system shall provide the same level of smoke detection and alarm as required by this section for smoke alarms. Where a household fire warning system is installed using a combination of smoke detector and audible notification device(s), the system shall become a permanent fixture of the dwelling unit.
Exception: Where smoke alarms are provided meeting the requirements of Section R314.4.
Smoke alarms shall be installed in the following locations:
- In each sleeping room.
- Outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.
- On each additional story of the dwelling, including basements and habitable attics but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.
Smoke alarms shall receive their primary power from the building wiring when such wiring is served from a commercial source, and when primary power is interrupted, shall receive power from a battery. Wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than those required for overcurrent protection.
- Smoke alarms shall be permitted to be battery operated when installed in buildings without commercial power.
- Hard wiring of smoke alarms in existing areas shall not be required where the alterations or repairs do not result in the removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available which could provide access for hard wiring without the removal of interior finishes.
Where more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual dwelling unit in accordance with Section R314.3, the alarm devices shall be interconnected in such a manner that the actuation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit. Physical interconnection of smoke alarms shall not be required where listed wireless alarms are installed and all alarms sound upon activation of one alarm.
Exception: Interconnection of smoke alarms in existing areas shall not be required where alterations or repairs do not result in removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available which could provide access for interconnection without the removal of interior finishes.
Carbon monoxide detection systems that include carbon monoxide detectors and audible notification appliances, installed and maintained in accordance with this section for carbon monoxide alarms and NFPA 720, shall be permitted. The carbon monoxide detectors shall be listed as complying with UL 2075. Where a household carbon monoxide detection system is installed, it shall become a permanent fixture of the occupancy, owned by the homeowner and shall be monitored by an approved supervising station.
Exception: Where carbon monoxide alarms are installed meeting the requirements of Section R315.1, compliance with Section 315.2 is not required.
Unless otherwise allowed in Section R316.5 or R316.6, all foam plastic or foam plastic cores used as a component in manufactured assemblies used in building construction shall have a flame spread index of not more than 75 and shall have a smoke-developed index of not more than 450 when tested in the maximum thickness intended for use in accordance with ASTM E 84 or UL 723. Loose-fill-type foam plastic insulation shall be tested as board stock for the flame spread index and smoke-developed index.
Exception: Foam plastic insulation more than 4 inches (102 mm) thick shall have a maximum flame spread index of 75 and a smoke-developed index of 450 where tested at a minimum thickness of 4 inches (102 mm), provided the end use is approved in accordance with Section R316.6 using the thickness and density intended for use.
The thermal barrier specified in Section R316.4 is not required where all of the following apply:
- Attic access is required by Section R807.1.
- The space is entered only for purposes of repairs or maintenance.
- 3.1. 11/2-inch-thick (38 mm) mineral fiber insulation;
- 3.2. 1/4-inch-thick (6.4 mm) wood structural panels;
- 3.3. 3/8-inch (9.5 mm) particleboard;
- 3.4. 1/4-inch (6.4 mm) hardboard;
- 3.5. 3/8-inch (9.5 mm) gypsum board; or
- 3.6. Corrosion-resistant steel having a base metal thickness of 0.016 inch (0.406 mm);
- 3.7. 11/2-inch-thick (38 mm) cellulose insulation.
The thermal barrier specified in Section R316.4 is not required where all of the following apply:
- Crawlspace access is required by Section R408.4.
- Entry is made only for purposes of repairs or maintenance.
- 3.1. 11/2-inch-thick (38 mm) mineral fiber insulation;
- 3.2. 1/4-inch-thick (6.4 mm) wood structural panels;
- 3.3. 3/8-inch (9.5 mm) particleboard;
- 3.4. 1/4-inch (6.4 mm) hardboard;
- 3.5. 3/8-inch (9.5 mm) gypsum board; or
- 3.6. Corrosion-resistant steel having a base metal thickness of 0.016 inch (0.406 mm).
The thermal barrier specified in Section R316.4 is not required where siding backer board foam plastic insulation has a maximum thickness of 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) and a potential heat of not more than 2000 Btu per square foot (22 720 kJ/m2) when tested in accordance with NFPA 259 provided that:
- The foam plastic insulation is separated from the interior of the building by not less than 2 inches (51 mm) of mineral fiber insulation;
- The foam plastic insulation is installed over existing exterior wall finish in conjunction with re-siding; or
- The foam plastic insulation has been tested in accordance with Section R316.6.
- The minimum density is 20 pounds per cubic foot (320 kg/m3).
- The maximum thickness of the trim is 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) and the maximum width is 8 inches (204 mm).
