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Summary of the International Existing Building Code

Summary of the International Existing Building Code

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SUMMARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL EXISTING BUILDING CODE (IEBC)APPLICATION DOCUMENTBy: Roosevelt DaCosta
1. The International Existing Building Code (IEBC) prescribes the approach whichdesigners and contractors should take to the modification, repair and addition of existing buildings. The intent of this code is to maximize the safety and health othe workers involved with the building modifications, repairs or additions as well as building users and those whose proximity to the building could be affected by itsfailure.2.
 
The IEBC classifies work on existing buildings into alteration levels 1, 2 and 3;change of occupancy; additions; historic buildings and relocated buildings. Specificrequirements for each class of work is outlined under the headings of Special Use &Occupancy; Building Elements and Materials; Fire Protection; Means of Egress;Accessibility; Structural, Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Other Requirements3.
 
The IEBC is very comprehensive, relevant and well written and therefore very littlechanges were needed for this code to be adopted. The differences between the IEBCApplication Document and the IEBC lies almost exclusively in the HistoricBuilding category of work and the Appendices chapters dealing with SeismicRetrofit, Earthquake Hazard Reduction and Supplementary AccessibilityRequirements. The differences between the two documents can be categorized asfollows:i)
 
Definitionsii)
 
Jurisprudential differencesiii)
 
Additional technical requirements4. Under definitions the following were the main issues of note:i)
 
³Building Official´ / ³Code Official´ were redefined to reflect themultiplicity of organizations (National Environment and Planning Agency,Local Authorities, Government Electrical Inspectorate and Ministry of Health) that will be involved in the approval of existing building work inJamaicaii)
 
³Historic Buildings´ was redefined to reflect the Jamaican Act,organizations and procedure involved in the declaration of historic buildings. The redefinition gave rise to the additional definitions o³Historic Authenticity´, ³Historic Fabric´, ³Historic Building Repairs´,³Historic and Cultural Significance´.iii)
 
µHistoric Authenticity´ extends beyond age alone to embrace conserving thevalue or quality, or character of the building by applying sensible principlesto ensure that the conservation works maintain the creative genius of the
 
 building as a representative in the development of parts or all of thearchitecture or design, or workmanship, or ararchaeology, or artistic merit,or bearing an exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition, or an outstandingexample of a type, or being directly or tangibly associated with past events.iv)
 
³Historic Building Repairs´ are extremely important to us in Jamaica andinvolves the hierarchical approaches of ³Preservation´, ³Rehabilitation´,³Restoration´ and ³Reconstruction´ which are activities meriting definition.v)
 
³Historic and Cultural Significance´ applies to buildings that have value onaccount of traditional techniques and practices associated with, and or derived from early African practices and or prehistoric practices existing intimes antedating written history, prior to approximately 1494 AD from theTaino civilization or combinations of these practices that have been retainedand or still practiced today. The concept of ³Historic and CulturalSignificance´ has given rise to terms such as ³Historic Integrity´ and³Historic Structures Report´5. Jurisprudential differences are based on the dissimilarities between the legalsystems of the US and Jamaica. The IEBC is adoptable by Ordinance in the USwhile in Jamaica the IEBC adoption requires a building Act and Regulations.Bearing this in mind the main jurisprudential differences are:i)
 
Provisions in the legal chapter of the IEBC (Administration) have beensegregated into what belongs to the New National Building Act, Regulationsand Application Document.ii)
 
Local responsible organizations, Acts and procedures replace Americanones.iii) A historic building undergoing repair, alteration, change of occupancy or relocation shall be investigated and evaluated by a registered preservationdesign professional when deemed necessary by the Code Official and a³historic structures report´ prepared and filed with the Code Official and theJamaica National Heritage Trust. The report shall identify each requiredsafety feature that is in compliance with this code and where requiredrestoration work for areas not in compliance are likely to damage thehistoric features of the building. The report shall specify how the defectsshould be corrected and shall be cleared by the Code Official before work can commence.6. When compared with the IEBC the most important technical differences in thisApplication Document are:i)
 
Alterations and additions to existing buildings should be designed tominimize material loss and integrity to the historic fabric (original or old building materials). Any visual change that may affect the integrity of ahistoric building should be carried out where possible, as a ReversibleIntervention.
 
ii)
 
A Historic Structures Report may assume that the building being evaluatedand analyzed is of cultural, social, aesthetic, or artistic significance, andshall make recommendations for the type of repair treatment, whether Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration or Reconstruction. This shouldserve as a documentation plan for any conservation work to be undertaken.iii)
 
The qualification and experience of registered preservation design professionals are outlined.iv)
 
Any alteration, addition, demolition, new construction or other materialchange that modifies the visual aspect, authenticity, and integrity of theexterior or designated interior of a historic building or historic districtPreservation Scheme shall be prohibited as against the IEBC that allowschanges in conformity to the code. Repairs to a historic building or districtmust fall within the ambit of Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration or Reconstruction the details of which shall follow the guidelines outlined inthis Application Document.v)
 
The repair of ³Dangerous Buildings´ has been more fulsomely outlined andits sub-topics of ³Severity of Deterioration´ and ³Deteriorated HistoricFeatures´ are outlined.vi)
 
The section on ³Relocated Buildings´ has been amplified to include twosub-paragraphs dealing with ³Relocation and Reconstruction´ and³Relocation and Archaeology Heritage´vii)
 
The Historic Buildings sub-paragraph 1003.5 on ³Interior finishes´ has been amplified with the additional sub-paragraph on ³Interior features´ thatrequires fixtures having special historical, architectural, cultural or aestheticinterest or values for their features to be defined and logged so work doneunder Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration or Reconstruction may retainits historic integrity.viii)
 
The Historic Buildings sub-paragraph on ³Alterations´ has been amplifiedto include sub-paragraphs on ³Minor alterations´, ³Major alterations´,³Removal´ and ³New works to historic buildings´. These paragraphsspecify the repair details and approaches possible.ix)
 
The Historic Buildings sub-paragraphs on ³Change of Occupancy´ and³Structural´ have also been amplified to ensure that historic buildingsundergoing change of use or structural improvements do not loose their historic integrity.x)
 
This Application Document under the chapter dealing with ³Constructionsafeguards´ has modified the section dealing with ³Barrier design´ so thatacceptable locally used materials can be utilized in existing buildingalteration projects.xi)
 
The compressive strength of masonry including concrete blocks has beenlowered by 20% to allow the best of local manufacturers to comply with thecode requirements.xii)
 
The date of applicability for earthquake hazard reduction methods to takeeffect in existing reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry wall buildingswith flexible diaphragms has been defined as the hate when this code becomes legally mandatory.

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