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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Coastal Management - Oceanfront Construction

Coastal Management

    Oceanfront Construction

    New construction or substantial improvements to existing structures must meet the following construction standards in addition to the general  use standards for Ocean Hazard AECs {15A NCAC 7H.0306. Substantial improvements occur when the cost to do the improvement exceeds 50 percent  of the market value of the existing structure  immediately prior to the time of damage or the time of request.(15A NCAC 07J .0210  

    • In order to avoid danger to life and property, all development shall be designed and placed so as to minimize damage due to fluctuations in ground elevation and wave action in a 100-year storm.  Any building constructed within the ocean hazard area shall comply with relevant sections of the North Carolina Building Code including the Coastal and Flood Plain Construction Standards and the local flood damage prevention ordinance as required by the National Flood Insurance Program.  If any provision of the building code or a flood damage prevention ordinance is inconsistent with any of the following AEC standards, the more restrictive provision shall control. Your local building inspector can explain the requirements of the State Building Code and local ordinances.

    • All structures must be on pilings at least 8 inches in diameter or, if the pilings are square, 8 inches per side.

    • All pilings shall have a tip penetration greater than eight feet below the lowest ground elevation under the structure.  For those structures so located on or seaward of the primary dune, the pilings shall extend to five feet below mean sea level. (See Figure 4.15).

    • Foundations must be adequately designed to be stable during applicable fluctuations in ground elevation and wave forces during a 100-year storm (see Figure 4.16). Cantilevered decks and walkways shall meet this standard or be designed to break away without structural damage to the main structure.

    Figure 4.15

    Figure 4.16

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