19990045ua

AN ACT

 

Establishing a uniform construction code; imposing powers and duties on municipalities and the Department of Labor and Industry; providing for enforcement; imposing penalties; and making repeals.

19990045uc

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Chapter 1.  Preliminary Provisions

 

Section 101.  Short title.

Section 102.  Legislative findings and purpose.

Section 103.  Definitions.

Section 104.  Application.

Section 105.  Department of Labor and Industry.

Section 106.  Accessibility Advisory Board.

Section 107.  Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council.

Section 108.  Review of updated sections and adoption of updated sections into Uniform Construction Code.

 

Chapter 3.  Uniform Construction Code

 

Section 301.  Adoption by regulations.

Section 302.  Referenced standards.

Section 303.  Existing municipal building codes.

Section 304.  Revised or successor codes.

Section 305.  Existing municipality or municipal authority standards for lateral connections.

 

Chapter 5.  Adoption and Enforcement by Municipalities

 

Section 501.  Administration and enforcement.

Section 502.  Consideration of applications and inspections.

Section 503.  Changes in Uniform Construction Code.

Section 504.  Appeals.

 

Chapter 7.  Training and Certification of Inspectors

 

Section 701.  Training of inspectors.

Section 702.  Reciprocity.

Section 703.  Education and Training Programs.

 

Chapter 9.  Exemptions, Applicability and Penalties

 

Section 901.  Exemptions.

Section 902.  Applicability to certain buildings.

Section 903.  Penalties.

 

Chapter 11.  Miscellaneous Provisions

 

Section 1101.  Savings.

Section 1102.  Repeals.

Section 1103.  Effective date.

19990045uh

 

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:

 

19990045u101h

 

CHAPTER 1

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

 

19990045u101s

Section 101.  Short title.

This act shall be known and may be cited as the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act.

19990045u102s

Section 102.  Legislative findings and purpose.

(a)  Findings.--The General Assembly finds as follows:

(1)  Many municipalities within this Commonwealth have no construction codes to provide for the protection of life, health, property and the environment and for the safety and welfare of the consumer, general public and the owners and occupants of buildings and structures. Consumers and occupants may be at risk from substandard construction.

(2)  Likewise, in some regions of this Commonwealth a multiplicity of construction codes currently exist and some of these codes may contain cumulatively needless requirements which limit the use of certain materials, techniques or products and lack benefits to the public. Moreover, the variation of construction standards caused by the multiplicity of codes may slow the process of construction and increase the costs of construction.

(3)  The way to insure uniform, modern construction standards and regulations throughout this Commonwealth is to adopt a Uniform Construction Code.

(4)  The model code of the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), is a construction code which has been widely adopted in this Commonwealth and in the geographical region of the United States of which this Commonwealth is a part. Adoption of a nationally recognized code will insure that this Commonwealth has a uniform, modern construction code which will insure safety, health and sanitary construction.

(b)  Intent and purpose.--It is the intent of the General Assembly and the purpose of this act:

(1)  To provide standards for the protection of life, health, property and environment and for the safety and welfare of the consumer, general public and the owners and occupants of buildings and structures.

(2)  To encourage standardization and economy in construction by providing requirements for construction and construction materials consistent with nationally recognized standards.

(3)  To permit to the fullest extent feasible the use of state-of-the-art technical methods, devices and improvements consistent with reasonable requirements for the health, safety and welfare of occupants or users of buildings and structures.

(4)  To eliminate existing codes to the extent that these codes are restrictive, obsolete, conflicting and contain duplicative construction regulations that tend to unnecessarily increase costs or retard the use of new materials, products or methods of construction or provide preferential treatment to certain types or classes of materials or methods of construction.

(5)  To eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort and fees related to the review of construction plans and the inspection of construction projects.

(6)  To assure that officials charged with the administration and enforcement of the technical provisions of this act are adequately trained and supervised.

(7)  To insure that existing Commonwealth laws and regulations, including those which would be repealed or rescinded by this act, would be fully enforced during the transition to Statewide administration and enforcement of a Uniform Construction Code. Further, it is the intent of this act that the Uniform Construction Code requirements for making buildings accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities do not diminish from those requirements previously in effect under the former provisions of the act of September 1, 1965 (P.L.459, No.235), entitled, as amended, "An act requiring that certain buildings and facilities adhere to certain principles, standards and specifications to make the same accessible to and usable by persons with physical handicaps, and providing for enforcement."

(8)  To start a process leading to the design, construction and alteration of buildings under a uniform standard.

19990045u103s

Section 103.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Addition."  An extension or increase in floor area or height of a building or structure. (Def. added July 15, 2004, P.L.748, No.92)

"Advisory board."  The Accessibility Advisory Board created in section 106.

"Agricultural building."  A structure utilized to store farm implements, hay, feed, grain or other agricultural or horticultural products or to house poultry, livestock or other farm animals, a milk house and a structure used to grow mushrooms, agricultural or horticultural products. The term includes a carriage house owned and used by members of a recognized religious sect for the purposes of housing horses and storing buggies. The term includes a structure that is less than 1,000 square feet in size which is utilized to process maple sap. The term shall not include habitable space or spaces in which agricultural products are processed, treated or packaged and shall not be construed to mean a place of occupancy by the general public. (Def. amended Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.353, No.35)

"Agricultural commodity."  Any of the following, transported or intended to be transported in commerce:

(1)  Agricultural, aquacultural, horticultural, floricultural, viticultural or dairy products.

(2)  Livestock and the products of livestock.

(3)  Ranch-raised fur-bearing animals and the products of ranch-raised fur-bearing animals.

(4)  The products of poultry or bee raising.

(5)  Forestry and forestry products.

(6)  Products raised or produced on farms intended for human consumption and the processed or manufactured products of such products intended for human consumption.

(Def. added Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.353, No.35)

"Alteration."  Any construction or renovation to an existing structure other than repair or addition. (Def. added July 15, 2004, P.L.748, No.92)

"Board of appeals."  The body created by a municipality or more than one municipality to hear appeals from decisions of the code administrator as provided for by regulations promulgated by the department. (Def. amended Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

"BOCA."  Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc.

"Code administrator."  A municipal code official, a construction code official, a third-party agency or the Department of Labor and Industry.

"Collective codes."  The term includes:

(1)  Provisions of the ICC codes specified in 34 Pa. Code § 403.21 (relating to Uniform Construction Code).

(2)  Any other sections of the ICC codes which were previously subject to review by the council whether or not those sections were incorporated into the Uniform Construction Code or specified in 34 Pa. Code § 403.21.

(Def. added Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

"Construction code official."  An individual certified by the Department of Labor and Industry in an appropriate category established pursuant to section 701(b) to perform plan review of construction documents, inspect construction or administer and enforce codes and regulations in such code category under this act or related acts.

"Council."  The Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council established under this act. (Def. added Oct. 9, 2008, P.L.1386, No.106)

"Department."  The Department of Labor and Industry of the Commonwealth.

"Existing sections."  All sections of the collective codes that have been incorporated into the Uniform Construction Code that are currently in effect at the time of review by the council pursuant to section 108. (Def. added Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

"Habitable space."  Space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet compartments, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces and similar areas shall not be construed as habitable spaces.

"Health care facility."  As defined in section 802.1 of the act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the Health Care Facilities Act.

"ICC."  The International Code Council.

"Industrial Board."  The Industrial Board under sections 445 and 2214 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929, which hears requests for variances and extensions of time and appeals of decisions of the Department of Labor and Industry under the Uniform Construction Code. (Def. added Dec. 22, 2005, P.L.478, No.95)

"Industrialized housing."  The term shall have the meaning ascribed to it in the act of May 11, 1972 (P.L.286, No.70), known as the Industrialized Housing Act.

"Manufactured housing."  Housing which bears a label, as required by and referred to in the act of November 17, 1982 (P.L.676, No.192), known as the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Authorization Act, certifying that it conforms to Federal construction and safety standards adopted under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-383, 88 Stat. 633).

"Municipal code official."  An individual employed by a municipality or more than one municipality and certified by the Department of Labor and Industry under this act to perform plan review of construction documents, inspect construction or administer and enforce codes and regulations under this act or related acts.

"Municipality."  A city, borough, incorporated town, township or home rule municipality.

"NCSBCS."  The National Conference of State Building Codes and Standards.

"Occupancy."  The purpose for which a building, or portion thereof, is used.

"Producer."  A person engaged within this Commonwealth or a production area within this Commonwealth in the business of producing agricultural commodities or causing agricultural commodities to be produced. (Def. added Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.353, No.35)

"Recreational cabin."  A structure which is:

(1)  utilized principally for recreational activity;

(2)  not utilized as a domicile or residence for any individual for any time period;

(3)  not utilized for commercial purposes;

(4)  not greater than two stories in height, excluding basement;

(5)  not utilized by the owner or any other person as a place of employment;

(6)  not a mailing address for bills and correspondence; and

(7)  not listed as an individual's place of residence on a tax return, driver's license, car registration or voter registration.

(Def. added July 15, 2004, P.L.748, No.92)

"Repair."  The reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing building for the purpose of its maintenance. (Def. added July 15, 2004, P.L.748, No.92)

"Residential building."  Detached one-family and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings which are not more than three stories in height with a separate means of egress, which includes accessory structures. (Def. added July 15, 2004, P.L.748, No.92)

"Secretary."  The Secretary of Labor and Industry of the Commonwealth.

"State institutions."  As defined in section 901 of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as the Public Welfare Code.

"Technically infeasible."  An alteration of a building or a facility that has little likelihood of being accomplished because the existing structural conditions require the removal or alteration of a load-bearing member that is an essential part of the structural frame or because other existing physical or site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces or features which are in full and strict compliance with the minimum requirements for new construction and which are necessary to provide accessibility.

"Third-party agency."  A person, firm or corporation certified by the Department of Labor and Industry as a construction code official and contracted to perform plan review of construction documents, inspect construction or administer and enforce codes and regulations under this act.

"Uncertified building."  An existing building which, prior to April 9, 2004, was not approved for use and occupancy by the Department of Labor and Industry or a municipality which was enforcing a building code. The term does not include a residential building. (Def. added Dec. 22, 2005, P.L.478, No.95)

"Unopposed sections."  Any and all updated sections that:

(1)  Do not receive a public comment recommending modification or rejection pursuant to section 108(a)(3)(ii).

(2)  Are not selected for further review by a technical advisory committee pursuant to section 108(a)(3)(v).

(3)  Are not selected for further review by the council pursuant to section 108(a)(3)(ix)(A).

(Def. added Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

"Updated sections."  Any and all sections of the newest editions of the ICC codes subject to review by the council under section 108(a)(1) that are different from, added to or deleted from the immediately preceding editions of the ICC codes. Each updated section shall be referenced by the section number assigned to such section by the ICC codes. (Def. added Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

"Utility and miscellaneous use structures."  Buildings or structures of an accessory character and miscellaneous structures not classified by the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc., in any specific use group. The term includes carports, detached private garages, greenhouses and sheds having a building area less than 1,000 square feet. The term does not include swimming pools or spas. (Def. amended July 15, 2004, P.L.748, No.92)

19990045u103v

 

Compiler's Note:  The short title of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as the Public Welfare Code, referred to in this section, was amended by the act of December 28, 2015 (P.L.500, No.92). The amended short title is now the Human Services Code.

19990045u104s

Section 104.  Application.

(a)  General rule.--This act shall apply to the construction, alteration, repair and occupancy of all buildings in this Commonwealth.

(b)  Exclusions.--This act shall not apply to any of the following:

(1)  New buildings or renovations to existing buildings for which an application for a building permit has been made to the municipality prior to the effective date of the regulations promulgated under this act.

(2)  New buildings or renovations to existing buildings on which a contract for design or construction has been signed prior to the effective date of the regulations promulgated under this act on projects requiring department approval.