- The interior trim shall not constitute more than 10 percent of the aggregate wall and ceiling area of any room or space.
- The flame spread index does not exceed 75 when tested per ASTM E 84 or UL 723. The smoke-developed index is not limited.
Foam plastic shall be permitted to be spray applied to a sill plate and header without the thermal barrier specified in Section R316.4 subject to all of the following:
- The maximum thickness of the foam plastic shall be 31/4 inches (83 mm).
- The density of the foam plastic shall be in the range of 0.5 to 2.0 pounds per cubic foot (8 to 32 kg/m3).
- The foam plastic shall have a flame spread index of 25 or less and an accompanying smoke-developed index of 450 or less when tested in accordance with ASTM E 84 or UL 723.
Protection of wood and wood based products from decay shall be provided in the following locations by the use of naturally durable wood or wood that is preservative-treated in accordance with AWPA U1 for the species, product, preservative and end use. Preservatives shall be listed in Section 4 of AWPA U1.
- Wood joists or the bottom of a wood structural floor when closer than 18 inches (457 mm) or wood girders when closer than 12 inches (305 mm) to the exposed ground in crawl spaces or unexcavated area located within the periphery of the building foundation.
- All wood framing members that rest on concrete or masonry exterior foundation walls and are less than 8 inches (203 mm) from the exposed ground.
- Sills and sleepers on a concrete or masonry slab that is in direct contact with the ground unless separated from such slab by an impervious moisture barrier.
- The ends of wood girders entering exterior masonry or concrete walls having clearances of less than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) on tops, sides and ends.
- Wood siding, sheathing and wall framing on the exterior of a building having a clearance of less than 6 inches (152 mm) from the ground or less than 2 inches (51 mm) measured vertically from concrete steps, porch slabs, patio slabs, and similar horizontal surfaces exposed to the weather.
- Wood structural members supporting moisture-permeable floors or roofs that are exposed to the weather, such as concrete or masonry slabs, unless separated from such floors or roofs by an impervious moisture barrier.
- Wood furring strips or other wood framing members attached directly to the interior of exterior masonry walls or concrete walls below grade except where an approved vapor retarder is applied between the wall and the furring strips or framing members.
In geographical areas where experience has demonstrated a specific need, approved naturally durable or pressure-preservative-treated wood shall be used for those portions of wood members that form the structural supports of buildings, balconies, porches or similar permanent building appurtenances when those members are exposed to the weather without adequate protection from a roof, eave, overhang or other covering that would prevent moisture or water accumulation on the surface or at joints between members. Depending on local experience, such members may include:
- Horizontal members such as girders, joists and decking.
- Vertical members such as posts, poles and columns.
- Both horizontal and vertical members.
Wood columns shall be approved wood of natural decay resistance or approved pressure-preservative-treated wood.
- Columns exposed to the weather or in basements when supported by concrete piers or metal pedestals projecting 1 inch (25.4 mm) above a concrete floor or 6 inches (152 mm) above exposed earth and the earth is covered by an approved impervious moisture barrier.
- Columns in enclosed crawl spaces or unexcavated areas located within the periphery of the building when supported by a concrete pier or metal pedestal at a height more than 8 inches (203 mm) from exposed earth and the earth is covered by an impervious moisture barrier.
- Deck posts supported by concrete piers or metal pedestals projecting a minimum of 1 inch (25.4 mm) above a concrete floor or 6 inches (152 mm) above exposed earth.
The required quality mark on each piece of pressure-preservative-treated lumber or plywood shall contain the following information:
- Identification of the treating plant.
- Type of preservative.
- The minimum preservative retention.
- End use for which the product was treated.
- Standard to which the product was treated.
- Identity of the approved inspection agency.
- The designation “Dry,” if applicable.
Exception: Quality marks on lumber less than 1 inch (25.4 mm) nominal thickness, or lumber less than nominal 1 inch by 5 inches (25.4 mm by 127 mm) or 2 inches by 4 inches (51 mm by 102 mm) or lumber 36 inches (914 mm) or less in length shall be applied by stamping the faces of exterior pieces or by end labeling not less than 25 percent of the pieces of a bundled unit.
Fasteners, including nuts and washers, for preservative-treated wood shall be of hot-dipped, zinc-coated galvanized steel, stainless steel, silicon bronze or copper. Coating types and weights for connectors in contact with preservative-treated wood shall be in accordance with the connector manufacturer’s recommendations. In the absence of manufacturer’s recommendations, a minimum of ASTM A 653 type G185 zinc-coated galvanized steel, or equivalent, shall be used.
- One-half-inch-diameter (12.7 mm) or greater steel bolts.
