TEXT IN RED is a LINK. u Educational Seminars u FAQ: Fire Separation Between Dwellings u Florida Disaster u Building Official List u Staff Changes at BCSD u Committee Info u Web Updates u Customer Service Survey


BCSD Seminars, Classes, and Presentations
In addition to our Fall and Spring Seminars, Building Codes and Standards staff are involved in a variety of presentations throughout the year at industry and statesponsored events.

The first 2004 Fall Seminar will be held September 22 in Maplewood. Join us for this one-day seminar featuring the construction of an R-2 Apartment Building with an S-2 underground parking. The seminar objective is to establish the effective use of the 2000 edition of the International Building Code for type of construction, allowable building area, allowable height, fire-resistive construction, and penetrations of rated assemblies. Dates and locations for the Fall Seminar: September 22 - Maplewood September 29 - Rochester October 6 - St Paul October 13 - St Cloud October 20 - Burnsville October 27 - Duluth November 3 - Plymouth November 10 - Detroit Lakes November 17 - Brooklyn Center November 18 - Burnsville November 24 - North Mankato December 1 - Maplewood The registration form is on the website: Education - Fall Seminar. Print out the registration form and mail it in today with your payment. Pre-registration is required.

A recent example was a presentation on the Guidelines for Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings (GREB)

Greg Karow reviews GREB at a recent chapter meeting.


The purpose of these guidelines is to encourage the continued use of legally existing building and structures. These guidelines constitute the minimum standards for change of occupancy, alteration, or repair of existing buildings and structures. This document is part of the Minnesota State Code Building Code referenced as chapter 1311 applicable in all jurisdictions that have adopted the code. Submittal documents should identify if Minnesota Rule 1311 (GREB) is being used. For more information regarding this code, or requests for presentations on this topic, contact Greg Karow, 651-205-4562 or Chapte 1311 is on our website — Rules
Whether at the Governor’s Fire Prevention Day exhibit outside the Education Building, or the exhibit inside, volunteers representing a wide range of code officials interact with fair goers young and old. More Fair photos will be in the September Standard.

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Classes are Filling Up and Pre-registration is Required. Register Now! 1



BCSD receives phone calls regarding a wide range of building code questions. Although each situation is different, some merit publication in this FAQ column. If you have a question, send it to

Q: A number of questions were asked regarding fire separation between dwelling units for townhouses. The questions have been included with the answers below. A: You asked about the code requirement for the fire-separation between townhouses, based on International Residential Code (IRC) section R321 and R302. Generally speaking, the code requires the fire-separation (two one-hour rated walls or one twohour rated wall) to separate the dwellings from the front exterior wall to to the rear exterior wall, extending up to the roof sheathing, and extending into the roof soffits areas. This fire-separation is not required beyond these locations. Photo #1 indicates a side by side dwelling, possibly part of a row house style of construction, with each dwelling having a tuck-under garage with a cantilevered deck above. For this example, we will assume that the fire-separation occurs about mid-way between the two decks. You asked if the fire-separation needs to extend between the two decks? No, There is no fire-separation required between the two decks. The fire-separation would not be required even if the two decks were connected. Photo #2 indicates a side by side dwelling, with a common entry area, two entry doors, and a stone veneer wall between the two entry doors. For this example, we will assume that the fire-separation occurs about mid-way between the two front entry doors. You asked if the fire-separation needs to extend between the two units out to the face of the exterior wall? First, the fire-separation within the attic (roof) area needs to extend out into the soffits above the stone veneer wall. The fire-separation wall in the attic area could probably be constructed on a cantilevered roof truss/girder that extends above the soffits area, extending out to the fascia. If that roof truss/girder was not a cantilevered member, and it required some sort of bearing support at the end, such as a post, that supporting item will require equal fire rating protection. Second, the stone veneer wall is not within the exterior walls of the structure, and is not required to be firerated. If a builder chose to not have that stone veneer wall there (or any other type of wall) the area between the two sides of the entry could actually be open to each other. Third, the walls and soffit area adjacent to the entry doors are not required to be fire-rated or “protected.” The code allows unprotected openings in perpendicular walls adjacent to a fire-separation wall. The stone veneer exterior dwelling walls that are parallel to the fire-separation line also appear to be greater than three feet away from the extension of the fire-separation line, thus they are not required to be fire-rated. This assumption is based on the idea that the front entry doors are most likely 36 inches wide, plus side casting, which keeps them out of the 36 inch area that would normally address fire-ratings and protected openings. The contact for this article is: Peter Kulczyk, Building Codes & Standards Division 651-205-4707

