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Innovative Rehabilitation Provisions: A Demonstration of the Nationally Applicable Recommended Rehabilitation Provisions

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March 1999, 32 pages

Local building codes for the rehabilitation of existing structures are often vague. Recognizing that this vagueness can lead to unpredictable or unrealistic requirements for rehabilitation projects, HUD contracted with the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) Research Center, Inc., to develop the Nationally Applicable Recommended Rehabilitation Provisions (NARRP). As a follow-up to the publication of the NARRP, HUD requested that the NAHB Research Center work with a remodeler, Asdal Builders, LLC, to apply NARRP to a 200-year-old home in Chester, New Jersey. The home, known as the Stone Lodge, was built in 1747, and has a long history of additions and alterations. Project results have recently been published by HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research as Innovative Rehabilitation Provisions: A Demonstration of the Nationally Applicable Recommended Rehabilitation Provisions.

This report shows in detail how to apply the NARRP provisions. It provides a side-by-side comparison of traditional rehabilitation provisions with the NARRP and the code from which the provisions were developed, the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code-Rehabilitation Subcode. The report explains the cost and scheduling impacts of rehabilitation provisions, including work on the foundation, egress windows, ceiling height, corridor width, and stair geometry.

From this analysis, the report concludes that rehabilitation provisions contained in the New Jersey Rehabilitation Subcode and NARRP allow more cost-effective residential rehabilitation than the older existing code. The New Jersey experience illustrates that codes based on the NARRP philosophy can be administered with consistency. Under the new code, the reduced need for variances from unrealistic regulations translates into substantial time savings as well as predictability in the planning of rehabilitation. Finally, the New Jersey Rehabilitation Subcode and the NARRP provisions promote the continued use not only of single-family dwellings but also of all types of buildings, helping to preserve the character of the past.

The report recommends a number of actions to further the adoption of codes that mirror the philosophy underpinning NARRP. These recommendations include expanding similar demonstrations into other areas of the country, conducting demonstrations on multifamily residential structures, promoting NARRP and similar provisions to industry and government professionals, developing a simplified NARRP code applicable only to single-family homes, and encouraging the adoption of more rehabilitation provisions with a similar philosophy.

Content updated on 3/24/2006

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