- Fasteners other than nails and timber rivets shall be permitted to be of mechanically deposited zinc-coated steel with coating weights in accordance with ASTM B 695, Class 55 minimum.
- Plain carbon steel fasteners in SBX/DOT and zinc borate preservative-treated wood in an interior, dry environment shall be permitted.
In areas subject to damage from termites as indicated by Table R301.2(1), methods of protection shall be one of the following methods or a combination of these methods:
- Chemical termiticide treatment, as provided in Section R318.2.
- Termite baiting system installed and maintained according to the label.
- Pressure-preservative-treated wood in accordance with the provisions of Section R317.1.
- Naturally durable termite-resistant wood.
- Physical barriers as provided in Section R318.3 and used in locations as specified in Section R317.1.
- Cold-formed steel framing in accordance with Sections R505.2.1 and R603.2.1.
In areas where the probability of termite infestation is “very heavy” as indicated in Figure R301.2(6), extruded and expanded polystyrene, polyisocyanurate and other foam plastics shall not be installed on the exterior face or under interior or exterior foundation walls or slab foundations located below grade. The clearance between foam plastics installed above grade and exposed earth shall be at least 6 inches (152 mm).
- Buildings where the structural members of walls, floors, ceilings and roofs are entirely of noncombustible materials or pressure-preservative-treated wood.
- When in addition to the requirements of Section R318.1, an approved method of protecting the foam plastic and structure from subterranean termite damage is used.
- On the interior side of basement walls.
The design flood elevation shall be used to define flood hazard areas. At a minimum, the design flood elevation is the higher of:
- The base flood elevation at the depth of peak elevation of flooding (including wave height) which has a 1 percent (100-year flood) or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year; or
- The elevation of the design flood associated with the area designated on a flood hazard map adopted by the community, or otherwise legally designated.
If design flood elevations are not specified, the building official is authorized to require the applicant to:
- Obtain and reasonably use data available from a federal, state or other source; or
- Determine the design flood elevation in accordance with accepted hydrologic and hydraulic engineering practices used to define special flood hazard areas. Determinations shall be undertaken by a registered design professional who shall document that the technical methods used reflect currently accepted engineering practice. Studies, analyses and computations shall be submitted in sufficient detail to allow thorough review and approval.
Electrical systems, equipment and components; heating, ventilating, air conditioning; plumbing appliances and plumbing fixtures; duct systems; and other service equipment shall be located at or above the elevation required in Section R322.2 (flood hazard areas including A Zones) or R322.3 (coastal high-hazard areas including V Zones). If replaced as part of a substantial improvement, electrical systems, equipment and components; heating, ventilating, air conditioning and plumbing appliances and plumbing fixtures; duct systems; and other service equipment shall meet the requirements of this section. Systems, fixtures, and equipment and components shall not be mounted on or penetrate through walls intended to break away under flood loads.
Exception: Locating electrical systems, equipment and components; heating, ventilating, air conditioning; plumbing appliances and plumbing fixtures; duct systems; and other service equipment is permitted below the elevation required in Section R322.2 (flood hazard areas including A Zones) or R322.3 (coastal high-hazard areas including V Zones) provided that they are designed and installed to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components and to resist hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and stresses, including the effects of buoyancy, during the occurrence of flooding to the design flood elevation in accordance with ASCE 24. Electrical wiring systems are permitted to be located below the required elevation provided they conform to the provisions of the electrical part of this code for wet locations.
- All wood, including floor sheathing, shall be pressure-preservative-treated in accordance with AWPA U1 for the species, product, preservative and end use or be the decay-resistant heartwood of redwood, black locust or cedars. Preservatives shall be listed in Section 4 of AWPA U1.
- Materials and installation methods used for flooring and interior and exterior walls and wall coverings shall conform to the provisions of FEMA/FIA-TB-2.
- Buildings and structures in flood hazard areas not designated as Coastal A Zones shall have the lowest floors elevated to or above the design flood elevation.
- Buildings and structures in flood hazard areas designated as Coastal A Zones shall have the lowest floors elevated to or above the base flood elevation plus 1 foot (305 mm), or to the design flood elevation, whichever is higher.
- In areas of shallow flooding (AO Zones), buildings and structures shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated at least as high above the highest adjacent grade as the depth number specified in feet on the FIRM, or at least 2 feet (610 mm) if a depth number is not specified.
- Basement floors that are below grade on all sides shall be elevated to or above the design flood elevation.
Enclosed areas, including crawl spaces, that are below the design flood elevation shall:
- Be used solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage.
