Article IV - Light, Ventilation and Occupancy Limitations
§ 48-41. General
Scope. The provisions of this section shall govern the minimum conditions and standards for light,
ventilation and space for occupying a structure.
Responsibility. The owner of the structure shall provide and maintain light, ventilation and space
conditions in compliance with these requirements. A person shall not occupy as owner- occupant, or
permit another person to occupy, any premises that do not comply with the requirements of this section.
Alternative devices. In lieu of the means for natural light and ventilation herein prescribed, artificial light
or mechanical ventilation complying with the North Carolina Building Code shall be permitted.
§ 48-42. Light
Habitable spaces. Every habitable space shall have at least one window facing directly to the outdoors or
to a court to permit natural lighting.
Exception: Where natural light for rooms or spaces without exterior windows or glazing areas is
provided through an adjoining room, the unobstructed opening to the adjoining room shall be at
least 8 percent of the floor area of the interior room or space, but not less than 5 square feet. The
exterior window area shall be based on the total floor area being served.
Common halls and stairways. Every common hall, ingress, egress and stairway in residential
occupancies, other than in 1 and 2 family dwellings, shall be lighted at all times with at least a 60 watt
standard incandescent light bulb (or fluorescent equivalent)provided that the spacing between lights shall
not be greater than 30 feet.
Habitable spaces. Every habitable space shall have at least one open able window to permit natural
Exception: Where rooms and spaces without openings to the outdoors are ventilated through an
adjoining room, the unobstructed opening to the adjoining room shall be at least 8 percent of the
floor area of the interior room or space, but not less than 25 square feet. The ventilation openings
to the outdoors shall be based on a total floor area being ventilated.
Bathrooms and toilet rooms. Every bathroom and toilet room shall comply with the ventilation
requirements for habitable spaces as required by Section 48-43.A. except that a window shall not be
required in such spaces equipped with a mechanical ventilation system. Air exhausted by a mechanical
ventilation system from a bathroom or toilet room shall discharge directly to the outdoors and shall not
Process ventilation. Where injurious, toxic, irritating or noxious fumes, gases, dusts or mists are
generated, a local exhaust ventilation system shall be provided to remove the contaminating agent at the
source. Air shall be exhausted directly to the exterior and not be recirculated to any space.
Clothes dryer exhaust. Clothes dryer exhaust systems shall be independent of all other systems and shall
be exhausted directly to the outside in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.
48-44. Occupancy Limitations
Overcrowding. Dwelling units shall not be occupied by more occupants than permitted by the minimum
area requirements. Every dwelling unit shall contain at least 150 square feet of floor space for the first
occupant thereof and at least 100 additional square feet of floor area per additional occupant. The floor
area shall be calculated on the basis on the total area of all habitable rooms.
§ 48-45. Through 48- 50. (Reserved)