WV BUILDING CODE(S)

WV LAWS: In all cases of inconsistency the official recorded document shall prevail.

 §7-1-3n. Authority of certain counties as to building and housing codes; state building code.

(a) In addition to all other powers and duties now conferred by law upon county commissions, county commissions are hereby authorized and empowered, by order duly entered of record, to adopt building and housing codes establishing and regulating minimum building and housing standards for the purpose of improving the health, safety and well-being of its citizens. Such codes may be adopted either for the entire county, or for any portion or portions of such county which may constitute an effective area or areas for such purposes, without the necessity of adopting such codes for any other portion of such county. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection to the contrary, no such code shall apply to or affect any territory within the boundaries of any municipal corporation which has adopted and in effect a housing and building code, unless and until such municipal corporation so provides by ordinance, or to structures on parcels of land used primarily for agricultural purposes.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), all existing county building codes are void one year after the promulgation of a state building code by the state fire commission as provided in chapter twenty-nine, article three, section five-b of this code.

Upon the voidance of the county’s existing building code, if the county commission votes to adopt a building code, it must be the state building code promulgated pursuant to chapter twenty-nine, article three, section five-b of this code.

(c) In addition to all other powers and duties now conferred by law upon county commissions, county commissions are hereby authorized and empowered, by order duly entered of record, to adopt such state building code upon promulgation by the state fire commission. However, such state building code shall not apply to or affect any territory within the boundaries of any municipal corporation which has not adopted the state building code.

 §29-3-5b. Promulgation of rules and statewide building code.

(a) The state fire commission shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to safeguard life and property and to ensure the quality of construction of all structures erected or renovated throughout this state through the adoption of a state building code. The rules shall be in accordance with standard safe practices so embodied in widely recognized standards of good practice for building construction and all aspects related thereto and have force and effect in those counties and municipalities adopting the state building code.

(b) The state fire commission has authority to propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, regarding building construction, renovation and all other aspects as related to the construction and mechanical operations of a structure. The rules shall be known as the “State Building Code.”

(c) For the purpose of this section the term “building code” is intended to include all aspects of safe building construction and mechanical operations and all safety aspects related thereto.

Whenever any other state law, county or municipal ordinance or regulation of any agency thereof is more stringent or imposes a higher standard than is required by the state building code, the provisions of the state law, county or municipal ordinance or regulation of any agency thereof governs if they are not inconsistent with the laws of West Virginia and are not contrary to recognized standards and good engineering practices. In any question, the decision of the state fire commission determines the relative priority of any such state law, county or municipal ordinance or regulation of any agency thereof and determines compliance with state building code by officials of the state, counties, municipalities and political subdivisions of the state.

(d) Enforcement of the provisions of the state building code is the responsibility of the respective local jurisdiction. Also, any county or municipality may enter into an agreement with any other county or municipality to provide inspection and enforcement services: Provided, That any county or municipality may adopt the state building code with or without adopting the BOCA national property maintenance code.

(e) After the state fire commission has promulgated rules as provided in this section, each county or municipality intending to adopt the state building code shall notify the state fire commission of its intent.

(f) The state fire commission may conduct public meetings in each county or municipality adopting the state building code to explain the provisions of the rules.

(g) The provisions of the state building code relating to the construction, repair, alteration, restoration and movement of structures are not mandatory for existing buildings and structures identified and classified by the state register of historic places under the provisions of section eight, article one, chapter twenty-nine of this code, or the national register of historic places, pursuant to Title XVI, section 470a of the United States Code. Prior to renovations regarding the application of the state building code, in relation to historical preservation of structures identified as such, the authority having jurisdiction shall consult with the division of culture and history, state historic preservation office. The final decision is vested in the state fire commission. Additions constructed on a historic building are not excluded from complying with the state building code.

WV STATE FIRE COMMISSION, LEGISLATIVE RULE, TITLE 87 SERIES 4, STATE BUILDING CODE

 §87-4-1. General.

 1.1. Scope. — This rule establishes the standards considered necessary by the State Fire Commission for the safeguarding of life and property and to ensure the quality of construction of all structures erected or renovated throughout this state.

 1.2. Authority. — W. Va. Code §29-3-5b.

 1.3. Filing Date. — April 6, 1998.

 1.4. Effective Date. — May 1, 1998.

 1.5. Incorporation of other Documents. — This rule does not include a reprinting of all the requirements imposed by statute or by the incorporation of various nationally recognized standards and codes cited in Section 4.1 of this rule. For ascertaining these additional standards and requirements, it is necessary to make reference to the other documents.

 §87-4-2. Definitions.

 2.1. Building code – includes all aspects of safe building construction and mechanical operations and all safety aspects related to building construction and mechanical operations.

