Scope. The provisions of this article shall govern the minimum conditions and standards for light, ventilation and space for occupying a structure.
Responsibility. The owner of the structure shall provide and maintain light, ventilation and space conditions in compliance with these requirements. A person shall not occupy as owner-occupant, or permit another person to occupy, any premises that do not comply with the requirements of this article.
General. The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this article and as stated elsewhere in this chapter, have the meanings shown herein:
- HABITABLE SPACE
- Space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces.
- OPENABLE AREA
- That part of a window or door which is available for unobstructed ventilation and which opens directly to the outdoors.
- The natural or mechanical process of supplying conditioned or unconditioned air to, or removing such air from, any space.
Habitable spaces. Every habitable space shall have at least one window of approved size facing directly to the outdoors or to a court. The minimum total window area, measured between stops, for every habitable space shall be 8% of the floor area of such room, except in kitchens where artificial light is provided in accordance with the provisions of the building code listed in Article VIII. Wherever walls or other portions of a structure face a window of any room and such obstructions are located less than three feet (914 mm) from the window and extend to a level above that of the ceiling of the room, such window shall not be deemed to face directly to the outdoors nor to a court and shall not be included as contributing to the required minimum total window area for the room.
Common halls and stairways. Every common hall and stairway, other than in one- and two-family dwellings, shall be lighted at all times with at least a sixty-watt standard incandescent light bulb or equivalent for each 200 square feet (19 m2) of floor area, provided that the spacing between lights shall not be greater than 30 feet (9144 mm). Every exterior stairway shall be illuminated with a minimum of 1 footcandle (11 lux) at floors, landings and treads.
Other spaces. All other spaces shall be provided with natural or artificial light sufficient to permit the maintenance of sanitary conditions and the safe occupancy of the space and utilization of the appliances, equipment and fixtures.
Habitable spaces. Every habitable space shall have at least one openable window. The total openable area of the window in every room shall be equal to at least 45% of the minimum glazed area required in § 186-22A.
Bathrooms and toilet rooms. Every bathroom and toilet room shall comply with the ventilation requirements for habitable spaces as required by Section PM-404.1, except that a window shall not be required in spaces equipped with a mechanical ventilation system that complies with the following:
Air exhausted by a mechanical ventilation system from a bathroom within a dwelling unit shall be exhausted to the exterior and shall not be recirculated to any space, including the space from which such air is withdrawn.
Air exhausted by a mechanical ventilation system from all other bathrooms or toilet rooms shall be exhausted to the exterior without recirculation to any space, or not more than 85% of the exhaust air shall be recirculated where the system is provided with effective absorption and filtering equipment.
Editor's Note: This reference refers to the BOCA National Property Maintenance Code, 1996.
Cooking facilities. Unless approved through the certificate of occupancy, cooking shall not be permitted in any rooming unit or dormitory unit, and a cooking facility or appliance shall not be permitted to be present in a rooming unit or dormitory unit; exception: where specifically approved in writing by the Code Official.
Process ventilation. Where injurious, toxic, irritating or noxious fumes, gases, dusts or mists are generated, a local exhaust ventilation system shall be provided to remove the contaminating agent at the source. Air shall be exhausted to the exterior and not be recirculated to any space.
Clothes dryer exhaust. Clothes dryer venting systems shall be independent of all other systems and shall be vented in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Privacy. Dwelling units, hotel units, rooming units and dormitory units shall be arranged to provide privacy and be separate from other adjoining spaces.
Access from sleeping rooms. Sleeping rooms shall not constitute the only means of access to other sleeping rooms or habitable spaces; exception: dwelling units that contain fewer than two bedrooms.
Area for sleeping purposes. Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 70 square feet (6.5 m2) of floor area, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one person shall contain at least 50 square feet (4.6 m2) of floor area for each occupant thereof.
Water closet accessibility. Every bedroom shall have access to at least one water closet and one lavatory without passing through another bedroom.
Overcrowding. Dwelling units shall not be occupied by more occupants than permitted by the minimum area requirements of Table 1.
Combined spaces. Combined living room and dining room spaces shall comply with the requirements of Table 1 if the total area is equal to that required for separate rooms and if the space is located so as to function as a combination living room/dining room.
Prohibited occupancy. Kitchens, nonhabitable spaces and interior public areas shall not be occupied for sleeping purposes.
Minimum ceiling heights.
Habitable spaces, hallways, corridors, laundry areas, bathrooms, toilet rooms and habitable basement areas shall have a clear ceiling height of not less than seven feet (2134 mm).
In one- and two-family dwellings, beams or girders spaced not less than four feet (1219 mm) on center and projecting not more than six inches (152 mm) below the required ceiling height.
Basement rooms in one- and two-family dwellings occupied exclusively for laundry, study or recreation purposes, having a ceiling height of not less than six feet eight inches (2033 mm) with not less than six feet four inches (1932 mm) of clear height under beams, girders, ducts and similar obstructions.
Rooms occupied exclusively for sleeping, study or similar purposes and having a sloped ceiling over all or part of the room, with a clear ceiling height of at least seven feet (2134 mm) over not less than 1/3 of the required minimum floor area. In calculating the floor area of such rooms, only those portions of the floor area with a clear ceiling height of five feet (1524 mm) or more shall be included.
Minimum room widths. A habitable room, other than a kitchen, shall not be less than seven feet (2134 mm) in any plan dimension. Kitchens shall have a clear passageway of not less than three feet (914 mm) between counterfronts and appliances or counterfronts and walls.
Food preparation. All spaces to be occupied for food preparation purposes shall contain suitable space and equipment to store, prepare and serve foods in a sanitary manner. There shall be adequate facilities and services for the sanitary disposal of food wastes and refuse, including facilities for temporary storage.