Codes & Design Criteria

George Mason University is required to enforce the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) and the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC). These codes are administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and reference the International Codes as published by the International Code Council.  Periodic amendments are utilized to update codes and incorporate new reference standards.

In addition, for state owned property, the Commonwealth of Virginia Bureau of Engineering and Buildings has incorporated the requirements of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design excluding the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Scoping requirements. In cases that the ADAAG standards and ICC ANSI Standards conflict, the most extensive requirements shall govern.

The 2018 Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC) is the currently adopted building code for all construction in Virginia.

Codes and standards referenced by the 2018 VUSBC & current NFPA standards:

Local Design Load Criteria

The following load criteria are based on Chapter 16 of the Virginia Constructions Code, 2018, and Chapter 3 of the 2018 Virginia Residential Code.

This information is provided for reference only and HECO/CPSM requirements take precedence.

Ground snow load25 psf1.25 kN/m2
Ultimate (Vult)
90 mph
115 mph
40 m/s
51 m/s
Frost depth24 in.600 mm
Earthquake spectral response accelerationat short periods: 0.129
at 1 second period: 0.053
Residential Seismic Design CategoryB
Weathering probability for concretesevere
Termite infestation probabilitymoderate to heavy
Decay probabilityslight to moderate
Ice shield underlayment requiredyes
Flood hazards (date of entry into National Flood Insurance Program)3/5/1990
Winter Design Temperature17°F-9°C
Air freezing index<=1500°F<=815°C
Mean annual temperature50°F10°C