The construction industry will encounter a lot less
paperwork and spend considerably less time and money, thanks to a change in
In March, Gov. Henry McMaster signed H3649,
which clarifies in the Engineers Practice Act when construction documents must
be stamped with an engineer’s seal. When required by building codes or law,
sealed documents assure construction customers and building officials a
building is engineered and designed appropriately.
The effect: The law regarding
nonresidential structures as it existed before 2016 has been
restored and is effective immediately. Municipal and county building officials
should return to requiring engineer stamps for
nonresidential structures as they did before 2016.
reverses the changes that were made to the Engineers Practice Act in 2016,
which had caused confusion among building officials and the construction
industry. This confusion led to building officials sometimes requiring sealed
The unneeded step often added red tape to a project,
hindering its progress and pushing back its completion date, according to Rep. Heather Crawford, R –Myrtle Beach, the law’s primary sponsor.
“This is a big win for building officials and the
construction industry because clarity has been restored on when to require
stamps,” said Buddy Skinner, building official for the City of Greenville and
president of the Building Officials Association of SC.
The amended law, South Carolina Code of Laws Section 40-22-280(B)(2)
buildings and structures less than three stories high and
less than five thousand square feet in area, except that buildings and
structures classified as assembly, educational, high hazard, institutional, or
uses as defined by the International Code Series, as adopted by the State of
South Carolina, regardless of size or area, are not exempt from the provisions
of this chapter.