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When is a building a building, solar panels over parking?

Discussion in 'Commercial Building Codes' started by khsmith55, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. khsmith55

    khsmith55 Bronze Member

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    Given a surface parking lot with solar panels over the parking spaces, is this a "building". My hardline interpretation would be it is an S-2 Open Parking Garage. Your thoughts? At what percentage of "coverage" does it become a building.....?
    Thanks for your thoughts and input.
    Ken
     
  2. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    It's not a building but is a structure.
     
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  3. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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  4. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    Agree, these are structures, not buildings.
     
  5. Yikes

    Yikes Gold Member

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    Anecdotally: Most of our local jurisdictions, from both a zoning code and building code standpoint, have determined that a solar panel becomes a "carport" when it provides waterproof rain shelter.

    For example, a 4-post steel frame that is 20'x20', with solar panels that have a 1" gap between them, with the gaps perhaps 10' on center, would not be called an occupied space or building. (It would be called a "structure", similar to a trellis.)
    However, if that same metal frame had solid coverage of 20'x20 corrugated sheet metal, it is a U occupancy carport, even if it has solar panels mounted on top. The corrugated sheet metal is a functional roof, and serves as evidence that the steel frme is doing more than just facilitating solar installations.

    Our deisision of State Architect, which oversees this kind of question at public schools, has a more strict interpretation:
    https://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/pubs/IR_16-8_upd01-25-17.pdf
    - and this for accessibility:
    https://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/pubs/IR_11B-9_12-12-13.pdf
     
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  6. conarb

    conarb Sawhorse

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    That means the greedy cities will be assessing the non-permeable surface fee even if there is a current slab there.
     
  7. Paul Sweet

    Paul Sweet Sawhorse

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    The greedy cities are assessing these fees because the EPA requires states to adopt stormwater regulations that cost the greedy cities BIG bucks to meet. Unfunded mandates.
     
  8. conarb

    conarb Sawhorse

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    Paul:

    I guess the feds are behind most of the code requirements that have driven the cost of construction through the roof. I thought we voted to get rid of the darned EPA?
     
  9. Paul Sweet

    Paul Sweet Sawhorse

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    The EPA has had many good programs, and I don't think anyone wants to go back to the way the environment was being mistreated up until the 60s. The problem is they have grown too big, and they are constantly creating more work for themselves by constantly tightening the noose. Unfortunately, few people in government (or energy code writers) pay attention to the law of diminishing returns.
     
  10. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Do you "really" think they enjoy getting beat over the head every day.
    Unintended or unforeseen consequences are often overlooked and once done are nearly impossible to undue.
     
  11. sergoodo

    sergoodo Sawhorse

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    Appurtenance
     

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