Current Status BillNumber: 3541 Ratification Number: 578 Act Number: 481 Introducing Body: House Subject: Relating to the S.C. Modular Buildings Construction ActView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A481, R578, H3541)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF. LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 41 TO TITLE 23, SO AS TO ENACT THE SOUTH CAROLINA MODULAR BUILDINGS CONSTRUCTION ACT; AND TO AMEND CHAPTER 9 OF TITLE 6, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO BUILDING, HOUSING, ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING, AND GAS CODES, SO AS TO DELETE THE AUTHORIZATION TO THE GOVERNING BODY OF ANY INCORPORATED MUNICIPALITY OR COUNTY TO ADOPT LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS DESIGN AND INSTALLATION CODES RELATING TO BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES LOCATED WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION; TO PROVIDE THAT THE SOUTH CAROLINA BUILDING CODE COUNCIL SHALL MONITOR THE ADOPTION OF BUILDING CODES BY CITIES AND COUNTIES TO INSURE COMPLIANCE WITH THIS CHAPTER; TO PROVIDE FOR COUNCIL MEMBERS TO RECEIVE MILEAGE, SUBSISTENCE, AND PER DIEM AS PROVIDED FOR OTHER STATE BOARDS, COMMITTEES, OR COMMISSIONS FOR ATTENDANCE AT BOARD MEETINGS CALLED BY THE CHAIRMAN AND TO DELETE THE PROVISIONS FOR SERVICE WITHOUT PAY, PER DIEM, OR SUBSISTENCE AND FOR MILEAGE ONLY FOR THE MEMBERS WHO LIVE AND WORK MORE THAN TWENTY-FIVE MILES FROM THE MEETING PLACE; TO DIRECT THE DIVISION OF GENERAL SERVICES TO PROVIDE PERSONNEL FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF THE COUNCIL AND TO EMPLOY AND SUPERVISE PERSONNEL NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE COUNCIL'S DUTIES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
S.C. Modular Buildings Construction Act enacted
SECTION 1. Chapter 41 of Title 23 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 23-41-10. This chapter may be cited as The South Carolina Modular Buildings Construction Act.
Section 23-41-20. As used in this chapter:
(1) 'Division' means the Division of General Services, State Budget and Control Board.
(2)'Council' means the South Carolina Building Codes Council as established by Section 6-9-60.
(3) 'Modular building unit' means a building including the necessary electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating, and other service systems, manufactured off-site and transported to the point of use for installation or erection, with or without other specified components, as a finished building and not designed for ready removal to another site. This term is not to be limited to residential dwellings.
(4)'Installation' means the assembly of modular building structures on-site and the process of affixing modular buildings related components to land, a foundation, footings, utilities, or an existing building.
(5) 'Local government' means any political subdivision of the State with authority to establish standards and requirements applicable to the construction, installation, alteration, and repair of buildings.
(6)'Mobile home' or 'manufactured home' means any residential dwelling unit constructed to standards and codes as promulgated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mobile or manufactured homes are not to be covered by the provisions of this chapter.
(7)'Approved inspection agency' means an agency approved by the Council to provide adequate follow-up services at the point of manufacture to insure that production units are in full compliance with the provisions of this chapter and to provide a label, seal, or other evidence of compliance on each unit.
(8)'Point of manufacture' means the place of business at which machinery, equipment, and other capital goods are assembled and operated for the purpose of making, fabricating, constructing forming, or assembling modular building units.
(9) 'Fees' means monies to be paid to the council from and person engaged in the manufacture or installation of modular building units.
(10) 'Certification' means conforming to the regulations of the Council.
(11 ) 'Certification label' means the approved form of certification by the Council issued to the manufacturer that is permanently affixed to each transportable section of each factory built modular structure for sale within the State.
