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SECTION A-102 APPLICABILITY 6
A-102.1 General: The provisions of this code shall apply to matters of administration common to the technical codes as set forth in Section A-101.0. Administrative provisions which are unique to one of the technical codes will be set forth in the administrative provisions of such code. Terms used in this code shall be as defined by the technical codes unless defined herein. The codes listed in Section A-101.3 (other than the Zoning Code) and referenced elsewhere in this code and the other technical codes comprise the Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code and shall be applicable as stated in each of the codes. Provisions in the appendices of the International codes shall not apply unless specifically adopted in the administrative provisions of the adopted code. 7
The Building Construction and Occupancy Code does not apply to: 8
1. The use, construction or alteration of any building owned and operated by the federal government pursuant to the Public Building, Property and Works Law, 40 U.S.C. § 3101.
2. Pursuant to the UCC, an agricultural building that is a structure used to store farm implements, hay, feed, grain or other agricultural or horticultural products or to house poultry, livestock or other farm animals, which is subject to the Property Maintenance Code, the Zoning Code and the Fire Code. The exemption does not include habitable space or spaces in which agricultural products are processed, treated or packaged, or any place of occupancy by the general public.
3. Installation of tubing, piping, propane gas burning appliances, equipment or fixtures related to liquefied petroleum gas pursuant to the Propane and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act, Act 61 of 2002, P.L. 421 (35 P.S. §§ 1329.1 – 1329.19).
4. Construction of individual sewage disposal systems pursuant to 25 Pa. Code, Chapter 73 (relating to onlot sewage treatment facilities) as regulated by the Department of Public Health.
5. With respect to electrical provisions of the code only, to a dwelling unit utilized by a member of a recognized religious sect if a code administrator grants an exemption under Section 901(b) of the UCC.
6. Pursuant to the UCC, the construction of structures which are:
a. Erected for the purpose of participation in a fair, flea market, arts and crafts festival or other public celebration;
b. Less than 1,600 square feet in size;
c. Erected for a period of less than 30 days; and
d. Not a swimming pool or hot tub.
Such structures are subject to the Property Maintenance Code, the Zoning Code and the Fire Code.
7. Pursuant to the UCC, construction of a pole barn that is constructed on agricultural fairgrounds and is used solely for agricultural purposes and animal display. Such structures are subject to the Property Maintenance Code, the Zoning Code and the Fire Code. If an exempted pole barn has electrical service, a permit and inspections to determine compliance with the electrical provisions of the code are required.
8. Pursuant to the UCC, the installation and maintenance of ski lifts, inclined passenger lifts and related devices, elevators, escalators, conveying systems and related equipment as defined in the Building Code, with the exception of the accessibility requirements of the Building Code. Such devices and systems shall be regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
9. Pursuant to the UCC, the construction or alteration of structures used for the direct, seasonal sale of agricultural commodities where such structures are:
a. open on at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the perimeter of the structure when in operation.
b. operated by a producer whose products make up not less than fifty percent (50%) of the agricultural commodities being sold;
c. if not located on the producer's property, erected for less than 180 days of a calendar year;
d. comprised of an area of not more than 1,000 square feet;
e. used to load, unload or sort livestock at livestock auction facilities; and
f. limited to one structure per parcel of land.
Such structures are subject to the Property Maintenance Code, the Zoning Code and the Fire Code.
A-102.2 Conflicting provisions: Whenever conflicting provisions or requirements occur within or between this code, the technical codes and any other applicable codes or laws, the most restrictive shall govern. Where there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement, the specific requirement shall be applicable.
A-102.3 Referenced codes and standards: 9 The codes and standards referenced in any of the technical codes shall be considered part of the requirements of such code to the prescribed extent of each such reference. Where differences occur between provisions of a technical code and the referenced codes and standards, the provisions of the originating code shall apply. The department is authorized by regulation to update the edition of standards referenced by the technical codes as necessary to maintain current technical provisions. Such regulations shall be subject to the local amendment requirements of the UCC.
Exception: Where enforcement of a code provision would violate the conditions of the listing of equipment or an appliance, the conditions of the listing and manufacturer's instructions shall apply.
A-102.3.1 Referenced codes. Where this code or the technical codes reference the Administrative Code, International Building Code, ICC Electrical Code, International Energy Conservation Code, International Existing Building Code, International Fire Code, International Fuel Gas Code, International Mechanical Code, International Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities, International Plumbing Code, International Property Maintenance Code, International Residential Code or Zoning Code, it shall mean the City of Philadelphia Code of such title listed in the "Referenced Standards" Chapter of the referencing code and currently in effect unless specifically stated otherwise.
