Building Code Modification Requests (BCMR)

Application

Click here(PDF, 810KB)  for the application for a Building Code Modification Request. 

At no cost, the owner or owner’s authorized agent (In the case of a project requiring the services of a State of Tennessee Architect or Engineer, the application must be completed by the licensed architect or engineer and be signed and sealed in accordance with TN State Board of Architectural and Engineer Examiners--Rules of Professional Conduct(PDF, 219KB) ) shall complete the application filling out all fields and descriptions.

In addition to completing the application, the applicant shall also submit all supporting documentation, drawings, diagrams, interpretations, examples, calculations, test reports, etc., so as to justify the request. Seismic requests must include the ASCE 7 Hazard tool (found here).   Vague or incomplete applications will be returned.

Introduction

The International family of codes, a.k.a. “I-Codes” allow for deviations from the strictest letter of the code where there are practical challenges that can not be met. Where this is decided to be the case, the Code allows for alternative solutions. The 2018 International Building Code section 104.10-MODIFICATIONS states the following:

“Where there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of this code, the building official shall have the authority to grant modifications for individual cases, upon application of the owner or the owner’s authorized agent, provided that the building official shall first find that special individual reason makes the strict letter of this code impractical, the modification is in compliance with the intent and purpose of this code and that such modification does not lessen health, accessibility, life and fire safety or structural requirements. The details of action granting modifications shall be recorded and entered in the files of the department of building safety.”

Process

In the cause of fairness, consistency, transparency and record keeping, such modifications to the building codes must be properly applied for, documented, substantiated, reviewed and either accepted or rejected by the building official. Upon receipt of a (BCMR) Building Code Modification Request, City staff will gather to discuss the merits of the request, whether the request meets the intent and purpose of the Code, and determine whether the health, accessibility, life and fire safety or structural requirements have not been reduced or harmed. The Building Official with either: APPROVE, REJECT or ask that the applicant REVISE the request. Upon receipt of a REJECTED modification request, the applicant, at his/her discretion and expense has the right to challenge the determination through the appeals process to the Construction Appeals Board as granted by IBC Section 113-BOARD OF APPEALS.

Application

Click here(PDF, 810KB)  for the application for a Building Code Modification Request.  At no cost, the owner or owner’s authorized agent (In the case of a project requiring the services of a State of Tennessee Architect or Engineer, the application must be completed by the licensed architect or engineer and be signed and sealed in accordance with TN State Board of Architectural and Engineer Examiners--Rules of Professional Conduct(PDF, 219KB) ) shall complete the application filling out all fields and descriptions.

In addition to completing the application, the applicant shall also submit all supporting documentation, drawings, diagrams, interpretations, examples, calculations, test reports, etc., so as to justify the request. Seismic requests must include the ASCE 7 Hazard tool (found here).   Vague or incomplete applications will be returned.

Submission

Completed BCMR Applications shall be submitted via email to bldginspections@knoxvilletn.gov. City staff will review your request as soon as possible, informing you of the results via email.