(3)  Utility and miscellaneous use structures that are accessory to detached one-family dwellings.

(4)  Any agricultural building.

(5)  Alterations to residential buildings which do not make structural changes or changes to means of egress, except as might be required by ordinances in effect pursuant to section 303(b)(1) or adopted pursuant to section 503. For purposes of this paragraph, a structural change does not include a minor framing change needed to replace existing windows or doors.

(6)  Repairs to residential buildings, except as might be required by ordinances in effect pursuant to section 303(b)(1) or adopted pursuant to section 503.

(6.1)  The installation of aluminum siding or vinyl siding onto an existing residential or an existing commercial building, except as might be required by ordinances in effect pursuant to section 301 or adopted pursuant to section 503.

(7)  Any recreational cabin if:

(i)  the cabin is equipped with at least one smoke detector, one fire extinguisher and one carbon monoxide detector in both the kitchen and sleeping quarters;

(ii)  the owner of the cabin files with the municipality either:

(A)  an affidavit on a form prescribed by the department attesting to the fact that the cabin meets the definition of a "recreational cabin" in section 103; or

(B)  a valid proof of insurance for the recreational cabin, written and issued by an insurer authorized to do business in this Commonwealth, stating that the structure meets the definition of a "recreational cabin" as defined in section 103.

(8)  Temporary structures which are:

(i)  Erected for the purpose of participation in a fair, flea market, arts and crafts festival or other public celebration.

(ii)  Less than 1,600 square feet in size.

(iii)  Erected for a period of less than 30 days.

(iv)  Not a swimming pool, spa or hot tub.

(v)  Subject to section 503(a)(2).

(9)  No more than one structure per parcel of land which meets all of the following requirements:

(i)  The structure is used for the direct, seasonal sale of agricultural commodities.

(ii)  The structure is open on at least 25% of the perimeter of the structure when in operation.

(iii)  The structure is operated by a producer whose products make up not less than 50% of the agricultural commodities being sold.

(iv)  If not located on the producer's property, the structure is erected for less than 180 days of a calendar year.

(v)  The structure has an area of not more than 1,000 square feet.

(10)  Structures used to load, unload or sort livestock at livestock auction facilities.

((b) amended Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.353, No.35)

(b.1)  Continuity of exclusion.--

(1)  If a recreational cabin is subject to exclusion under subsection (b)(7), upon transfer of ownership of the recreational cabin, written notice must be provided in the sales agreement and the deed that the recreational cabin:

(i)  is exempt from this act;

(ii)  may not be in conformance with the Uniform Construction Code; and

(iii)  is not subject to municipal regulation.

(2)  Failure to comply with the notice requirement under paragraph (1) shall render the sale voidable at the option of the purchaser.

((b.1) added July 15, 2004, P.L.748, No.92)

(c)  Prior permits and construction.--

(1)  Subject to paragraph (2), a construction permit issued under valid construction regulations prior to the effective date of the regulations issued under this act shall remain valid, and the construction of any building or structure may be completed pursuant to and in accordance with the permit.

(2)  If the requirements of the permit have not been actively prosecuted within two years of the effective date of the regulations or the period specified by a municipal ordinance, whichever is less, the former permit holder shall be required to acquire a new permit. Where construction of a building or structure commenced before the effective date of the regulations promulgated under this act and a permit was not required at that time, construction may be completed without a permit.

(d)  Preemption.--

(1)  Except as otherwise provided in this act, construction standards provided by any statute or local ordinance or regulation promulgated or adopted by a board, department, commission, agency of State government or agency of local government shall continue in effect only until the effective date of regulations promulgated under this act, at which time they shall be preempted by regulations promulgated under this act and deemed thereafter to be rescinded.

(2)  (i)  Except as otherwise provided in this act and as specifically excepted in subparagraph (ii), a homeowners' association or community association shall be preempted from imposing building construction standards or building codes for buildings to be constructed, renovated, altered or modified.

(ii)  In municipalities which have not adopted an ordinance for the administration and enforcement of this act, a homeowners' association or community association may adopt by board regulations the Uniform Construction Code or the ICC International One and Two Family Dwelling Code, 1998 Edition. The applicable building code shall constitute the standard governing building structures in the association's community.

(3)  Nothing in this act shall preempt any licensure or Federal certification requirements for health care facilities, intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded or for persons with related conditions or State institutions. This paragraph includes building and life safety code standards set forth in applicable regulations.

(4)  Nothing in this act shall limit the ability of the Department of Aging, the Department of Health or the Department of Public Welfare to promulgate or enforce regulations which exceed the requirements of this act.

(e)  Municipal regulation.--Nothing in this act shall prohibit a municipality from licensing any persons engaged in construction activities or from establishing work rules or qualifications for such persons.

(f)  Application to swimming pools and spas.--

(1)  The provisions of this act as they relate to swimming pools and spas shall not be applicable to those constructed or installed prior to the effective date of this act.

(2)  All swimming pools and spas constructed or installed after the effective date of this act shall be governed by the requirements of this act, including section 503.

19990045u104v

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.

19990045u105s

Section 105.  Department of Labor and Industry.

(a)  Review.--

(1)  The department shall with reasonable cause review municipalities, municipal code officials, third-party agencies, construction code officials and code administrators concerning the enforcement and administration of this act, including specifically complaints concerning accessibility requirements.

(2)  The department shall make a report to the governing body of the municipality that was the subject of the review. The report shall include recommendations to address any deficiency observed by the department.

(3)  The department may require compliance with this act through proceedings in Commonwealth Court.

(b)  State-owned buildings.--

(1)  The department shall maintain plan and specification review and inspection authority over all State-owned buildings. State-owned buildings shall be subject to regulations promulgated under this act. The department shall notify municipalities of all inspections of State-owned buildings and give municipalities the opportunity to observe the department inspection of such buildings.

(2)  Municipalities shall notify the department of all inspection of buildings owned by political subdivisions and give the department the opportunity to observe municipal inspection of such buildings.

(3)  The department shall make available to municipalities, upon request, copies of all building plans and plan review documents in the custody of the department for State-owned buildings.

(4)  A municipality shall make available to the department, upon request, copies of all building plans and plan review documents in the custody of the municipality for buildings owned by political subdivisions.

(c)  Elevators and conveying systems.--

(1)  The department shall maintain Statewide administration and inspection authority over ski lifts, inclined passenger lifts and related devices, and elevators, conveying systems and related equipment as defined in section 3002.0 (definitions) of Chapter 30 of the 1999 BOCA National Building Code, Fourteenth Edition.

(2)  Notwithstanding Chapters 3 and 5, the department may, subject to the act of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the Regulatory Review Act, by regulation modify the 1999 BOCA National Building Code, Fourteenth Edition, Referenced Standards for elevator construction, repair, maintenance and inspection. The department shall not require reshackling more than once every two years.

(3)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to disallow third-party elevator inspections.

(d)  Department of Health.--

(1)  Health care facilities, intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded or for persons with related conditions and State institutions shall continue to comply with building codes and standards set forth in the applicable licensure laws and regulations. This paragraph includes the applicable edition of the National Fire Protection Association's Life Safety Code, NFPA No. 101, and the applicable edition of the Guidelines for Construction and Equipment of Hospital and Medical Facilities.

(2)  The department may delegate its responsibility for conducting plan reviews and inspections for health care facilities to the Department of Health.

(e)  Limitation.--Nothing in this act, the regulations under this act or the administration of the act or the regulations by the department shall contravene the right of builders to freely compete for and perform contracts for construction of commercial buildings in this Commonwealth.

19990045u106s

Section 106.  Accessibility Advisory Board.

(a)  Creation and composition.--

(1)  There is hereby created an Accessibility Advisory Board which shall be composed of 11 members appointed by the secretary. At least six members of the advisory board shall be public members, three of whom shall be persons with physical disabilities, one shall be an architect registered in Pennsylvania, one shall be a member of the business community, and one shall be a representative of the multifamily housing industry. One member shall be a municipal official. The chairman and minority chairman of the Labor and Industry Committee of the Senate and the chairman and minority chairman of the Labor Relations Committee of the House of Representatives, or their designees, shall be members. All members of the advisory board, except the members of the General Assembly, shall serve for a term of two years and until their successors are appointed.

(2)  The members of the advisory board shall be paid traveling expenses and other necessary expenses and may receive a per diem compensation at a rate to be determined by the secretary for each day of actual service in the performance of their duties under this act.

(3)  Meetings of the advisory board shall be called by the secretary. A quorum of the advisory board shall consist of four members.

(4)  The initial advisory board shall be the body constituted under the former provisions of section 3.1 of the act of September 1, 1965 (P.L.459, No.235), entitled, as amended, "An act requiring that certain buildings and facilities adhere to certain principles, standards and specifications to make the same accessible to and usable by persons with physical handicaps, and providing for enforcement."

(b)  Advice on regulation.--The advisory board shall review all proposed regulations under this act and shall offer comment and advice to the secretary on all issues relating to accessibility by persons with physical disabilities, including those which relate to the enforcement of the accessibility requirements.

(c)  Recommendations for modifications.--The advisory board shall review all applications from individual projects for modifications of the provisions of Chapter 11 (Accessibility) of the Uniform Construction Code and any other accessibility requirements contained in or referenced by the Uniform Construction Code and shall advise the secretary regarding whether modification should be granted or whether compliance by existing facilities with provisions of Chapter 11 (Accessibility) of the Uniform Construction Code and any other accessibility requirements contained in or referenced by the Uniform Construction Code is technically infeasible.

19990045u107s

Section 107.  Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council.

(a)  Establishment.--The Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council is hereby established.

(b)  Duties.--The council shall do the following:

(1)  Gather information from municipal officers, building code officials, construction code officials, licensed design professionals, builders, property owners, construction trades and consumer representatives concerning issues with the Uniform Construction Code raised by council members or changes proposed by members of the General Assembly.

(2)  Evaluate the information compiled under paragraph (1) and make recommendations to the following:

(i)  The Governor.

(ii)  The Secretary of Labor and Industry.

(iii)  The members of any legislative committee considering amendments to this act.

(iv)  The President pro tempore of the Senate.

(v)  The Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(vi)  The International Code Council.

(3)  With the exception of the accessibility provisions of the most recently published editions of ICC codes, or any other accessibility requirements specified in regulation, contained in or referenced by the Uniform Construction Code relating to persons with physical disabilities, review the updated sections, as provided under section 108 or other sections of the collective codes, as provided under section 108(a)(1)(iii).

(b.1)  Code review proces.--((b.1) deleted by amendment).

(c)  Composition.--The council shall be comprised of members who are legal residents of this Commonwealth selected as follows:

(1)  One member, appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate, who must be a general contractor from an association representing the residential construction industry and have a recognized ability and experience in the construction of new residential dwellings.

(2)  One member, appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate, who must be a second or third class city official and have recognized ability and experience in the construction of buildings.

(3)  One member, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who must be a general contractor from an association representing the nonresidential construction industry and have recognized ability and experience in the construction of nonresidential buildings.

(4)  One member, appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, who must have recognized ability and experience in construction trades so as to represent employees in the industry.

(5)  Seventeen members appointed by the Governor to include the following:

(i)  One member who must be a Uniform Construction Code-certified residential building inspector, possess all five residential certifications from an association representing building code officials and have experience administering and enforcing residential codes.

(ii)  One member who must be a Uniform Construction Code-certified building inspector, who possesses all nonresidential inspection certifications but does not need to possess a fire inspector certification, or a certified plans examiner, who holds an accessibility certification from an association representing building code officials and has experience administering and enforcing nonresidential codes.

(iii)  One member who must be a Uniform Construction Code-certified fire inspector from an association representing fire code officials.

(iv)  One member who must be a Uniform Construction Code-certified building code official from an association representing building code officials with building code official certification.

