The Board of Housing and Community Development (BHCD) at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) promulgates regulations for industrialized buildings, often referred to as modular buildings, through the Industrialized Building Safety Regulations (IBSR). The IBSR provides for the administration and enforcement of uniform, statewide standards and includes the model codes and standards that industrialized buildings must meet. Industrialized buildings (IB) are built in a factory and may contain concealed components, such as structural systems, wiring, plumbing and mechanical ductwork to mention a few. The State Building Code Administrative Office (SBCAO) is the Building Official for IB’s. The SBCAO accredits third-party Compliance Assurance Agencies (CAA) to review designs, inspect construction and certify the buildings through the application of a Virginia Registration Seal. The performance of the CAA is monitored by the SBCAO. Local code officials handle the permits, inspections and issuance of the certificate of occupancy (CO) for the installation and related site work for industrialized buildings under the authority granted to them by the Virginia Construction Code (VCC). The local code officials must accept the registered IB without requiring disassembly of the components that were inspected and concealed at the factory.
An industrialized building must meet the following requirements in order to be registered and eligible for thr Virginia Registration Seal:
- the CAA has reviewed and approved the design/plans, the CAA has conducted the necessary testing and evaluation of the building and/or components,
- the CAA has provided inspections and quality assurance services in the factory to assure compliance with the applicable building codes, and
- the CAA has applied the Virginia registration seal to the building.
One seal is required for each residential dwelling unit for nonresidential buildings and for each module or building. Seals are ordered from the SBCAO and cost $75 each. Industrialized buildings that are not registered are considered unregistered, and the IBSR states that the local code official has the authority to make determinations for those units regarding code compliance.