About this chapter: Chapter 12 provides minimum provisions for the interior of buildings—the occupied environment. Ventilation, lighting, and space heating are directly regulated in this chapter and in conjunction with the International Mechanical Code® and the International Energy Conservation Code®. Minimum room size and maximum room-to-room sound transmission are set for certain occupancies.
The provisions of this chapter shall govern ventilation, temperature control, lighting, yards and courts, sound transmission, room dimensions, surrounding materials and rodentproofing associated with the interior spaces of buildings.
Buildings shall be provided with natural ventilation in accordance with Section 1202.5, or mechanical ventilation in accordance with the International Mechanical Code.
Where the air infiltration rate in a dwelling unit is less than 5 air changes per hour where tested with a blower door at a pressure 0.2 inch w.c. (50 Pa) in accordance with Section R402.4.1.2 of the International Energy Conservation Code—Residential Provisions, the dwelling unit shall be ventilated by mechanical means in accordance with Section 403 of the International Mechanical Code. Ambulatory care facilities and Group I-2 occupancies shall be ventilated by mechanical means in accordance with Section 407 of the International Mechanical Code.
Roof assemblies shall be ventilated in accordance with this section or shall comply with Section 1202.3.
Enclosed attics and enclosed rafter spaces formed where ceilings are applied directly to the underside of roof framing members shall have cross ventilation for each separate space by ventilation openings protected against the entrance of rain and snow. Blocking and bridging shall be arranged so as not to interfere with the movement of air. An airspace of not less than 1 inch (25 mm) shall be provided between the insulation and the roof sheathing. The net free ventilating area shall be not less than 1/150 of the area of the space ventilated. Ventilators shall be installed in accordance with manufacturer's installation instructions.
Exception: The net free cross-ventilation area shall be permitted to be reduced to 1/300 provided both of the following conditions are met:
- In Climate Zones 6, 7 and 8, a Class I or II vapor retarder is installed on the warm-in-winter side of the ceiling.
- At least 40 percent and not more than 50 percent of the required venting area is provided by ventilators located in the upper portion of the attic or rafter space. Upper ventilators shall be located not more than 3 feet (914 mm) below the ridge or highest point of the space, measured vertically, with the balance of the ventilation provided by eave or cornice vents. Where the location of wall or roof framing members conflicts with the installation of upper ventilators, installation more than 3 feet (914 mm) below the ridge or highest point of the space shall be permitted.
Exterior openings into the attic space of any building intended for human occupancy shall be protected to prevent the entry of birds, squirrels, rodents, snakes and other similar creatures. Openings for ventilation having a least dimension of not less than 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) and not more than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) shall be permitted. Openings for ventilation having a least dimension larger than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) shall be provided with corrosion-resistant wire cloth screening, hardware cloth, perforated vinyl or similar material with openings having a least dimension of not less than 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) and not more than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm). Where combustion air is obtained from an attic area, it shall be in accordance with Chapter 7 of the International Mechanical Code.
Unvented attics and unvented enclosed roof framing assemblies created by ceilings applied directly to the underside of the roof framing members/rafters and the structural roof sheathing at the top of the roof framing members shall be permitted where all of the following conditions are met:
- The unvented attic space is completely within the building thermal envelope.
- No interior Class I vapor retarders are installed on the ceiling side (attic floor) of the unvented attic assembly or on the ceiling side of the unvented enclosed roof framing assembly.
- Where wood shingles or shakes are used, not less than a 1/4-inch (6.4 mm) vented airspace separates the shingles or shakes and the roofing underlayment above the structural sheathing.
- In Climate Zones 5, 6, 7 and 8, any air-impermeable insulation shall be a Class II vapor retarder or shall have a Class II vapor retarder coating or covering in direct contact with the underside of the insulation.
- Insulation shall be located in accordance with the following:
- Item 5.1.1, 5.1.2, 5.1.3 or 5.1.4 shall be met, depending on the air permeability of the insulation directly under the structural roof sheathing.
- Where only air-impermeable insulation is provided, it shall be applied in direct contact with the underside of the structural roof sheathing.
- Where air-permeable insulation is provided inside the building thermal envelope, it shall be installed in accordance with Item 5.1.1. In addition to the air-permeable insulation installed directly below the structural sheathing, rigid board or sheet insulation shall be installed directly above the structural roof sheathing in accordance with the R-values in Table 1202.3 for condensation control.
- Where both air-impermeable and air-permeable insulation are provided, the air-impermeable insulation shall be applied in direct contact with the underside of the structural roof sheathing in accordance with Item 5.1.1 and shall be in accordance with the R-values in Table 1202.3 for condensation control. The air-permeable insulation shall be installed directly under the air-impermeable insulation.
