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GSBN: Digest for 10/21/02

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-> Re: 200 sf vs 120 sf 
     by Strawnet@...


Date: 21 Oct 2002 17:27:50 -0500
From: Strawnet@...
Subject: Re: 200 sf vs 120 sf 

>Hey David,
>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 
two cents...


David Eisenberg, Director
Development Center for Appropriate Technology
P.O. Box 27513, Tucson, AZ  85713
(520) 624-6628 voice / (520) 798-3701 fax

The Development Center for Appropriate Technology is a 501(c)(3) 
non-profit organization. Our primary support comes from foundation grants 
and charitable contributions from individuals and businesses, and from 
our educational and training programs and consulting services. Our 
mission is to enhance the health of the planet and our communities by 
promoting a shift to sustainable construction and development practices 
through leadership, strategic relationships, and education. To learn 
about DCAT's work and how you can support it, please visit our website at 


End of Digest

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