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Land Development News
November 9, 2018
Code Talk is the podcast where we discuss building code and its impacts on residents and business owners in Fairfax County. Land Development Services ensures that all new building-related construction in Fairfax County meets the life-safety and health standards of all applicable codes such as the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building and county ordinances. One of the divisions within Land Development Services is the Building Division. Brian Foley, director of the Building Division as well as the county’s Building Official, gives us more insight on this division. To find out more information on Land Development Services, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/landdevelopment. To reach the Building Division, call 703-631-5101, TTY 711, or email.
November 8, 2018
By Keith Ruby In the 2015 code update, the former Virginia Rehabilitation Code has been renamed the Virginia Existing Building Code (VEBC) and is based on the International Existing Building Code of the same year. The new version mandates its use for most alterations to existing buildings. However, the VEBC is prohibited for a change of occupancy into hospital, nursing home, jail, prison or similar use, and instead, the Virginia Construction Code (International Building Code) is mandated. Alterations to existing single-family dwellings up to 3 stories can be designed using the VEBC or the Virginia Residential Code (International Residential Code) at the discretion of the applicant. At its very core, it is important to understand the VEBC’s definition of an existing building: “A building for which a legal certificate of occupancy has been issued under any edition of the USBC or approved by the building official when no legal certificate of occupancy exists…” The VEBC is not applicable for a building that was constructed without a permit and that has no certificate of occupancy. If there is no certificate of occupancy/non-residential use permit (nonRUP), you need to check with the county to ensure the building is free of violations and has not been declared unsafe. “…and that has been occupied for its intended use; …” The VEBC is not applicable for a building or portion thereof that has a certificate of occupancy/nonRUP issued, but was never occupied or was occupied contrary to the use indicated on the certificate of occupancy/nonRUP. “…or, a building built prior to the initial edition of the USBC [Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code].” Any building constructed prior to January 29, 1973 (the date of the first statewide code) is an existing building and the VEBC is applicable. The VEBC is intended to make renovating buildings easier and less expensive. Over the next year, we will have a series of blog posts and training opportunities to help explain the requirements and advantages of the VEBC.
October 30, 2018
By Brian Foley Recent news coming out of Prince George’s County regarding the electrocution of a child at the MGM casino is so tragic and heartbreaking. Here at Fairfax County, we are watching the investigation unfold like the rest of the region, and we are interested in understanding the findings of the probe and any lessons to be learned. Much of the investigation thus far has centered around third-party inspections. Like Prince Georges County, we also have a third-party inspections program for commercial construction under which building owners can elect to hire an independent company headed by a licensed professional engineer to perform inspections in lieu of the county. The company and their inspectors must be certified and approved prior to the commencement of construction. In addition, documentation for all third-party performed inspections are reviewed for acceptance by county staff. To coincide with the adoption of the 2015 Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, Fairfax County’s program is to be renewed with code- and process-related updates. Learn more about the current program or contact the Building Division at 703-631-5101, TTY 711.