- Alternatively, sufficient rigid board or sheet insulation shall be installed directly above the structural roof sheathing to maintain the monthly average temperature of the underside of the structural roof sheathing above 45°F (7°C). For calculation purposes, an interior air temperature of 68°F (20°C) is assumed and the exterior air temperature is assumed to be the monthly average outside air temperature of the three coldest months.
- Where preformed insulation board is used as the air-impermeable insulation layer, it shall be sealed at the perimeter of each individual sheet interior surface to form a continuous layer.
- Item 5.1.1, 5.1.2, 5.1.3 or 5.1.4 shall be met, depending on the air permeability of the insulation directly under the structural roof sheathing.
- Section 1202.3 does not apply to special use structures or enclosures such as swimming pool enclosures, data processing centers, hospitals or art galleries.
- Section 1202.3 does not apply to enclosures in Climate Zones 5 through 8 that are humidified beyond 35 percent during the three coldest months.
INSULATION FOR CONDENSATION CONTROL
|CLIMATE ZONE||MINIMUM R-VALUE OF AIR-IMPERMEABLE INSULATIONa|
|2B and 3B tile roof only||0 (none required)|
|1, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 3C||R-5|
- Contributes to, but does not supersede, thermal resistance requirements for attic and roof assemblies in Section C402.2.1 of the International Energy Conservation Code.
The space between the bottom of the floor joists and the earth under any building except spaces occupied by basements or cellars shall be provided with ventilation in accordance with Section 1202.4.1, 1202.4.2 or 1202.4.3.
Ventilation openings through foundation walls shall be provided. The openings shall be placed so as to provide cross ventilation of the under-floor space. The net area of ventilation openings shall be in accordance with Section 1220.127.116.11 or 118.104.22.168. Ventilation openings shall be covered for their height and width with any of the following materials, provided that the least dimension of the covering shall be not greater than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm):
- Perforated sheet metal plates not less than 0.070 inch (1.8 mm) thick.
- Expanded sheet metal plates not less than 0.047 inch (1.2 mm) thick.
- Cast-iron grilles or gratings.
- Extruded load-bearing vents.
- Hardware cloth of 0.035-inch (0.89 mm) wire or heavier.
- Corrosion-resistant wire mesh, with the least dimension not greater than 1/8 inch (3.2 mm).
- Operable louvres, where ventilation is provided in accordance with Section 122.214.171.124.
The net area of ventilation openings for crawl spaces with uncovered earth floors shall be not less than 1 square foot for each 150 square feet (0.67 m2 for each 100 m2) of crawl space area.
The net area of ventilation openings for crawl spaces with the ground surface covered with a Class I vapor retarder shall be not less than 1 square foot for each 1,500 square feet (0.67 m2 for each 1000 m2) of crawl space area.
In extremely cold climates, where a ventilation opening will cause a detrimental loss of energy, ventilation openings to the interior of the structure shall be provided.
Mechanical ventilation shall be provided to crawl spaces where the ground surface is covered with a Class I vapor retarder. Ventilation shall be in accordance with Section 1126.96.36.199 or 1188.8.131.52.
Continuously operated mechanical ventilation shall be provided at a rate of 1.0 cubic foot per minute (cfm) for each 50 square feet (1.02 L/s for each 10 m2) of crawl space ground surface area and the ground surface shall be covered with a Class I vapor retarder.
The crawl space shall be conditioned in accordance with the International Mechanical Code and the walls of the crawl space shall be insulated in accordance with the International Energy Conservation Code.
For buildings in flood hazard areas as established in Section 1612.3, the openings for under-floor ventilation shall be deemed as meeting the flood opening requirements of ASCE 24 provided that the ventilation openings are designed and installed in accordance with ASCE 24.
Natural ventilation of an occupied space shall be through windows, doors, louvers or other openings to the outdoors. The operating mechanism for such openings shall be provided with ready access so that the openings are readily controllable by the building occupants.
Where rooms and spaces without openings to the outdoors are ventilated through an adjoining room, the opening to the adjoining room shall be unobstructed and shall have an area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area of the interior room or space, but not less than 25 square feet (2.3 m2). The openable area of the openings to the outdoors shall be based on the total floor area being ventilated.
Exception: Exterior openings required for ventilation shall be allowed to open into a sunroom with thermal isolation or a patio cover provided that the openable area between the sunroom addition or patio cover and the interior room shall have an area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area of the interior room or space, but not less than 20 square feet (1.86 m2). The openable area of the openings to the outdoors shall be based on the total floor area being ventilated.
Where openings below grade provide required natural ventilation, the outside horizontal clear space measured perpendicular to the opening shall be one and one-half times the depth of the opening. The depth of the opening shall be measured from the average adjoining ground level to the bottom of the opening.
