WSR 13-15-163
[Filed July 23, 2013, 5:44 p.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 13-07-075.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Amendments to chapter 51-51 WAC, the Washington State Residential Code.
Hearing Location(s): Center Place Event Center, 2426 North Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, WA 99216, on September 20, 2013, at 10 a.m.; and at the DES Presentation Room, 1500 Jefferson S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, on October 18, 2013, at 10 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: November 8, 2013.
Submit Written Comments to: Ray Allshouse, P.O. Box 41449, Olympia, WA 98504-1449, e-mail sbcc@ga,wa,gov [], fax (360) 586-9088, by October 25, 2013.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Peggy Bryden by September 9, 2013, (360) 407-9280.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Makes changes to chapter 51-51 WAC, by adoption of new WAC 51-51-0100, to specify that residential fire sprinklers are only required in lodging houses when a local ordinance has been adopted requiring installation of residential fire sprinklers.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: Washington state has not adopted model code requirements for installation of residential sprinkler systems in most residential settings; the Washington State Residential Code specifies that sprinklers must be installed where required by local ordinance. Owner-occupied lodging houses with five or fewer bedrooms are covered by the Residential Code, thus should be exempt from sprinkler requirements, except as required by a local jurisdiction. Due to an unintended consequence of a recent change to the model code, additional clarification is needed to specify that sprinklers are only required in such lodging houses when a local ordinance requires them. If this rule is adopted, lodging homeowners would continue to be exempt from sprinkler installation requirements. If not, sprinklers will be required for new lodging homes and when there is any major remodeling or repair work done on an existing lodging home. This would create economic hardship for lodging homeowners for the cost of installation and maintenance of the systems. Adoption of this rule will clarify that installation of sprinkler systems in lodging homes will only be required in jurisdictions that have adopted such local ordinances, and that owner-occupied lodging houses are otherwise exempt.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 19.27A RCW.
Statute Being Implemented: Chapters 19.27 and 34.05 RCW.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: State building code council (SBCC), governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Joanne T. McCaughan, P.O. Box 41011, Olympia, WA 98504-1449, (360) 407-9279; and Enforcement: Local jurisdictions.
A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.
Small Business Economic Impact Statement
Executive Summary/Impact on Small Business: Since adoption of the 2009 Residential Code, Washington state has excluded model code requirements for fire sprinklers in certain residential construction, except as required by local ordinance. This exclusion included owner-occupied lodging houses, with five or fewer bedrooms, operating as bed and breakfast businesses (B&Bs). During the SBCC process for adoption of the 2012 codes, the 2012 International Residential Code was reviewed, revised and adopted. However, due to an error in the filing of the rule, certain wording changes in the model code were included, requiring all new and some remodeled B&Bs to install sprinkler systems. This unintended consequence was recently brought forward for interpretation of the council; the council advised that a clarification to the language in the rules is needed to ensure that lodging houses continue to be exempt from sprinkler requirements, unless required by local government ordinances.
If this proposed rule is not adopted, residential sprinkler systems will be required in all new B&Bs constructed under the 2012 Residential Code; sprinklers would also be required when an existing B&B engages in some kinds of remodeling projects. Installation costs for these systems varies, based on the size of the project, the geographic location, and the choice of specific system components. These costs will be imposed if the proposed rule is not adopted. Adoption of the proposed rule would mitigate these cost impacts on small businesses operating as B&B lodging houses in Washington.
The impact on sprinkler installers was also considered, but is considered neutral, since these systems have not previously been required in B&Bs.
Section I: Introduction/Compliance with the Proposed Rules: Who is required to comply with the rules? If the proposed rule is adopted, a new section would be added to the Residential Code as WAC 51-51-0100; it would clarify that installation of fire sprinkler systems in owner-occupied lodging houses is only required when a local jurisdiction has adopted an ordinance making installation mandatory.
Section II: Compliance Costs for Washington Businesses:
Impact on sales or revenue: If the rule is adopted, there will be a neutral impact on new owner-occupied lodging houses operating as B&B businesses, because they will not incur any additional cost for including sprinklers in planned remodeling projects or new construction. The estimated cost of residential sprinkler installations is dependent on many variables, including systems design, geographic location, and size of the residence. A representative of Inland Empire Fire Protection estimates $4 to $5/square feet, depending on available water supply, size of the home, location, and other related factors.
