Building Category

Category Nature of Occupancy
1 Buildings and other structures that represent a low hazard to human life in the event of failure including, but not limited to:
  • Agricultural facilities
  • Certain temporary facilities
  • Minor storage facilities
2 All buildings and other structures except those listed in Categories 1, 3, and 4.
3 Buildings and other structures that represent a substantial hazard to human life in the event of failure including, but not limited to:
  • Buildings and other structures where more than 300 people congregate in one area
  • Buildings and other structures with day care facilities with capacity greater than 150
  • Buildings and other structures with elementary school or secondary school facilities with capacity greater than 250
  • Buildings and other structures with a capacity greater than 500 for colleges or adult education facilities
  • Health care facilities with a capacity of 50 or more resident patients but not having surgery or emergency treatment facilities
  • Jails and detention facilities
  • Power generating stations and other public utility facilities not included in Category 4
  • Buildings and other structures not included in Category 4 (including, but not limited to, facilities that manufacture, process, handle, store, use, or dispose of such substances as hazardous fuels, hazardous chemicals, hazardous waste, or explosives) containing sufficient quantities of hazardous materials to be dangerous to the public if released.
  • Buildings and other structures containing hazardous materials shall be eligible for classification as Category 2 structures if it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the authority having jurisdiction by a hazard assessment as described in Section 1.5.2 that a release of the hazardous material does not pose a threat to the public.
4 Buildings and other structures designated as essential facilities including, but not limited to:
  • Hospitals and other health care facilities having surgery or emergency treatment facilities
  • Fire, rescue, ambulance, and police stations and emergency vehicle garages
  • Designated earthquake, hurricane, or other emergency shelters
  • Designated emergency preparedness, communication, and operation centers and other facilities required for emergency response
  • Power generating stations and other public utility facilities required in an emergency
  • Ancillary structures (including, but not limited to, communication towers, fuel storage tanks, cooling towers, electrical substation structures, fire water storage tanks or other structures housing or supporting water, or other fire-suppression material or equipment) required for operation of Category 4 structures during an emergency
  • Aviation control towers, air traffic control centers, and emergency aircraft hangars
  • Water storage facilities and pump structures required to maintain water pressure for fire suppression
  • Buildings and other structures having critical national defense functions
  • Buildings and other structures (including, but not limited to, facilities that manufacture, process, handle, store, use, or dispose of such substances as hazardous fuels, hazardous chemicals, hazardous waste, or explosives) containing extremely hazardous materials where the quantity of the material exceeds a threshold quantity established by the authority having jurisdiction.
  • Buildings and other structures containing extremely hazardous materials shall be eligible for classification as Category 2 structures if it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the authority having jurisdiction by a hazard assessment as described in Section 1.5.2 that a release of the extremely hazardous material does not pose a threat to the public. This reduced classification shall not be permitted if the buildings or other structures also function as essential facilities.