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Daulton
October 21st, 2011, 12:43
I have a property owner converting a single family home in commercial zone to offices. Builder, believe it or not, is contesting my requirement to level the former garage floor for new office area. I cannot find a requirement in the Ca. building codes for a level floor but it is a no-brainer for me. Can anyone help. Thank you in advance.

Examiner
October 21st, 2011, 12:57
Accessibility within the space requires level floors (1:48). Is the new work going to be accessible from the exterior? The existing building will require accessibility now for the grade floor.

gbhammer
October 21st, 2011, 12:58
Depending on the slope you may be able to use this:
ANSI A117.1 Chapter 3 Accessible routes:

305.2 Floor or Ground Surfaces. Floor or ground
surfaces of a clear floor or ground space shall have
a slope not steeper than 1:48 and shall comply with
Section 302.

gbhammer
October 21st, 2011, 12:59
Welcome to the forum Daulton.

Daulton
October 21st, 2011, 13:16
My concern is that the 1:48 would still mean the 20 foot deep former garage area could have a total of 5 inches of slope towards the front. That will mean desks, filing cabinets, water coolers etc. will need shims to level, people off the street may have stumbling issues and all the other headaches from "how could the city allow this" junk. I will not allow it but I can't find any thing in the codes to address it.

Daulton
October 21st, 2011, 13:17
Thank you for the welcome. I am a frequent visitor and have gained much insight from this forum, thank you.

High Desert
October 21st, 2011, 14:42
If there is no code provision prohibiting it and it met the slopes for accessiblity, you're probably going out on a limb on this one.

Welcome to the forum Daulton.

Daulton
October 21st, 2011, 16:49
Thank you everyone. I found what I needed ACI specification in section 117-06 gives standard level tolerance of 3/8 inch in 10 feet for concrete floors.

Coug Dad
October 21st, 2011, 16:53
Is that an adopted standard by the jurisdiction?

gbhammer
October 21st, 2011, 17:08
Good question coug. It is not a reference listed in the IBC 2009.

imhotep
October 21st, 2011, 17:24
Thank you everyone. I found what I needed ACI specification in section 117-06 gives standard level tolerance of 3/8 inch in 10 feet for concrete floors.

I would not rely on that to justify imposing remodel requirements. That standard relates to industry acceptable deviations in newly placed concrete does it not? 117-06 was replaced in 2010 was it not?

mark handler
October 21st, 2011, 17:31
I have a property owner converting a single family home in commercial zone to offices. Builder, believe it or not, is contesting my requirement to level the former garage floor for new office area. I cannot find a requirement in the Ca. building codes for a level floor but it is a no-brainer for me. Can anyone help. Thank you in advance.

Depends on the type of Office
Not all spaces need to be accessible.

2010 CALIFORNIA BUILDING CODE
1105B.3.2 Business and professional offices. Areas to be made accessible include the following:
1. Client and visitor areas and office areas, together with related toilet rooms.
2. Conference rooms, counseling rooms or cubicles and similar areas.
3. Employee work areas shall have a minimum of 36 inches clear width access, except as modified in other portions of these regulations. See Sections 1133B.6.1 and 1133B.6.2.
4. Professional medical and dental offices shall be made accessible and shall also comply with Section 1109B.

The only spaces required to have a "LEVEL AREA" [a specified surface that does not have a slope in any direction exceeding one unit vertical in 50 units horizontal (2-percent slope).] is at doors and parking loading zone.

imhotep
October 21st, 2011, 17:40
I have a property owner converting a single family home in commercial zone to offices. Builder, believe it or not, is contesting my requirement to level the former garage floor for new office area. I cannot find a requirement in the Ca. building codes for a level floor but it is a no-brainer for me. Can anyone help. Thank you in advance.

Not from California so I have no specific knowledge about what you are enforcing, but perhaps start with requirements for a change of use or occupancy. R to a B. Suggest that a set of plans that demonstrate compliance with all provisions of current code be prepared and submitted. Back off that issue and take the approach of trying to permit the work under CH 34. Inquire about the attached garage mechanical system for the proposed B occupancy for a previously unconditioned U type space then inquire about the thickness of the slab and whether or not there is a vapor barrier beneath it and slab insulation (if required). If the answer is a slug in the face then call the police and take the rest of the week off. When you get back to it the new builder might just pour some gypcrete and get on with life.

gbhammer
October 21st, 2011, 19:44
good idea to ask about the vapor barrier. They may just have to rip up that floor or do so destructive testing in the low area.

gbhammer
October 21st, 2011, 19:44
I would never be able to pull that off in my area.

ICE
October 21st, 2011, 19:52
Assuming that there is an approved set of plans, you can refer to the plans and point out that the floor is shown as flat. The owner can claim that nowhere on the plans does it say that the floor is flat. You can reply that nowhere on the plans does it say that the floor slopes. Industry practice is that there is never a statement that the floors are flat. Floors are presumed to be flat. Industry practice is that if the floor is intentionally sloped, it is so stated on the plans. If he gets it on the plans and approved by your AHJ, then he gets to keep the sloped floor.

The subliminal affect of sloping floors and out of plumb building elements can make some people uncomfortable. The brain recognizes that something is wrong but it doesn't know what that something is.

High Desert
October 21st, 2011, 19:53
I would never be able to pull that off in my area.

I wouldn't do that in my area without a valid code provision to hang my hat on. Sorry, but that's a little extreme for me.

ICE
October 21st, 2011, 19:59
good idea to ask about the vapor barrier. They may just have to rip up that floor or do so destructive testing in the low area.