Section 23-41-30. It is the policy and purpose of this State to provide protection to the public against possible hazards and to promote sound building construction and for that purpose to forbid the sales, rental, and use of new modular building units which are not so constructed as to provide safety and protection to their owners and users. Because of the nature of the construction of modular building units, their assembly and use and that of their systems, including heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical which may have concealed parts, there may exist hazards to the health, life, and safety of persons or property which are not easily ascertainable by purchasers, users, and local building officials.
Section 23-41-40. The Council may promulgate regulations for the proper enforcement and implementation of this chapter. Promulgated regulations shall incorporate the Standard Building Code and nationally recognized codes as defined by Section 6-9-60, Section 23-41-50. The Division shall provide administrative support to the Council and the Modular Buildings Board of Appeals in their duties required by this chapter. The Division of General Services shall supervise enforcement of this chapter and regulations promulgated by authority of this chapter and shall employ and supervise personnel necessary to carry out the duties of its office.
Section 23-41-60. The Modular Buildings Board of Appeals consisting of seven members is established. Members of the board must be appointed by the Governor for terms of four years and until their successors are appointed and qualify. The board shall include a registered architect, a registered mechanical engineer, a registered structural engineer, one building official, one fire prevention employee of a fire department, one licensed modular building manufacturer, and one member of the general public. The board's primary responsibility is to hear appeals and approve or disapprove requested variances from this chapter's provisions. Variances are limited to those instances which are ruled to be equivalent or meet the intent of this chapter with the basis of the decision published with the variance order.
The members shall receive such mileage, subsistence, and per diem as provided by law for members of boards, committees, and commissions for attendance at board meetings called by the chairman.
Section 23-41-70. The Division shall have printed all regulations prescribing standards for modular building units and they must be furnished upon request to the public.
Section 23-41-80. Modular buildings must be certified by the Council, as complying with this chapter and the regulations promulgated by authority of this chapter, if they have been manufactured in accordance with approved building systems and passed inspection in accordance with an approved compliance assurance program. Certification is evidenced by the attachment to each modular building, a label issued by the Council. Certification labels can only be attached to a modular building by the manufacturer under the supervision of the approved inspection agency. A certified modular building may not be altered in any way prior to the issuance of all permits required by local government without the resubmission for approval of the alteration and of the unit which includes the alteration.
Section 23-41-90. The Council may authorize the approved inspection agency to perform all or part of the inspection and certification of a modular building.
Section 23-41-100. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, modular building units certified pursuant to this chapter must be considered to comply with the requirements of all laws, ordinances, and regulations of this State or of local governments which govern the matters within the scope of the approval and certification applicable to modular building units, including those bearing upon technologies, techniques, and materials, or the safety of buildings or building components. Local enforcement agencies shall issue building permits for certified modular building units, prior to 'Installation, and issue certificates of occupancy for certified modular building units after they have been installed and inspected pursuant to this chapter; any modular building unit found not to comply with this chapter must be brought into compliance before the certificate of occupancy is issued. In the absence of the local building official's certificate that the modular building is accepted by the local government, the certificate must be issued by the chief administrative officer of the local government.
Section 23-41-110. The Division shall suspend or revoke, or cause to be suspended or revoked, the certification of any modular building unit which the Council finds not to comply with this chapter or regulations promulgated by authority of this chapter, or which has been manufactured pursuant to a building system or compliance assurance program as to which approval has been Suspended or revoked, or which has been altered after certification. If the manufacturer fails to comply with a corrective order, labels of certification must be removed from any modular building unit until it is brought into compliance with this chapter and applicable regulations. Notice of suspension or revocation of certification must be in writing with the reasons for suspension or revocation set forth. Suspensions or revocations may be appealed to the Modular Buildings Board of Appeals.
Section 23-41-120. The Modular Buildings Board of Appeals may upon appeal in specific cases authorize variance from regulations to permit certain specified alternatives where the objectives of this chapter may be fulfilled by other means. The basis of its decision must be incorporated into its variance orders.
