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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 07-680




[12 PA. CODE CH. 145]

Industrial Housing and Components

[37 Pa.B. 1840]
[Saturday, April 21, 2007]

   The Department of Community and Economic Development (Department), under section 5 of the Industrialized Housing Act (act) (35 P. S. § 1651.5), amends Chapter 145 (relating to industrialized housing and components). The purpose of this final-form rulemaking is to eliminate the exception for energy conservation for industrialized homes, adopt the model code requirements for energy efficiency bringing industrialized housing on par with the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act (35 P. S. §§ 7210.101--7210.1103) and reduce the number of required inspections by the Department.


   The act authorizes the Department to promulgate rules and regulations to interpret and make specific the provisions of the act. Under section 5 of the act, the rules and regulations are to be amended to ''assure the health, safety and welfare of the people of Pennsylvania by requiring safe and sanitary industrial housing and shall include provisions imposing requirements reasonably consistent with recognized and accepted model codes.'' The purpose of this final-form rulemaking is to provide parity with conventional housing constructed under the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act and industrialized housing constructed for other states. Adoption of the model energy standards will improve energy efficiency in housing produced and allow manufacturers to utilize newer technology in designing heating and cooling systems.

   Following the public comment period, minor changes were made to the proposed rulemaking to clarify the standards. In § 145.42(a)(2)(iv) (relating to alternate standards), ''stairs'' was replaced with ''stairways'' to clarify that this standard applied to each stair in the stairway. In § 145.42(a)(2)(v), the tense of a verb was changed to make the sentence consistent.


   Section 145.41 (relating to adoption of standards) is amended to adopt the ICC International Energy Conservation Code and the ICC International Residential Code as additional standards applicable to the industrialized housing and housing components for purposes of this chapter and to remove the energy conservation and stair geometry exceptions to the ICC International Building Code.

   Section 145.42 is amended to provide the International Energy Conservation Code and Pennsylvania's Alternative Residential Energy Provisions as the alternatives to § 145.41 with respect to energy efficiency. The ICC International Residential Code is removed as an alternative because it is a standard in § 145.41. The amendment also provides alternate standards regarding stairway construction.

   Section 145.93 (relating to factory inspections; right of entry) is amended to replace the biannual inspection requirement with an annual inspection requirement.

Fiscal Impact

   Commonwealth. While striving to reduce the number of required inspections per year at each plant, the Department estimates the total number of inspections will remain unchanged. This is in part a result of additional production facilities seeking approval each year and increased inspections at warranted plants once granted the ability to focus Department inspection efforts.

   Political subdivisions. There will be no fiscal impact on political subdivisions.

   Public. Increased costs to the industry will be negligible. The majority of manufacturers presently exceeds the current provisions and builds homes that comply with the proposed standard.


   The final-form rulemaking will not change existing paperwork requirements.

Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on July 7, 2006, the Department submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 36 Pa. B. 3820 (July 22, 2006), to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and the Chairpersons of the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee and the Senate Community and Economic Development Committee for review and comment.

   Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC and the Committees were provided with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing the final-form rulemaking, the Department has considered all comments from IRRC, the House and Senate Committees and the public.

   Under section 5.1(j.2) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(j.2)), on April 4, 2007, the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the House and Senate Committees. Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by IRRC, effective April 4, 2007.

Effective Date/Sunset Date

   The final-form rulemaking will become effective on June 20, 2007. The regulations are monitored on a regular basis and updated as needed.

Contact Person

   Interested persons are invited to submit in writing comments, suggestions or objections regarding the final-form rulemaking to Matthew J. Speicher, Assistant Counsel, Office of Chief Counsel, Department of Community and Economic Development, Commonwealth Keystone Building, 4th Floor, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 720-7317; or Mark Conte, Chief, Housing Standards Division, Office of Community Development, Department of Community and Economic Development, Commonwealth Keystone Building, 4th Floor, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 720-7416.


   The Department finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to adopt the amendments adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  The final-form rulemaking is necessary and appropriate.


   The Department, acting under the authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Department, 12 Pa. Code Chapter 145, are amended by amending §§ 145.41 and 145.93 to read as set forth at 36 Pa.B. 3820 and by amending § 145.42 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Department shall submit this order, 36 Pa.B. 3820 and Annex A to the Office of Attorney General and the Office of General Counsel for approval as to legality as required by law.

   (c)  The Secretary shall certify this order, 36 Pa.B. 3820 and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order shall take effect June 20, 2007.


   (Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 37 Pa.B. 1197 (March 10, 2007).)

   Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 4-85 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A






§ 145.42. Alternate standards.

   (a)  As an alternative to the primary codes specified in § 145.41 (relating to adoption of standards), a manufacturer may elect to satisfy the requirements of the following alternate standards. Copies of these documents are available through the respective promulgating agencies as defined in § 145.47 (relating to acquisition of adopted codes and amendments):

   (1)  As an alternate to the ICC International Residential Code, Chapter 11, regarding energy efficiency, the manufacturer may use one of the following:

   (i)  The prescriptive methods for residential buildings in the International Energy Conservation Code compliance guide containing State maps, prescriptive energy packages and related software published by the United States Department of Energy, Building Standards and Guidelines Program (REScheckTM).

   (ii)  Pennsylvania's Alternative Residential Energy Provisions developed by the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center at the Pennsylvania State University.

   (2)  As an alternate to the ICC International Residential Code, Chapter 3, regarding building planning, in regards to stairway construction, the manufacturer may use the following standard:

   (i)  The maximum riser height must be 8 1/4 inches. There may be no more than 3/8 inch variation in riser height within a flight of stairs. The riser height is to be measured vertically between leading edges of the adjacent treads.

   (ii)  The minimum tread depth must be 9 inches measured from tread nosing to tread nosing. There may be no more than 3/8 inch variation in tread depth within a flight of stairs.

   (iii)  Treads may have a uniform projection of not more than 1 1/2 inches when solid risers are used.

   (iv)  Stairways may not be less than 3 feet in clear width and clear head room of 6 feet 8 inches must be maintained for the entire run of the stairway.

   (v)  Handrails may project from each side of a stairway a distance of 3 1/2 inches into the required width of the stairway.

   (b)  Except as provided in § 145.43 (relating to amendment policy), the codes must be the latest edition. The effective date of code changes must be in accordance with §§ 145.44 and 145.122(b) (relating to adoption and effective dates--code amendments; and effective date).

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 07-680. Filed for public inspection April 20, 2007, 9:00 a.m.]

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