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Building and Fire Codes Overview

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Program Contacts
Vernon Hodge
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The final regulations for the 2012 Virginia code update process have been published in the April 7, 2014 Virginia Register. The publication of the regulations starts a 30-day final period, and any petitions for reconsideration, which may be filed, will be identified at the May meeting of the Board of Housing and Community Development. The effective date of the 2012 Virginia Codes will be July 14, 2014. Code sections under petition may be suspended as necessary until resolution. The regulations published in the Virginia Register can be found here.

These regulations are the culmination of a two-year process, which included 12 work group meetings of a wide array of stakeholders from various organizations, industries and agencies participated. In addition to the workgroup meetings, there were eight sub-work groups that worked on specific technical issues before they were vetted at the work group meetings.

Virginia’s state building codes and regulations are administered through the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC), and its associated standards and regulations for industrialized or modular buildings, manufactured homes and amusement devices. Codes and regulations are adopted by the Board of Housing and Community Development and periodic amendments are utilized to update codes and incorporate new reference standards. 

Architects, engineers and builders use these codes and standards to design and construct safe, healthy and durable structures for all uses, from residential to commercial and industrial. Local building officials and inspectors issue permits and conduct inspections to assure that the structures are constructed or assembled and operated according to the codes.   

The Department of Housing and Community Development administers and carries out the building codes and regulations through the programs listed below: 

  • The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code prescribes building regulations to be complied with when constructing, repairing, renovating, maintaining and/or changing the use of buildings and structures. 
  • The Industrialized Building provides for the administration and enforcement of uniform statewide standards for the design, construction, inspection and certification of industrialized or modular buildings, wherever produced. 
  • The Manufactured Housing and the Virginia Manufactured Housing Licensing and Transaction Recovery Funds regulate codes and regulations for manufactured housing. 
  • The Virginia Amusement Device program prescribes uniform statewide regulations for the construction, maintenance, inspection, and operation of amusement devices, whether mobile or affixed to a site.

Program Resources

2009 Building and Fire Codes and Regulations

Memo to all Virginia Code Officials -- Department of Labor and Industry Asbestos Regulations - November 30, 2009

Program Highlights

Helpful Links