- Be provided with flood openings that meet the following criteria:
- 2.1. There shall be a minimum of two openings on different sides of each enclosed area; if a building has more than one enclosed area below the design flood elevation, each area shall have openings on exterior walls.
- 2.2. The total net area of all openings shall be at least 1 square inch (645 mm2) for each square foot (0.093 m2) of enclosed area, or the openings shall be designed and the construction documents shall include a statement by a registered design professional that the design of the openings will provide for equalization of hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters as specified in Section 126.96.36.199 of ASCE 24.
- 2.3. The bottom of each opening shall be 1 foot (305 mm) or less above the adjacent ground level.
- 2.4. Openings shall be not less than 3 inches (76 mm) in any direction in the plane of the wall.
- 2.5. Any louvers, screens or other opening covers shall allow the automatic flow of floodwaters into and out of the enclosed area.
- 2.6. Openings installed in doors and windows, that meet requirements 2.1 through 2.5, are acceptable; however, doors and windows without installed openings do not meet the requirements of this section.
Exception: Unless designed in accordance with Section R404:
- The unsupported height of 6-inch (152 mm) plain masonry walls shall be no more than 3 feet (914 mm).
- The unsupported height of 8-inch (203 mm) plain masonry walls shall be no more than 4 feet (1219 mm).
- The unsupported height of 8-inch (203 mm) reinforced masonry walls shall be no more than 8 feet (2438 mm).
For the purpose of this exception, unsupported height is the distance from the finished grade of the under-floor space to the top of the wall.
- New buildings and buildings that are determined to be substantially improved pursuant to Section R188.8.131.52, shall be located landward of the reach of mean high tide.
- For any alteration of sand dunes and mangrove stands the building official shall require submission of an engineering analysis which demonstrates that the proposed alteration will not increase the potential for flood damage.
- All buildings and structures erected within coastal high-hazard areas shall be elevated so that the lowest portion of all structural members supporting the lowest floor, with the exception of piling, pile caps, columns, grade beams and bracing, is:
- 1.1. Located at or above the design flood elevation, if the lowest horizontal structural member is oriented parallel to the direction of wave approach, where parallel shall mean less than or equal to 20 degrees (0.35 rad) from the direction of approach, or
- 1.2. Located at the base flood elevation plus 1 foot (305 mm), or the design flood elevation, whichever is higher, if the lowest horizontal structural member is oriented perpendicular to the direction of wave approach, where perpendicular shall mean greater than 20 degrees (0.35 rad) from the direction of approach.
- Basement floors that are below grade on all sides are prohibited.
- The use of fill for structural support is prohibited.
- Minor grading, and the placement of minor quantities of fill, shall be permitted for landscaping and for drainage purposes under and around buildings and for support of parking slabs, pool decks, patios and walkways.
- Electrical, mechanical, and plumbing system components are not to be mounted on or penetrate through walls that are designed to break away under flood loads; and
- Are constructed with insect screening or open lattice; or
- Are designed to break away or collapse without causing collapse, displacement or other structural damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system. Such walls, framing and connections shall have a design safe loading resistance of not less than 10 (479 Pa) and no more than 20 pounds per square foot (958 Pa); or
- Where wind loading values of this code exceed 20 pounds per square foot (958 Pa), the construction documents shall include documentation prepared and sealed by a registered design professional that:
- 4.1. The walls and partitions below the design flood elevation have been designed to collapse from a water load less than that which would occur during the design flood.
- 4.2. The elevated portion of the building and supporting foundation system have been designed to withstand the effects of wind and flood loads acting simultaneously on all building components (structural and nonstructural). Water-loading values used shall be those associated with the design flood. Wind-loading values shall be those required by this code.
Following official action under Article 7 (Section 15.2-2280 et seq.) of Chapter 22 of Title 15.2 of the Code of Virginia by a locality in areas of high radon potential, as indicated by Zone 1 on the U.S. EPA Map of Radon Zones (IRC Figure AF101), such locality shall enforce the provisions contained in Appendix F.
Exception: Buildings or portions thereof with crawl space foundations which are ventilated to the exterior, shall not be required to provide radon-resistant construction.
In addition to other applicable provisions of this code, swimming pools, as defined in the USBC, shall comply with the applicable provisions of the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code.
Patio covers shall comply with the provisions in Appendix H.
Construction assemblies separating dwelling units shall provide airborne sound insulation as required in Appendix K.
This section applies to the construction of the exterior envelope of detached one-family and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories high with separate means of egress within airport noise zones when enforced by a locality pursuant to Section 15.2-2295 of the Code of Virginia. The exterior envelope of such structures shall comply with Section 1207.4 of the state amendments to the IBC.