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GSBN:Re: 200 sf vs 120 sf
>Joelee, I believe, told me a while back that you had said something to
>the effect the maximum square footage allowance for a building without a
>permit had been increased to 200 sf from 120 sf. Is that true, or
>wishful thinking as I suspect?
In response to Bill Steen's query above...
The 2000 International Residential Code (IRC) which Tucson and Pima
County Arizona have adopted - not sure about Cochise County, states in
Section R105.2 Work exempt from permit. Permits shall not be required for
the following. ...
1. One-story detached accessory structures, provided the floor area does
not exceed 200 square feet (18.58 square meters).
It also defines Accessory Structure. In one- and two-family dwellings not
more than three stories high with separate means of egress, a building
the use of which is incidental to that of the main building and which is
located on the same lot.
The interpretation of section R105.2 is mainly in whether floor area is
determined as meaning the interior area or the footprint of the floor.
Since floor area isn't a defined term in the IRC, looking in the
International Building Code (IBC) we find in the definitions for "Floor
Area, Gross" and "Floor Area, Net" which are as follows (excerpted
Floor Area, Gross. The floor area within the inside perimeter of the
exterior walls of the building under consideration, exclusive of vent
shafts and courts, without deduction for corridors, stairways, closets,
the thickness of interior walls, columns, or other features. ...
Floor Area, Net. The actual occupied area not including unoccupied
accessory areas such as corridors, stairways, toilet rooms, mechanical
rooms, and closets.
So, I would interpret this to mean that the 200 sf refers to the interior
usable space, though this is subject to the interpretation of the local
building official, and those jurisdictions not using the IRC will be
subject to the rules of the codes in force locally. Matts is currently
engaging Tucson and Pima County in this discussion, since they seem to
have interpreted this to mean footprint rather than interior space,
though it seems a real stretch to read that into the code language. My
David Eisenberg, Director
Development Center for Appropriate Technology
P.O. Box 27513, Tucson, AZ 85713
(520) 624-6628 voice / (520) 798-3701 fax
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