Code of Maryland Regulations
Chapter 05.04.02 - Housing Rehabilitation Program-Applicable Codes and Standards - Definitions

Universal Citation: MD Code Reg Definitions

A. General. Definitions given in this regulation are included to provide a basis for understanding the meaning of these terms, phrases, and their derivatives when they are used in these Regulations . These definitions have general consistency with those used throughout the building industry, but are directed to the specific needs of rehabilitation. None is intended to nullify the provisions of any local code but the terms are furnished to provide understanding of these guidelines.

B. Terms Defined.

(1) "Accessory building" means a secondary building, the use of which is incidental to that of the main building and which is located on the same plot.

(2) "Addition" means a construction which increases the size of a building or adds to the building, such as a porch, an attached garage, or a carport.

(3) "Alley" means a service way providing a secondary public means of access to abutting properties.

(4) "Alteration" means construction which may change the floor plan, structural parts, mechanical equipment, or location of openings, but which does not increase the size of the building.

(5) Area.

(a) "Building area" means the total ground area of each building and accessory building, but not including uncovered entrance platforms, terraces, and steps.

(b) "Floor area" means the total area of one story measured within exterior enclosing walls or between exterior walls and firewalls of a building. This area includes bays and dormers, but does not include space in garages or carports or in attics.

(6) "Attic" means the accessible space between the top of the uppermost ceiling and the underside of the roof. Inaccessible spaces are considered structural cavities.

(7) "Building line" means a line established by law or agreement usually parallel to the property line, beyond which a structure may not extend.

(8) "Carport" means a roofed space having at least one side open to the weather, primarily designed or used for motor vehicles.

(9) "Cellar" means that space of a building which is partly or entirely below grade and has more than half of its clear height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.

(10) "Chase" means an enclosed shaft in a masonry or other wall providing for the accommodation of pipes, ducts, or conduits.

(11) Construction Classification.

(a) "Construction classification" means a classification of buildings into types of construction which is based upon the fire resistance of walls, floors, roof, ceilings, and other elements.

(b) "Type 1, fire-resistive construction" means that type of construction in which the walls, partitions, columns, floors, roof, ceilings, and other structural members are noncombustible with sufficient fire resistance to withstand the effects of a fire and prevent its spread from one story to another.

(c) "Type 2, noncombustible construction" means that type of construction in which the walls, partitions, columns, floors, roof, ceiling, and other structural members are noncombustible, but which does not qualify as Type 1, fire-resistive construction (Type 2a (1 hour protected), and Type 2b, which does not require protection for certain members).

(d) "Type 3, exterior protected construction" means that type of construction in which the exterior walls are of noncombustible construction having a fire resistance rating as specified and are structurally stable under fire conditions, and in which the interior structural members and roof are wholly or partly of combustible construction. "Type 3a" means exterior protected construction in which the interior exitways, columns, beams, and bearing walls are noncombustible in combination with the floor system, roof construction, and non-load bearing partitions of combustible construction. "Type 3b" means exterior protected construction in which the interior structural members are of protected combustible materials, or of heavy timber unprotected construction.

(e) "Type 4, wood frame construction" means that type of construction in which the exterior walls, partitions, floors, roof, and other structural members are wholly or partly of wood or other combustible materials.

(12) Court.

(a) "Inner court" means an open, outdoor space enclosed on all sides by exterior walls of a building or by exterior walls and property lines on which walls are allowable.

(b) "Outer court" means an open, outdoor space enclosed on at least two sides by exterior walls of a building or by exterior walls and property lines on which walls are allowable, with one side open to a street, driveway, alley, or yard.

(13) "Damp-proofing" means a treatment of a surface or structure which retards the passage of water.

(14) "Driveway" means a private way for the use of vehicles and pedestrians.

(15) Dwelling.

(a) "Dwelling" means a building designed or used as the living quarters for one or more families.

(b) "Detached" means a dwelling which is completely surrounded by permanent open space.

(c) "Semi-detached" means a dwelling, one side wall of which is a party or lot-line wall.

