Section 101.02 (15) (j), Stats. - “The department shall ascertain, fix and order such reasonable standards or rules for constructing, altering, adding to, repairing, and maintaining public buildings and places of employment in order to render them safe.” Section 101.025, Stats. - Establishes requirements for standards for ventilation in public buildings and places of employment. Section 101.027 (2), Stats. - “The department shall review the energy conservation code and shall promulgate rules that change the requirements of the energy conservation code to improve energy conservation. In conducting a review under this subsection, the department shall consider incorporating, into the energy conservation code, design requirements from the most current national energy efficiency design standards, including the International Energy Conservation Code or an energy efficiency code other than the International Energy Conservation Code if that energy efficiency code is used to prescribe design requirements for the purpose of conserving energy in buildings and is generally accepted and used by engineers and the construction industry.” Section 101.132 (2) (c) 1., Stats. - “The department shall promulgate rules that specify the materials to be included in the submittal, the procedures to be followed upon receipt of a submittal, reasonable time limitations for reviewing submittals and issuing or denying permits and qualifications for authorized representatives.” Section 101.14 (4) (a), Stats. - “The department shall make rules, pursuant to ch. 227, requiring owners of places of employment and public buildings to install such fire detection, prevention or suppression devices as will protect the health, welfare and safety of all employers, employees and frequenters of places of employment and public buildings.” Sections 101.973 (1), Stats. - “The department shall…promulgate rules that establish standards for the construction of multifamily dwellings and their components.”
Related statute or rule:
Plain language analysis:
Chapters SPS 361 to 366, also commonly referred to collectively as the “Wisconsin Commercial Building Code”, contain standards for the design, construction, use, maintenance, alteration, and inspection of public buildings, as defined in s. 101.01 (11), Stats., and places of employment, as defined in 101.01(12). This rule revision modernizes standards for Wisconsin’s commercial buildings. This revision updates outdated references to model building codes and other standards incorporated by reference throughout chs. SPS 361 to 366. This update is necessary to keep Wisconsin’s commercial building code consistent with regional and national construction and fire prevention practices and standards and with legislation enacted since the previous update of the commercial building code. This rule revision also meets requirements under ss. 101.027 (2) and (3), Stats., that the department review energy conservation standards.
Adoption of 2015 Model Building Codes
Chapters SPS 361 to 366 currently incorporate the 2009 edition of relevant model building codes produced by the International Code Council (ICC)®. This rule revision updates the model building codes to the 2015 edition, bringing Wisconsin into alignment with current building practices and technologies. Chapters SPS 361 to 366 contain further provisions that modify each model code to adapt the code to Wisconsin’s unique public safety and building needs. This rule revision incorporates the 2015 edition of the following model building codes: • The International Building Code®, with modifications in ch. SPS 362. • The International Energy Conservation Code®, with modifications in ch. SPS 363. • The International Mechanical Code®, with modifications in ch. SPS 364. • The International Fuel Gas Code®, with modifications in ch. SPS 365. • The International Existing Building Code®, with modifications in ch. SPS 366.
To develop this rule revision, the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code Council reviewed significant changes in each of the model building codes from the currently adopted 2009 edition to the 2015 edition, including the 2012 edition that Wisconsin did not adopt in the interim. The Council recommended changes to chapters SPS 361 to 366 based on their review.
The department also reviewed significant changes to the model building codes to identify requirements that could impose an undue financial burden that do not appear to be offset by improved life-safety or cost savings. Consequently, the department accepts approximately 95% of the revisions included in the 2015 editions of the model building codes, along with the recommendations made by the Commercial Building Code Council. The department proposes to retain the 2009 model building code requirements for approximately 30 out of the 750 significant changes that were reviewed. Although the excluded 2015 model building code provisions are not required under Wisconsin’s revised 2015 commercial building code, individual owners and designers may voluntarily implement a more recent version of the model building codes than what is adopted in Wisconsin’s commercial building code.
Chapter SPS 303 specifies procedures for applying for a variance from a rule administered and enforced by the Department. The rule revision under this chapter removes the requirement for a notarized signature on a petition for variance form submitted to the Department. Chapter SPS 314 pertains to fire prevention and the adoption, application, and modification of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Fire Code standard. The rule revision under this chapter makes the following changes:
• Repeals SPS 314.01 (2) (a) 3. a. and b. relating to rooftop photovoltaic systems.
