Cracking The Code: Starting Oct. 1 Builders to Follow New Construction Code


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

June 7, 2004

 

Cracking The Code: Starting Oct. 1 Builders to Follow New Construction Code

 

Starting Oct. 1, Fairfax County builders will need to crack a new code: the 2000 Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. As mandated by the state, architectural plans must conform to this new code beginning on this date — but builders need not worry because the Fairfax County Office of Building Code Services is making the transition as easy as possible.

“The new building code actually took effect last year, but the state granted a one-year grace period,” says Audrey Clark, director of Building Plans Review for Fairfax County. “This has given builders time to become familiar with the new technical specifications. We’re issuing as many building permits as we can now — before the Oct. 1 deadline. Because so many builders are understandably trying to beat the deadline, the number of applications has spiked dramatically, meaning it could take up to eight to 10 weeks to approve plans.”

See the current estimated time frame for reviewing plans by visiting www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/construction/bpr_times.htm, or check the status of your specific permit or building plan review by visiting www.fairfaxcounty.gov/isisnet. This information is also available by calling 703-222-5155, TTY 711.

During the past year, the Office of Building Code Services has been educating builders on how to update their existing plans to meet the new rules. Last November, for example, the office issued a “Letter to Industry” explaining the procedure, and this May, the office distributed another letter on the topic, which can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/publications/lti/04-05.htm.

To comply with the 2000 code, builders will need to update previously approved masterfile plans (a set of plans that can be used to build numerous houses in subdivisions) if they will be used after Oct. 1. Instead of submitting an entirely new plan, builders can update only those sheets that do not meet the new code. Send in three copies of the updated pages along with three copies of the originally approved plan and the “Supplemental Cover Sheet for the 2000 IRC,” which can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/forms/ircupdate.pdf. New permits and a new plan identification number, or “R” number, will be issued for these updated plans.

For those wishing to submit entirely new plans, do so as usual. However, builders should use the new 2000 IRC “Townhouse and Detached Single Family Dwelling Cover Sheet,” which can be downloaded online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/forms/th_sfd_cvrsht.pdf. These two forms also can be obtained in person at the Herrity Building, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, and from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.


 

FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS

 


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