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Dilemma of repairing old buildings

Dilemma of repairing old buildings

Dilemma of repairing old buildings

(OP)
Hi,

As civil and structural engineers, when you get to repair a residential building damaged by flood, vehicle impact or any other type of incident, how do you deal with the non-conformity with the current building code? Sometimes the damage is minimal (e.g. a couple of wall studs) but the foundtion or the roof above it doesn't conform to the code. How are you going to put these non-conforming members in your repair drawings? Especially in those houses where if you start upgrading to the code, you won't finish before replacing a large portion of the building! How do codes in North America (U.S.A and Canada) deal with that?

RE: Dilemma of repairing old buildings

For commercial buildings, it's in the IEBC. There are rules for repairing structures and certain thresholds where retrofitting is required. Most jurisdictions I've dealt with follow this. I believe there are some west cost jurisdictions that are a little more strict on seismic retrofitting.

For residential, it depends a little more on where you are. Some places refer to the IEBC rules, others have their own limits. I'm used to seeing significant improvement thresholds for houses around 50% of assessed value of the improvement. So if the repair cost is worth more than half the house, the rest of the house has to be brought up to code. AHJ can give exceptions, too, of course. I did a lot of FEMA work where, in some cases, the work was more than the house was worth, but we didn't touch anything above the new foundation except the straps and anchors that held it down.

If you're repairing damage, the general rule is to put back what was there. What is installed has to be done to current code - member sizes, strength, connections, etc. But as long as you don't change the load path, you don't need to replace any non-damaged members.

RE: Dilemma of repairing old buildings

@phamENG....exactly. My experience as well.

RE: Dilemma of repairing old buildings

(OP)
Thank you for your replies. This helps

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