Photo #1

Photo #2


Manufactured Homes Safety

Safety is in the Details: Tie-downs

“If there’s a silver lining to this storm,” he said, “it’s that it vividly illustrates the new standards work.” Of roughly 800,000 manufactured homes in Florida, about 160,000 have been made since manufacturers were required in 1994 to make them strong enough to withstand 130 mph winds in coastal areas.” It is not clear how many have been installed according to improved tie-down standards enacted in 1999.
Frank Williams, Florida Manufactured Housing Association, Palm Beach Post, August 22, 2004

Despite the reputation for some pretty extreme weather, Minnesota is safe from hurricanes, at least any direct impact. However, when the most recent round of hurricanes hit Florida, many Minnesotans saw their vacation and “snowbird” retreats threatened, damaged, and destroyed. It didn’t take long for editorials calling for a ban on mobile home construction to appear. However, at the same time news articles with headlines such as Why Some Mobile Homes Survived the Storm, Palm Beach Post, balanced out the emotion with some facts. As aerial views of the damaged areas became available it was hard not to notice the disparity in the damage. In Minnesota we are used to seeing the random damage a tornado can cause. However, when a community of homes is hit by the force of a hurricane one wouldn’t expect a patchwork of damage. An estimated 11 million Americans live in mobile home communities.1 According to the Palm Beach Post, at least 134,000 mobile homes stood in counties hit hardest by Hurricane Charley. The same article states that Hurricane Andrew’s devastation prompted adoption of 1994 standards and later 1999 standards that required straps and anchors to hold the homes down be galvanized and sunk five feet into the ground. However, the standards enacted in 1999 were required only for homes installed after 1999. For information regarding tie-down requirements in Minnesota, review Minnesota State Building Code Chapter 1350 and Manufactured Home Bulletin #31, both available on our website: Resource information: Building Codes & Standards Rules - Chapter 1350 of the Minnesota State Building Code Informational Printouts & Forms - Manufactured Structures U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards This program protects consumers through regulation and enforcement of HUD design and construction standards for manufactured homes. HUD provides two types of consumer protection. An eligible manufactured home must: - Meet the National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. - Carry a one-year manufacturer’s warranty if it is a new manufactured home. - Be installed on a homesite that meets established local standards for site suitability and has adequate water supply and sewage disposal facilities available.

photos: Palm Beach Post

The Next American City -



Congratulations to the state’s recently designated municipal Building Officials:

• Lyle Nesvold – Kellliher • Loren Kohnen – New Brighton, Columbia Heights • Pam Swanson – Motley • Richard Jarson – Ramsey • Ron Ripley – Austin

Committee Reports
If you are interested in finding out what is currently going on with a rules committee, go to our website - Rules - Committee Reports. Information is posted there regarding meetings for committees currently active, contacts for questions, and a rules suggestion form.

• Ken Svee, Building Official for Region 2 RETIRED - Best Wishes Ken! • Jeff DeJarlais, Region 5 Building Official IS NOW Region 2 Building Official. • Paul Heimkes, Plan Review, is NOW Region 5 Building Official. • Rich Lockrem, Education, is NOW with Plan Review. • A position is now open in Education - details posted at Staff phone numbers and e-mail are on the website under Staff Division Structure & Organization.

Staff Changes at BCSD

In addition to talking with code officials, visitors can pick up brochures on such common topics as decks, roofing, porches, garages, egress windows, and smoke alarms. It is located in the southeast corner of the Education Building Can’t make the Fair this year? The brochures are posted on our website -, Informational Printouts and Forms.


Be sure to check the BCSD website at least once a week:

OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST: u BCSD Calendar (exams, seminars) u The Standard (current and past issues) u Minn. State Building Code in pdf format u Map with directions to BCSD u Counties that have adopted the code. u Contact Info u Find the Building Official for your municipality.

Many documents on our website are Adobe Acrobat PDF (portable document files). Click on the Acrobat Reader icon to download free Adobe Acrobat Reader software or to UPDATE YOUR EXISTING Reader.

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Request for Email Notification
Email is an efficient and effective method for distributing information and announcements. However, we respect your time and promise: - To keep emails very brief. - To limit the frequency of email distribution. - To not include attachments. Any documents referenced in emails are posted on our website unless otherwise noted. q Yes! I would like to receive a brief email notice from Building Codes and Standards. Topics I am interested in include: q Anything related to the Minnesota State Building Code q Educational Opportunities or Information: q For certification purposes. q For technical/informational purposes. My areas of interest include:
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Some training is provided with other agencies .

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Building Codes and Standards Division

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