Q: Is there a specific date for construction that is a cut-off point between chapter 18 and chapter 19, or does chapter 19 always applies once the new construction is complete and occupied?
A: Yes…there is a specific date to determine the difference between using new construction occupancy chapters (i.e. chapter 18) or existing conditions occupancy chapters (i.e. chapter 19). For the purpose of the 2000 Life Safety Code, that date was March 11, 2003 because that is the effective date when CMS adopted the 2000 LSC. For the 2012 Life Safety Code, the date is July 5, 2016, as CMS explained in their Final Rule adopting the 2012 LSC:
“Buildings that have not received all pre-construction governmental approvals before the rules effective date, or those buildings that begin construction after the effective date of this regulation, will be required to meet the New Occupancy chapters of the 2012 edition of the LSC.”
July 5, 2016 is the effective date of the new 2012 LSC so anything approved by state or local building departments or if construction begins after July 5, it is considered “New Construction”.