Section III: Analysis of Proportionate Impact on Small Businesses:
TABLE ONE: Small Businesses Impacted by Lodging House Exception Clarification
Type of business
(UP TO 49
(50 OR MORE Employees)
Owner-occupied lodging houses ≤ 5 bedrooms (aka, B&B)
Licensed fire sprinkler system contractors
*For the purposes of this estimate, it is assumed that all owner-occupied lodging houses operating as B&B businesses, with five or fewer bedrooms, have fewer than six employees.
**According to the Washington state fire marshal's office, as of July 2, 2013.
Section IV: Small Business Involvement and Impact Reduction Efforts:
Actions Taken to Reduce the Impact of the Rule on Small Businesses: There is no anticipated negative impact on small businesses as a result of these proposed rules. New lodging house owners with five or fewer bedrooms will not be required to install sprinkler systems, nor will certain remodeling projects require sprinkler retrofit; sprinkler installers will not suffer any loss in business because these sprinkler systems were not required in B&Bs under the 2009 Residential Code.
Involvement of Small Business in the Development of the Proposed Rules: The Washington B&B Association was consulted to determine the potential economic consequences of adopting/not adopting this clarifying language in the state Residential Code. Their estimate shows more B&B establishments than the data cited above. According to their data, there are approximately three hundred two B&Bs in the category of owner-occupied lodging houses with five or fewer bedrooms. Of that number they assert that forty-eight (sixteen percent) of the existing establishments will remodel, and an additional forty-eight new owner-occupied lodging houses with five or fewer bedrooms would be built annually, and be established as new B&B businesses. Under their analysis, total economic impact could be as high as $2,583,036 to add sprinkler systems to such new and existing lodging houses. A representative of Inland Empire Fire Protection, Inc., who also serves as a member of the Fire Code TAG representing the sprinkler industry in eastern Washington, was also consulted regarding estimated cost impacts. Their estimate looked at cost per square foot, concluding it would be approximately $4.00 to $5.00, dependent on the variables listed in Section II, above. Additional information was provided for western Washington, by a member of the Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, estimating $2.50 to $4.00 per square foot, plus local permit costs of approximately $700.
Section V: Number of Affected Businesses in Washington:
Lodging houses with five or fewer bedrooms (B&Bs) = N/A.
If the rules are implemented, none of the three hundred two existing B&Bs will be affected, and none of the estimated forty-eight new B&Bs would be affected.
Licensed sprinkler contractors = N/A.
If the rules are implemented, none of the licensed fire sprinkler contractors would be affected, because these systems have not been required to be installed since the adoption of the 2009 Residential Code.
Section VI: Jobs Created or Lost as a Result of these Rules: If these rules are adopted there will not be an impact on jobs, because no new jobs will be created, and no jobs will be lost as a result of these rules.
A copy of the statement may be obtained by contacting Tim Nogler, P.O. Box 41449, Olympia, WA 98504-1449, phone (360) 407-9280, fax (360) 586-9088, e-mail
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. SBCC is not a listed agency under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i). This rule is not considered to be substantive; its function is to provide economic relief in certain instances.
June 14, 2013
C. Ray Allshouse
Council Chair
WAC 51-51-0100 Section R101—Scope and administration.
R101.2 Scope. The provisions of the International Residential Code for One- and Two-family Dwellings shall apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, removal and demolition of detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress and their accessory structures.
(1) Live/work units complying with the requirements of Section 419 of the International Building Code shall be permitted to be built as one- and two-family dwellings or townhouses. Fire suppression required by Section 419.5 of the International Building Code when constructed under the International Residential Code for One- and Two-family Dwellings shall conform to Section P2904.
(2) Owner-occupied lodging houses with five or fewer guest rooms shall be permitted to be constructed in accordance with the International Residential Code for One- and Two-family Dwellings, and shall be equipped with a fire sprinkler system in accordance with Section P2904 where required by local ordinance.