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Thread: Habitable space inside ag uses

  1. #1
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    Habitable space inside ag uses

    I inspect existing buildings mostly, as do I, but sometimes I inspect new work.

    I live in an area that is sparsely populated and mostly agricultural use, but is covered by standard codes and a fairly standard zoning regimen.

    Sometimes use, which is classified in our state by NFPA 101 Life Safety, clashes with ICC codes. Life safety does not address separation of uses, but it does define them. ICC codes do address rated construction but do not define use (in our state anyway).

    I have a client who has added habitable space to an agricultural use building. The local AHJ has refused to "sign off" on the habitable space because it is regarded as outside the use category of the building (a "shop" space associated with a chicken farm). Because the habitable space was only noticed by the AHJ after it was completed, yet still under permit for the ag use, they want the owner to hire me to conduct an inspection of the habitable space.

    I am fine with that, but I have to tread the tightwire of description by not calling the space a "dwelling" to avoid use issues. I also want to avoid separation issues that the ICC would call for if the dwelling were to be attached to a "garage".

    Do any here do deal with new work have to do this kind of hopscotch?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Lucky me, I don't have to deal with it for a couple reasons. We have no residential/ag building codes and the state exempts ag uses from just about everything. If I did have to inspect something like that I would look for fire ratings on the separation so I could say it's split okay. Either that or treat it like a garage.

    Good luck.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    I am going to call it "habitable space", and avoid use labeling as much as I can. Because it is not a garage but more of a tool and implement shop (related to chicken farm), I am going to ignore IRC separation as well as IBC multi-use with all its separation. Its habitable use is scheduled as temporary anyway.

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