(v)  One member who must be a residential contractor from an association representing contractors engaged in remodeling residential buildings and have recognized ability and experience in remodeling residential and nonresidential buildings.

(vi)  One member who must be a licensed architect from an association representing architects and have recognized ability and experience in the design and construction of nonresidential buildings.

(vii)  One member who must be a licensed architect from an association representing architects and have recognized ability and experience in the design and construction of residential buildings.

(viii)  One member who must be a licensed structural engineer from an association representing professional engineers and have recognized ability and experience in the design and construction of buildings.

(ix)  One member who must be a licensed mechanical engineer specializing in HVAC systems from an association representing professional engineers and have recognized ability and experience in the design and construction of buildings.

(x)  One member who must be a licensed mechanical engineer specializing in plumbing and fire protection from an association representing professional engineers and have recognized ability and experience in the design and construction of buildings.

(xi)  One member who must be a licensed electrical engineer from an association representing professional engineers and have recognized ability and experience in the design and construction of buildings.

(xii)  One member who must be a public official of a borough and have recognized ability and experience in the construction of buildings.

(xiii)  One member from an association representing manufactured housing who must be knowledgeable, licensed or certified to sell and install manufactured housing.

(xiv)  One member who must be a first class city official and have recognized ability and experience in the administration and enforcement of this act.

(xv)  One member from an association representing modular housing manufacturers who must be knowledgeable, licensed or certified under the act of May 11, 1972 (P.L.286, No.70), known as the Industrialized Housing Act, to manufacture and sell modular homes in this Commonwealth.

(xvi)  One member who is a public official of a township of the second class and has recognized ability and experience in the construction of buildings.

(xvii)  One member from an association representing commercial building owners who has recognized ability and experience in the construction and renovation of nonresidential buildings.

(6)  ((6) deleted by amendment)

(7)  ((7) deleted by amendment)

(8)  ((8) deleted by amendment)

(9)  ((9) deleted by amendment)

(10)  ((10) deleted by amendment)

(11)  ((11) deleted by amendment)

(12)  ((12) deleted by amendment)

(13)  ((13) deleted by amendment)

(14)  ((14) deleted by amendment)

(15)  ((15) deleted by amendment)

(16)  ((16) deleted by amendment)

(17)  ((17) deleted by amendment)

(18)  ((18) deleted by amendment)

(19)  ((19) deleted by amendment)

At least one of the inspectors appointed to the council shall be a municipal employee, and at least one inspector shall be a third-party private sector inspector. All members shall present documentation to the secretary that they meet the qualifications of the member's appointment and the secretary shall maintain the documentation for public inspection.

(d)  Vacancies.--Vacancies on the council shall be filled in the manner provided under subsection (c) within 90 business days of the vacancy. If the appointing authority fails to act within 90 business days, the council chairperson shall appoint an individual to fill the vacancy.

(e)  Removal.--Council members who miss three or more consecutive meetings or who miss three or more meetings of a technical advisory committee to which they have been appointed may be removed from the council and any technical advisory committees to which they have been appointed and a new council member shall be appointed in accordance with this section. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, the council chair shall appoint a council member to serve on a technical advisory committee and replace a council member removed from that technical advisory committee pursuant to this subsection. A council member may also be removed for just cause by the Governor. A council member who does not meet the qualifications of their appointment shall be removed.

(f)  Terms.--

(1)  Except as otherwise provided under this subsection, a member of the council shall serve terms of three years and until his successor is appointed.

(2)  The term of a member appointed under subsection (c)(1), (2), (3), (4) or (5)(xvii) shall commence immediately upon appointment and shall expire June 30, 2020, and until a successor is appointed.

(3)  A member appointed to the council before the effective date of this section shall serve on the council according to the following:

(i)  If the member meets the qualifications as specified under subsection (c)(5)(x) or (xiv), the member shall fill the appointment under subsection (c)(5)(x) or (xiv) until June 30, 2017, and until a successor is appointed.

(ii)  If the member meets the qualifications as specified under subsection (c)(5)(i), (ii), (iv), (vi), (viii), (ix) or (xv), the member shall fill the appointment under subsection (c)(5)(i), (ii), (iv), (vi), (viii), (ix) or (xv) until June 30, 2018, and until a successor is appointed.

(iii)  If the member meets the qualifications as specified under subsection (c)(5)(iii), (v), (vii), (xi),(xii), (xiii) or (xvi), the member shall fill the appointment under subsection (c)(5)(iii), (v), (vii) (xi), (xii), (xiii) or (xvi) until June 30, 2019, and until a successor is appointed.

(4)  If a member serving the council under paragraph (3)(i), (ii) or (iii) resigns or is removed in accordance with subsection (e), the member's successor shall serve for the remainder of the member's term and until a successor is appointed.

(g)  Chairperson and vice chairperson.--The members shall elect, by a majority vote, a chairperson and vice chairperson of the council.

(h)  Quorum.--Eleven members shall constitute a quorum.

(i)  Meetings.--Meetings shall be conducted as required under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings) as follows:

(1)  The council shall meet at least once every six months. Meeting dates shall be set by majority vote of the council members or by the call of the chair along with at least seven business days' notice to all members.

(2)  All meetings of the council shall be publicly advertised and shall be open to the public. Members of the general public shall be given reasonable opportunity to address the council.

(3)  The council shall publish a schedule of its meetings in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and in at least one newspaper of general circulation. The notice shall be published at least five business days in advance of each meeting. The notice shall specify the date, time and place of the meeting and shall state that the meetings of the council are open to the general public.

(4)  Council members may participate in council meetings in person, via telephone conference or via video conference. Council members may submit votes in person, telephonically or by electronic mail to the chair of the council. The department may approve similar methods of communication for participation and voting by council members.

(j)  Administrative support.--The department shall provide a facility for council meetings under this act, stenographic services, secretarial services, legal representation and required notice of the council's meetings. The department shall provide staff support in drafting any reports required under this act.

(k)  Technical support.--The council may solicit and retain, with or without compensation, individuals who are qualified by training or experience to provide expert input to the council. At the discretion of the council:

(1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (2), such individuals may be compensated for their services or reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses at a reasonable rate established by the secretary, or both.

(2)  Paragraph (1) does not apply to a member of a technical advisory committee appointed under subsection (m)(1)(v).

(l)  Compensation and expenses.--Members of the council shall not receive a salary or per diem allowance for their service but shall be reimbursed in amounts and as determined by the department for reasonable travel, lodging and other necessary expenses incurred in performing their duties.

(m)  Technical advisory committees.--

(1)  The council shall establish a process by which technical advisory committees will assist the council in the review of the updated sections. The technical advisory committee process shall comply with the following requirements:

(i)  There shall be a technical advisory committee for each of the codes included in the Uniform Construction Code and specified in 34 Pa. Code § 403.21 (relating to Uniform Construction Code), and such other technical advisory committees as the council deems necessary to facilitate its review. Members of industry and interest groups associated with code development and enforcement shall be permitted to participate in the technical advisory committee.

(ii)  Each technical advisory committee shall be limited to a maximum of 12 members. The chair of the council shall appoint a council member to chair each technical advisory committee. Any other council member may seek appointment to a technical advisory committee and, if no more than four additional council members seek appointment to a specified technical advisory committee, those council members shall also be appointed to the technical advisory committee. If more than four council members seek appointment to a technical advisory committee, the chair of the council shall appoint four of the council members seeking appointment to serve and the remaining council members seeking appointment shall serve only if additional positions on the technical advisory committee remain after selection of the technical advisory committee members pursuant to subparagraph (v).

(iii)  The department shall publish a notice seeking participation in the technical advisory committees in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and on the department's publicly accessible Internet website or, in the absence of an Internet website, in such other manner as the secretary determines will provide substantially similar public notice.

(iv)  Interested persons shall submit to the chair of the council the following information within 30 days following the publication of the notice:

(A)  name;

(B)  the name or subject matter area of the technical advisory committee to which the individual seeks to be appointed;

(C)  contact information;

(D)  industry sector, interest group or area of construction industry expertise, if applicable; and

(E)  summary of experience and expertise.

(v)  The chair of the council shall seek to ensure diversity of interests on each technical advisory committee. Technical advisory committee members shall be selected by the chair of the council from among the interested persons identified in subparagraph (iv) so as to ensure that the technical advisory committee as a whole has, at minimum, representation from affected contractor associations, affected building trade organizations, the code enforcement community, the design professional community and other relevant industries.

(vi)  Meetings of the technical advisory committees may be in person, via telephone conference or via video conference. The department may approve similar methods of communication for participation and voting by technical advisory committee members.

(vii)  Technical advisory committee members may submit votes in person, telephonically or by electronic mail to the chair of the technical advisory committee. Recommendations of a technical advisory committee shall be by majority of the votes received from council members on the technical advisory committee and shall be nonbinding.

(107 amended Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

19990045u108s

Section 108.  Review of updated sections and adoption of updated sections into Uniform Construction Code.

(a)  Code review process.--

(1)  (i)  Except as specifically provided in this act with respect:

(A)  to the 2015 changes to the Uniform Construction Code adopted by the council; and

(B)  to the procedure outlined in subparagraph (iii),

the council shall commence its review of the updated sections 21 months following the publication of a new edition of the ICC codes in accordance with paragraph (3). Notwithstanding any other provision of this act to the contrary, the council shall initiate a new review of the updated sections contained in the 2015 edition of the ICC codes within 30 days of the effective date of this section, and this review shall be referred to as the 2015 Code Review. The decisions by the council with respect to the 2015 edition of the ICC codes previously provided to the department on May 29, 2015, and the regulations promulgated by the department as a result shall remain in full force and effect until September 30, 2018. As of October 1, 2018, the decisions of the council as a result of the 2015 Code Review and the regulations promulgated by the department as a result shall supersede any previous inconsistent council decisions or departmental regulations.

(ii)  The 2015 code review shall be conducted in accordance with provisions of this act, except that:

(A)  the public comment period under paragraph (3)(i) shall be 30 days;

(B)  notwithstanding the requirements under paragraph (3)(viii), the council shall only be required to conduct one public hearing which shall be held within 30 days after the end of the public comment period and shall be held in Harrisburg;

(C)  the council shall not be required to establish technical subcommittees as required by section 107(m) and may establish a committee composition based on past practices of the council provided that the committees shall follow the process as specified under this act to the furthest extent practicable; and

(D)  the council may rely on the technical analysis of the 2015 edition of the triennial codes performed by the council during the council's previous review.

(iii)  The council shall also review, in accordance with the procedures outlined in this act, any section of the collective codes that do not otherwise constitute updated sections but only if two-thirds of the council membership so determine. The sections selected for review shall be referred to as "additional sections." The additional sections shall be treated for purposes of review and approval or disapproval by the council as updated sections. The selection of additional sections shall occur prior to commencement of the review process.

(2)  Each updated section subject to review under paragraph (3)(v) shall be examined by applying all of the following criteria:

(i)  The impact that the section may have upon the health, safety and welfare of the public.

(ii)  The economic and financial impact of the section, including impact on the end consumer.

(iii)  The technical feasibility of the section.

(3)  The council shall review the updated sections as follows:

(i)  A 120-day period to receive comments from council members and the general public regarding the updated sections shall commence 30 days following the start of the council's review pursuant to paragraph (1). The public comment period shall be announced in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and on the department's publicly accessible Internet website or, in the absence of an Internet website, in such other manner as the secretary determines will provide substantially similar public notice.

(ii)  All public comments shall be submitted on a form created by the council. Each comment shall relate to a single updated section. The comment shall, at a minimum, specify the updated section to which the comment relates, state whether the updated section should be adopted, rejected or modified and specify the rationale for the recommended action based on the criteria set forth in paragraph (2). A proposed modification shall meet or exceed the standards of the section in effect or being reviewed and the proposed modification shall be within the standards under review.

