Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 26G of chapter 148 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
Every building or structure, including any additions or major alterations thereto, which totals, in the aggregate, more than 7,500 gross square feet in floor area shall be protected throughout with an adequate system of automatic sprinklers in accordance with the provisions of the state building code. No such sprinkler system shall be required unless sufficient water and water pressure exists. For purposes of this section, the gross square footage of a building or structure shall include the sum total of the combined floor areas for all floor levels, basements, sub-basements and additions, in the aggregate, measured from the outside walls, irrespective of the existence of interior fire resistive walls, floors and ceilings. This section shall not apply to buildings used for agricultural purposes as defined in section 1A of chapter 128.
SECTION 2. Said section 26G of said chapter 148, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 16 and 17, the word “additions” and inserting in place thereof the following word:- structures.
SECTION 3. The second paragraph of said section 26G of said chapter 148, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the third sentence.
SECTION 4. The fourth paragraph of said section 26G of said chapter 148, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- The board may grant a reasonable waiver from the provisions of this section, or may allow the installation of a reasonable alternative or modified system of automatic sprinklers upon reviewing the characteristics of buildings that have architectural or historical significance.
SECTION 5. Nothing in this act shall be construed as limiting any requirement for buildings, less than 7,500 gross square feet, in the aggregate, from installing automatic sprinklers as otherwise may be required by the state building code.
SECTION 6. This act shall apply to construction of buildings, structures or additions or major modifications thereto which total, in the aggregate, more than 7,500 gross square feet permitted after January 1, 2010.
Approved January 13, 2009