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109.04.7-IV. Building Design Criteria:

AR ADC 109.04.7-IVArkansas Administrative Code

West's Arkansas Administrative Code
Title 109. Development Finance Authority
Division 04. Multi-Family Housing
Rule 7. Minimum Design Standards (Refs & Annos)
Ark. Admin. Code 109.04.7-IV
109.04.7-IV. Building Design Criteria:
A. General Building Standards:
1. Community Laundry: The development's community laundry must consist of at least 1 washer and 1 dryer for every 10 units in the development. Exceptions: a) If all units in the development have washer/dryer connections, then the community laundry must consist of at least 1 washer and 1 dryer for every 15 units in the development; b) If all units in the development have a washer and dryer furnished at no cost to the tenants by the development, then the development is required to provide at least 1 washer and 1 dryer; and c) Developments consisting of Single Family Detached Units exclusively.
2. Senior or Assisted Living Developments: All units in senior or assisted living developments shall be located at the grade level or on an elevator accessible floor.
3. Parking Spaces:
a. Family Developments: Inclusive of handicap designated parking spaces, 1 1/2 parking spaces must be provided for each unit and 1 guest parking space will be provided for every 4 units.
b. Senior Developments: Inclusive of handicap designated parking spaces, 1 parking space must be provided for each unit and 1 guest parking space will be provided for every 4 units.
c. New construction assisted living developments may request a waiver of the parking spaces required herein. The number of parking spaces for which approval is requested must be reasonable as evidenced by supporting documents and information. A waiver requesting approval of a number of parking spaces that is less than the total number of units will not be considered as reasonable; however, a request to provide only the number of parking spaces equal to the total number of units will not be per se reasonable.
A waiver will not be granted unless land is available to the partnership and will remain available to the partnership which is sufficient to allow construction of the number of parking spaces required but for the waiver. Applicant must have site control over this land, have authority to agree to contract for this reservation of use and allow all restrictive documents to run with the reserved land, and agree in writing to so contract.
4. Single Family Detached Units: Must: (a) be at least 3 bedroom units with 2 bathrooms; b) have washer and dryer connections in the living area; and (c) have at least a single car garage attached.
B. Minimum Building Standards:
1. Minimum Unit Area Requirements:
a. Minimum Unit Net Area is measured from the interior finished face of the exterior wall to the centerline of the common, or party, wall.
b. Minimum Bedroom Net Area is measured from the interior faces of all walls surrounding each bedroom, excluding closets, mechanical rooms, and storage rooms.
c. Exceptions to minimum area requirements:
(i.) Rehabilitation of existing residential rental units; and
(ii.) Assisted Living Developments.
d. Area included as an entry way to any bedroom shall not be included in the minimum square footage requirements, i.e., if an entry door to a bedroom is not located on one of the four main bedroom walls, the square footage of the area from the bedroom door to the two nearest main bedroom walls shall be excluded from calculation of the required square footage for the bedroom and the unit as a whole.
Unit Type
Number of Bathrooms
Minimum Unit Net Area
Minimum Bedroom Net Area
1 bedroom
750 sq ft
120 sq ft
2 bedroom
950 sq ft
120 sq ft
3 bedroom
1150 sq ft
120 sq ft
4 bedroom
1300 sq ft
120 sq ft
Unit areas do not include outside storage, covered porches, patios, balconies, etc.
2. Exterior Building Standards:
a. Exterior building coverings: For new construction, very low maintenance materials are required. Acceptable materials include:
(i.) Brick;
(ii.) High quality vinyl siding with a minimum thickness of .042 and a life time non-prorated limited warranty (50 year) transferable; or
(iii.) Cementitious siding.
All siding materials listed above are required to be 8 inches above the finished floor elevation of the building ground floor, with the exception of concrete patio and covered breezeway areas. Brick or decorative block must be used as an apron material.
b. Prefinished fascia and soffit: Vinyl, aluminum or cementitious prefinished panels should be used and must contain vents.
c. Entry doors: Materials for entry doors are to be metal-clad wood or hollow metal construction. “Peepholes” and deadbolt locks are required in entry doors. Dead bolt locks on entry doors should have “thumb latch” on interior side. Double keyed dead bolt locks are prohibited. All exterior doors must have minimum clear opening width of 34 inches.
d. Roofing materials: Anti-fungal seal tab shingles over 15 lb. felt paper or metal roof with a minimum 30-year warranty are required with either roofing system.
e. Gutters and downspouts shall be appropriately designed with a minimum 5″ gutter and 2″ x 3″ downspout. All downspouts shall empty onto concrete splash blocks or piped to an appropriate drain location.
f. Roof gable vents must be made of aluminum or vinyl materials.
g. Attics must be vented.
h. All primary entries should be within a breezeway or have a minimum roof covering of 5 feet deep by 5 feet wide, and should be designed to divert water away from the entry door. Entry pads measuring 5 feet by 5 feet and made of impervious material with a minimum slope of 1/4 inch per foot are required at each primary entry.
i. Breezeways functioning as fire exits must be constructed of concrete floor/decking material.