(iii)  All public comments submitted in accordance with subparagraph (ii) shall be provided to all council members, posted on the department's publicly accessible Internet website or, in the absence of an Internet website, in such other manner as the secretary determines will provide substantially similar public notice. All public comments submitted in accordance with subparagraph (ii) shall be reviewed individually by a technical advisory committee.

(iv)  After the expiration of the public comment period, the chair shall assign each updated section, regardless of whether a public comment has been received, to the technical advisory committee for the code that contains the updated section.

(v)  The technical advisory committee shall review all of the updated sections it has been assigned as provided in this section. The technical advisory committee may also review any related updated section, any existing section or any related collective code section as needed to ensure consistency and effectiveness of the Uniform Construction Code. Even if an updated section has not received a public comment in accordance with subparagraph (ii), a technical advisory committee member may select one or more of the updated sections assigned to the technical advisory committee for individual consideration by the council pursuant to subparagraph (ix)(B).

(vi)  For each updated section that:

(A)  receives a comment recommending modification or rejection in accordance with subparagraph (ii); or

(B)  a member of the technical advisory committee to which it has been assigned has separately selected for individual review by the council;

the technical advisory committee shall submit to the chair of the council a recommendation that the section and any related section identified in subparagraph (v) be adopted, rejected or modified. The technical advisory committee shall submit the rationale for its recommendations. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subparagraph, updated sections that do not receive a comment recommending modification or rejection in accordance with subparagraph (ii) and that a member of the technical advisory committee has not separately selected for individual review by the council shall be noted in the report as unopposed.

(vii)  The technical advisory committee's recommendations shall be posted on the department's publicly accessible Internet website or, in the absence of an Internet website, in such other manner as the secretary determines will provide substantially similar public notice. The technical advisory committee's recommendations shall be posted at least 10 business days prior to holding the first hearing pursuant to this section.

(viii)  After submission of all recommendations of the technical advisory committees, the council shall hold at least three public hearings. One of the public hearings shall be held in Harrisburg, one shall be held in the eastern region of this Commonwealth and one shall be held in the western region of this Commonwealth.

(ix)  Upon completion of the hearings, the council shall hold one or more official meetings of the council to decide whether to adopt, reject or modify the updated sections and any related section identified in subparagraph (v). The following shall apply:

(A)  The council shall consider and vote on the unopposed sections as a group. Prior to a vote on the unopposed sections as a group, the council shall first consider any motion made by a council member to exclude a section from the unopposed group. A motion to exclude shall only be in order if it is supported by written explanation, made available to the council, describing new information not considered by the technical advisory committees and the underlying rationale for the motion. If the motion is supported by a two-thirds majority of the council membership, that section shall be removed from the unopposed group. Unopposed sections that remain as part of the group, after consideration of motions to exclude sections, shall be adopted by a majority vote of the council members. If the unopposed sections fail to be adopted by a majority vote, the council shall conduct a subsequent vote to reject the unopposed sections by a two-thirds majority vote of the council members. If the council fails to reject the unopposed sections by a two-thirds majority vote, the unopposed sections shall be adopted. All unopposed sections that are rejected as a group or successfully excluded from the group shall be subject to the procedure specified in clause (B).

(B)  Except for the unopposed sections, a two-thirds majority of the council members is required for adoption or modification of the updated sections. The council may vote on the updated sections individually or in groups. A modification shall meet or exceed the standards of the section in effect or being reviewed and shall be within the standards under review.

(b)  Submission of report.--With the exception of the council's review of the 2015 ICC codes, the council shall submit a report to the secretary within the 24-month period following the commencement of the review process by the council with sections of the updated codes and additional codes that are specified for adoption or modification. The sections of the codes that are specified for adoption or modification shall be separately designated in the report. For the council's review of the 2015 ICC codes only, the council shall submit a report to the secretary on or before May 1, 2018.

(108 added Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

19990045u301h

 

CHAPTER 3

UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE

 

19990045u301s

Section 301.  Adoption by regulations.

(a)  Regulations.--

(1)  The department shall, within 180 days of the effective date of this section, promulgate regulations adopting the 1999 BOCA National Building Code, Fourteenth Edition, as a Uniform Construction Code, except as provided in section 105(c)(2) and this section. The department shall promulgate separate regulations which may make changes to Chapter 1 of the 1999 BOCA National Building Code, Fourteenth Edition, relating to administration that are necessary for the department's implementation of this act.

(2)  The regulations shall include a provision that all detached one-family and two-family dwellings and one-family townhouses that are not more than three stories in height and their accessory structures shall be designed and constructed either in accordance with the ICC International One and Two Family Dwelling Code, 1998 Edition, or in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Construction Code at the option of the building permit applicant. The provision shall require that an irrevocable election be made at the time plans are submitted for review and approval. If the building permit applicant does not indicate a code, the design and construction shall be in accordance with the Uniform Construction Code.

(3)  The regulations shall include a provision that the secretary shall have the exclusive power to grant modifications and decide issues of technical infeasibility under Chapter 11 (Accessibility) of the Uniform Construction Code and any other accessibility requirements contained in or referenced by the Uniform Construction Code for individual projects.

(4)  The secretary shall consider the recommendations of the advisory board as provided in section 106(c). The department shall consider the comments of the advisory board with respect to accessibility issues in any proposed regulations.

(5)  The regulations shall provide for a system of periodic compliance reviews conducted by the department and for enforcement procedures conducted by the department to ensure that code administrators are adequately administering and enforcing Chapter 11 (Accessibility) of the Uniform Construction Code and any other accessibility requirements contained in or referenced by the Uniform Construction Code.

(6)  The regulations shall include the provisions of exception 8 to section 1014.6 (relative to stairway treads and risers) of the 1993 BOCA National Building Code, Twelfth Edition, and the provisions of section R-213.1 (relative to stairways) of the CABO One and Two Family Dwelling Code, 1992 Edition, and such provisions shall be applicable notwithstanding section 303(b), which shall not apply to the provisions of any municipal building code ordinance which equals or exceeds these provisions.

(7)  The department shall consult with the Department of Health in the development of regulations relating to health care facilities, intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded or for persons with related conditions and State institutions.

(8)  The regulations shall exclude section R313.1.1 of the 2003 International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings or its successor code from applying to existing one-family and two-family unit dwellings undergoing alterations, repairs or additions but shall include provisions requiring non-interconnected battery-operated smoke alarms in one-family and two-family dwellings in accordance with section R313.1.1 of the 2003 International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings.

(9)  Regulations under this subsection shall include the adoption of section 110.3 (temporary occupancy) of the International Building Code.

(10)  (i)  Section R404.1 and Tables R404.1(1), R404.1(2) and R404.1(3) of the 2006 International Residential Code and its successor codes are not part of the Uniform Construction Code. In lieu of section R404.1 of the 2006 International Residential Code, the provisions of subparagraph (ii) shall apply and are part of the Uniform Construction Code.

(ii)  Concrete and masonry foundation walls shall be selected and constructed in accordance with:

(A)  all provisions of section R404 of the 2006 International Residential Code and its successor codes except those excluded by subparagraph (i);

(B)  ACI 318, ACI 332, NCMA TR68-A or ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402; or

(C)  other approved structural standards.

((a) amended June 27, 2007, P.L.33, No.9)

(b)  International Fuel Gas Code.--The department shall, within 180 days of the effective date of this section, promulgate regulations adopting the International Fuel Gas Code for the installation of fuel gas piping systems, fuel gas utilization equipment and related accessories as the standard for the installation of piping, equipment and accessories in this Commonwealth.

(c)  Prescriptive methods for energy-related standards.--The department shall, within 180 days of the effective date of this section, by regulation promulgate prescriptive methods to implement the energy-related standards of the Uniform Construction Code which take into account the various climatic conditions through this Commonwealth. In deriving these standards the department shall seek to balance energy savings with initial construction costs.

(d)  Scope of regulations.--

(1)  The regulations adopted by the department implementing these codes shall supersede and preempt all local building codes regulating any aspect of the construction, alteration and repair of buildings adopted or enforced by any municipality or authority or pursuant to any deed restriction, rule, regulation, ordinance, resolution, tariff or order of any public utility or any State or local board, agency, commission or homeowners' association except as may be otherwise specifically provided in this act.

(2)  The department may establish by regulation plan review and inspection fees where the department is responsible for administration and enforcement and requirements for municipal notification to the department of ordinance adoption and repeal under Chapter 5. The department shall consult with the Department of Aging, the Department of Health or the Department of Public Welfare, as appropriate, to determine fees for health care facilities, intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded or for persons with related conditions and State institutions.

(3)  The department shall establish by regulation standards for the retention and sharing of building plans and other documents, for other than one-family or two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous use structures, by the department, municipalities and third-party agencies.

19990045u301v

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.

19990045u302s

Section 302.  Referenced standards.

(a)  General rule.--

(1)  Subject to paragraph (2), the standards referenced in Chapters 30 and 35 relating to elevators and conveying systems and referenced standards, respectively, or the applicable chapter, of the 1999 BOCA National Building Code, Fourteenth Edition, and the American National Standards for Passenger Tramways, Aerial Tramways, Aerial Lifts, Surface Lifts and Tows, ASME/ANSI B77.1, shall be considered part of the requirements of the Uniform Construction Code to the prescribed extent of each such reference except that BNPMC-96 BOCA National Property Maintenance Code and ASME/ANSI A17.3 (safety code for existing elevators and escalators) shall be excluded.

(2)  The standards under paragraph (1) shall include the latest ANSI standards applicable to the operation of ski lifts.

(b)  No preemption.--Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to preempt the ability of a municipality to adopt or enforce the codes referred to in this section to the extent not referenced, in whole or in part, in Chapter 35 relating to referenced standards or applicable chapter of the 1999 BOCA National Building Code, Fourteenth Edition.

(302 amended Dec. 1, 2004, P.L.1773, No.230)

19990045u303s

Section 303.  Existing municipal building codes.

(a)  Failure to meet minimum requirements.--

(1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), the provisions of municipal building code ordinances in effect on the effective date of this act that do not equal or exceed the minimum requirements of the regulations promulgated under this act shall be amended by the effective date of the regulations promulgated under this act to provide for the minimum requirements.

(2)  A municipal building code ordinance provision in effect in or adopted by a city of the first class on or before January 1, 1998, shall remain in effect until December 31, 2003, by which time those provisions of the ordinance which do not comply with the minimum requirements of the regulations promulgated under this act shall be amended to provide for the minimum requirements of regulations promulgated under this act.

(b)  Provisions which equal or exceed the Uniform Construction Code.--

(1)  Municipal building code ordinances in effect on July 1, 1999, or reenactments of provisions of simultaneously repealed ordinances which were originally adopted prior to July 1, 1999, which contain provisions which equal or exceed the specific requirements of the regulations promulgated under this act shall remain in effect until such time as any such provisions fail to equal or exceed the minimum requirements of the regulations promulgated under this act, at which time the provisions of such ordinances shall be amended to provide for the minimum requirements of the regulations promulgated under this act.

(2)  Municipal building code ordinances adopted or effective after July 1, 1999, except reenactments of provisions of simultaneously repealed ordinances which were originally adopted prior to July 1, 1999, shall continue in effect only until the effective date of the regulations promulgated under this act, at which time the municipal building code ordinance shall be preempted by the regulations promulgated under this act and shall be deemed thereafter to be rescinded.

19990045u304s

Section 304.  Revised or successor codes.

(a)  Duties of department.--

(1)  Subject to sections 105(c) and (d), 301(a)(3), (4), (5), (6) and (7), (c) and (d) and 302, within nine months of the receipt of the report under section 108(b), the department shall promulgate final-omitted regulations under the act of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the Regulatory Review Act, to adopt the council's decisions contained in the report without change. The regulations shall take effect as follows:

(i)  Except as provided in subparagraph (ii), regulations adopted under this act shall become effective 33 months after the commencement of council review as provided for in section 108(a)(1)(i).

