This bulletin is to provide information on alternate method requests of design, materials, or construction for customers who are required to obtain building permits in the City of New Braunfels. This process is inaccordance with section 104.10 and 104.11 of the International Building Code (IBC) which is currentlyadopted by the City. Information will include types of submittal documents accepted, and schedule of reviewby committee.
The City of New Braunfels Development Services Department in collaboration with the Fire Marshal’sOffice have developed a formal Alternate Method Request (AMR) process to allow the owner and/orowner’s agent to apply for an alternate material, design and/or method of construction or other modification toany provision of the City’s building construction codes. These codes include the City’s Building, Fire, Residential, Energy Conservation, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing codes. For the current list ofadopted codes go to this link. https://www.nbtexas.org/1596/Updates
The AMR is required to show that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of theprovisions of the code, and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, not less than the equivalent of that prescribed in the code in terms of quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance,durability and safety. Where the alternate material, design or method of construction is not approved, the building official or the fire marshal shall respond in writing, stating the reason why the AMR was notapproved.
Note: The AMR process is for building and fire related codes only and shall not be applicable to other development related codes such as parking, tree preservation, landscaping, or zoning requirements.Appeal of a decision on an AMR may be made to the Building Standards Board.
The following process steps outline how the AMR will be submitted and reviewed.
- AMRs will be reviewed on the 1st and the 3rd Wednesday of the month and the AMR is to besubmitted no later than noon the Friday before the AMR review.
- The AMR is to be submitted to Planning & Development Services using the attached application, arequest letter and all supporting documentation. The AMR will be logged and routed electronicallyto the appropriate staff for review/recommendation ahead of the scheduled meeting.
- One AMR is required for each item/code issue under consideration.
- The request letter with a narrative explaining the code issue and the alternate method/material thatis proposed will be prepared on company letterhead, signed and dated. See example p. 4.
- The AMR must be signed and sealed by the Texas registered architect or licensed professional engineer of record when the alternate method request applies to a building or system that is required to be designed and sealed by the Texas Architectural Board Statute or the Texas Engineering Practice Act.
- The AMR must be signed by the Owner if administrative controls are included in the AMR. Examples would include limitations on the use of the building, operational procedures, ornecessary security measures in the application of the method.
- One hard copy of the AMR application, letter of explanation, and all supporting documentation isrequired. Additional copies may be provided but are not required.
- There is no fee at this time for an AMR submittal, but for consideration the project must have abuilding permit in review.
- The applicant should deliver or mail AMR packages to:
City of New Braunfels
Building Permit Section
Attention: Building Official
New Braunfels, TX 78130
Or by email to: BuildingPermitTechs@nbtexas.org
10. The AMR will be routed to the appropriate staff for review. After staff review, the building official orthe fire marshal will respond to the AMR by approving the request, approving the request withadditional requirements, or denying the request. The fire marshal will have final signatureauthority on any Fire Code related requests. In any case, the ruling will be made in written formand the applicant will receive a copy of the ruling. If the AMR is approved, the applicant will beadvised whether to submit revised building plans for approval or just to send a copy of theapproved AMR to the relevant review team.
11. The estimated turnaround time for an AMR review and response is ten (10) business days.
The AMR application and final decision of the Building or Fire Official shall become part of the permanentrecord of submittal for the project record. The AMR will also be assigned a number for future reference. If you have any questions about the Alternate Method Request process, please contact the Building PermitSection at BuildingPermitTechs@nbtexas.org or by phone at (830) 221-4060
Appeal of a decision taken on an AMR may be made by formal request to the Building Standards Board inaccordance with applicable codes and ordinances.
1. Example format for AMR Letter to be submitted with application.
2. AMR Application form.
This bulletin is informational in nature and is provided as a customer service initiative.
Prepared by: Kevin Collins, PE, Building Official
Reviewed by: Anthony Pitzer, Interim Fire Marshal
Authorized by: Chris Looney, Director- Planning & Development Services PatrickO’Connell, Fire Chief