Habitable Space

Creation of Potentially Habitable Space

  • Unconditioned Space – Per Section 101 of the 2010 CEC (California Energy Code) - Unconditioned Space is enclosed space within a building that is not directly conditioned (heated or cooled), indirectly conditioned, or semi conditioned.

  • Storage Areas – Per AMC Section 13-2.2 (c) - Storage Areas within or adjacent to R occupancies shall be restricted to one electrical receptacle and one electrical light unless otherwise approved by the Building Official.

  • Ceiling Height – Per Section 1208.2 of the 2010 CBC (California Building Code) - Habitable space shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet 6 inches except as otherwise permitted in this section. Kitchens, halls, bathrooms, and toilet compartments may have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet.

  • Internal Access Connection – Per the City of Alameda Guide to Residential Design - Whenever potentially habitable space is created, either through new construction or conversion of an existing space, the space shall be connected to the living area of the dwelling with an enclosed passageway or stairway that is integrated into the structure.

  • Potentially Habitable Space – Per the City of Alameda Design Review Manual - Potentially Habitable Space is created whenever a minimum ceiling height of 7 feet 6 inches is proposed and the space will include a concrete slab or other finished floor.

  • Habitable Space – Per Section 202 of the 2010 CBC - Habitable Space is space in a structure used for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet compartments, closets, halls, utility spaces, and similar areas, are not considered habitable space.

Whenever potentially habitable space is created, either through new construction or conversion of an existing space, a determination about that space must be made.

 

Habitable, Non-Habitable or Storage?

Habitable Space is space used for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. All habitable space must be heated and is therefore considered conditioned space. Habitable spaces must meet all code requirements for an R-Occupancy. Habitable space must have an internal access connection to the existing living area. All square footage of habitable spaces shall be used when determining off-street parking requirements pursuant to AMC Section 30-7.6.

 

Non-Habitable Space includes bathrooms, toilet compartments, closets, halls, utility spaces and similar uses. Non–habitable spaces may be heated and cooled but are not required to be. If they are heated and/or cooled they are considered to be conditioned spaces. Non-Habitable space, other than a garage, laundry room or utility spaces, must have an internal access connection to the existing living area within the same building. Only the square footage of conditioned spaces shall be used when determining off-street parking requirements pursuant to AMC Section 30-7.6.

 

Storage Space is unconditioned space that may only have one electrical light and one electrical receptacle. Storage space square footage shall not be used when determining off-street parking requirements pursuant to AMC Section 30-7.6.

There are no maximum ceiling height restrictions for habitable, non-habitable or storage spaces. When determining residential conditioned space square footage, measurements will be taken from the surface of the interior walls.