AIA Austin, through its Advocacy Commission, is actively engaged with City of Austin staff to keep updated as to zoning and building code changes, specifically including the Residential Review and Inspections Departments. The purpose is to inform AIA Austin members of various code changes and City of Austin staff interpretations affecting architects and their practice.
Residential Review, September 28
Effective September 28th, Residential Review has implemented a new process that will allow for the concurrent review of both a residential building permit application and a TAP plan with Austin Water.
As typical, you will secure your WWWSPV approval through the TAPS office (or the co-located station in DAC). The WWWSPV form will indicate whether a tap plan is required. If yes, the intake person with Residential Review will add AWU-TAPS to the distribution list for the project (just like tree, fire, flood plain, etc.). If no, they will not be added. This will give AWU-TAPS the ability to ensure that the building permit application is not approved until the TAP plan is also approved, but removes the need to require that the tap plan be approved prior to submitting the building permit application.
2015 IRC Adoption
Projects submitted after July 1, 2017 will need to comply with the 2015 IRC and local amendments.
Solar Ready Adoption
Projects submitted after October 1, 2017 will require that new residential and commercial buildings are constructed to reserve roof top space to more easily accommodate solar equipment.
Tree Review Changes
Beginning February 10, 2017, a separate Tree Ordinance Review Application (TORA) will no longer be required when submitting for residential plan review (PR). The application, fee, review, and issuance of a tree permit will all be consolidated into the Residential PR process.
Energy Code Revisions
Projects submitted after September 1, 2015 will need to comply with the 2015 IECC and local amendments
Visitability Changes 2015
On January 30, 2014, City Council adopted changes to the International Residential Code relating to accessibility and visitability requirements from new single-family dwellings (single-family, duplex, and townhomes).
- Ordinance 20140130-021
- No Step Threshold Memo
- Building Criteria Manual Interpretation on Visitability, effective 7-1-2015
- Sample Visitability Plan
- Sample Waiver for Exterior Route
- Sample Multifamily Plan
- Visitability Staff Presentation
City of Austin Fire Flow Requirements
for Residential Construction
Beginning in January 2014, the City of Austin began to formally review for the fire-flow requirement for houses larger than 3600 SF. Fire-flow for residential construction varies based upon size and construction type (see Table B105.1, 2012 International Fire Code) If a property does not have the required fire-flow, the code allows for alternate methods of compliance including the installation of sprinklers or an increase in the fire rating of the construction. This is not to be confused with Texas Occupation Code Section 1301.551 (i) where state law prohibits requiring the installation of a multipurpose residential fire protection sprinkler system.
Certification of Compliance (Self-certification)
Since 2013, AIA Austin's Advocacy Liaisons have worked closely with City of Austin staff to maintain the option for architects to self-certify residential projects.
We highly suggest that prior to submitting a self-certified project, you consult with a senior reviewer using the paid consult program. The program's success will depend largely on the professional judgement and discretion of the architect who chooses to use this form.
- COA Residential Consult Request Form
- COA Architect Certification Process & Form, April 2013
- AIA Position Letter to City, March 2013
Subchapter F Revision Process 2012
Based on a mutual need by design professionals and staff to ease the burden of the process, AIA Advocacy and City Staff have collaborated over the past six months to create proposed amendments to the current code language of the Residential Design & Compatibility Standards (aka McMansion). An initial member forum was held on July 28, 2011 and a followup forum on April 16, 2012. These forums provided our membership the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed language.
- COA ADU Memo, September 2017
- Residential Update Presentation, August 2017
- AIA Position Letter - Carport Exemption, October 2016
- COA Residential Consult Request Form, 2016
- Heritage Tree Ordinance
- Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance, Nov 2015
- COA Neighborhood Plan Infill Options Map, Updated Nov 2015
- COA Neighborhood Plan Design Tools Map, Updated Nov 2015
- COA Technical Review Checklist, October 2015
- Austin Water Utility Policy Changes, Sept 2015
- COA Dormer Interpretation, May 2015
- COA/BOA Carport Interpretation, Jan 2015
- COA Memo - Alternate Method for Exposed Raftertails, July 2014
- COA Memo - Mechanical & Pool Equipment in Required Yards, Sept 2014
- COA Neighborhood Plan Special Use Booklet, Updated June 2014
- City of Austin Residential Parking Information, April 2013
- COA/BOA Bedroom Interpretation, Oct 2012
- COA Attic Interpretation, Jan 2012
- Dwelling Unit Interpretation Memo, Jan 2011
- Habitable Attic Memo, July 2008