 2.2. Fire marshal – means the West Virginia State Fire Marshal and/or his or her designated representatives.

 2.3. Fire Commission – means the thirteen (13) appointed members of the West Virginia State Fire Commission.

 2.4. Local jurisdiction – means municipal or county level government.

 2.5. State Building Code – means the entire contents of this rule and the referenced national codes.

 2.6. BOCA – refers to the Building Officials & Code Administrators International.

 2.7. CABO – refers to the Council of American Building Officials, 5203 Leesburg Pike, Suite 708, Falls Church, Virginia 22041.

 §87-4-3. Conflicts.

3.1. Whenever there is a conflict between the state fire code and the state building code, the state fire code takes precedence.

3.2. Whenever there is a conflict between the BOCA National Plumbing Code section of the state building code and the rules of the West Virginia State Department of Health and Human Resources, the rules of the Department of Health and Human Resources takes precedence.

3.3. Whenever there is a conflict between the state building code and statutory laws of the State of West Virginia, the West Virginia Code takes precedence.

 §87-4-4. National Standards and Codes.

4.1. The standards and requirements as set out and as published by the Building Officials & Code Administrators International and the Council of American Building Officials, as listed below, have the same force and effect as if set out verbatim in this rule:

The BOCA National Building Code, Thirteenth Edition, 1996 EXCEPTION TO 1014.6 Treads & Risers; Design and Construction to be in accordance with 1993 BOCA National Building Code, Twelfth Edition for one & two family dwellings.

The BOCA International Plumbing Code, First Edition, 1995

The BOCA International Mechanical Code, First Edition, 1996

The BOCA National Property Maintenance Code, Fifth Edition, 1996 This Maintenance Code may be rejected at the option of the local jurisdiction.

The BOCA National Energy Conservation Code, Seventh Edition, 1993

The CABO One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code, 1995 Edition EXCEPTION TO 314.2 Stairway: Design and Construction of Stair to be in accordance with the 1992 CABO one-and two-family dwelling code.

4.1.1. The following structures are not subject to inspection by local jurisdictions:

4.1.1.a. Group U utility structures and storage sheds comprising an area not more than 150 sq. ft. which have no plumbing or electrical connections and are utilized only for residential storage purposes. (Examples include storage sheds that are for the residential storage of lawnmowers, tools, bicycles or furniture.) Not included are those utility structures and storage sheds which have plumbing or electrical connections or are used for the storage of explosives or other hazardous or explosive materials.

 4.1.2. Exceptions:

4.1.2.a. References to the CABO Model Energy Code, 1995 Edition, in the various national standards and codes adopted in this section mean the BOCA National Energy Conservation Code, 1993 Edition, as adopted in this section.

4.2. A copy of the codes listed in Section 4.1 of this rule have been filed with the Secretary of State. These code books, collectively or separately, may be obtained by contacting the Building Officials & Code Administrators International, 4051 West Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, Illinois 60477-5795, telephone 708/799-2300; or BOCA International Regional Offices, 3592 Corporate Drive, Suite 107, Columbus, Ohio 43231, telephone 614/890-1061.

 §87-4-5. Adoption by Local Jurisdiction.

5.1. Each local jurisdiction adopting the State Building Code shall notify the State Fire Commission in writing. The local jurisdiction shall send a copy of the ordinance or order to the State Fire Marshal, West Virginia State Fire Commission, 1207 Quarrier Street, 2nd floor, Charleston, West Virginia 25301, within thirty (30) days of adoption.

5.2. Each local jurisdiction which adopts the State Building Code has responsibility for the enforcement of the building code as provided in W.Va.Code §§7-1-3n and 8-12-13.

5.3. Throughout the national codes, as adopted in Section 4.1 of this rule, there are discretionary provisions which require further action by the adopting local jurisdiction in order to adapt these codes to various local conditions. It is therefore the intent of this rule to further authorize each local jurisdiction to further complete, by order or ordnance, those respective areas which are indicated to be completed by the adopting jurisdiction.

5.4. Within the penalty sections of each of the national codes, as adopted in Section 4.1 of this rule, there is a penalty for imprisonment. The provision of imprisonment for a violation of this rule is optional with each adopting local jurisdiction.

5.5. Each of the national codes, as adopted in Section 4.1 of this rule, provides for a separate appeals board. However, the intent and requirements for an appeal board may be met with the creation by the local jurisdiction of a single appeals board for the entire State Building Code.

§87-4-6. Existing Building Codes.

6.1. All building codes which have been adopted by local jurisdictions prior to the passage of W. Va. Code §29-3-5b, are null and void.

In all cases of inconsistency the official recorded document shall prevail.

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