(ii)  Regulations promulgated by the department as a result of the 2015 Code Review shall take effect October 1, 2018.

(2)  Regulations promulgated under this subsection are exempt from:

(i)  section 205 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.769, No.240), referred to as the Commonwealth Documents Law; and

(ii)  sections 204(b) and 301(10) of the act of October 15, 1980 (P.L.950, No.164), known as the Commonwealth Attorneys Act.

(3)  The department shall promulgate regulations updating accessibility standards under Chapter 3 by adopting by December 31 of the year of issuance of the accessibility provisions of the most recently published edition of the ICC codes and any other accessibility requirements which shall be specified in the regulations, or contained in or referenced by the Uniform Construction Code relating to persons with disabilities.

(4)  The department may contract with the ICC to establish and publish code manuals that contain the standards of the Uniform Construction Code. The department shall require in any contract under this paragraph that the documentation be made available on the department's publicly accessible Internet website.

(a.1)  Continuity.--If an updated section is not adopted or modified under section 108, the relevant provisions of the existing sections shall remain in effect.

(b)  International Fuel Gas Code.--((b) deleted by amendment Apr. 25, 2011, P.L.1, No.1).

(c)  Prior permits, contracts and construction.--

(1)  A construction permit issued under valid construction regulations prior to the effective date of regulations for a subsequent Uniform Construction Code or International Fuel Gas Code issued under this act shall remain valid, and the construction of any building or structure may be completed pursuant to and in accordance with the permit.

(2)  If the permit has not been actively prosecuted within two years of the effective date of the regulation or the period specified by a municipal ordinance, whichever is less, the former permitholder shall be required to acquire a new permit.

(3)  Where construction of a building or structure commenced before the effective date of the regulations for a subsequent Uniform Construction Code or International Fuel Gas Code issued under this act and a permit was not required at that time, construction may be completed without a permit.

(4)  Where a design or construction contract was signed before the effective date of regulations for a subsequent Uniform Construction Code or International Fuel Gas Code issued under this act, the permit may be issued under the Uniform Construction Code or International Fuel Gas Code in effect at the time the design or construction contract was signed if the permit is applied for within six months of the effective date of the regulation or the period specified by a municipal ordinance, whichever is less.

(304 amended Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

19990045u305s

Section 305.  Existing municipality or municipal authority standards for lateral connections.

(a)  General rule.--Municipality or municipal authority standards for lateral connections located on private property and connecting to public infrastructure owned by a municipality or municipal authority that were in effect on January 1, 2005, and contain provisions that equal or exceed the requirements of the regulations promulgated under this act, the Internal Residential Code or under the International Plumbing Code shall remain in effect until such time as any such provisions fail to equal or exceed the minimum requirements of the regulations promulgated under this act, at which time the standards shall be amended to equal or exceed the minimum requirements of the regulations promulgated under this act.

(b)  Filing requirement.--Municipality or municipal authority standards qualifying under subsection (a) shall be filed with the department and any local governments served by the municipality or municipal authority with such standards.

(305 added Dec. 1, 2004, P.L.1773, No.230)

19990045u501h

 

CHAPTER 5

ADOPTION AND ENFORCEMENT BY MUNICIPALITIES

 

19990045u501s

Section 501.  Administration and enforcement.

(a)  Adoption of ordinance.--

(1)  In order to administer and enforce the provisions of this act, municipalities shall enact an ordinance concurrently adopting the current Uniform Construction Code as their municipal building code and the current International Fuel Gas Code for the purposes described in section 102. Municipalities may adopt the Uniform Construction Code and incorporated codes and the International Fuel Gas Code by reference.

(2)  Municipalities shall have 90 days after the promulgation of regulations under section 301 to adopt such an ordinance. Municipalities shall notify the department of the adoption of such an ordinance within 30 days. A municipality may adopt such an ordinance at any time thereafter, upon giving the department 180 days' notice of its intention to adopt such ordinance.

((a) amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1440, No.157)

(a.1)  Counties of the second class.--Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), a municipality located within a county of the second class shall not administer and enforce plumbing code provisions of an ordinance adopting the Uniform Construction Code and incorporated codes for the purposes of section 102. A county of the second class that has adopted a plumbing code and accompanying rules and regulations pursuant to the act of August 24, 1951 (P.L.1304, No.315), known as the Local Health Administration Law, shall retain the authority to promulgate and enforce such plumbing code and to make such changes as it deems necessary, provided that such changes meet the minimum requirements as defined in the Uniform Construction Code. ((a.1) amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1440, No.157)

(b)  Municipal administration and enforcement.--This act may be administered and enforced by municipalities in any of the following ways:

(1)  By the designation of an employee to serve as the municipal code official to act on behalf of the municipality for administration and enforcement of this act.

(2)  By the retention of one or more construction code officials or third-party agencies to act on behalf of the municipality for administration and enforcement of this act.

(3)  Two or more municipalities may provide for the joint administration and enforcement of this act through an intermunicipal agreement under 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation).

(4)  By entering into a contract with the proper authorities of another municipality for the administration and enforcement of this act. When such a contract has been entered into, the municipal code official shall have all the powers and authority conferred by law in the municipality which has contracted to secure such services.

(5)  By entering into an agreement with the department for plan reviews, inspections and enforcement of structures other than one-family or two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous use structures.

((b) carried without amendment Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1440, No.157)

(c)  Board of appeals.--

(1)  A municipality which has adopted an ordinance for the administration and enforcement of this act or municipalities which are parties to an agreement for the joint administration and enforcement of this act shall establish or designate a board of appeals as provided by regulations promulgated by the department to hear appeals from decisions of the code administrator. Members of the municipality's governing body may not serve as members of the board of appeals. A municipality may establish a board of appeals or may establish or designate a joint board of appeals in accordance with 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation). ((1) amended Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

(2)  An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of this act or regulations legally adopted under this act have been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of this act do not fully apply or an equivalent form of construction is to be used.

(3)  When a municipality cannot find persons to serve on a board of appeals who meet the minimum qualifications established by the department, the municipality may fill a position on the board with a qualified person who resides outside of the municipality. ((3) amended Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

(4)  The fee for an appeal to the Board of Appeals for a municipality that is administering and enforcing this act shall not exceed actual costs of the public notice of the hearing, appearance fee for the court reporter and administrative fees as necessary.

(5)  In the case of an appeal or request for variance or extension of time involving the construction of a one-family or two-family residential building, the board of appeals shall convene a hearing within 30 days of the appeal. The Board of Appeals shall render a written decision to the parties within five business days, or within ten business days in cities of the first class, of the last hearing. If the board of appeals fails to act within the time period under this paragraph, the appeal shall be deemed granted.

((c) amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1440, No.157)

(d)  Registration.--Nothing in this act shall allow a municipality to prohibit a construction code official who meets the requirements of Chapter 7 and remains in good standing from performing inspections in the municipality. This section does not alter the power and duties given to municipalities under subsection (b)(1), (3) and (4).

(e)  Nonmunicipal administration.--

(1)  In municipalities which have not adopted an ordinance for the administration and enforcement of this act, it shall be the duty of the municipality to notify an applicant for a construction permit that it shall be the responsibility of the permit applicant of one-family or two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous use structures to obtain the services of a construction code official or third-party agency with appropriate categories of certification to conduct the plan review and inspections. For one-family and two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous use structures, all of the following five inspections shall be required:

(i)  Foundation inspection.

(ii)  Plumbing, mechanical and electrical inspection.

(iii)  Frame and masonry inspection.

(iv)  Wallboard inspection.

(v)  Final inspection. The final inspection shall not be deemed approved until all previous inspections have been successfully completed and passed.

(2)  In municipalities which have not adopted an ordinance for the administration and enforcement of this act, it shall be the duty of the municipality to notify the department and an applicant for a construction permit that it shall be the responsibility of the owner of structures other than one-family or two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous use structures to obtain the services of the department or a third-party agency with appropriate categories of certification under contract to the department to conduct the plan review and inspections required by this act.

(3)  A copy of the final inspection report shall be sent to the property owner and to the builder and to a lender designated by the builder.

(4)  In municipalities which require a building permit or a certificate of occupancy but do not conduct inspections, the code administrator shall also be required to submit a copy of the report to the municipality. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for a building unless it meets all of the applicable accessibility provisions of the Uniform Construction Code or has been granted a variance for the requirements it does not meet. A certificate of partial occupancy may be issued if the space to be occupied complies with the accessibility requirements contained in the Uniform Construction Code unless a variance for the space has been obtained in accordance with this act.

(f)  Private right of action.--

(1)  In relation to complaints arising out of Chapter 11 (Accessibility) of the Uniform Construction Code, any individual, partnership, agency, association or corporation who reasonably believes there is a violation of the accessibility provisions of this act and its regulations by a governmental entity or private owner may file a complaint with the body responsible for enforcement of the Uniform Construction Code. The complaint shall be in writing, shall be verified and shall set forth the grounds for the complaint. Within 60 days after the receipt of the complaint, the code enforcement body shall respond to the complaint by acknowledging receipt of the complaint in writing. The enforcement body shall investigate the complaint and respond to the complainant in writing with its findings, determinations and any enforcement measures initiated or contemplated within 120 days after the receipt of the complaint. For the purpose of investigating a complaint, an employee of the enforcement organization may inspect at reasonable times the building or building site which is the subject of the complaint and may make any additional investigation deemed necessary for the full and effective determination of compliance with this act and regulations promulgated pursuant to it.

(2)  Any individual, partnership, agency, association or corporation aggrieved by a final determination of the enforcement agency of a complaint filed pursuant to paragraph (1) hereof may file a petition for review within 30 days of the final determination in the Commonwealth Court pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 763(a) (relating to direct appeals from government agencies). The decision of the enforcement agency shall not be reversed unless it is found to be arbitrary, capricious, illegal or not supported by substantial evidence.

(3)  (i)  Any individual, partnership, agency, association or corporation who filed a complaint pursuant to paragraph (1) and received no written response from the enforcement agency acknowledging receipt of its complaint within 60 days or received a response from the enforcement agency indicating that a violation was found but enforcement measures were not contemplated or enforcement measures were contemplated but such measures were not initiated after a period of 60 days from said response may bring a civil action in the appropriate court of common pleas against the agency for failure to enforce the provisions of this act and the regulations promulgated thereto or a building owner or owner's agent for a violation of any provisions of this act or regulations promulgated pursuant to it.

(ii)  If the court finds a violation of this act or of regulations adopted pursuant to it, the court may enjoin construction or remodeling of the building, direct the correction of violations within a reasonable and specified time period or order such other relief deemed appropriate. The court, in issuing any final orders in any action brought pursuant to this section, may award costs of litigation, attorney and expert witness fees to any party whenever the court determines such an award is appropriate. The court may, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.

(iii)  An architect or licensed design professional who has complied with the provisions of this act and its regulations and prepared construction documents in accordance with accepted professional standards shall have no further liability pursuant to litigation commenced under this section.

(g)  Technical assistance to municipalities.--The Governor's Center for Local Government Services in the Department of Community and Economic Development shall be the principal agency for developing and providing technical assistance to municipalities for implementing, administrating and enforcing the provisions of this act. ((g) added July 15, 2004, P.L.748, No.92)

(h)  Interpretation of Uniform Construction Code.--In interpreting a provision of a code adopted by regulation of the department as part of the Uniform Construction Code, a construction code official, a board of appeal and a court shall consider and may rely upon relevant written interpretations of the ICC or any organization whose referenced standard is relevant and listed in the Uniform Construction Code, or the regulations promulgated under this act or any municipal construction code ordinance. ((h) added Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1440, No.157)

19990045u502s

Section 502.  Consideration of applications and inspections.

