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5 10, 2016

NYS Building Codes have Changed Effective October 1, 2016

By |October 5th, 2016|Building Codes|Comments Off on NYS Building Codes have Changed Effective October 1, 2016

NYS Building Codes

Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings Required;  Basements …

If you are a builder or contractor in New York State you are probably already aware that as of October 1, 2016 changes were made to the building code as we currently know it.  The code is now updated to the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) along with NYS Building Standards and Codes 2016 Uniform Code Supplement. From that code, most of us most often refer to the International Residential Code (IRC) for One- and Two-family Dwellings.  

With regard to basements, Building Code already required that habitable basement spaces have an Emergency Egress Window System that provides direct access to the outdoors. This portion of that code remains the same, paraphrased as follows;

Any habitable space and all sleeping rooms in basement must have a second means of Egress with a minimum open area of 5.7 sq. ft. with a minimum height of 24 inches and a minimum width of 20 inches and cannot be more than 44 inches off the floor. Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools.

Here is the 2015 IBC/IRC version:

R310.1 Emergency escape and rescue opening required.

Basement Emergency escape windowsBasements … shall have not less than one operable emergency escape and rescue opening.  Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, an emergency escape and rescue opening shall be required in each sleeping room….

So if there is a basement with sleeping quarters which contains an emergency egress does that fulfill the requirements of Section R310?  That’s something on which we’ll be seeking clarification.  But here is what is offered relative to additions and alterations or repairs.

Section R310.5 Dwelling Additions

Where dwelling additions occur that contain sleeping rooms, an emergency escape and rescue opening shall be provided in each new sleeping room.  Where dwelling additions occur that have basements, an emergency escape and rescue opening shall be provided in the new basement.


  1. An emergency escape and rescue opening is not required in a new basement that contains a sleeping room with an emergency escape and rescue opening.
  2. An emergency escape and rescue opening is not required in a new basement where there is an emergency escape and rescue opening in an existing basement that is accessible from the new basement.

R310.6 Alterations or repairs of existing basements

An emergency escape and rescue opening is not required where existing basements undergo alterations or repairs.

Exception: New sleeping rooms created in an existing basement shall be provided with emergency escape and rescue openings in accordance with Section R310.1.

Conditions requiring emergency escape and rescue openings from a basement have changed slightly.  The requirements for emergency escape and rescue openings remain very similar and will be addressed in our follow-up post to include:

Emergency escape and rescue openings

  • Minimum Opening Area
  • Window sill height
  • Window wells

Emergency escape and rescue doors

  • Minimum door opening size
  • Bulkhead enclosures

For those familiar with the code book, see pg. 62 of 2015 International Residential Code, SECTION R310 EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPENINGS.

Supporting Builders and Contractors Since 1939

Secor Lumber has been supporting builders and contractors in the Upstate New York Finger Lakes Region since 1939.  If you are a builder or contractor in the Rochester, Geneva, Canandaigua, Auburn, Waterloo, or Syracuse area, we invite you to consider Secor Lumber as your go-to building partner for complete design, supply and builder/contractor support services.

IF YOU ARE A HOMEOWNER and have questions about the information in this article, please contact your local town code enforcement officer for information as it pertains to you and your location. Secor Lumber cannot answer questions or provide end-user homeowner support on this topic.

15 09, 2015

Tyvek Continuous Building Wrap R5

By |September 15th, 2015|Building Codes|Comments Off on Tyvek Continuous Building Wrap R5

This is the second in a series of blog posts on continuous building insulation in the context of soon to be forthcoming updates to New York building and construction standards coming out of Albany.

DuPont Tyvek R5.0 wrap provides a breathable air, water and thermal protection product designed to meet updated building codes and standards for continuous building insulation. The operative word here is “breathable,” thereby negating the need for air exchangers in other types of systems.

The Tyvek R5.0 systems, available from Secor Lumber, provides for air and water management benefits we normally associate with the Tyvek weather barrier systems, allowing moisture that may get inside the wall to dry and escape, and prevent accumulation of undesirable water in the wall, thereby greatly reducing the chance for mold and moisture damage.

Easy, Familiar Building Wrap Installation

DuPont’s Tyvek R5.0 product, like other weather barriers from this family of Dupont products, can be installed quickly and easily using familiar techniques, tools and materials, including DuPont flashing systems, tape, wrap caps and sealants.  The Tyvek R5.0 product is made with six-inch non-insulated flaps at the start and bottom of the roll, thereby allowing builders to install all vertical and horizontal seams in a shingled manner, an essential step in keeping air and water out of the interior wall cavities.

Features and Benefits of Tyvek R5.0 Building Wrap

  • According the DuPont’s product sheets, here are some of the notable features and benefits of the Tyvek R5.0 product:
  • Provides continuous exterior insulation (CI), increasing the R-value of the wall while reducing thermal bridging.
  • Replacement windows and doors and penetrations can be easily flashed using available DuPont Flashing Systems.
  • Significantly reduces Home Energy Rating System (HERS) scores in various climate zones.
  • Helps meet or exceed changing building and energy codes and standards.
  • Increases the sheathing temperature decreasing the chance for interstitial wall condensation in heating climates such as we experience in the upstate New York area.

DuPont Tyvek R5.0 Product Brochure.

We’ve had a lot of questions about meeting the Home Energy Rating Systems scores and how to properly calculate the compliance levels for our service areas, as well as general uncertainty about the changing building and energy codes and standards.  If you have questions on these or other issues, please contact us.  We’re up to date on all of it and can help you stay on top of it all.  Since 1939, we’ve been your partner in building excellence, and we’re here to help, as always.

24 06, 2015

Meeting New Building Code Standards: Continuous Insulation

By |June 24th, 2015|Building Codes|Comments Off on Meeting New Building Code Standards: Continuous Insulation

Continuous exterior insulation helps achieve desired thermal and moisture performance, which helps builders, contractors, architects and remodelers meet emerging building code standards for both residential and commercial buildings.

The adoption and enforcement of more stringent New York State building and energy code regulations, and how to meet them, is a quickly emerging issue for the building trades. Identifying efficient, economical solutions for improving building energy efficiency performance has become a “front burner” issue for builders and contractors across the northeast and particularly in Upstate New York.

Regulatory Compliance. Customer Satisfaction.

Continuous exterior insulation substantially increases energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings and meet new regulatory requirements. It is particularly suitable to harsh climates such as those found in Upstate New York.

High performance continuous insulation covers the entire exterior wall surface, not just cavities between framing studs. Continuous insulation in both residential and commercial buildings is extremely cost-effective. It’s most notable benefits, apart from building code compliance, is that it offers protection from moisture penetration and air infiltration as well as long-term high efficiency thermal performance.  The technique has also proven to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Continuous Insulation at a Glance

  • Tighter building envelope: Continuous insulation provides coverage for the total wall surface area, maximizing energy savings and providing significantly higher insulation values.
  • Thinner wall profile: With approximately double the R-value per inch compared to traditional batt insulation, closed cell rigid insulation simultaneously minimizes wall thickness while maximizing overall thermal performance.
  • Continuous exterior building insulation is a proven, accepted approach to meeting building energy efficiency code standards in states that follow the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1-2007 and International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2009.

In terms of meeting new building code standards, continuous insulation is no longer simply a value-added option – it’s a requirement.

Questions?  Give us a call. We can help.