Section 23-41-130. Modular building units bearing evidence of listing must be acceptable in all localities as meeting the requirements of this chapter and must be acceptable as meeting the requirements of safety to life, health, and property imposed by any ordinance of any local governments if such units are erected or installed in accordance with all conditions of the listing. Local land use and zoning requirements, fire zones, building setback requirements, site and rear yard requirements, site development requirements, property line requirements, subdivision control and on-site installation requirements, as well as the review and regulation of architectural and aesthetic requirements, are specifically and entirely reserved to local authorities. Such local requirements and rules which may be enacted by local authorities must be reasonable and uniformly applied and enforced without any distinction as to whether a building is a conventionally constructed or industrialized building. Unlabeled units constructed are subject to full inspection for local requirements and for compliance with the regulations of the Council. All local building officials shall enforce the provisions of this chapter and applicable regulations. In localities with no building official, the State Fire Marshal, the Building Code Council, or the South Carolina Residential Homebuilders Commission, within its authority, shall enforce.
Section 23-41-140. The Division may at all reasonable hours enter any modular building unit, upon complaint of any person having jurisdiction, for examination as to compliance with the regulations of the Council. Whenever the officer finds any violation of the regulations, he shall order the manufacturer to bring the unit into compliance, within a reasonable time, to be fixed in the order. If the manufacturer feels aggrieved by the order, he may within ten days after notice of order, appeal to the Modular Buildings Board of Appeals and his complaint must be immediately investigated by the Modular Buildings Board of Appeals. Unless a variance is granted, the order shall remain in force and must be complied with by the manufacturer.
Section 23-41-150. No person shall engage in the business of selling wholesale or retail as a manufacturer or manufacturer's representative of modular building units without being licensed by the Council. The license shall authorize the holder to engage in the business permitted by the license. All license applications must be accompanied by the required fee and surety bond. A separate license and bond is required for each manufacturing facility.
All licenses must be granted or refused within forty days after proper application. All licenses shall expire June 30 of each year, unless sooner revoked or suspended. Applications must be valid for a period of forty days.
Fees charged shall be established by the Council.
Each license must be issued in only one person's name, who may be the individual owner, stockholder, co-partner, or other representative of a manufacturer. A manufacturer's representative shall carry his licenses on his person at all times when he is doing business in this State and it must be shown upon request.
The Council shall prescribe the form of license and each license shall have printed thereon the seal of the office. All individual licenses must be sent to the resident address of the licensee. All business licenses must be sent to the address of that place of business.
Pursuant to its regulations, the Council may deny the issuance of a license or revoke or suspend any license.
The council may order any person subject to the provisions of this chapter to comply with adopted building codes or standards in the manufacture, sale, or delivery of modular buildings.
Section 23-41-160. An applicant for a manufacturer's license shall at the time of making application for a license or renewal furnish a corporate surety bond in the sum of seventy-five thousand dollars for the first year he is licensed, fifty thousand dollars for the second year, and twenty-five thousand dollars for the third and each subsequent year. A manufacturer's representative shall furnish a ten thousand dollar bond annually. All bonds shall provide against any misappropriation of funds belonging to the purchaser, any alteration on the part of the manufacturer's representative to deceive the purchaser as to the manufacture or construction of
the product, or any false and fraudulent representations or deceit fill practices in selling or representing a product.
Section 23-41-170. (a) If the Council finds that the standards for the manufacture and inspection of modular building units prescribed by statute or rules and regulations of another State, or other governmental agency, meet the objectives of this chapter and applicable regulations and are enforced satisfactorily by the other State, or other governmental agency, or by their agents, the Council shall accept modular building units which have been certified by the other State or governmental agency, and assure that the appropriate label is attached. The standards of another State are not considered to be satisfactorily enforced unless the other State provides for notification to the Council of suspensions or revocations of approvals issued by the other State, in a manner satisfactory to the Council, and so notifies the Council.
(b) The Council shall suspend or revoke, or cause to be suspended or revoked, its acceptance or certification, or both, of certified modular building units if it determines that the standards for the manufacture and inspection of the modular building units of another State or other governmental agency do not meet the objectives of this chapter and applicable regulations, or that the standards are not being enforced to the satisfaction of the Council. Notice of the suspension or revocation must be in writing with the reasons set forth. Appeals from suspension or revocations shall receive timely review.