• Updates SPS 314.01 (6) (b) 1. to incorporate requirements from 2013 Wisconsin Act 270, which states that no city, village, or town may enact or enforce an additional or more restrictive ordinance for a public building or building that is a place of employment. • Updates SPS 314.10 (3) (a) to incorporate requirements from 2015 Wisconsin Act 333 prohibiting the department or a local jurisdiction from promulgating or enforcing a rule related to fire safety that would prohibit placing a Christmas tree in a church. Chapter SPS 361 establishes standards for the administration of the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code, including provisions establishing the scope and application of chs. SPS 361 to 366, administrative procedures related to plan submittal and approval, procedures for submitting petitions for variance, supervision and inspection of construction projects, product and standard review and approval, and standards that allow local jurisdictions to examine building plans and inspect buildings. In general, ch. SPS 361 replaces the administrative provisions found in chapter one of the model building codes. This rule revision makes the following significant changes, among others, to SPS 361: • Updates SPS 361.03 (5) (a) to incorporate requirements from 2013 Wisconsin Act 270, which states that no city, village, or town may enact or enforce an additional or more restrictive ordinance for a public building or building that is a place of employment. • Updates SPS 361.03 (5) (b) 5. to incorporate requirements from 2015 Wisconsin Act 333 prohibiting the department or a local jurisdiction from promulgating or enforcing a rule related to fire safety that would prohibit placing a Christmas tree in a church. • SPS 361.03 (14) updates adoption of individual sections of the International Fire Code®, published by the International Code Council, that are referenced throughout chs. SPS 361 to 366.
• SPS 361.04 updates and creates new definitions for compliance assurance programs, crematory, home-based businesses, mausoleum, secretary, and Wisconsin insignia.
• SPS 361.05 updates the model building codes used in chs. SPS 361 to 366 from the 2009 edition to the 2015 editions of the model building codes. • SPS 361.30 (1) (b) exempts certain single-story buildings located at state fair parks as well as fire service drill towers used exclusively for hands-on training from plan submittal and review. These buildings will still be required to meet requirements found in chs. SPS 361 to 366.
• SPS 361.30 clarifies industry practice for calculating total building volume.
SPS 361.36 (1) (g) clarifies that plan approval for bleachers and canopies will expire 2 years after the approval date.
• SPS 361.40 (3) (b) requires the owner to retain a new supervising professional within 30 days if the supervising professional withdraws from a construction project.
• SPS 361.41 (1) creates a provision for on-site inspections to be conducted within 5 business days, when required, and permits construction to proceed if the inspection has not been completed within that timeframe.
• SPS 361, Subchapter V is created to establish procedures for approving and inspecting modular multifamily dwellings and their components. Standards for modular dwellings are established as part of Wisconsin’s uniform dwelling code. However, this revision recognizes that standards for multifamily dwellings are established under chs. SPS 361 to 366 and incorporates requirements into the commercial building code.
• SPS 361.51 (8) is created to allow building owners or supervising professionals to use a more recent version of a model building code in lieu of the standard code adopted under SPS 361.05 if the model building code is used in its entirety and the code is identified in plan documents. Currently, a building owner or supervising professional must either submit a petition for variance or a request to use an alternate standard under SPS 361.51 to use a more current version of a building code. This provision allows the use of such code without requiring payment of a separate fee or application. This section also contains a note that provides guidance to municipalities and permits municipalities to contract with a third-party inspection agency to perform plan reviews.
This rule adopts the 2015 edition of the International Building Code (IBC). Chapter SPS 362 establishes standards related to buildings and structures and modifies provisions from the IBC. This rule revision makes the following significant changes to SPS 362:
• SPS 362.0202 reorganizes and renumbers some existing definitions and creates new definitions for “neutral plane for a deep foundation”, “self-storage building”, “automatic sprinkler system”, “commercial motor vehicle”, “fire area”, “fire separation distance,” “fuel-burning appliance”, “immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH)”, “Live/work unit”, and “sealed combustion appliance.”
• SPS 362.0202 creates a provision that classifies cheese factories as low-hazard factory industrial Group F-2 occupancies.
• SPS 362.0308 creates exemptions from the International Residential Code for institutions with 5 or fewer persons receiving medical care and classified as Group R-3 occupancies.
• SPS 362.0423 creates an exemption from the storm shelter requirements for educational Group E occupancies.