(a)  Applications for permits and inspections.--

(1)  Every application for a construction permit for one-family and two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous use structures shall be granted or denied, in whole or in part, within 15 business days of the filing date or, if the drawings have been prepared by design professionals who are licensed or registered under the laws and regulations of this Commonwealth and the application contains a certification by the licensed or registered design professional that the plans meet the applicable standards of the Uniform Construction Code and ordinance as appropriate, within five business days of the filing date. Every application for a certificate of occupancy for one-family and two-family dwelling units and miscellaneous use structures shall be granted or denied, in whole or in part, within five business days, or within ten business days in cities of the first class, after receipt of a final inspection report indicates compliance with the Uniform Construction Code and ordinance as appropriate. All other construction permits shall be granted or denied, in whole or in part, within 30 business days of the filing date. Municipalities may establish different time limits to consider applications for construction permits in historic districts. A code administrator shall review a construction plan of a building permit application upon submission and shall issue a notice of construction plan approval on a building permit application within the periods set forth in this section if the construction plans comply with the Construction Code Act and any other applicable municipal construction code ordinance. The municipality shall also provide a list of all other required permits necessary prior to issuance of the building permit. The municipality will not be liable for the completeness of any list. When a construction plan has been approved, a code administrator shall issue a building permit immediately upon receipt of all other required permits or approvals related to the construction. All revisions or changes to construction plans so approved under this subsection shall necessitate an additional plan review prior to the issuing of the building permit.

(2)  If an application is denied in whole or in part, the code administrator shall set forth the reasons in writing, identifying the elements of the application which are not in compliance with the relevant provisions of the Uniform Construction Code and ordinance as appropriate and providing a citation to the relevant provisions of the Uniform Construction Code and ordinance as appropriate.

(3)  If the code administrator fails to act on an application for a construction permit for one-family and two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous use structures within the time prescribed, the application shall be deemed approved. The time limits established in this section for permit applications other than one-family and two-family dwellings may be extended upon agreement in writing between the applicant and the municipality for a specific number of additional days.

(a.1)  Exceptions.--A permit is not required for the installation, alteration or repair of generation, transmission, distribution, metering or other related equipment under the ownership or control of public service agencies.

(b)  Highway occupancy permit.--

(1)  No building permit shall be issued for any property which will require access to a highway under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation unless the permit contains a notice that a highway occupancy permit is required pursuant to section 420 of the act of June 1, 1945 (P.L.1242, No.428), known as the State Highway Law, before driveway access to a State highway is permitted.

(2)  The Department of Transportation shall, within 60 days of the date of receipt of an application for a highway occupancy permit:

(i)  approve the permit;

(ii)  deny the permit;

(iii)  return the application for additional information or correction to conform with regulations of the Department of Transportation; or

(iv)  determine that no permit is required, in which case the Department of Transportation shall notify the municipality and applicant in writing.

(3)  (i)  If the Department of Transportation fails to take any action within the 60-day period, the permit shall be deemed to be issued. The permit shall be marked to indicate that access to the State highway shall be only as authorized by a highway occupancy permit.

(ii)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (i), if the highway occupancy permit requires a determination by the United States Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation shall have 60 days from the receipt of the determination to take action on the permit or the permit shall be deemed to be issued.

(4)  (i)  Neither the Department of Transportation nor any municipality to which permit-issuing authority has been delegated under section 420 of the State Highway Law shall be liable in damages for any injury to persons or property arising out of the issuance or denial of a driveway permit or for failure to regulate any driveway.

(ii)  The municipality from which the building permit approval has been requested shall not be held liable for damages to persons or property arising out of the issuance or denial of a driveway permit by the Department of Transportation.

(c)  Financial interest prohibited.--A code administrator shall not review or approve any plans for or construction of any building or structure in which the code administrator has any financial interest.

(502 amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1440, No.157)

19990045u503s

Section 503.  Changes in Uniform Construction Code.

(a)  Administration.--

(1)  Municipalities may enact ordinances which equal or exceed the minimum requirements of Chapter 1 of the 1999 BOCA National Building Code, Fourteenth Edition, or successor codes, relating to administration consistent with the provisions of section 501(c).

(2)  An ordinance under this subsection applicable to the exception under section 104(b)(8) may require compliance with any of the following standards:

(i)  Flame propagation criteria of the applicable edition of NFPA No. 701.

(ii)  The ICC Electrical Code.

(iii)  International Fire Code criteria as to number of portable fire extinguishers.

((a) amended July 17, 2007, P.L.132, No.39)

(b)  Minimum requirement.--Subject to the provisions of this act, no municipality may propose or enact any ordinance which is less than the minimum requirement of the Uniform Construction Code, except as provided in subsection (b.1). ((b) amended Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

(b.1)  Cities of the first class.--

(1)  A city of the first class may enact an ordinance that adopts provisions of the 2018 ICC triennial codes for the purpose of regulating the construction, alteration, repair and use of buildings that do not meet the definition of "residential building" under section 103.

(2)  The scope of the provisions that may be adopted under paragraph (1) shall be limited to the scope of what the council is authorized to review and adopt under section 108(a)(1).

(3)  The adoption of an ordinance under this subsection shall be in accordance with subsections (d), (e), (f), (g) and (h).

(4)  If an ordinance is adopted under this subsection, the provisions adopted in the ordinance shall remain in effect until the effective date of the regulations promulgated under section 304(a)(1) implementing the findings of the 2021 triennial code review.

(5)  All statutory exclusions and exemptions shall remain in effect.

((b.1) added Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

(c)  Modification of minimum requirement.--Subject to the provisions of this act, the municipal governing body may propose and enact an ordinance to equal or exceed the minimum requirements of the Uniform Construction Code under the law governing the adoption of ordinances in that jurisdiction. An ordinance under this subsection shall not be effective nor enforceable unless subsections (d), (e), (f), (g), (h) and (i) have been satisfied. Municipalities may enact ordinances pursuant to this section which adopt additional code requirements for alterations or repairs to residential buildings. Municipalities may enact ordinances pursuant to this section which adopt stricter code requirements than required by this act for the regulation of utility and miscellaneous use structures. ((c) amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1440, No.157)

(d)  Public hearing.--The municipality shall hold at least one public hearing prior to adoption of the ordinance.

(e)  Notice of public hearing.--The municipality shall place notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality at least seven days, but not more than 60 days, in advance of a public hearing to consider the proposed ordinance.

(f)  Filing of proposed notice and ordinance with department.--The municipality shall provide notice and file a copy of the proposed ordinance with the department at least 30 days prior to public hearing. The notice shall contain the time and place of the public hearing and a summary of the changes proposed by the ordinance, including code sections affected by the changes. The department shall make proposed ordinances available for public inspection and shall post the notice on its Internet website within seven business days after receipt. ((f) amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1440, No.157)

(g)  Municipal action.--Following the public hearing, the municipal governing body may enact the ordinance under the law governing the adoption of ordinance in that jurisdiction.

(h)  Amendment of proposed ordinance.--If the municipality proposes any substantive amendment to a proposed ordinance, the municipal governing body shall be required to meet the advertising, filing, notice and public hearing requirements of this section before enacting the proposed ordinance.

(i)  Department review.--The department shall review all proposed ordinances required to be filed with the department under subsection (f) for compliance with subsection (b). If the proposed ordinance does not comply with subsection (b), the department shall advise the municipality of its findings, setting forth the reasons in writing. The municipality shall then withdraw the proposed ordinance or revise the proposed ordinance to meet the minimum requirements of the Uniform Construction Code.

(j)  Challenge of ordinance.--

(1)  Aggrieved parties shall have 30 days from date of enactment of the ordinance to file a written challenge with the department and shall serve a copy of the challenge upon the municipality. The challenge shall state the reason or reasons for the challenge. A municipal ordinance may not take effect for a period of 35 days following its enactment. If a challenge is filed in writing with the department within 30 days, the department has five business days from the end of the 30-day filing period to notify a municipality of the challenge. There may be no enforcement of the ordinance until a ruling is issued by the secretary or 45 days after the filing date of the last challenge to the ordinance, whichever occurs first.

(2)  The department shall review any ordinance which would equal or exceed the minimum requirements of the Uniform Construction Code based on the following standards:

(i)  that certain clear and convincing local climatic, geologic, topographic or public health and safety circumstances or conditions justify the exception;

(ii)  the exception shall be adequate for the purpose intended and shall meet a standard of performance equal to or greater than that prescribed by the Uniform Construction Code;

(iii)  the exception would not diminish or threaten the health, safety and welfare of the public; and

(iv)  the exception would not be inconsistent with the legislative findings and purpose described in section 102.

The department shall take into consideration, in rendering the determination, the provision, code development process history, purpose and intent of relevant provisions of the 1999 BOCA National Building Code, Fourteenth Edition, ICC International One and Two Family Dwelling Code, 1998 Edition, or their successor codes.

((j) amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1440, No.157)

(k)  Ruling by secretary.--A ruling on a challenge by an aggrieved party shall be issued by the secretary within 45 days of receipt of the filing of the last challenge to the ordinance or within 30 days of the hearing on the challenge which must be held by the department upon the request of the municipality in the municipality wherein the ordinance is proposed, whichever last occurs. If the secretary approves the ordinance, the municipality may begin to administer and enforce the ordinance. If the secretary disapproves the ordinance, the ordinance shall be null and void. The secretary shall state the reasons for the disapproval in writing to the municipality.

19990045u504s

Section 504.  Appeals.

(a)  Ruling of secretary.--An appeal of the secretary's ruling may be taken to the appropriate court of common pleas within 30 days of the date of the ruling.

(b)  Application for enforcement of ordinance.--Any person aggrieved by the application or enforcement of any provision of an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 503 shall have the right to challenge the validity of the ordinance in the appropriate court of common pleas. In order to be aggrieved, a person must have a direct, immediate and substantial interest in the application or enforcement of the ordinance. The appropriate court of common pleas shall determine the validity of the ordinance.

(504 amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1440, No.157)

19990045u701h

 

CHAPTER 7

TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION OF INSPECTORS

 

19990045u701s

Section 701.  Training of inspectors.

(a)  Training program.--The department, in consultation with the advisory board, ICC, NCSBCS and other interested parties, shall by regulation adopt a program of required training and certification for all categories of code administrators. This education program shall include accessibility requirements contained in and referenced by the Uniform Construction Code. The department may contract with third parties to provide the code training and testing programs. ((a) amended Oct. 9, 2008, P.L.1386, No.106)

(b)  Categories of inspectors.--

(1)  The department, in consultation with the ICC and other interested parties, shall establish appropriate categories of code administrators.

(2)  A code administrator may act in place of a lumber grading or inspection agency to satisfy the requirement set forth under section 2303.1.1 of the 2003 International Building Code or its successor code or section R404.2.1, R502.1, R602.1 or R802.1 of the 2003 International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings or its successor code.

((b) amended Oct. 9, 2008, P.L.1386, No.106)

(c)  Certification.--Upon determination of qualification, the department shall issue a certificate to the code administrator stating that he is so certified.

(d)  Waiver.--The department shall by regulation establish a procedure for the consideration of requests for waivers of the initial training and certification requirements for individuals who present documentation that they have previously satisfied substantially similar training, testing and certification requirements. The department may also consider past work experience as an inspector when deciding a request for a waiver. Any waiver shall not apply to continuing education requirements. ((d) amended July 15, 2004, P.L.748, No.92)

(e)  Current officials.--

(1)  The department shall by regulation determine the time period for current code administrators to meet the training and certification requirements of this act. This time period shall not be less than three years and not exceed seven years from the effective date of this act for individuals conducting plan review and inspections of one-family or two-family residential property or not be less than five years and not exceed ten years for individuals conducting plan reviews and inspections on all other buildings and structures.