A-102.3.2 Referenced standards. The standards referenced in this code or the technical codes shall be those that are listed in the "Referenced Standards" Chapter of the referencing code.
A-102.4 Authority: Nothing in this code or in any of the technical codes shall be construed as conferring or attempting to confer upon any officer, department, board or commission of the City, the power of eminent domain. All actions by any officer, department, board or commission pursuant to this code or any of the technical codes shall be deemed to be in the exercise of the police power. The provisions of this code and the technical codes shall not be deemed to nullify any applicable provisions of other local, state or federal laws.
A-102.5 Subjects not regulated by this code. Where no applicable standards or requirements are set forth in the technical codes, or are contained within other laws, codes, regulations or ordinances, compliance with applicable nationally recognized standards, as approved, shall be deemed as prima facie evidence of compliance with the intent of the technical code. Nothing herein shall derogate from the authority of the code official to determine compliance with codes or standards for those activities or installations within the code official's jurisdiction or responsibility. Requirements necessary for the strength, stability or proper operation of an existing or proposed building or mechanical system, or for the public safety, health and general welfare, not specifically covered by the technical codes or applicable standards, shall be determined by the code official.
A-102.6 Existing structures. 10 The legal occupancy of any structure existing on the date of adoption of the Building Construction and Occupancy Code, or any subcode thereof, shall be permitted to continue without change, except as is specifically covered in such code, the Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code or Philadelphia Fire Code, or as is deemed necessary by the code official for the general safety and welfare of the occupants and the public. This Section (A-102.6) is subject to the following provisions of the UCC:
1. A building that was built before April 27, 1927 is deemed to be legally occupied until the owner proposes to renovate, add an addition, alter or change the occupancy of the building. The renovation, addition, alteration or change in occupancy must comply with the UCC.
2. For all existing structures built on or after April 27, 1927, the code official is authorized to issue a certificate of occupancy if the building meets the requirements of the latest adopted version of the "International Existing Building Code". The code official may deny the issuance of a certificate of occupancy if the official deems that a building is unsafe because of inadequate means of egress, inadequate lighting and ventilation, fire hazards or other dangers to human life or to public welfare.
A-102.6.1 Existing installations. Except as otherwise specifically provided for in the technical codes, a provision in the technical codes shall not require the removal, alteration or abandonment of, nor prevent the continued utilization and maintenance of the following systems and equipment lawfully in existence at the time of adoption of this code and the technical codes.
1. Building envelope
2. Electrical systems and equipment
3. Fuel gas installations
4. Mechanical systems
5. Plumbing systems
6. Service water-heating systems
A-102.6.2 Buildings not previously occupied. 11 A building or portion of a building that has not been previously occupied or used for its intended purpose in accordance with the laws in existence at the time of its completion shall comply with the Building or Residential Code as applicable for new construction or with any current permit for such occupancy.
A-102.7 Maintenance. 12 Buildings and parts thereof shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition. Fuel gas installations; mechanical systems; plumbing systems and electrical systems, equipment, materials and appurtenances and parts thereof, shall be maintained in proper operating condition in accordance with the original design and in a safe, hazard-free condition. All existing devices and safeguards that are required by the technical codes shall be maintained in existing buildings. The owner or the owner's designated agent shall be responsible for the maintenance of the building. To determine compliance with this subsection, the code official shall have the authority to require a building to be reinspected. Except where specifically permitted by the Building Construction and Occupancy Code, the code shall not provide the basis for removal or abrogation of fire protection and safety systems and devices in existing buildings.
Exception: This Section shall not prohibit the removal of fire protection systems or equipment where such removal is authorized by an approved permit and construction documents for alterations and/or a change in occupancy classification, and the fire protection systems or equipment are not required by the current Building and Fire Codes.
A-102.8 Additions, alterations and repairs to structures. 13 Additions, alterations and repairs to an existing building or structure, or portion thereof shall conform to the requirements for new construction per the currently adopted technical codes. Additions, alterations and repairs shall not cause an existing building or structure to become unsafe, hazardous or overloaded.
Exception: At the option of the applicant or registered design professional in responsible charge, additions, alterations and repairs shall be permitted to comply with the applicable provisions of the Philadelphia Existing Building Code.
A-102.8.1 Additions, alterations and repairs to systems. Additions, alterations, renovations and repairs to the following systems and installations shall conform to the requirements for new systems and installations without requiring any portion of the existing systems and installations to comply with all of the requirements of the applicable technical codes. Additions, alterations and repairs shall not cause an existing system or installation to become unsafe, hazardous or overloaded.
