New Year Will Ring in With New Building Codes

February 2010Newsletters In the Zone

Under Pennsylvania's Uniform Construction Code (UCC), the Department of Labor and Industry must adopt the latest published building codes prior to December 31. On December 10, the 2009 I-Codes received their final regulatory approval by the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission and will go into effect on January 1, 2010.

However, there are two mechanisms to effectively grandfather your project to the 2006 construction standards: (1) apply for the building permit in 2009 or (2) execute a design or construction contract in 2009. If issued your permit, you will be required to begin construction activities within 180 days or else the permit will lapse. While you can apply to renew the building permit, reapplication will likely require compliance with the new 2009 building codes.

Section 403.1 of the UCC regulations provides that, "[n]ew buildings or renovations to existing building for which a design or construction contract was executed before the effective date of the [...] latest triennial versions of the construction codes and standards shall comply with the codes and standards in effect at the time that the design or construction contract was executed."

According to the Department of Labor and Industry, this would apply indefinitely until the permit is issued, so long as the permit is pulled and construction begins within 180 days.

For more information, please contact Robert W. Gundlach, Jr. at 215.918.3636 or [email protected].