Construction Law

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Business Occupancies in North Carolina

The State of North Carolina uses a comprehensive classification system to determine different types of occupancies. These classifications are largely based on the type of occupancy inhabiting a building or the intended use for the building. Chapter 3 of the 2018 North Carolina State Building Code has established ten different classifications for structure and portions of structures in the Tar Heel State. This includes:

  • Assembly
  • Business
  • Educational
  • Factory and Industrial
  • High Hazard
  • Institutional
  • Mercantile
  • Residential
  • Storage
  • Utility and Miscellaneous

In this short article, a construction attorney in Wilmington, NC will detail one of the most important occupancy classifications for contractors in North Carolina: business occupancies.

Business “Group B”

Occupancies that fall under the classification “Group B” include an array of different building types that all share one primary characteristic; they are the site of a space being used as an office or for professional purposes. If you process business transactions in a structure, it likely falls under this classification. Also, this classification covers buildings being used to store records and accounts.

Applicable Structures “A” through “M”

Business occupancies include a diverse array of business types requiring drastically different physical workplaces. Airport traffic control towers qualify as business occupancies, as do ambulatory care facilities, animal hospitals, kennels, and pounds. In addition, banks, barber and beauty shops, car washes, civic administrations, outpatient clinics, and dry-cleaning stores qualify for Group B.

Surprisingly, some buildings related to education still qualify for Group B. For example, educational occupancies aimed at high schoolers who participate in “Cooperative Innovative High School Programs” on college campuses are technically business occupancies; and yes, this does include educational occupancies for students who have graduated high school.

Lastly, electronic data processing, food processing and commercial kitchens that have no association with a dining facility (not more than 2,500 square feet), research laboratories, and motor vehicle showrooms are all considered business occupancies by the State of North Carolina.

Applicable Structures “N” through “Z”

Business occupancies are as varied as the people who own them, so it comes as little surprise that “Group B” is chock-full of businesses from a wide range of industries. Taking into account the different types of business listed in the preceding paragraph, business occupancies also include post offices, print shops, professional service providers including architects, doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc.), radio and television stations, telephone exchanges, and skill training services that don’t follow under the umbrella of academia.

Understanding the various building classifications is imperative for contractors working in the Tar Heel State. Of course, a contractor attorney in Wilmington, NC can assist you with all of your construction legal needs including contract review, licensing disputes, and more.

If you would like to speak with a contractor lawyer in Wilmington, NC, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.