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Opinion: Application of IBC Section 506.3 for Area Increases


November 9, 2004


Municipal Building Officials Municipal Fire Officials Building Contractors and Design Professionals


Thomas R. Joachim, State Building Official


Jerry Rosendahl, State Fire Marshal


Application of IBC Section 506.3 for Area Increases


This question was brought to our attention based upon a number of interpretations that our offices have heard regarding area increases. After much research and confirmation by ICC we believe the answer below meets the intent of the code. We found multiple other sections of the IBC that specifically state which type of sprinkler system qualifies for an exception. We also researched the 2003 IBC that clearly separated Section 903.3.1.1 by removing the references to 903.3.1.2 and 903.3.1.3.


Section 506.3 of the IBC permits area increases when a building is sprinklered pursuant to Section 903.3.1.1 of the IBC. Does Section 903.3.1.1 allow use of a NFPA 13R system or NFPA 13D system to increase the area of a building?


No, it does not. Only an NFPA 13 system can be used to increase the area of a building pursuant to IBC Section 506.3.


Because IBC Section 903.3.1.1 language was confusing and possibly misleading, we believe any projects under construction, or permitted should be allowed to be completed based on the approved plans. This should be documented in the project file. We believe any new projects starting the review process should be required to meet this interpretation.

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