Is vapor barrier required in commercial buildings? Sure it gets put in for office space, but that's the owner's choice because he wants the tile to stick and the carpet to stay dry. I don't recall that the code requires it.

imhotep
October 21st, 2011, 20:24
Is vapor barrier required in commercial buildings? Sure it gets put in for office space, but that's the owner's choice because he wants the tile to stick and the carpet to stay dry. I don't recall that the code requires it.

IBC 2009

1910.1 General. The thickness of concrete floor slabs supported directly on the ground shall not be less than 3 1/2 inches (89 mm). A 6-mil (0.006 inch; 0.15 mm) polyethylene vapor retarder with joints lapped not less than 6 inches (152 mm) shall be placed between the base course or subgrade and the concrete floor slab, or other approved equivalent methods or materials shall be used to retard vapor transmission through the floor slab.

ICE
October 21st, 2011, 20:40
imhotep,

Thanks for the quote. Sorry but I don't have a code book here. There has been an exception that stated that if moisture is not a hazard to the occupants then a vapor barrier is not required. Or something similar. I have seen many office spaces installed inside existing warehouses and factories without concern for a vapor barrier.

On new construction, a vapor barrier is placed in the area of the offices and bathrooms but not the warehouse or factory floor. New stores, restaurants and such include a vapor barrier because of the floor finish material but not because of a particular hazard.

imhotep
October 21st, 2011, 20:46
imhotep,

Thanks for the quote. Sorry but I don't have a code book here. There has been an exception that stated that if moisture is not a hazard to the occupants then a vapor barrier is not required. Or something similar. I have seen many office spaces installed inside existing warehouses without concern for a vapor barrier.

Not in CA so I would not even wager a guess. The OP was looking for a way to BULLY the builder into leveling the floor. Seems a Change of Use or Occupancy is a great way to flex a little should one be so inclined.

gbhammer
October 22nd, 2011, 00:57
Not in CA so I would not even wager a guess. The OP was looking for a way to BULLY the builder into leveling the floor. Seems a Change of Use or Occupancy is a great way to flex a little should one be so inclined.

Thats why I could would not do it in my area. It would be bullying just as imhotep said.
In the long run it is existing building and there are way to many ways to get around an iffy at best requirement to level the floor.

mark handler
October 22nd, 2011, 00:59
CBC SECTION 1910
"....or other approved equivalent methods or materials shall be used to retard vapor transmission through the floor slab...."
"...Exception: A vapor retarder is not required:
3. For buildings of other occupancies where migration of moisture through the slab from below will not be detrimental to the intended occupancy of the bUilding.
5. Where approved based on local site conditions...."

Xypex will work to retard vapor transmission through the floor slab.

ANSI 117.1 is not used in CA

ICE
October 22nd, 2011, 10:52
Why is this thread in the Welcome Forum?

fatboy
October 22nd, 2011, 11:23
"The subliminal affect of sloping floors and out of plumb building elements can make some people uncomfortable. The brain recognizes that something is wrong but it doesn't know what that something is."


So true. I just went to visit my son, stationed in WA. Went to the Space Needle, walked out on the observation deck at 540', and when I hit it, I felt like I was on a hillside, as did the rest of our group.

As to why this started in the Welcome forum, can't tell, I didn't notice, I hit the most the recent threads immediatelly so I didn't notice it, but I am moving it to what I feel it the appropriate forum. Thanks ICE.

codeworks
November 29th, 2011, 10:01
i think it'd be difficult to say the least (grasping at straws) to try to enforce the aci requirements for flatness of concrete on an existing building. someones either out in left field or not on the bases at all

ICE
November 29th, 2011, 10:17
I have a property owner converting a single family home in commercial zone to offices. Builder, believe it or not, is contesting my requirement to level the former garage floor for new office area. I cannot find a requirement in the Ca. building codes for a level floor but it is a no-brainer for me. Can anyone help. Thank you in advance.

How about an update? Did the owner prevail?

Papio Bldg Dept
November 29th, 2011, 11:18
Thats why I could would not do it in my area. It would be bullying just as imhotep said.
In the long run it is existing building and there are way to many ways to get around an iffy at best requirement to level the floor.

There could also be code requirements that need to be addressed in a residential to commercial conversion (i.e., frost protection of conditioned spaces, structural commercial loading, etc.), which are not bullying, but are also not letting it slide. As for the floor slope OP, It would be bullying if an actual code requirement is not driving the change...I mean, without sloping floors where would post-modernism be?

mark handler
November 29th, 2011, 11:43
Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural "purity" included sloping floors, cracked stucco and leaky roofs and windows

Frank
November 29th, 2011, 12:08
Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural "purity" included sloping floors, cracked stucco and leaky roofs and windows
Not to mention lousy energy efficiency

gbhammer
November 29th, 2011, 12:10
There could also be code requirements that need to be addressed in a residential to commercial conversion (i.e., frost protection of conditioned spaces, structural commercial loading, etc.), which are not bullying, but are also not letting it slide. As for the floor slope OP, It would be bullying if an actual code requirement is not driving the change...I mean, without sloping floors where would post-modernism be?

Sorry post whatie isssmit? Did that happen when we got the TV and indoor plumb'n, cause Ma always said we was lucky to be born now a days and not back when they had the dirt floors and all.

Papio Bldg Dept
November 29th, 2011, 12:30
Sorry post whatie isssmit? Did that happen when we got the TV and indoor plumb'n, cause Ma always said we was lucky to be born now a days and not back when they had the dirt floors and all.

Well that there then would had us all fit to be tied what with all them angles all caddywhompus to one another, not sure how you'd tell if it was one finger of rise in one hand or not.