Building Code and Guidelines

Virginia USBC

The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) contains the building regulations that must be complied with when constructing a new building, structure, or an addition to an existing building. They must also be used when maintaining or repairing an existing building or renovating or changing the use of a building or structure.

The Board of Housing and Community Development adopts and amends the USBC. The board bases the technical requirements of the USBC on nationally-accepted model codes and standards and makes as few amendments as possible. The board encourages anyone who believes that a technical amendment is needed to submit their proposal directly to the International Code Council (ICC). Amendments made by that organization will then be considered for inclusion in future editions of the USBC.

Where practical, the code provisions are stated in terms of a required level of performance to facilitate the prompt acceptance of new building materials and methods of construction. The code provisions allow construction at the least possible cost consistent with nationally recognized standards for health, safety, welfare, accessibility and energy and water conservation.

Enforcement of the USBC is the responsibility of the local government’s building inspections department. The local governing body may charge fees to defray the costs of enforcement and appeals arising from the application of the code. The USBC contains enforcement procedures that must be used by the enforcing agency. An administrative appeals system exists to resolve disagreements that may occur between the enforcing agency and an aggrieved party before the State Building Code Technical Review Board