j. Exterior shutters are required on all 100% vinyl or cementitious sided buildings.
k. Exterior stairway components, such as stringers, steps, risers, handrails, pickets, and structural supports, and porch and patio components, structural and non-structural, either used as part of the building or within the site development, must be constructed from noncombustible materials such as concrete, steel, aluminum or masonry.
l. Exterior lighting is required at entry doors.
m. Landscaping: All disturbed areas must be sodded. One 1 1/2″ tree per every 2 units. Six 1-gallon shrubs per unit.
n. Concrete curbing is required along all paved areas throughout the development site, including parking areas.
o. Sidewalk access to all parking spaces must be provided.
p. A development sign including the fair housing logo is required.
q. A minimum of one enclosed trash dumpster or compactor is required.
r. Continuous asphalt or concrete paved access road must be provided to the entrance of the development.
s. All parking must be asphalt or concrete.
t. All sidewalks and walkways must be concrete and be at least 5-feet wide. Sidewalks servicing a single unit may be three (3) feet wide.
u. All driveways on single-family homes must be concrete.
v. All above ground concrete shall be minimum 3500 PSI with 6X6 welded wire reinforcement to ensure quality, strength and uniformity.
w. All new construction and rehabilitated buildings must have radiant barrier in attics or on roofs.
3. Interior Building and Space Standards:
a. Kitchen spaces:
(i.) Each unit must be equipped with a dry chemical fire extinguisher readily accessible in the kitchen.
(ii.) New cabinets must have dual sidetrack drawers.
(iii.) A pantry closet is required in each unit. The pantry must be 1′6″ x 1′6″ deep with a minimum five shelves, located in the kitchen.
(iv.) All units shall include a kitchen area which includes at a minimum, a sink, stove and refrigerator.
b. Bathroom Spaces:
(i.) Tub/shower units should have minimum dimensions of 30-inch width by 60-inch length. Units in senior and assisted living developments must be equipped with anti-scald valves.
(ii.) Water closets should be centered 18 inches from sidewalls or vanity/lavatories.
c. Hallways should have a minimum width of 36 inches.
d. All interior doors intended for passage must have minimum clear opening width of 34 inches.
e. Overhead lighting is required in each room.
f. Sliding glass doors are prohibited.
g. A tamper-proof 10-year smoke alarm is required per floor of each unit.
h. A carbon monoxide detector must be installed in each unit. (only for developments using gas).
4. Plumbing and Mechanical Equipment:
a. HVAC units and water heaters are not permitted in attic spaces.
b. HVAC units and water heaters must be placed in mechanical closets with insulated walls.
c. Water heaters must be placed in drain pans with drain piping plumbed to the outside.
d. Gas water heaters shall be located in an individual, separate mechanical closet.
e. HVAC refrigeration lines must be insulated.
5. Energy Efficient Systems, Insulation, and Equipment.
a. Ceiling fans will be installed in each bedroom and living room.
b. Shower heads will not exceed a 2.5 gallon per minute flow rate.
c. 1/2″ insulation will wrap hot water pipes
d. Fluorescent light features will be installed in the kitchen, bathroom(s) and utility room area.
e. Exterior wall insulation must have an overall R-16 minimum for the entire wall assembly.
f. An exterior house wrap (e.g. TYVEK) must be installed.
g. Roof or attic insulation must have an R-38 minimum rating.
h. All water piping located on exterior walls and in attic space must be insulated.
i. Sound proofing or insulation achieving a sound rating of STC 54 is required in common/party walls and ceilings.
j. Gas or oil heated systems shall have a minimum AFUE rating of 90% with a minimum 14.5 SEER rated air conditioning system.
k. Heat pump systems shall have minimum HSPF rating of 7.8 with a minimum 14.5 SEER rated air conditioning system.
l. Windows shall have frames and sashes constructed of wood, vinyl-clad wood, or extruded vinyl. Windows shall have two or more panes of insulated glass, at least one pane of which has a Low-Emission (Low-E) coating, which are argon gas filled. Windows shall have a U-Factor of not greater than 0.35 and a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of not greater than 0.30.
For rehabilitation developments, if any of the above elements cannot be included in any building because of structural constraints, an energy audit or report, performed by an independent, professional energy consultant/audit firm, which identifies those constraints but enumerates:
i. Other effective energy improvements or energy performance measures designed to increase energy efficiency in the particular building; and
ii. The energy efficiency to be achieved by such improvements of measures on the particular building. The energy audit or report shall describe the methodology/testing procedures utilized.
The applicant must submit a signed statement that it will implement the energy improvements or energy performance measures identified within the energy audit or report in order to be considered for points under this criterion. Also, a certification from the design architect or licensed engineer confirming the implementation of the energy improvements or energy performance measures will be required prior to the issuance of IRS Form 8609.


Amended Oct. 11, 2009; Nov. 5, 2010; Nov. 23, 2011; Nov. 21, 2012.
Current with amendments received through December 15, 2023. Some sections may be more current, see credit for details.
Ark. Admin. Code 109.04.7-IV, AR ADC 109.04.7-IV
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