i am working on the renovation of a historic structure from storage usage to residential units. from what i can tell, the 2009 IEBC allows me to choose whether or not to follow the prescriptive requirements of chapter 3 or the work area requirements of chapters 4-12. the difference is that chapter 3 is very lenient for historic buildings, meaning i don't have to upgrade the lateral system to IBC. but with chapters 4-12, i will have to upgrade the system. is it really that simple (in theory), that i can choose to go with chapter 3 and not spend a ton of the owner's money as opposed to choosing chapters 4-12 and doing the opposite?
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