(c) If another State or governmental agency, or its agent, suspends, or revokes its approval or certification, the acceptance or certification, or both, granted under this section must be suspended or revoked accordingly.
(d) In order to encourage reciprocity, the administrative agency and the Council shall cooperate with similar authorities in other jurisdictions and with nationally recognized codes and standards organizations in developing mutually acceptable methods and procedures for testing, evaluating,- approving, and inspecting modular building units and otherwise encouraging their production and acceptance.
Section 23-41-180. The Council may obtain injunctive relief from any court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin the sale, delivery, or installation of modular building units or of buildings utilizing such components, for which certification is required under this chapter, upon an affidavit of the Council specifying the manner in which the modular building units do not conform to the requirements of this chapter or applicable regulations.
Section 23-41-190. Notwithstanding any other remedies available, any person in an individual capacity, or on behalf of a class of persons, damaged as a result of a violation of this chapter or applicable regulations, has a cause of action in any court of competent jurisdiction against the person to whom the label evidencing certification has been issued with respect to the pertinent modular building units, or, if it is not certified, against the manufacturer of the pertinent modular building units. An award may include damages and the cost of litigation including reasonable attorneys' fees. The cause of action created by this section is subject to the same limitations period applicable in this State for causes of action of similar nature.
Section 23-41-200. Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter or regulations made by its authority is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars a violation a day. All funds derived from fines must be deposited in the General Fund of the State."
Municipalities and counties may adopt codes
SECTION 2. Chapter 9 of Title 6 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
Section 6-9-10. The governing body of any incorporated municipality or county in this State is authorized to adopt building, housing, electrical, plumbing, and gas codes relating to the construction, livability, sanitation, erection, equipment, alteration, repair, occupancy, or removal of buildings and structures located within its jurisdiction and promulgate regulations to implement the codes.
The codes and the implementing regulations may embrace matters such as the preparation and submission of plans and specifications; the issuance of permits; standards governing the kind, quality, and performance of materials, equipment, and workmanship; the establishment of fire zones; fireproofing; means of egress and ingress; floor-area-per-occupant requirements; sanitary facilities and proceedings for the correction of unsafe, unsanitary, or inadequate structures.
The codes and regulations may only be adopted by reference to national, regional, or model codes listed in Section 6-9-60 and to certain special provisions approved by the South Carolina Building Code Council. Nothing in these codes or regulations may extend to or be construed as being applicable to the regulation of the design, construction, location, installation, or operation of equipment or facilities used in the generation, transmission, distribution, or communication of a public or private utility or electric or telephone membership cooperatives, other than buildings used primarily for offices or residential housing nor to equipment or facilities already subject to regulation by the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board.
Section 6-9-20. County and municipal bodies are authorized to establish regional agreements with other political subdivisions of the State to issue building permits and enforce building, electrical, plumbing, gas, housing, and other codes in order to more effectively carry out the provisions of this chapter.
Section 6-9-30. The county and municipal governing bodies may appoint building, electrical, plumbing, gas, and housing inspectors and employ other assistants as they may consider necessary and may prescribe fees or charges for permits and inspections.
Section 6-9-40. Prior to adoption of any of the codes or regulations permitted in this chapter, the governing body shall hold public hearings on the codes or regulations. Not less than fifteen days' notice of the time and place of the hearings must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.
Section 6-9-50. County governing bodies have the authority to establish codes and promulgate regulations under this chapter for the entire unincorporated area of the county or for any specified portion of the unincorporated area.
Section 6-9-60. Municipalities or counties are authorized to adopt by reference only the latest editions of the following nationally known codes for regulation of construction within their respective jurisdictions: Standard Building Code, Standard Housing Code, Standard Gas Code, Standard Plumbing Code, Standard One and Two Family Dwelling Code, Standard Mechanical Code, Standard Fire Prevention Code, Standard Swimming Pool Code, Standard Excavation and Grading Code, National Electrical Code, and National Fire Protection Association Gas Codes.