1. Electrical installations
2. Fuel gas installations
3. Mechanical systems
4. Plumbing systems
5. Service water-heating systems
Minor additions, alterations, renovations and repairs to existing systems or installations shall meet the provisions for new construction, unless such work is done in the same manner and arrangement as was done in the existing system, is not hazardous and is approved.
A-102.9 Change of occupancy. 14 It shall be unlawful to make a change of occupancy, as specifically defined in this code and the technical codes, of any building unless such building is made to comply with the requirements of this code and the applicable technical codes for such new occupancy.
A-102.10 Historic buildings. 15 The Building Construction and Occupancy Code shall be fully applicable to buildings designated as historic pursuant to Chapter 14-1000 or listed in the National Register of Historic Places; provided, however, that variances shall be available pursuant to Section A-802.2.
A-102.11 Moved structures. Structures moved into or within the City of Philadelphia shall comply with the requirements of the Building Code for new structures. Electrical systems and equipment, fuel gas installations, and mechanical systems that are a part of buildings or structures moved into or within the City of Philadelphia shall comply with the provisions of the Electrical Code, Fuel Gas Code and Mechanical Code respectively for new installations. This subsection shall not apply to structures regulated under the Industrialized Housing Act, Act 70 of 1972, P.L. 286 (35 P.S. §§ 1651.1 – 1651.12) or the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Authorization Act, Act 192 of 1982, P.L. 676 (35 P.S. §§ 1656.1 – 1656.9).
A-102.12 Manufactured and industrialized housing and industrialized commercial buildings. 16 Manufactured housing pursuant to the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Authorization Act (35 P.S. §§ 1656.1 – 1656.9) and industrialized housing and industrialized commercial buildings pursuant to the Industrialized Housing Act (35 P.S. §§ 1651.1 – 1651.12) respectively shall be governed by Sections A-102.12.1 through A-126.96.36.199.
A-188.8.131.52 Exemption. Except as provided in Section A-184.108.40.206, the Building Construction and Occupancy Code does not apply to manufactured housing assembled by and shipped from the manufacturer and which bears a label which certifies that it conforms to Federal construction and safety standards adopted under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. §§ 5401 – 5426).
A-220.127.116.11 Site construction. 17 Relevant provisions of the Philadelphia Residential Code shall apply to the following:
1. Site preparation
2. Foundation construction
3. Connection to utilities
1. Alteration or repair to the unit that is not within the scope of 24 C.F.R. 3280.1 – 3280.904 (relating to manufactured home construction and safety standards) and the manufacturer's installation instructions after assembly and shipment by the manufacturer.
2. Additions to the unit after delivery to the site.
3. Construction, alteration, repair or change of occupancy if the manufactured housing is resold to a subsequent purchaser.
4. Construction, alteration, repair or change of occupancy if the original purchaser relocates the manufactured housing.
A-18.104.22.168 Exemption. Except as provided in Section A-22.214.171.124, the Building Construction and Occupancy Code does not apply to industrialized housing and industrialized commercial buildings assembled by and shipped from the manufacturer.
1. Site preparation
2. Foundation construction
3. Utilities connection
5. Construction, alteration or repair to the industrialized housing unit after installation.
6. Change of occupancy classification if the industrialized housing or industrialized commercial building is resold to a subsequent purchaser or relocated.
1. Philadelphia Residential Code.
2. Philadelphia Building Code provisions related to glazing in walls and fences enclosing indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs and spas.
A-102.13.2 Swimming pools not accessory to dwellings. Pursuant to the UCC, swimming pools that are not accessory to one- or two-family dwellings shall comply with this Section (A-102.13), the "American National Standards for Public Pools" issued by ANSI and NSPI (ANSI/NSPI-1 2003) and the Public Bathing Law (35 P.S. §§ 672 – 680d).
A-102.13.3 Hot tubs and spas. Pursuant to the UCC, hot tubs and spas that are not accessory to one- or two- family dwellings shall comply with this Section (A-102.13) and the "American National Standard for Public Spas" issued by ANSI and NSPI (ANSI/NSPI-2 1999).
A-102.14 State-owned buildings. 20 The provisions of this Title 4 shall apply to all State-owned buildings; provided, however, that pursuant to the UCC, the Commonwealth Department of Labor and Industry will conduct plan and specification review of permit applications, issue permits and perform inspections to ensure compliance with the UCC.
Amended, Bill No. 030780 (approved December 31, 2003).
Amended, Bill No. 110844 (approved December 21, 2011), effective August 22, 2012.
Added, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).