Contaminant sources in naturally ventilated spaces shall be removed in accordance with the International Mechanical Code and the International Fire Code.
Rooms containing bathtubs, showers, spas and similar bathing fixtures shall be mechanically ventilated in accordance with the International Mechanical Code.
Where natural ventilation is to be provided by openings onto yards or courts, such yards or courts shall comply with Section 1205.
Ventilation and exhaust systems for occupancies and operations involving flammable or combustible hazards or other contaminant sources as covered in the International Mechanical Code or the International Fire Code shall be provided as required by both codes.
Interior spaces intended for human occupancy shall be provided with active or passive space heating systems capable of maintaining an indoor temperature of not less than 68°F (20°C) at a point 3 feet (914 mm) above the floor on the design heating day.
Exceptions: Space heating systems are not required for:
- Interior spaces where the primary purpose of the space is not associated with human comfort.
- Group F, H, S or U occupancies.
Every space intended for human occupancy shall be provided with natural light by means of exterior glazed openings in accordance with Section 1204.2 or shall be provided with artificial light in accordance with Section 1204.3. Exterior glazed openings shall open directly onto a public way or onto a yard or court in accordance with Section 1205.
For the purpose of natural lighting, any room is permitted to be considered as a portion of an adjoining room where 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 or 25 square feet (2.32 m2), whichever is greater.
Exception: Openings required for natural light shall be permitted to open into a sunroom with thermal isolation or a patio cover where the common wall provides a glazed area of not less than one-tenth of the floor area of the interior room or 20 square feet (1.86 m2), whichever is greater.
Exterior openings required by Section 1204.2 for natural light shall open directly onto a public way, yard or court, as set forth in Section 1205.
- Required exterior openings are permitted to open into a roofed porch where the porch meets all of the following criteria:
- Abuts a public way, yard or court.
- Has a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet (2134 mm).
- Has a longer side at least 65 percent open and unobstructed.
- Skylights are not required to open directly onto a public way, yard or court.
Artificial light shall be provided that is adequate to provide an average illumination of 10 footcandles (107 lux) over the area of the room at a height of 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor level.
Stairways within dwelling units and exterior stairways serving a dwelling unit shall have an illumination level on tread runs of not less than 1 footcandle (11 lux). Stairways in other occupancies shall be governed by Chapter 10.
The means of egress shall be illuminated in accordance with Section 1008.1.
This section shall apply to yards and courts adjacent to exterior openings that provide natural light or ventilation. Such yards and courts shall be on the same lot as the building.
Yards shall be not less than 3 feet (914 mm) in width for buildings two stories or less above grade plane. For buildings more than two stories above grade plane, the minimum width of the yard shall be increased at the rate of 1 foot (305 mm) for each additional story. For buildings exceeding 14 stories above grade plane, the required width of the yard shall be computed on the basis of 14 stories above grade plane.
Courts shall be not less than 3 feet (914 mm) in width. Courts having windows opening on opposite sides shall be not less than 6 feet (1829 mm) in width. Courts shall be not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) in length unless bounded on one end by a public way or yard. For buildings more than two stories above grade plane, the court shall be increased 1 foot (305 mm) in width and 2 feet (610 mm) in length for each additional story. For buildings exceeding 14 stories above grade plane, the required dimensions shall be computed on the basis of 14 stories above grade plane.
Access shall be provided to the bottom of courts for cleaning purposes.
Courts more than two stories in height shall be provided with a horizontal air intake at the bottom not less than 10 square feet (0.93 m2) in area and leading to the exterior of the building unless abutting a yard or public way.
This section shall apply to common interior walls, partitions and floor/ceiling assemblies between adjacent dwelling units and sleeping units or between dwelling units and sleeping units and adjacent public areas such as halls, corridors, stairways or service areas.
Walls, partitions and floor-ceiling assemblies separating dwelling units and sleeping units from each other or from public or service areas shall have a sound transmission class of not less than 50, or not less than 45 if field tested, for airborne noise where tested in accordance with ASTM E90. Alternatively, the sound transmission class of walls, partitions and floor-ceiling assemblies shall be established by engineering analysis based on a comparison of walls, partitions and floor-ceiling assemblies having sound transmission class ratings as determined by the test procedures set forth in ASTM E90. Penetrations or openings in construction assemblies for piping; electrical devices; recessed cabinets; bathtubs; soffits; or heating, ventilating or exhaust ducts shall be sealed, lined, insulated or otherwise treated to maintain the required ratings. This requirement shall not apply to entrance doors; however, such doors shall be tight fitting to the frame and sill.