(2)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the department shall adopt regulations specifically providing for the department's administration and enforcement of the provisions of Chapter 11 (Accessibility) of the Uniform Construction Code and any other accessibility requirements contained in or referenced by the Uniform Construction Code until code administrators have been certified regarding accessibility provisions. The department shall maintain jurisdiction over the provisions of Chapter 11 (Accessibility) of the Uniform Construction Code and any other accessibility requirements contained in or referenced by the Uniform Construction Code until such time as municipal code administrators meet the requirements for certification.

(f)  Continuing education.--The department shall by regulation adopt and implement the continuing education program, and all code administrators shall participate in the department's continuing education programs.

(g)  Remedial education.--The department is empowered to require code administrators to participate in remedial education programs for just cause.

(h)  Decertification.--The department is empowered to decertify code administrators for just cause. The department shall by regulation establish a procedure for the notification of code administrators of decertification and the right of the individual to receive a hearing before the department on decertification.

(i)  List of code administrators.--The department shall maintain a list of code administrators, indicating the categories of certifications, which shall be made available to municipalities and, upon request, the public.

(j)  Fees.--The department shall determine and approve reasonable fees for educational programs, testing and certification of code administrators. The department shall consult with the Department of Aging, the Department of Health or the Department of Public Welfare, as appropriate, to determine fees for health care facilities, intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded or for persons with related conditions and State institutions.

(k)  Insurance.--The department shall promulgate regulations requiring code administrators in third-party agencies to carry minimum levels of liability insurance.

19990045u701v

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.

19990045u702s

Section 702.  Reciprocity.

The department may develop reciprocity agreements with other states or jurisdictions which have established accreditations and certification requirements which the department determines to be substantially similar to those set forth in this act.

19990045u703s

Section 703.  Education and training programs.

(a)  Fee.--Municipalities administering and enforcing this act under section 501(a) and third-party agencies providing services under section 501(e) shall assess a fee of $4.50 on each construction or building permit issued under the authority of this act. The fee shall be in addition to any other fee imposed for the permit.

(b)  Accounts.--There are hereby established within the State Treasury three restricted accounts which shall be known as the Municipal Code Official Training Account, the Review and Advisory Council Administration Account and the Construction Contractor Training Account.

(c)  Deposit.--

(1)  The fee collected as authorized under subsection (a) shall be transmitted quarterly to the State Treasury and shall be divided and deposited in the accounts established in subsection (b) as follows:

(i)  Forty-three and one-half percent of the fee shall be deposited in the Municipal Code Official Training Account for the purpose of education and training programs for municipal code officials and individuals employed by third-party agencies under contract with a municipality.

(ii)  Forty-three and one-half percent of the fee shall be deposited in the Construction Contractor Training Account for a Pennsylvania-based housing research center located at a land grant university for the construction industry. To assure the programs meet the needs of the construction industry, the education, training and other activities provided by the housing research center must be approved by its industry advisory committee.

(iii)  Thirteen percent of the fee shall be deposited in the Review and Advisory Council Administration Account for expenses of the council as authorized under section 107(l), for technical assistance as provided for under section 107(k), for administrative assistance as provided under section 107(j), for fees associated with the ICC to establish and publish code manuals which contain the standards of the Uniform Construction Code as provided under section 304(a)(4) and as otherwise determined necessary by the department as funds are available.

(2)  Money deposited under paragraph (1)(i) and (ii) is hereby appropriated on approval of the Governor to the Department of Community and Economic Development. The Department of Community and Economic Development may utilize up to 3% of the funds allocated to the account under paragraph (1)(i) and up to 3% of the funds allocated to the account under paragraph (1)(ii) for administrative and program expenses. Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph to the contrary, the Department of Community and Economic Development may continue to abide by the provisions of an agreement permitting the retention or collection of a greater percentage for administrative and program expenses, but only for a period of one year from the effective date of this paragraph.

(3)  All money deposited under paragraph (1)(iii) shall be transmitted quarterly to the department. The department shall not be required to utilize other sources of funding to carry out activities under this act if the funds provided under this section are insufficient.

(d)  Reports.--

(1)  No later than November 1 of each calendar year, the Department of Community and Economic Development shall provide a report to the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Labor and Industry Committee of the Senate and the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Labor and Industry Committee of the House of Representatives. The report shall detail expenditures for the most recent fiscal year. The report shall include:

(i)  The number of construction and building permits issued and the total fees collected.

(ii)  A separate accounting of revenue and expenditures for each account under subsection (c)(1)(i) and (ii). The separate accounting shall include, to the extent available, revenue and expenditures by a contractor, vendor or other party engaged to perform the services under subsection (c)(1)(i) and (ii). All contracts entered into after the effective date of this paragraph by the Department of Community and Economic Development with a contractor, vendor or other party shall require the contractor, vendor or other party to provide the information required under this paragraph.

(iii)  The amount utilized by the Department of Community and Economic Development for personnel, including the position title, hours charged, amount paid and description of the duties and responsibilities of each individual paid in whole or in part from the account.

(iv)  The amount utilized by the Department of Community and Economic Development for operational costs and a description of each expenditure.

(v)  The amount utilized by the Department of Community and Economic Development for other program purposes and a description of each expenditure.

(2)  No later than November 1 of each calendar year, the department shall provide a report to the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Labor and Industry Committee of the Senate and the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Labor and Industry Committee of the House of Representatives. The report shall detail expenditures for the most recent fiscal year. The report shall include:

(i)  A separate accounting of revenue and expenditures for the account under subsection (c)(1)(iii). The separate accounting provided under this paragraph shall include, to the extent available, revenue and expenditures by a contractor, vendor or other party engaged to perform the services under subsection (c)(1)(iii). All contracts entered into after the effective date of this paragraph by the department with a contractor, vendor or other party shall require the contractor, vendor or other party to provide the information required under this paragraph.

(ii)  The amount utilized by the Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council for reimbursement of travel expenses.

(iii)  The amount utilized by the Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council for other purposes and a description of each expenditure.

(iv)  The amount utilized by the department for personnel, including the position title, hours charged, amount and description of the duties and responsibilities of each individual paid in whole or in part from the account.

(v)  The amount utilized by the department for operational costs and a description of each expenditure.

(vi)  The amount utilized by the department for other program purposes and a description of each expenditure.

(703 amended Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

19990045u901h

 

CHAPTER 9

EXEMPTIONS, APPLICABILITY AND PENALTIES

 

19990045u901s

Section 901.  Exemptions.

(a)  Manufactured housing.--This act shall not apply to manufactured housing which bears a label, as required by and referred to in the act of November 17, 1982 (P.L.676, No.192), known as the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Authorization Act, which certifies that it conforms to Federal construction and safety standards adopted under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-383, 88 Stat. 633), nor shall it apply to industrialized housing, as defined in the act of May 11, 1972 (P.L.286, No.70), known as the Industrialized Housing Act, with the exception that any model code enacted pursuant to the Industrialized Housing Act shall not include code provisions specifically omitted from adoption pursuant to this act. ((a) amended April 25, 2011, P.L.1, No.1)

(b)  Religious beliefs.--

(1)  An applicant for a construction permit for a dwelling unit or one-room schoolhouse utilized by a member or members of a recognized religious sect may file an application with a code administrator to be exempted from the Uniform Construction Code, as provided in this subsection, which conflicts with the applicant's religious beliefs. The application shall state the manner in which the provision conflicts with the applicant's religious beliefs and shall include an affidavit by the applicant stating that:

(i)  the applicant is a member of a recognized religious sect;

(ii)  the religious sect has established tenets or teachings which conflict with:

(A)  an electrical provision of the Uniform Construction Code;

(B)  a lumber or wood provision, not relating to pressure treatment, of the Uniform Construction Code; or

(C)  a plumbing provision of the Uniform Construction Code.

(iii)  the applicant adheres to the established tenets or teachings of the sect;

(iv)  in the case of a dwelling unit, the dwelling unit will be used solely as a residence for the applicant and the applicant's household; and

(v)  in the case of a one-room schoolhouse, the one-room schoolhouse will be used solely by members of the religious sect.

((1) amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1440, No.157)

(2)  A code administrator shall grant an application for an exemption if made in accordance with paragraph (1).

(3)  If an applicant receives an exemption for any building under this subsection and the applicant subsequently sells or leases the building, the applicant shall bring the building into compliance with the provision of the Uniform Construction Code from which it was exempted under this subsection prior to the sale or lease of the building unless the prospective subsequent owner or lessee files an affidavit in compliance with paragraph (1)(i) through (iv).

(c)  Natural cut trees.--Section 804.1.1 (relating to natural cut trees) of the International Fire Code (2003) and any successor provision is excluded from this act. A municipality that elects to adopt an ordinance for the administration and enforcement of this act may, by ordinance, restrict the placement of natural cut trees in an occupancy group. The ordinance restricting the placement shall not be subject to section 503(b) through (k).

(d)  Coal-fired boilers in residential buildings.--Coal-fired boilers installed in residential buildings shall be designed, constructed and tested in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 20, Section M2001.1.1 of the International Residential Code of 2003, or its successor provisions, except that these boilers shall not be subject to the stamping requirements of Section M2001.1.1.

(e)  Pole barns at agricultural fairs.--Neither this act nor any adoption of the International Fire Code by a Commonwealth agency, a political subdivision or a local agency shall apply to a pole barn that is constructed on agricultural fairgrounds and is only used for agricultural purposes and animal display. This section shall not apply to inspections required pursuant to the ICC Electrical Code or its successor codes. ((e) added July 17, 2007, P.L.132, No.39)

(f)  Log walls.--Log walls with a minimum average wall thickness of five inches or greater which comply with the International Code Council, Standard on the Design and Construction of Log Structures, ICC 400-2007, or other successor standard which the department may specify by regulation, shall be permitted in residential buildings if:

(1)  the area weighted average U-factor for fenestration products in the log walls is a maximum of 0.31; and

(2)  (i)  the building heating equipment meets or exceeds the following Department of Energy ratings:

(A)  Gas furnace - 90 annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE).

(B)  Oil furnace - 85 annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE).

(C)  Boilers - 85 annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE).

(D)  Air source heat pumps - 8.2 heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) split systems.

(E)  For water-to-air geothermal heat pumps:

(I)  Closed loop water-to-air, an energy efficiency rating of 14.1 and coefficient of performance of 3.3.

(II)  Open loop water-to-air, an energy efficiency rating of 16.2 and coefficient of performance of 3.6.

(F)  For water-to-water geothermal heat pumps:

(I)  Closed loop water-to-water, an energy efficiency rating of 15.1 and coefficient of performance of 3.0.

(II)  Open loop water-to-water, an energy efficiency rating of 19.1 and coefficient of performance of 3.4.

(G)  For direct geothermal exchange, an energy efficiency rating of 15.0 and coefficient of performance of 3.5; or

(ii)  the building heating equipment is qualified under the Energy Star program jointly operated by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency as provided for in 10 CFR Pt. 430 (relating to energy conservation program for consumer products); and

(iii)  all energy efficiency requirements of this act applicable to components other than log walls are met.

((f) added April 25, 2011, P.L.1, No.1)

(g)  Automatic fire sprinkler systems in one-family and two-family dwellings.--

(1)  Section R313.2 (relating to one- and two-family dwellings automatic fire sprinkler systems) of the International Residential Code (2009 edition), and any successor triennial revisions, is excluded from this act and shall not be part of Chapter 3.

(2)  A builder of a one-family or two-family dwelling subject to the International Residential Code shall, at or before the time of entering into the purchase contract, do all of the following:

(i)  Offer to a buyer the option to install or equip, at the buyer's expense, an automatic fire sprinkler system in the building or dwelling unit designed and installed in accordance with the provisions of section R313.2.1 (relating to design and installation) of the International Residential Code (2009 edition).

