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Spaghetti Works Building Renovation Example for International Existing Building Code

DES MOINES, Iowa (May 15, 2006) – Nearly 50 building code officials toured the Spaghetti Works building in downtown Des Moines on Thursday, May 11th as part of a training exercise utilizing the 2003 International Existing Building Code during the bi-annual meeting of Iowa Association of Building Officials. The tour, sponsored by the Permit and Development Center of the City of Des Moines, the contractor, Venter Spooner, the Architectural firm of GE Wattier and Hubbell Realty Company, highlighted how IEBC is very beneficial to jurisdictions that wish to make renovations to existing buildings. The Spaghetti Works building, located at 308 Court Avenue, is being converted into 51 apartments by Hubbell Realty Company and is expected to be ready for occupancy in December of this year. The building had been proposed for re-development for nearly 20 years, but had not been able to be completed due to a lack of in-depth codes for the rehab of existing buildings. “The design of the Spaghetti Works building covers many aspects of the code including building Historic, building Addition, change in occupancy from the current use into Residential apartment on the upper floor while maintaining the current use of the restaurants on the 1st floor,” says Terry Berk, Plans Examiner for the City of Des Moines. “For the code officials to see the project while it’s still under construction is very beneficial. The historical elements and raw materials of the building are exposed, allowing us to better demonstrate how the code is being applied.” The tour for building officials showed how to preserve the existing use while upgrading the system throughout the building; how to preserve the historic parts of the buildings such as staircases while maintaining safety; and some of the code issues of the existing building that were arrived at through the building plan review process. The City of Des Moines adopted the 2003 International Existing Building Code in 2005 and serves as an example across the state in rehabilitating existing structures. To date, fifteen buildings in downtown have utilized this code with more throughout the city. The International Existing Building Code allows the designer/developer different avenues to accomplish a minimum level of safety to existing building and still provide the safeguard the public health, safety and welfare insofar as they are affect by the repair, alteration, change in occupancy and addition.

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