Floor-ceiling assemblies between dwelling units and sleeping units or between a dwelling unit or sleeping unit and a public or service area within the structure shall have an impact insulation class rating of not less than 50, or not less than 45 if field tested, where tested in accordance with ASTM E492. Alternatively, the impact insulation class of floor-ceiling assemblies shall be established by engineering analysis based on a comparison of floor-ceiling assemblies having impact insulation class ratings as determined by the test procedures in ASTM E492.
Habitable spaces, other than a kitchen, shall be not less than 7 feet (2134 mm) in any plan dimension. Kitchens shall have a clear passageway of not less than 3 feet (914 mm) between counter fronts and appliances or counter fronts and walls.
Occupiable spaces, habitable spaces and corridors shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet 6 inches (2286 mm) above the finished floor. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, kitchens, storage rooms and laundry rooms shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet (2134 mm) above the finished floor.
- In one- and two-family dwellings, beams or girders spaced not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) on center shall be permitted to project not more than 6 inches (152 mm) below the required ceiling height.
- If any room in a building has a sloped ceiling, the prescribed ceiling height for the room is required in one-half the area thereof. Any portion of the room measuring less than 5 feet (1524 mm) from the finished floor to the ceiling shall not be included in any computation of the minimum area thereof.
- The height of mezzanines and spaces below mezzanines shall be in accordance with Section 505.2.
- Corridors contained within a dwelling unit or sleeping unit in a Group R occupancy shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet (2134 mm) above the finished floor.
Any room with a furred ceiling shall be required to have the minimum ceiling height in two-thirds of the area thereof, but in no case shall the height of the furred ceiling be less than 7 feet (2134 mm).
Every dwelling unit shall have not less than one room that shall have not less than 120 square feet (11.2 m2) of net floor area. Other habitable rooms shall have a net floor area of not less than 70 square feet (6.5 m2).
Exception: Kitchens are not required to be of a minimum floor area.
An efficiency living unit shall conform to the requirements of the code except as modified herein:
- The unit shall have a living room of not less than 220 square feet (20.4 m2) of floor area. An additional 100 square feet (9.3 m2) of floor area shall be provided for each occupant of such unit in excess of two.
- The unit shall be provided with a separate closet.
- The unit shall be provided with a kitchen sink, cooking appliance and refrigeration facilities, each having a clear working space of not less than 30 inches (762 mm) in front. Light and ventilation conforming to this code shall be provided.
- The unit shall be provided with a separate bathroom containing a water closet, lavatory and bathtub or shower.
Crawl spaces shall be provided with not less than one access opening that shall be not less than 18 inches by 24 inches (457 mm by 610 mm).
Access to mechanical appliances installed in under-floor areas, in attic spaces and on roofs or elevated structures shall be in accordance with the International Mechanical Code.
The number and type of plumbing fixtures provided in any occupancy shall comply with Chapter 29.
In other than dwelling units, toilet, bathing and shower room floor finish materials shall have a smooth, hard, nonabsorbent surface. The intersections of such floors with walls shall have a smooth, hard, nonabsorbent vertical base that extends upward onto the walls not less than 4 inches (102 mm).
Walls and partitions within 2 feet (610 mm) of service sinks, urinals and water closets shall have a smooth, hard, nonabsorbent surface, to a height of not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) above the floor, and except for structural elements, the materials used in such walls shall be of a type that is not adversely affected by moisture.
Exception: This section does not apply to the following buildings and spaces:
- Dwelling units and sleeping units.
- Toilet rooms that are not accessible to the public and that have not more than one water closet.
Accessories such as grab bars, towel bars, paper dispensers and soap dishes, provided on or within walls, shall be installed and sealed to protect structural elements from moisture.
Shower compartments and walls above bathtubs with installed shower heads shall be finished with a smooth, nonabsorbent surface to a height not less than 72 inches (1829 mm) above the drain inlet.
Each water closet utilized by the public or employees shall occupy a separate compartment with walls or partitions and a door enclosing the fixtures to ensure privacy.
- Water closet compartments shall not be required in a single-occupant toilet room with a lockable door.
- Toilet rooms located in child day care facilities and containing two or more water closets shall be permitted to have one water closet without an enclosing compartment.
- This provision is not applicable to toilet areas located within Group I-3 occupancy housing areas.
Each urinal utilized by the public or employees shall occupy a separate area with walls or partitions to provide privacy. The walls or partitions shall begin at a height not more than 12 inches (305 mm) from and extend not less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the finished floor surface. The walls or partitions shall extend from the wall surface at each side of the urinal not less than 18 inches (457 mm) or to a point not less than 6 inches (152 mm) beyond the outermost front lip of the urinal measured from the finished backwall surface, whichever is greater.
- Urinal partitions shall not be required in a single-occupant or family or assisted-use toilet room with a lockable door.
- Toilet rooms located in child day care facilities and containing two or more urinals shall be permitted to have one urinal without partitions.