Should any city, town, or county contend that the codes authorized by this chapter do not meet its needs due to local physical or climatological conditions, the variations and modifications must be submitted for approval to a South Carolina Building Code Council of thirteen members which is established in this section. Members of this council must be appointed by the Governor. The council shall include an architect, representatives from the Municipal Association of South Carolina, the South Carolina Association of Counties, the Building Officials' Association of South Carolina, South Carolina Building Trade Council, a representative from the electric utility industry, a representative of the Carolinas Branch of the Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., representatives from the gas, electric, and plumbing industries, a representative of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina, a handicapped person, and the Chief Engineer of the State Budget and Control Board. At least one member of the council must be a member of each of the congressional districts, to be appointed, if positions become vacant, in the order provided below or as resignations occur. The primary function of the council is to decide to what extent any jurisdiction may vary from the series of codes listed in this section in the establishment of standards. The council shall monitor the adoption of building codes by cities and counties to insure compliance with this chapter.
Of the members initially appointed by the Governor, four shall serve for terms of two years, four shall serve for four years, and five shall serve for terms of six years. After the initial appointment, all appointments. are for terms of six years.
Members of the council shall receive mileage, subsistence, and per them as provided for other state boards, committees, or commissions for attendance at board meetings called by the chairman. The Division of General Services of the State Budget and Control Board shall provide personnel for enforcement of the laws and regulations of the South Carolina Building Code Council and shall employ and supervise personnel necessary to carry out the duties of the council.
Within thirty days after its appointment the council shall meet on call by the Chief Engineer of the State Budget and Control Board. The council shall elect from its appointive members a chairman and secretary. The council shall adopt regulations not inconsistent with this chapter. Meetings may be called by the chairman on his own initiative and must be called by him at the request of three or more members of the council. All members must be notified by the chairman in writing of the time and place of meeting at least seven days in advance of the meeting. Seven members constitute a quorum. All meetings are open to the public. At least two-thirds vote of those members in attendance at the meeting constitutes an official decision of the council.
Section 6-9-70. The violation of any of the codes or regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter is declared to be a misdemeanor, and any person violating the codes or regulations is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars or imprisonment of not more than thirty days. Each day the violation continues is a separate offense.
Section 6-9-80. In case of any violation of or proposed violation of the codes or regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, the South Carolina Building Code Council, the building inspectors, municipal or county attorneys, or other appropriate authority of the political subdivision, or any adjacent or neighboring property owner who would be damaged by the violation may, in addition to other remedies, apply for injunctive relief, mandamus, or other appropriate proceeding to prevent, correct, or abate the violation or threatened violation.
Section 6-9-90. County or municipal governing bodies are authorized to appropriate and expend funds to implement the provisions of this chapter.
Section 6-9-100. The provisions of this chapter are cumulative to other authority of counties and municipalities and do not limit the authority of counties and municipalities.
A city or county that has adopted any of the national, regional, or model codes or any other code prior to May 1, 1982, may continue its use.
Section 6-9-110. No county, municipal, or other local ordinance or regulation which prescribes building standards may be construed to apply to any state department, institution, or agency permanent improvement project, construction project, renovation project, or property except as permitted by Section 6-7-830. In no event may any county, municipal, or other local ordinance or regulation which requires the purchase or acquisition of a permit, license, or other device utilized to enforce any building standard be construed to apply to any state department, institution or agency permanent improvement project, construction project, renovation project or property. Nothing in this section prohibits local building officials from making inspections on state-owned buildings when the inspections are mutually agreed to by the local building official and the state agency responsible for the building."
SECTION 3. Chapter 41 of Title 23 of the 1976 Code, added by Section 1 of this act, is effective January 1, 1985. The remaining provisions of this act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 20th day of June, 1984.