(d) "Row" means a dwelling, the walls on two sides of which are party or lot-line walls.

(e) "End-row" means semi-detached.

(f) "Multifamily" means a building containing three or more living units for families living independently of each other.

(16) "Dwelling unit" (see "living unit").

(17) "Easement" means a vested or acquired right to use land other than as a tenant, for a specific purpose, this right being held by someone other than the owner who holds title to the land.

(18) "Exit" means a continuous and unobstructed way to get from the interior of a building to the outside at grade level. A secondary exit may, under certain conditions, provide only emergency egress to an adjacent building or roof, from which safe travel can be made to grade level.

(19) "Fire division" means the interior means of separation of one part of a floor area from another part together with the floor construction to form a complete fire barrier between adjoining or superimposed floor areas in the same building.

(20) "Fire resistance" means that property of construction assemblies which under fire conditions prevents or retards the passage of excessive heat, hot gases, or flames.

(21) "Fire-resistance ratings" means time in hours or parts of hours that a material, construction, or assembly will withstand fire exposure, as determined in a recognized fire test.

(22) "Fire resistive" means that quality of materials and assemblies to resist fire and prevent its spread.

(23) "Fire retardant treated wood" means lumber or plywood treated by a recognized impregnation process to reduce its combustibility.

(24) "Fire separation" means a construction of specified fire resistance separating parts of a building horizontally or vertically as required.

(25) "Firestopping" means a barrier within concealed spaces which is effective against the spread of flames or hot gases.

(26) "Flame-resistant" means that property of a material which is flame resistant by nature or has been made so by an accepted method.

(27) "Flame spread" means the propagation of flame over a surface.

(28) "Flashing" means sheet metal or other impervious materials used in roof and wall construction to protect a building from the seepage of water.

(29) "Floor" (see "story").

(30) "Foundation" means construction, below or partly below grade, which provides support for exterior walls or other structural parts of the building.

(31) Garage.

(a) "Garage" means a building or enclosure primarily designed or used for motor vehicles.

(b) "Attached" means a garage having all or part of one or more walls common to the dwelling or to a covered porch attached to the dwelling.

(c) "Detached" means a garage which is completely surrounded by open space. A garage connected to the dwelling by an uncovered terrace is defined as a detached garage.

(d) "Built-in" means a garage located within the exterior walls of a dwelling.

(32) "Grade, finish" means the top surface elevation of lawns, walks, drives, or other improved surfaces after completion of construction or grading operations.

(33) "Habitable room" (see "room").

(34) "Height, building" means vertical distance measured from curb or grade level, whichever is the higher, to the highest level of a flat roof or the average height of a pitched roof, excluding penthouse or other roof appendages occupying less than 30 percent of the roof area. When a height limitation is set forth in stories, this height shall include each full story as defined there.

(35) "Joists" means a series of floor, roof, or ceiling framing members spaced not more than 30 inches on center.

(36) "Kitchen" means a space, 50 square feet or more in area, used for cooking and preparation of food.

(37) "Kitchenette" means a space, less than 50 square feet in area, used for cooking and preparation of food.

(38) "Living unit" means a dwelling or portion of a dwelling providing complete living facilities for one family, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation.

(39) Loads.

(a) "Dead load" means the weight of all permanent construction in a building.

(b) "Live load" means the weight of all moving and variable loads that may be placed on or in a building such as snow, wind, occupancy.

(40) Lot.

(a) "Lot" means a parcel of land that is described by reference to a recorded plat or by metes and bounds.

(b) "Corner lot" means a lot abutting upon two or more streets at their intersection.

(c) "Interior lot" means a lot bounded by a street on one side only.

(d) "Double-fronted lot" means an interior lot bounded by a street on front and back.

(41) "Lot coverage" means that percentage of the plot area covered by the total of all building areas.

(42) "Lot line" means a line bounding the lot as described in the title to the property.

(43) "New construction" means proposed construction or other new structures erected on cleared or vacant land, or new additions to an existing building which enlarge the floor area or height of the building.

(44) "Noncombustible" means material or a combination of materials which will not ignite or support combustion at a temperature of 1,382 degrees F during a 5 minute exposure.