(ii)  Provide the buyer with information which explains the initial and ongoing cost of installing and equipping an automatic fire sprinkler system in the building or dwelling unit.

(iii)  Provide the buyer with information, as made available by the State Fire Commissioner on the agency's Internet website, on the possible benefits of installing an automatic sprinkler system.

((g) added April 25, 2011, P.L.1, No.1)

(h)  Fire protection of floors.--

(1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a floor assembly not required in the International Residential Code, or its successor building code, to be fire-resistance rated shall be provided with a 1/2-inch gypsum wallboard membrane, 5/8-inch wood structural panel membrane, or equivalent, on the underside of the floor framing member.

(2)  Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any of the following:

(i)  A floor assembly located directly over a space protected by an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with section P2904, NFPA13D or other equivalent sprinkler system approved by a municipal code official.

(ii)  A floor assembly located directly over a crawl space not intended for storage or fuel-fired appliances.

(iii)  A portion of a floor assembly which complies with all of the following:

(A)  The aggregate area of the unprotected portions shall not exceed 80 square feet per story.

(B)  Fire blocking in accordance with section R302.11.1 shall be installed along the perimeter of the unprotected portion to separate the unprotected portion from the remainder of the floor assembly.

(iv)  A wood floor assembly using dimension lumber or structural composite lumber equal to or greater than two-inch by ten-inch nominal dimension or a floor assembly approved by a municipal code official demonstrating equivalent fire performance.

((h) added April 25, 2011, P.L.1, No.1)

(i)  Wall bracing requirements.--Sections R602.10 through  R602.12.1.6 of the 2009 International Residential Code, or its successor provisions, are excluded from the Uniform Construction Code. The wall bracing requirements of sections R602.10 through R602.11.3 of the 2006 International Residential Code shall be part of the Uniform Construction Code. ((i) added April 25, 2011, P.L.1, No.1)

(901 amended July 7, 2006, P.L.1052, No.108)

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Compiler's Note:  Section 4(1) of Act 1 of 2011, which amended subsec. (a) and added subsecs. (f), (g), (h) and (i), provided that the subsec. (f) shall apply retroactively to January 1, 2010. Section 4(a) of Act 1 provided that subsec. (g) shall apply retroactively to January 1, 2011.

Compiler's Note:  Section 3 of Act 108 of 2006, which amended section 901, provided that the amendment of subsec. (b) shall apply to permits applied for on or after the effective date of Act 108.

19990045u902s

Section 902.  Applicability to certain buildings.

(a)  Historic buildings, structures and sites.--The provisions of the 1999 BOCA National Building Code, Fourteenth Edition, relating to the construction, repair, alteration, addition, restoration and movement of structures shall not apply to existing buildings and structures, or new buildings and structures not intended for residential use on historic sites, that are identified and classified by the Federal, State or local government authority as historic buildings or sites where such buildings and structures are judged by the code official to be safe and in the interest of public health, safety and welfare.

(b)  Uncertified buildings under department's jurisdiction.--Subject to subsection (d), all of the following apply to a building subject to the jurisdiction of the department:

(1)  The department shall issue a certificate of occupancy to an uncertified building if that building meets the requirements of this subsection, unless the department deems the building to be unsafe because of inadequate means of egress, inadequate light and ventilation, fire hazards or other dangers to human life or to public welfare.

(2)  An uncertified building shall comply with the following:

(i)  Maximum story height, minimum allowable construction type based on floor area, vertical opening and shaft protection, means of egress requirements of the International Building Code pertaining to minimum number of exits, maximum travel distances to exits, means of egress illumination, minimum egress widths and heights for exit doors, exit stairs, exit ramps and exit corridors. Waivers shall be as follows:

(A)  The department may waive requirements for minimum egress widths and heights for exits, exit access doors, exit ramps and exit corridors if the department determines that any nonconforming openings provide sufficient width and height for building occupants to pass through or egress the building.

(B)  The department may waive any requirements under this subparagraph if:

(I)  the department determines a requirement to be technically infeasible; or

(II)  the building owner demonstrates that the building met the applicable egress requirements which existed under the act of April 27, 1927 (P.L.465, No.299), referred to as the Fire and Panic Act.

(C)  A waiver shall be documented on the certificate of occupancy.

(ii)  Fire safety requirements of the International Building Code with respect to fire alarms, fire extinguishers, heat and smoke detectors, automatic sprinkler systems and occupancy and incidental use separations. If the code requires that a building have automatic sprinkler systems, the only buildings required to install automatic sprinkler systems shall be those buildings classified in use groups E (educational), H (high-hazard), I (institutional), R-1 or R-2 (residential) and those buildings which have occupied floors more than 75 feet above lowest level of fire department access. Buildings in use groups R-1 and R-2 which do not have occupied floors more than 75 feet above lowest level of fire department access may, instead of installing automatic sprinkler systems, install hard-wired interconnected heat and smoke detectors located in all lobbies, corridors, equipment rooms, storage rooms and other spaces that are not normally occupied. If construction began on a building prior to May 19, 1984, there is no requirement for the installation of automatic sprinkler systems under this subparagraph. If construction of a building began after May 18, 1984, automatic sprinkler installation required under this subparagraph shall be completed within five years of the effective date of this subsection, or an occupancy permit issued under this subsection shall be invalid. Waivers shall be as follows:

(A)  The department may waive any requirements under this subparagraph if:

(I)  the department determines a requirement to be technically infeasible; or

(II)  the building owner demonstrates that the building met the applicable fire safety requirements which existed under the Fire and Panic Act.

(B)  A waiver shall be documented on the certificate of occupancy.

(iii)  Accessibility requirements as follows:

(A)  If construction of a building began before September 1, 1965, no accessibility requirements shall be imposed.

(B)  If  construction of a building began after August 31, 1965, and before February 18, 1989, and if the building was subject to the requirements of the former act of September 1, 1965 (P.L.459, No.235), entitled "An act requiring that certain buildings and facilities adhere to certain principles, standards and specifications to make the same accessible to and usable by persons with physical handicaps, and providing for enforcement," it shall have:

(I)  at least one accessible entrance;

(II)  an accessible route from the accessible entrance to any public spaces on the same level as the accessible entrance; and

(III)  if toilet rooms are provided, at least one accessible toilet room for each sex or a unisex toilet room, complying with the accessibility requirements of the International Building Code.

(C)  If construction of the building began after February 17, 1989, all accessibility requirements of the International Building Code shall be met.

(3)  Structural requirements shall not be imposed unless the department determines that the building or a portion of the building has defects which are dangerous as defined in the International Existing Building Code. The department may impose only those requirements minimally necessary to remove any danger to the building's occupants.

(4)  A building owner may file an application for a variance from this subsection concerning accessibility with the advisory board under section 106. A building owner may file an application for a variance from this subsection concerning other standards. The application must be filed with the Industrial Board if any of the following apply:

(i)  The building is located in a municipality where the department has jurisdiction.

(ii)  The building is a State-owned building. As used in this subparagraph, the term "State-owned building" means a building owned or constructed for Commonwealth entities consisting of the General Assembly, the Unified Judicial System, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, an executive agency, an independent agency and a State-affiliated entity or State-related institution, as defined in 62 Pa.C.S. § 103 (relating to definitions).

(5)  A building subject to this subsection shall be permitted to maintain its current occupancy as long as the owner demonstrates reasonable efforts to comply with this subsection.

(6)  An uncertified building which was built before April 27, 1927, shall be deemed a certified building for purposes of this act.

(c)  Uncertified buildings over which the department does not have jurisdiction.--

(1)  A construction code official shall issue a certificate of occupancy to an uncertified building if it meets the requirements of subsection (b) or the latest adopted version of the International Existing Building Code. The construction code official shall utilize the code that, in his professional judgment, he deems to best apply.

(2)  A construction code official may deny the issuance of a certificate of occupancy if the official deems that a building is unsafe because of inadequate means of egress, inadequate lighting and ventilation, fire hazards or other dangers to human life or to public welfare.

(3)  ((3) deleted by amendment)

((c) amended Oct. 25, 2017, P.L.356, No.36)

(d)  Applicability of Uniform Construction Code.--Nothing in subsection (b) shall be construed as to affect applicability of Chapter 3 if a building is subject to renovation, additions, alterations or a change in use or occupancy.

(902 amended Dec. 22, 2005, P.L.478, No.95)

19990045u903s

Section 903.  Penalties.

(a)  Violation of act.--

(1)  Any individual, firm or corporation that violates any provision of this act commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 and costs.

(2)  Each day that a violation of this act continues shall be considered a separate violation.

(b)  Disposition of penalties.--The amount of the penalty shall be forwarded to the entity with enforcement jurisdiction.

19990045u1101h

 

CHAPTER 11

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

 

19990045u1101s

Section 1101.  Savings.

This act shall not repeal or in any way affect:

Sections 1, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6(f)(1)(i), (f.1) and (g), 10.1, 13, 14 and 15 of the act of April 27, 1927 (P.L.465, No.299), referred to as the Fire and Panic Act.

Section 2203-A of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929.

Act of May 2, 1929 (P.L.1513, No.451), referred to as the Boiler Regulation Law.

Act of August 24, 1951 (P.L.1304, No.315), known as the Local Health Administration Law, insofar as it applies to counties of the first class and of the second class, and rules and regulations adopted by counties of the first class and of the second class under the act. Any construction standard adopted after October 31, 1996, by counties of the first class and of the second class under the authority of the Local Health Administration Law shall comply with Chapters 3 and 5 of this act.

Act of December 27, 1951 (P.L.1793, No.475), referred to as the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act.

Act of October 27, 1955 (P.L.744, No.222), known as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and regulations promulgated under the act.

Act of January 24, 1966 (1965 P.L.1535, No.537), known as the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, and regulations promulgated under the act.

Act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as the Public Welfare Code.

Act of October 4, 1978 (P.L.851, No.166), known as the Flood Plain Management Act, and regulations and ordinances promulgated under the act.

Act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the Health Care Facilities Act.

Act of July 11, 1990 (P.L.499, No.118), known as the Older Adult Daily Living Centers Licensing Act.

19990045u1101v

 

Compiler's Note:  The short title of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as the Public Welfare Code, referred to in this section, was amended by the act of December 28, 2015 (P.L.500, No.92). The amended short title is now the Human Services Code.

19990045u1102s

Section 1102.  Repeals.

(a)  Absolute.--The following acts and parts of acts are repealed:

Sections 2, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.6(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f)(1)(ii), (iii) and (2), 4, 4.1, 4.2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 15.1 of the act of April 27, 1927 (P.L.465, No.299), referred to as the Fire and Panic Act.

Act of May 2, 1929 (P.L.1518, No.452), referred to as the Elevator Regulation Law.

Act of September 1, 1965 (P.L.459, No.235), entitled, as amended, "An act requiring that certain buildings and facilities adhere to certain principles, standards and specifications to make the same accessible to and usable by persons with physical handicaps, and providing for enforcement."

Act of July 9, 1976 (P.L.919, No.170), entitled "An act providing for the approval or disapproval of applications for a permit relating to the construction or maintenance of improvements to real estate."

Act of December 15, 1980 (P.L.1203, No.222), known as the Building Energy Conservation Act, and regulations promulgated thereunder.

Act of December 17, 1990 (P.L.742, No.185), entitled "An act providing for restrooms in facilities where the public congregates; and requiring that restroom facilities be provided for women on an equitable basis."

Act of December 19, 1990 (P.L.1387, No.214), known as the Dry Cleaning Law.

(b)  General.--All other acts and parts of acts are repealed insofar as they are inconsistent with this act.

19990045u1103s

Section 1103.  Effective date.

This act shall take effect as follows:

(1)  Sections 104(d)(3) and (4), 301, 302, 701 and this section shall take effect immediately.

(2)  The remainder of this act shall take effect 90 days following publication of notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin that the regulations required by this act have been finally adopted.