Changes to the International Building Code Affect Self Storage - April 2019
With the support of its Code Committee, the Self Storage Association successfully pursued several key changes to the 2021 International Building Code.
1. An exception has been added to IBC Section 2902.3.3 to permit an increase in the location (to greater than every other floor) and maximum distance of travel (to greater than 500 ft) for restrooms. The location and travel distance must be approved by the code official.
2. The maximum allowable height of sprinklered facilities made of Type IIB materials (unprotected steel) and Type IIIB materials (noncombustible or fire-retardant-treated wood stud exterior walls and any interior construction) has been increased from 3 stories to 4 stories. The Code continues to have total floor and building square footage limits.
3. Pursuant to modified IBC Section 903.2.9, storage facilities are exempt from the automatic sprinkler system requirement if: (1) the total fire area is 12,000 sq. ft. or less; (2) the combined total fire areas are 24,000 sq. ft. or less; (3) the facility is no greater than one story above grade plane; and (4) all storage spaces are accessed directly from the exterior.
These changes go into effect as they are adopted by local and state governments over the next several years. Prior to the adoption on the local and state level, storage developers can request that the code official rely on the 2021 changes as acceptable alternative methods of construction pursuant to section 104.11 of the existing International Building Code.
Please email Joe Doherty at the National SSA with any questions or to receive supporting documentation for these changes.
In 2018, the Pennsylvania Self Storage Association supported HB 504.
HB504 was signed into law by Governor Wolf and became effective in December 2018.
The law enables self storage operators to sell property insurance to their tenants. Generally, the insurance covers the loss of or damage to property put into storage by the individual renter or while the property is transit during the rental agreement. The operator has to obtain a limited insurance license to sell this insurance.
The full text of the law, codified as of Act 97 of 2018, is available here.