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Rehab code versus the North Carolina building code: a comparison of their application in preservation tax credit projects, 2002-2012

Directed by Advisor Jo Ramay Leimenstoll, 120pp.


Current literature supports the importance of preservation as a means for revitalizing neighborhoods, improving local economy, and giving communities a sense of pride. However, an in depth exploration of which building code is best suited for use in rehabilitation projects has so far been missing. This research analyzed the application of existing building codes in relationship to preservation tax credit projects in Mecklenburg, Durham, Wake, and Forsyth counties. The researcher looked at projects completed between 2002 and 2012, gathering information about the building project, including the construction type, the use before and after the rehabilitation, location, applied building code, architect, scale, and cost. This information was then compared to reveal patterns within the decision-making process, and indicated when projects should apply the North Carolina Building Code or the Rehab Code. The study revealed the North Carolina Building Code was chosen more often than the Rehab Code for projects utilizing preservation tax credits. The results further showed that a correlation existed between the selected building code and the construction type along with the use before and after the rehabilitation process. The data highlights the importance of considering the specific characteristics of a rehabilitation project in order to make an educated decision about which code to apply. Factors that should be considered include the project architect, the use before and after the rehabilitation, the building construction type, the scale, and the cost of the project. Therefore this thesis supports the current movement in North Carolina to combine codes for existing buildings into one complete document, allowing for selective combining of code requirements based on a project's unique elements.

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College of Arts and Sciences
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