Building Codes For Historic Buildings

2003 Words9 Pages
Abstract

While historic buildings have benefited greatly from decades of regulatory reform, a new generation of advocacy is required to address issues of building integrity . For historic buildings, introducing building codes may present a challenge that can stifle the historic preservation tenet applied to the historic structure whether it be preservation, restoration, rehabilitation or reconstruction. Building codes are a set of regulations that provide for a minimum standard that would safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of building occupants. Within the context of historic preservation, building codes allow for the repair, alteration, relocation, and even change in occupancy for the respective historic building. Each state and
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These remedies would have to be reversible and cannot be obtrusive to the character of the historic structure. There is usually some abstruseness with how a historic building is revitalized since the local government may amend a code to suit a particular need. The intent of building codes are to provide the minimum requirement in buildings, to secure the beneficial interests of public safety, health and general welfare, by regulation all new construction, additions, alterations and repairs of buildings. The first code of published by the International Code Council (ICC) to address the historic structures was the International Building Code. This code allowed the availability of rehabilitation codes and established a subcommittee to oversee those codes.

It is not until a project or building is undergoing consideration, that codes must reflect the requirements that were not previously required in older buildings. At the time period that historic buildings were designed there was little to no need for egress or ADA accessibility. For instance, the code requires at least two means of egress from the upper floors of a building. The purpose in requiring two exits exists on the premise that should fire or other emergency block the escape route through one of the exits, the second exit is available to building occupants. Buildings in the 1950s were only provided with one exit
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