The following includes a checklist of items that must be addressed in the request to be submitted to the Building Code Department.
Minnesota Rule part 1300.0110, Subpart 13 states, “The code is not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by the code, provided that any alternative has been approved. An alternate material, design, or method of construction shall be approved where the building official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the code, and that the material, method, or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety. The details of any action granting approval of an alternate shall be recorded and entered in the files of the Department of Building Safety [University of Minnesota Building Code Department].”
In accordance with the above, a completed alternate must document how the design complies with the intent of the code, and [how] the material, method, or work offered is at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, and safety. This must be contained in the form of a written request that includes the following information:
- The name of project, project number and site location.
- An overview statement that summarizes why the proposed alternate is being requested.
- List of the specific code data for the building or structure: including type of construction, occupancy classification, number of stories, floor area, occupant load, fire sprinkler status and other features relevant to the issue.
- Cite the applicable code(s) and/or standard(s) describing how each applies to this building.
- Explain how this alternate complies with the intent of the code.
- Describe how this alternate material, method, or work is at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire-resistance, durability, and safety.
- List any foreseen difficulties which may hinder the compliance with the specific code application noted in item 4.
- Elaborate on each and include details regarding costs, hardships, technical difficulty, and/or impracticality of literal code compliance.
- Assemble the specifics of the alternate being proposed. Include supporting technical details, all applicable test results, product listing, or alternate compliance standards and necessary plans.
- Sign and date the application. The applicant must be the architect or engineer of record if the alternate is a modification of an original licensed design. However, alternates may reference work prepared by consultants.