top of page


2013 Wisconsin Act 270 establishes a uniform commercial building code in Wisconsin, while allowing municipalities to grandfather fire detection, prevention, and suppression ordinances that relate to the construction, alteration, or addition to a public building or building that is a place of employment.

Grandfathered Ordinances for Waukesha
16.01 Purpose of Code

(2) SUPPLEMENT. The provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to supplement any and all laws of the State and orders of the State Department of Safety and Professional Services relating to buildings.


(a) Wisconsin Commercial Building Code. the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code, Wis. Admin. Code SPS chs. 360 to 366, and all amendments adopted thereto, shall apply to all public buildings and places of employment and is hereby adopted by reference as if sully set forth herein. Where there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement, the specific requirement shall be applicable. In any specific case, different sections of this code specify different materials, methods of construction or other requirements, the most restrictive shall govern.

16.16 Reroofing. A new roof covering may be applied on top of an existing roof covering. No more than 2 layers of roof covering will be allowed. If additional layers of roofing material are requested, calculations shall be submitted and a permit required.

17.10 Licensing of Rooming Houses


(c) (Am. #24-99) In the interest of protecting the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens of the City of Waukesha, rooming houses must adhere to the following requirements:

1. (Am. #1-13) All rooming houses shall meet the meet the installation and fire alarm detection system requirements set forth in Section 907 of the International Building Code as adopted by SPS §362 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. All rooming houses shall have hard wired smoke detectors in all rooms. All rooming houses shall have a monitored fire alarm system that includes interconnected smoke detectors that meet the requirements of International Fire Code Section 907 and National Fire Protection Association model code NFPA 72 in all common areas. All rooming houses shall comply with the automatic smoke detection system requirements set forth in IFC §907.2.8.2. All rooming houses in existence prior to the adoption of this amendment shall have until May 1, 2001, to come into compliance with this section.

2. (Am. #1-13) All rooming houses must possess fire extinguishers which meet the requirements of IFC Section 906 and NFPA 10. Fire extinguishers shall be located on each floor level and be situated not more than seventy-five (75) feet apart. At least a 2A20BC rated fire extinguisher shall be provided in any and all permanently installed cooking areas.

21.01 Adoption of codes

(1) (Am. #2-00) (Am. #18-08) (Am. #1 -13) The following codes of the National Fire Protection Association (NFP A) and any amendments thereto are hereby adopted and made a part of this code as if fully set forth herein: 10, 11, 11A, 12, 12A, 13, 13R, 14,16, 17, 17A, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 30, 30A, 30B, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 40, 51, 51A, 51B, 52, 55, 58, 59A, 61, 69, 72, 75, 80, 82, 85, 86, 92, 96, 99, 110, 111, 160, 211, 241, 326, 385, 407, 409, 484, 495 , 498, 505 , 654, 655, 664, 750, 1123, 1124, 1125, 1126, 1127,and 2001.

(2) (Am. #49-02) (Am. #18-08) (Am. #1 -13) The following provisions of the Wisconsin Administrative Code and any amendments thereto are hereby adopted and made a part of this chapter as if fully set forth herein: SPS Chapters 305, 307, 308, 310, 314, 316, 318, 328, 332, 334, 340, 341, 343 and 360-366. Buildings for which plans were submitted before July 1, 2002, must further comply with COMM Chapters 50-59 and 66 and said provisions of the Wisconsin Administrative Code are hereby adopted and made part of this chapter as if fully set fo1t h herein.

(3) (Am. #49-02) (Am. #9-04) (Am. #1 -13) The following provisions of the International Code Council International Fire Code and any amendments thereto are hereby adopted and made a part of this chapter as if fully set forth herein: IFC Chapters 2-33, 35-45. IFC Chapter 34 is hereby adopted and made a part of this chapter as if fully set forth herein. Where IFC Chapter 34 and Wis. Admin. Code SPS 310 set conflicting requirements, types of materials, or methods of construction, the most restrictive rule shall govern.

21.07 Installation of Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems

(2) NEW OCCUPANCIES AND LOCATIONS. Automatic fire sprinkler systems shall be installed and maintained in operable condition in the following new occupancies and locations:

(a) Within all new factories, workshops, office buildings, mercantile establishments, warehouses, passenger terminals, exhibition buildings, new motor vehicle repair garages, motor vehicle storage garages, body shops, and places of public assembly with less than a 100 person occupant load where:

2. (Am. #49-02) All buildings 6,000 square feet or more in total area or where required by Wisconsin Administrative Code COMM Chapters 60-64; or

3. the building has three (3) interior stories or more in height regardless of area.

