R-9 UCBC Index of Sections
|SECTION 364B CHANGE OF USE|
Changing the occupancy of an existing building to an Occupancy shall be considered a change in use and such buildings shall comply with the applicable requirements in this code including the fire, life safety, structural, and seismic requirements.
Change of Use is an important concept in the Building Code. Essentially
any project or any portion of a building whose use is deemed to
be changing must be brought into compliance with all current codes,
i.e. this code as if it were being newly constructed, unless otherwise noted.
1. For Group R-9 Occupancies in existing buildings minimum structural requirements may be met if the building substantially conforms, or is altered to conform to Section ______.
Upgrading a building to todays code can be onerous. In order to ease this burden, certain exceptions have been made:
Seismic retrofit of any existing building to JLWQ only needs to come up to 75% of normal code standards. This is generally significantly less expensive than a full upgrade.
|Unreinforced masonry (URM) bearing wall buildings, in-lieu of the above design standards, may comply with the current Uniform Code of Building Conservation (UCBC) Appendix Chapter 1. Concrete tilt-up and non-ductile concrete framed buildings that conform to the above standards will still be subject to any future seismic upgrade regulations for these types of buildings unless these buildings conform, or are altered to conform, to current code requirements||
As is the case in all cities in California, Oaklands unreinforced masonry buildings (URMs) are subject to "mandatory measures" such as roof parapet bracing and connection of floor and roof membranes to exterior walls which would take precedence over this exception, although normally a 75% upgrade would exceed mandatory, if not so-called "voluntary," measures and therefore govern. It is anticipated that tilt-up and non-ductile concrete framed buildings may come under similar regulations to URMs, and this exception addresses that eventuality.
|2. The occupancy of a story of an existing building or portion
of the building may be changed to a Group R, Division 9 Occupancy
without requiring that the entire building comply with all the
requirements of this code if all of the following conditions are
present or provided:
||THE FOLLOWING CAN BE A VERY HELPFUL CODE SECTION IN THE RIGHT
A change of use, and its attendant global code upgrade (including seismic retrofit) may be avoided altogether if all of the following conditions are met:
|2.1 No more than 10% of the floor area of the entire building or
of an individual story is or will become a group R-9 occupancy
and no more than ten residents are accommodated on an individual
story of the building pursuant to Section 334B.2.2;
2.1 Not more than 10% of the building will in the aggregateor of any individual story become UCRC units.
The limitation of 10% "of an individual story" is an important one and,--alas, an onerous one. It means that in a building with an 11,000 square foot floor plate, only 1,100 square feet of that building could be The rest of the floor would need to remain commercial in order for this 10% exception to apply.
The other half of this sub-section states "no more than ten residents on an individual floor". This exception is aimed at those who want to convert only a part of their building to UCRC and leave the rest in its former commercial or industrial occupancy.
|2.2 The existing building, its use, its appendages, and/or its structural
system is not declared an unsafe building or structure pursuant
to this code or considered unsafe pursuant to other regulations;
||2.2 Since the original adoption of this code in 1996, the Oakland
Department Building Services) has extended this section to further
define what is meant by "declared an unsafe structure." At the
discretion of the Building Official (Head of Building Services
or another offcial, like a plan checker), a structural analysis
prepared by a structural engineer (at applicants expense) would
To summarize, youre probably OK here as long as you can convince Building Services that your building isnt unsafe or subject to collapse when "the big one" hits.
|2.3 The entire building is made to conform with all the minimum standards
for existing buildings in Chapter 4 of the current Uniform Code
for Building Conservation;
||2.3 The Minimum Standards for Existing Buildings from the UCBC were
written to establish a baseline for offcials evaluating buildings
as they stand, mostly in terms of whether they conform to the
intent of todays codes, tempered with some common sense. Your
architect will want to study this UCBC chapter.
HINT: this chapter consists of a concise summary of many building code "hot spots" and is worth reading.
|2.4 Other than for work required to comply with the current UCBC
pursuant to 2.3 above, additions, alterations, and repairs shall
comply with current code; and
2.5 The designated work area and the designated residential area of each UCRC unit shall comply with the requirements of this chapter.
2.4 Any work you do perform on the building has to conform with the code, including the live/work interpretation. While somewhat redundant, what this means is that new work still has to comply with code, but that the kind of upgrades normally required by a Change of Use would not be necessary.
To repeat, if you can meet all of the requirements of 364B.1.2, your project is not a change of use, and only needs to meet minimum standards, which do not normally include a seismic retrofit.
|HINT: If you meet all of the above standards except the requirement that the building contains not more than 10 residents per floor, you may be able to break the building down into multiples of ten occupants using an Area Separation Wall (keeping in mind that the newly created separate buildings' live portions cannot exceed 10% in the aggregate or 10% of an individual story). For purposes of the Building Code, an area separation wall creates separate buildings on either side of it. It must extendwithout horizontal jogsfrom foundation to 30 above the roof (in the form of a parapet, unless a parapet exemption is seecured). It is a fire wall with a minimum of a two-hour rating, depending on the buildings construction type, but it can have protected openings such as fire-rated doors. Area separation walls (as a tool to break the buildings down into multiple buildings ) are useful for other purposes, such as dealing with maximum allowable area (see UBC Section 504). Note that separate buildings created by area separation walls must have independent required means of egress unless an AMR is secured.|