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Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 5648
Experience:  Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
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Is there a State (Massachusetts) or National code that requires

Customer Question

Is there a State (Massachusetts) or National code that requires a mechanical design for HVAC (specifically air conditioning) for newly built homes over a certain square footage? If not what ir required beyond simply filling out a permit application?
The house I purchased from a builder is approximately 5400 square feet with four A/C zones and there is no mechanical design schematic
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Phil replied 5 months ago.
Hello, a complete set of plans is required, however if the builder took out permits when he built the home, the plans he supplied at the time, along with the ongoing building dept inspection reports should be sufficient. The home must comply not only with the local and international building code but with *local zoning, set back, height and style requirements in some cases. Tell me in unmistakable terms why you need the mechanical plans at this late date... there is no generic answer, and it does not need be a code requirement for the local officials to demand compliance with their local codes and zoning. We can go from there.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.

I am in litigation with the builder over an out of code A/C system and there are no plans on file with the town. There were no plans submitted when the home was built. What is the National Code section that stipulates a mechanical design plan is required?

Expert:  Phil replied 5 months ago.
There is no national or international code that requires a mechanical design plan for new construction or renovations..... however some but not all local codes require that plans and permits be obtained, many counties, especially rural areas in the US have no code requirements what so ever... none. It will take a local attorney specializing in construction law to provide a more definitive answer, I am not a local contractor to your area, nor an attorney of any sort. However I am willing to work with you, on an absolutely unlimited time bases to assist you in getting this sorted out, but *not on the basis of a code issue. The workable strategy will involve the contractors license laws and bonding... and how long it has been since the construction. If you wish to fill me in on those details I can be quite helpful. Or you can pursue the code aspects, which do not apply in many cases on that issue of submitting plans etc.. For example, notice the first paragraph same applies nationally and in your state, Plan requirements arelocal depending on the *county... even then it varies. You and I can spend a lot time fruitlessly pursuing that aspect... or you can opt to take another approach, one that works better than any other approach as mentioned earlier. Meantime I will opt out so we can see of any of our few hundred contractors, engineers or attorneys here think they can help you by providing a code reference (where none exist regarding the plans etc)
Customer: replied 5 months ago.

Thank you... I am all set

Expert:  Phil replied 5 months ago.
Hello again, I see none of the other experts here have picked up your question, and...I see that I need more direct in my comments. **there is NO requirement in the Uniform Building Code, nor the International Building code that requires you to submit plans. However, and this is the key point *the local officials can require you to submit plans* ... they rule. The building code does NOT rule, The city or county officials are free to not accept the various building codes and *demand* stricter construction standards. You have it backwards if you think that the building code rules.... it is ONLY a minimum standard, a standard that the local officials are 100% free to REJECT. There are solutions to your problem however, but not until you realize that it is the local officials that rule, and NOT the building codes. Let me know if you understand that crucial point now, and are interested in a workable solution or not... we can go from there.

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