(45) "Plot" means a parcel of land consisting of one or more lots or portions of it, which is described by reference to a recorded plat or by metes and bounds.

(46) "Property" means a lot or plot, including all buildings and improvements on it.

(47) "Property line" means a recorded boundary of a plot.

(48) "Rafters" means a series of roof framing members, spaced not more than 30 inches on center in roofs having slopes over 3 in 12.

(49) "Rehabilitation" means the restoration of a reuseable single structure, or group of structures, which overcomes deterioration and provides a satisfactorily improved physical condition for residential purposes.

(50) "Rehabilitation construction" means all the following:

(a) All repairs to or replacement of present elements of an existing building, such as windows, stairs, walls, floors, roof, plumbing, wiring, heating, or other equipment;

(b) Rearrangement of rooms by the relocation of partitions or by the installation of new bathrooms and kitchens;

(c) The general replacement of the interior of a building. This replacement may but does not have to include changes to structural elements such as floor systems, columns, or load-bearing interior or exterior walls.

(51) "Repair" means restore to a sound and acceptable state of operation, serviceability, or appearance. Repairs shall be expected to last as long as the replacement by new items.

(52) "Replace" means to remove an existing item or portion of a system, and to construct or install a new item of similar or improved quality as the existing item when new. Replacement will ordinarily take place when the item is incapable of repair or when repair would be more costly.

(53) Room.

(a) "Habitable room" means a space used for living, sleeping, eating, or cooking, or combinations of these, but not including bathrooms, toilet compartments, closets, halls, storage rooms, laundry and utility rooms, basement recreation rooms, and similar spaces.

(b) "Combined rooms" means two or more adjacent habitable spaces which by their relationship, planning, and openness permit their common use.

(54) "Shaft" means a vertical opening or enclosed space extending through two or more floors of a building, or through a floor and roof.

(55) "Shall" is a term that imposes obligation to act.

(56) "Should" is a term that indicates minimum good practice but does not impose an obligation to act.

(57) "Space heater (room heater)" means a self-contained above-the-floor device for furnishing heated air, through openings in its casing directly into the space in which the device is located or immediately adjacent to it. The device may be free-standing or recessed in a wall or partition.

(58) Story.

(a) "Story" means that portion of a building between a floor and the next floor above, or roof.

(b) "Basement" means a space of full story height below the first story, which is partly below grade.

(c) "First story" ("first floor") means the lowermost story which is accessible from outside the building at grade with its floor closest to grade, and which is used as habitable space.

(d) "Half story" means a story, finished as living accommodations, located wholly or partly within the roof frame and having a floor area at least one half as large as the story below. Space with less than 4 feet clear headroom may not be considered as floor area.

(e) "Top story" means the story between the uppermost floor and the ceiling or roof above.

(59) "Street" means a public or private way which affords principal means of vehicular access to properties which abut on it.

(60) "Substandard building" means a building or portion of a building in which there exist physical conditions serious enough to endanger the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the occupants or of the public, as determined by the program.

(61) Ventilation.

(a) "Mechanical ventilation" means supply and removal of air by power-driven devices.

(b) "Natural ventilation" means ventilation by openings to outside air through windows, doors, or other openings.

(62) Wall.

(a) "Bearing wall" means a wall which supports any vertical load in addition to its own weight.

(b) "Curtain wall" means a nonbearing exterior wall supported by the structural framework of the building.

(c) "Faced wall" means a wall in which the masonry facing and backing are so bonded as to exert a common action under load.

(d) "Fire wall" means a continuous wall from foundation to roof with designated qualities of fire resistance and structural stability which subdivides a building into fire areas and which resists the spread of fire.

(e) "Non-bearing wall" means a wall which supports no vertical load other than its own weight.

(f) "Parapet wall" means that part of any wall entirely above the roof.

(g) "Party wall" means a wall used jointly by two parties under easement, erected upon a line separating two parcels of land, each of which is a separate real estate entity.

(h) "Retaining wall" means a wall used to resist lateral displacement of any material.

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