Land Development Services

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Friday, 9:15 a.m. - 4 p.m. Please note that visitors may not be added to in-person queues past 3:45 p.m.
703-222-0801 TTY 711
12055 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035
Bill Hicks

Codes and Standards




Building Codes

Fairfax County is required to enforce the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) and the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC). Both codes are administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and reference the 2018 International Codes as published by the International Code CouncilLearn more about the USBC, referenced codes and their adoption dates since 1973.


Statewide Codes

Note: Administrative provisions of the 2021 Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) became effective on Jan. 18, 2024. From Jan. 18, 2024, until Jan. 17, 2025, permit applicants may choose to use the technical provisions of either the 2018 or 2021 USBC. Mixing technical provisions between the two editions of the code is prohibited. Beginning Jan. 18, 2025, all applications and plans must meet the 2021 USBC requirements. There is no grace period for the Statewide Fire Prevention Code which became effective on Jan. 18, 2024.

Note: When you click on the relevant code volume, scroll down the left navigation bar to find the chapter and section that you need. Access the full content of the code volume through the left navigation free of charge.


Letters to Industry - Technical Bulletins


County Code


Fire Code

The Fairfax County Fire Marshal is authorized to act on behalf of the Fairfax County Building Official regarding enforcement of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC), providing primary USBC enforcement in the area of fire protection systems.

Local Design Load Criteria

Type Criteria
Ground snow load 25 psf 1.25 kN/m2
Ultimate Wind Speed (Vult):    

Risk Category I
Risk Category II and Residential
Risk Category III

105 mph
115 mph
120 mph

47 m/s
51 m/s
54 m/s

Frost depth
24 in.
600 mm
Earthquake spectral response acceleration
For site-specific designer may obtain information from:
at short periods: 0.129
at 1 second period: 0.053
Residential Seismic Design Category A
Weathering probability for concrete severe
Termite infestation probability moderate to heavy
Decay probability slight to moderate
Ice shield underlayment required yes
Flood hazards (date of entry into National Flood Insurance Program) 3/5/1990
Winter Design Temperature 17°F -9°C
Air freezing index <=1500°F <=815°C
Mean annual temperature 50°F 10°C


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Site Development Codes

The codes regulating site development are generated from federal, state and county laws, regulations, resolutions and policies, as well as specific standards from the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Public Facilities Manual


Letters to Industry - Technical Bulletins


County Code


Tree Conservation


State Roads and Manuals


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For general questions about permits, call 703-222-0801, TTY 711, or email staff.
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