Egress window confliction

Voting section related to Minnesota building codes.

Which of these qualified documents prevails?

Poll ended at Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:35 pm

DOLI Division Opinion
6
30%
ICC Interpretation
14
70%
 
Total votes : 20

Egress window confliction

Postby forumadmin » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:41 am

Regarding the frequently discussed question of whether to require the installation of an egress window in an existing basement when work is performed to change the use of that level (such as storage space to habitable space); there are currently two conflicting answers to this question.

On the State of Minnesota DOLI website there is a current Division Opinion that states NO;
While on the ICC website there is a current Interpretation that says YES.

Minnesota Division Opinion:
http://www.doli.state.mn.us/pdf/bc_opinion_division_2008_02_egress.pdf

ICC Interpretation:
http://www2.iccsafe.org/cs/committeeArea/pdf_file/RE_06_16_07.pdf


Which of these qualified documents prevails?
DOLI Division Opinion
ICC Interpretation
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Re: Egress window confliction

Postby Patrick Parsley » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:12 pm

In a recent decision by the appeals board in MN, they agreed with the ICC opinion. We should be seeing a new posting from DOLI regarding this issue. Hopefully soon.
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Re: Egress window confliction

Postby Patrick Parsley » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:19 pm

The appeals board decision has been posted on the DOLI web site. Here is the address.

http://www.doli.state.mn.us/pdf/bc_ab_minutes_0802.pdf
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Re: Egress window confliction

Postby Paul H. » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:55 pm

We have currently taken the position that we will support the Building Official in whichever endeavor they choose (on this one). Personally though,.... If I were sitting in the big chair (in the real world), I would go with ICC and the Appeals Board. :shock: I think the liability factor would be much reduced if records show that the states own Appeals Board ruled in a different manner - and/or "with" ICC on this application. I know I'd personally never miss a nights sleep over this then.
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Re: Egress window confliction

Postby RDavidson » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:26 pm

The decision by the Appeals Board regarding basement emergency escape openings is the most baseless, meritless, and conflicting decision I have ever seen. The decision doesn't pass legal muster. Even the application could be considered invalid. It is superceded only by the ICC opinion.
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Re: Egress window confliction

Postby mkaehler » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:31 pm

I could not agree with Rick's statement more. I am very disappointed in the results of the review board and I would like to think the opinion of our own state staff would hold a little more merit than that of ICC.

If we need to review this issue again, the IRC code change committee will be assembling very soon and we are always looking for new dragons to slay.

Thought! Many of those basements in the 60’s had 10 course block foundations. I wonder if they made them raise the floor during the “remodel”?
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Re: Egress window confliction

Postby RDavidson » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:24 am

Am I understanding this correctly that the majority feels that placing partitions in an unfinished basement to enclose a laundry area would trigger the requirement to install an egress window? Anyone?
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Re: Egress window confliction

Postby mkaehler » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:54 am

This should be interesting to see the responces on your question.

I believe that the basement finish does not change the use of that area and still would not require the window.
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Re: Egress window confliction

Postby David Swan » Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:10 pm

No. A laundry room would certainly fall into the exempted uses. We're asking about habitable space such as sleeping room, family room, den or office.

R202 HABITABLE SPACE. A space in a building for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces.

We are looking to discover if uniformity is present in understanding this code provision - considering the conflicts in the two statements. The question is trying to determine when an egress element must be required.
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Re: Egress window confliction

Postby Bob Rood » Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:03 pm

With the adoption of the 2007 State Residential Code, the language relating to basements with habitable space has been deleted. In new construction all basements require an emergency escape regardless of their use. The habitable question is now a moot point.

The question now is how to deal with existing basements where no sleeping room is proposed, and a building permit application has been received to "finish" the space. Even though there are requirements concerning framing, mechanical, electrical, etc. the addition of cosmetic finishes, and interior partitions, may not change the original use of the space.

There is nothing I can find in the code that addresses, other than the addition of a sleeping room where none previously existed, the requirement for an emergency escape in an existing basement. Keep in mind that the upstairs bedrooms are also probably noncompliant.
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