§ 403.28. Uncertified buildings.
(a) Under section 902(b)(6) of the act (35 P.S. § 7210.902(b)(6)), an uncertified building that was built before April 27, 1927, is deemed to be legally occupied until the owner proposes to renovate, add an addition, alter or change the occupancy of the building. The renovation, addition, alteration or change in occupancy must comply with the Uniform Construction Code.
(b) Under section 902(b) of the act, uncertified buildings within the Departments jurisdiction must meet the following requirements which do not apply to uncertified buildings under subsection (a):
(1) Maximum story height, minimum allowable construction type based on floor area, vertical opening and shaft protection requirements, means of egress requirements 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 requirements under the International Building Code of 2018.
(2) Fire safety requirements in the International Building Code of 2018 for fire alarms, fire extinguishers, heat and smoke detectors, automatic sprinkler systems and occupancy and incidental use separations. The following also apply:
(i) If construction began on a building before May 19, 1984, the installation of automatic sprinkler systems is not required.
(ii) If construction began on a building after May 19, 1984, automatic sprinklers are only required if the building is classified in use groups E (educational), H (high-hazard), I (institutional), or R-1 or R-2 (residential) or if the building has 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 in all rooms or spaces, whether they are occupied or unoccupied.
(iii) If construction of a building began after May 18, 1984, automatic sprinkler installation shall be completed by December 22, 2010, or any certificate of occupancy issued shall be invalid.
(3) Accessibility requirements are applicable as follows:
(i) If construction of an uncertified building began before September 1, 1965, accessibility requirements will not be imposed by the Department.
(ii) If construction of a building began after August 31, 1965, and before February 18, 1989, and if the building is a State-owned building, a restaurant or a retail commercial establishment, the building must have at least one accessible main entrance, an accessible route from the accessible entrance to any public spaces on the same level as the accessible entrance and, if toilet rooms are provided, the building must have at least one toilet room for each sex or a unisex toilet room complying with the accessibility requirements of the International Building Code of 2021.
(iii) If construction of the building began after February 17, 1989, all accessibility requirements of the International Building Code of 2018 shall be met.
(4) Structural requirements will not be imposed unless the Department determines that the building or a portion of the building has defects that are defined as dangerous in section 202 of the International Existing Building Code of 2018. If the building is dangerous, the Department may impose only those requirements minimally necessary to remove danger to the buildings occupants.
(5) 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.
(c) The following apply to uncertified buildings where the Department does not have jurisdiction and which are not governed under subsection (a):
(1) A construction code official shall issue a certificate of occupancy to an uncertified building if it meets the requirements of the latest version of the International Existing Building Code of 2018 or Chapter 34 of the International Building Code of 2018. The construction code official shall utilize the code for the municipality which best applies, in the officials professional judgment.
(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) A municipality governed under this subsection may utilize the standards of subsection (b) for the issuance of certificates of occupancy to uncertified buildings if the municipality adopts an ordinance.
The provisions of this § 403.28 amended under section 304(a)(1)(3) of the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act (35 P.S. § 7210.304(a)(1)(3)).
The provisions of this § 403.28 adopted December 15, 2006, effective December 31, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 7548; amended December 24, 2009, effective December 31, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 7196; amended September 29, 2018, effective October 1, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 6261; amended June 14, 2019, effective June 15, 2019, 49 Pa.B. 3077; amended December 24, 2021, effective December 25, 2021, 51 Pa.B. 7981; amended February 11, 2022, effective February 14, 2022, 52 Pa.B. 971. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (407589) to (407590).
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