SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE MINNESOTA BUILDING CODE 2020


The 2020 Minnesota Residential Code is effective March 31, 2020. The 2020 Minnesota Residential Code adopts
the 2018 edition of the International Residential Code (IRC), with amendments. The IRC governs new
construction of one- and two-family homes and buildings with three or more townhouses, provided the
structure is not more than three stories above grade.
The following IRC provisions are changed by Minnesota amendments:
Administration and Definitions
• Adds a definition of transient and directs code users to the IBC for requirements for dwellings intended
for transient use
Sections R 310.1 and R310.6 provisions for emergency escape and rescue openings for new and existing
basements
• Emergency escape and rescue openings are required in new basements and bedrooms created in
existing basements unless the entire basement area, all portions of the means of egress to the level of
exit discharge, and all areas on the level of exit discharge are protected with an automatic sprinkler
system
Sections R314 and R315 Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
• Existing homes are permitted to be equipped with battery-powered smoke alarms and carbon monoxide
detectors that are not interconnected unless alterations or repairs result in the removal of interior wall
or ceiling finishes
• Hardwired, interconnected smoke alarms are not required in existing homes where the basement or
attic provides access to the hardwiring
• New homes continue to be required to have hardwired, interconnected smoke alarms
Table R402.2 Minimum specified compressive strength of concrete
• Clarifies that 5,000 psi concrete is not required for post footings decks or porches, wood foundations,
slab-on-grade foundation walls and footings for floating slabs
Section 404 Foundation and Retaining Walls
• Table R404.1(1) includes prescriptive requirements for foundation walls up to 10 feet in height
The 2020 Minnesota Residential Code also includes these significant changes from the 2018 IRC:
• Section R301.2.1 Wind design criteria require dwellings to be constructed using ultimate design wind
speed (Vult) instead of basic wind speed (Vasd). Table R301.2.1.3 provides conversions from Vult to Vasd.
The actual design wind loads will be equal or slightly less using ultimate wind design speed instead of
basic wind speed.
• Section R324 Solar Energy Systems adds new provisions solar energy systems. Roof-mounted solar PV
systems must allow for roof access, including access pathways from the lowest roof edge to the ridge
and setbacks at the ridge.
• Section R507 Exterior Decks reorganizes and clarifies requirements for decks, including requirements
for materials and fastener and fastener connections.
• Appendix Q addresses tiny houses by providing certain allowances for homes less than 400 square feet

It is the minimum construction standard throughout all of Minnesota. Although it is not enforceable by municipalities unless it is adopted by local ordinance, it creates a level playing field for the construction industry by establishing the Minnesota State Building Code as the standard for the construction of all buildings in the state.

FOR MORE INFO ALL ARE INVITED TO VISIT https://www.dli.mn.gov/business/codes-and-laws/2020-minnesota-state-building-codes FOR MORE RESOURCES OF INFORMATION.

  • DAVID GRUIS / HOME HERITAGE HOLDINGS LLC

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