4. in any basement or subbasement in a new motor vehicle repair garage, motor vehicle storage garage or body shop if a vehicle can be parked therein

(b) Within the following residential occupancies:

1. (Am. #1-13) In structures having the occupancy classification residential R-1 and R-2 under section 201 of the International Fire Code, the buildings shall be protected by an automatic sprinkler system installed and maintained in accordance with IFC §903.2.8.

2. (Am. #18-08) (Am. #1-13) In structures having the occupancy classification residential R-3 and R-4 under section 201 of the International Fire Code, the buildings shall be protected by an automatic sprinkler system installed and maintained in accordance with Wis. Admin. Code SPS §362.09(3).

(c) In new theaters and buildings of public assembly over 100 person occupancy, new health care facilities including hospitals, nursing homes, convalescent and group care centers, new detention and correctional facilities, day care facilities licensed to accommodate public or private day care for twenty (20) or more children, automatic sprinklers shall be installed throughout such buildings regardless of size or type of construction.

(d) New schools, colleges and universities.

2. (Am. #18-08) Where the building is of Types 3-5 of nonfire resistive construction, throughout the building regardless of size.

(e) Airport Buildings. (Am. #49-02) If the plans for the building were submitted before July 1, 2002, control towers; terminal buildings; buildings that are primarily used for repair or servicing of aircraft; buildings that have attached area used for storage, office manufacturing dining or other similar activities; any hangar with an area over 15,000 square feet which is constructed after the date of adoption of this ordinance. This subsection shall not apply to buildings the plans for which were submitted on or after July 1, 2002.

(f) High hazard occupancy: Any new building which by reason of its construction, or combustible operations is deemed a severe life or property hazard by the Fire Chief or his designate. This includes, but shall not be limited to the following operations:

1. The manufacturing, storage, handling, spraying of paint and varnish or other related operations.

2. Storage of combustible and flammable gases including but not limited to acetylene, hydrogen, liquid propane, in excess of 2,000 cubic feet.

3. Manufacturing and storage of explosives and pyrotechnics.

4. Commercial building basements over 2,500 square feet with combustible materials contained or stored within and not subject to Wisconsin Administrative Code.

(g) Exceptions. Automatic fire sprinkler systems are not required in the following:

1. Rooms or buildings used for the manufacture or storage of aluminum powder, calcium carbide, calcium phosphate, metallic sodium or potassium, quick lime, magnesium powder, sodium peroxide or like materials where the application of water may cause or increase combustion.

2. The portion of the building or foundry used to melt and pour metal or glass into a mold or cast and portions of buildings used for heat treating operations.

3. (Am. #18-08) In any building where the Fire Chief determines that the use of water as a fire extinguishing agent would increase the hazard. However, an automatic fire extinguishing system as defined in IFC section 902.1 using an extinguishing agent other than water, and/or an automatic detection system shall be installed.

(3) EXISTING BUILDINGS. All existing public buildings or places of employment, additions thereto, and all use changes shall conform to this Code as follows:

(a) The entire building if more than 50 percent of the cumulative square footage of the building, place of employment or addition thereto is remodeled, after the adoption of the City's Automatic Fire Sprinkler System ordinance on August 7, 1996, in one or more increments over the life of the building.

(b) An addition, regardless of size or occupancy, made to a building with an existing automatic fire sprinkler system.

(c) If an existing building which was built before August 7, 1996, is divided by a four hour division fire wall as defined in COMM 51.02(B) the division shall result in two separate buildings. Only one such fire division wall will be allowed per building.


(a) Approved automatic fire sprinkler systems shall be installed in accordance with the standards of the current edition of N.F.P.A. relating to the installation of sprinkler systems and other applicable standards of COMM, and the Municipal Code of the City of Waukesha.

(b) Compressors for Dry Pipe Systems are required to be wired directly into the building's electrical power system.

(c) (Am. #59-01) All compressors for Dry Pipe Systems will have low limit air switches and alarms separate from any other alarms located on the premise.

(e) (Am. #39-99) All fire alarm systems shall be interconnected. One horn strobe alarm shall be provided on the outside of the building by the F.D.C.

(8) FIRE DEPARTMENT HOSE CONNECTIONS. Every automatic sprinkler system installed in new or existing buildings shall be equipped with at least one Fire Department hose connection at a location approved by the Fire Prevention Bureau and meeting COMM standards.

bottom of page