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

Universal Citation: MD Code Reg Building Planning

A. The objective is to assure a living unit which provides for a healthful environment and complete living facilities arranged and equipped for suitable and desirable living conditions under consideration.

B. Space Standards.

(1) General.

(a) The standard is to provide:

(i) Each living unit with space necessary for suitable living, sleeping, cooking and dining accommodations, storage, laundry, and sanitary facilities; and

(ii) Space of such size and dimensions so as to permit placement of furniture and essential equipment.

(b) Habitable rooms in basements or below grade intended for year-round occupancy shall comply with building planning standards in the same manner as rooms above grade (see ยง C).

(2) Room Sizes. The size of rooms shown in Table .05-1 should be minimum for the subdividing of existing spaces or for the construction of new rooms. Unremodeled existing rooms where considered of adequate size and arrangement for the intended function by the Program are acceptable.

(3) Ceiling Heights. Ceiling heights shall permit the average person to move about comfortably, and create no unpleasant sensation because of the ceiling being of insufficient height.

(4) Privacy and Arrangement.

(a) A degree of privacy shall be provided commensurate with suitable living conditions by means of the proper location of exterior conditions, and by the interior arrangement of rooms.

(b) Access to all parts of a living unit shall be possible without passing through a public hall.

(c) Every water closet, bathtub, or shower of a living unit shall be installed in a bathroom or toilet compartment which will afford privacy to the occupant.

(d) A bathroom may not be used as a passageway to a habitable room, hall, basement, or to the exterior.

(e) Access to an existing bathroom may be through a bedroom in living units having more than one bedroom, provided it is judged to be acceptable to the market.

(f) A bathroom should not be separated from all bedrooms of a living unit by locating it a full story above or below the bedrooms.

(g) A bedroom should not be used as the only means of access to another bedroom or habitable room.

(5) Kitchen Facilities. Each living unit shall have a specific kitchen space, which contains a sink with counter work space and has hot and cold running water, adequate space for installing cooking and refrigeration equipment, and for storing cooking utensils.

(6) Bath Facilities. Complete bathing and sanitary facilities shall be provided within each living unit. They shall consist of a water-closet, a tub or shower, and a lavatory. An adequate supply of hot water to the tub or shower stall, or both, and lavatory, and cold water to all fixtures shall be provided. Arrangement of fixtures shall provide for the comfortable use of each fixture and permit at least a 90-degree door swing. Wall space shall be available for a mirror or medicine cabinet and for towel bars.

(7) Space for Laundry Facilities. Adequate space should be provided for laundry equipment within each living unit, off a public corridor, or in a basement or other suitable public space for the use of all occupants of a building. If nearby public commercial laundries are available, consideration may be given as to the extent residents of the project can be expected to use them in determining laundry space needs.

(8) Closets and General Storage. Clothes closet space shall be provided within bedrooms or conveniently located nearby. In addition, each living unit should have a suitable space within the unit or a locked space elsewhere within the building for general storage.

C. Light and Ventilation.

(1) General. A healthful environment and an acceptable degree of comfort within all rooms and hallways of the dwelling by having sufficient light and ventilation, and natural ventilation for structural spaces to minimize conditions conducive to decay and deterioration shall be provided.

(2) Habitable Rooms.

(a) All habitable rooms, except kitchens, shall have natural light, provided by means of windows, glazed doors, or skylights. A glass area of at least 8 percent of the floor area shall be provided for new or remodeled rooms, or other spaces.

(b) An existing habitable room not disturbed in the rehabilitation which is deficient or without natural light can be considered acceptable provided this is judged to be acceptable to the market.

(c) An acceptable means of natural ventilation shall exist or be provided for all habitable spaces, except that for kitchens a mechanical ventilation system may be substituted. A ventilation area of 5 percent of the floor area of the space shall be provided.

(d) Artificial light shall be provided and so distributed as to assure healthful conditions and satisfactory illumination in all rooms.

(e) Kitchens shall have artificial light provided. Ventilation shall be provided by either mechanical ventilation, or if natural means are used, by 5 percent of the floor area but not less than a 3-square-foot area.

(3) Bathrooms and Toilet Compartments. Artificial light shall be provided. Ventilation shall be provided by either mechanical means or if natural means are used, by 5 percent of the floor area, but not less than a 1-1/2 square-foot area.

(4) Public Spaces. Artificial light shall be provided in all public spaces.

(5) Public Entrance Spaces. Either natural ventilation of at least 5 percent of the floor area or mechanical ventilation shall be provided at all public entrance spaces.

(6) Ventilation of Utility Spaces. Utility spaces which contain heat producing, air conditioning, or other equipment shall be ventilated to the outer air, and air from these spaces may not be recirculated to other parts of the building.

(7) Ventilation of Structural Spaces. Natural ventilation of spaces such as attics and enclosed basement spaces shall be provided by openings of sufficient sizes to overcome dampness and minimize the effect of conditions conducive to decay and deterioration of the structure, and to prevent excessive heat in attics. Exterior ventilation openings shall be effectively screened where needed.

D. Doors and Access Openings.

(1) The standard is to provide openings adequate in size to admit furniture and equipment to all spaces and to permit inspection for repair and maintenance.

(2) Exterior Doors. Exterior doors shall have safe locks.

(3) Interior Doors. A door for each opening to a bedroom, bathroom, or toilet compartment, with a locking device on bath and toilet compartment doors, shall be provided.

E. Stairways.

(1) General. All stairways shall provide safety of ascent and descent, and stairs and landings shall be arranged to permit adequate headroom and space for the passage of furniture and equipment.

(2) Existing Stairways. Existing stairways in sound condition to remain or to be repaired may not be, to any serious extent, below minimum standards of good practice as to rise and run of steps, headroom, obstruction, stair width, landings, or railing protection. See Regulation .06C for related conditions.

(3) New Stairways. New stairways to be constructed shall comply with standards of good practice and be appropriate to the building and occupant load.

F. Corridors and Hallways. Corridors and hallways shall provide adequate, safe, and unobstructed circulation from living units or other spaces to various means of exit.

G. Exterior Appurtenances. All exterior appurtenances or accessory structures which serve no useful purpose, or those in a deteriorated condition which are not economically repairable, shall be removed. These structures include porches, terraces, entrance platforms, garages, carports, walls, fences, and miscellaneous sheds.

H. Trash and Garbage Disposal.

(1) Every dwelling and multifamily building shall be supplied with a means of disposal or removal of trash and garbage.

(2) If disposal will not take place promptly, there shall be a convenient and appropriate temporary and sanitary storage for trash and garbage provided, which is inaccessible to rodents.

I. Noise Control.

(1) When practical, functional areas of high noise should be separated from areas of quiet. Clothes or storage closets are useful separators.

(2) Partitions should extend to solid floor-ceiling construction and should not terminate at hung ceilings.

(3) Pipes should be caulked and wrapped and ductwork should be sealed where they penetrate sound-impeding partitions and floors. Ducts should be lined near registers or grilles, and at fan discharge.

(4) Motors, fans, and other mechanical equipment should be balanced and mounted.

(5) If kitchens or bathrooms are located back-to-back, special attention should be given to the construction to reduce noise from plumbing fixtures and noise through medicine cabinets.

(6) Where living units are adjacent to high noise areas such as boiler rooms or other mechanical equipment, the construction separating the spaces should provide a greater noise resistance than normal room separation.

TABLE .05-1

Room Sizes
Minimum Area (Square Feet)(2)
Name of
Space (1)
1 and 2
3 or more
Dimension (2)
LR NA 140 150 10'0"
DR NA 80 100 7'8"
K NA 50 60 5'4"
K'ette 20 25 40 3'6"
BR (Double) NA 110 110 8'8"
BR (Single) NA 70 70 7'0"
LR-DA NA 180 200 (3)
LR-DA-K NA 220 250 (3)
LR-DA-SL 220 NA NA (3)
LR-SL 190 NA NA (3)
K-DA 80 80 110 (3)
K'ette - DA 60 60 90 (3)


(1) Abbreviations:

LU = Living Unit

K'ette = Kitchenette

LR = Living Room

BR = Bedroom

DR = Dining Room

SL = Sleeping Area

DA = Dining Area

NA = Not Applicable

K = Kitchen

O-BR = No separate bedroom

(2) Variations to these areas and dimensions may be permitted when existing partitions preclude precise compliance, and the available area or dimensions do not hinder furniture placement and the normal use of the space.

(3) The least dimension of each room function applies, except for the overlap or double use of space in combination rooms.

Disclaimer: These regulations may not be the most recent version. Maryland may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.