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Thread: Mezzanine egress

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    Sawhorse Codegeek's Avatar
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    Mezzanine egress

    I have a mezzanine in an M use group which based on occupant load and being enclosed requires two means of egress. The building is sprinklered. We are separating the exits by the one-third diagonal distance, but our question is related to the arrangement of the two exits once they converge on the floor below.

    Do the exits still need to be separated or can they converge at the same location on the main floor? Could they share the same stair if it is sized properly which in essence reduces the two exits into one?

    The image illustrates two separate exits. The wall between the two stairs is the one in question to see if it can be removed or if it needs to be maintained if the two exits can essentially dump into the same location once they reach the main floor.

    mezzanine.png
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    Sawhorse mtlogcabin's Avatar
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    I believe the design violates 1014.3 unless you do not exceed the permitted travel distance.

    COMMON PATH OF EGRESS TRAVEL. That portion of exit access which the occupants are required to traverse before two separate and distinct paths of egress travel to two exits are available. Paths that merge are common paths of travel. Common paths of egress travel shall be included within the permitted travel distance.

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    Good point, I'll double check the distance.
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    Sawhorse
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    I do not believe the exits can dump in the same spot....should have remoteness...i believe....

    1014.2.1 Two exits or exit access doorways.

    Where two exits or exit access doorways are required from any portion of the exit access, the exit doors or exit access doorways shall be placed a distance apart equal to not less than one-half of the length of the maximum overall diagonal dimension of the building or area to be served measured in a straight line between exit doors or exit access doorways. Interlocking or scissor stairs shall be counted as one exit stairway.

    I think we have an interp from our State BO...or an amendment that specifically addresses the exit discharge as well......think two large multi story stairs both dumping at the same location at grade where a car just hit the building and is on fire.....I will look when I get a chance...

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    The exits are placed a distance apart of one third the overall diagonal of the area being served. The occupant load only warrants one exit. However, because the mezzanine is enclosed and not open, a second exit is required. The common path of travel from the most remote point in the breakroom (mezzanine) to the bottom of the stairs is 69 feet, 4 inches. At that point, there are two exits available for exiting from the building.
    Last edited by Codegeek; February 14th, 2012 at 12:01.
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    Sawhorse mtlogcabin's Avatar
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    Then I believe you are okay

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    1018.4 Exit door arrangement.

    Exit door arrangement shall meet the requirements of Sections 1014.2 through 1014.2.2.

    1014.2.1 Two exits or exit access doorways.

    Where two exits or exit access doorways are required from any portion of the exit access, the exit doors or exit access doorways shall be placed a distance apart equal to not less than one-half of the length of the maximum overall diagonal dimension of the building or area

    If two are required, they should be remote at entrance and discharge.....unless I am misunderstanding you....

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    Steveray, I don't disagree which is why I made the post to begin with, but mtlogcabin seems to think it's ok. I expected to get differing responses which is why I made the post.

    Playing devil’s advocate now…where in the code does it say that the two exits from the mezzanine must continue to maintain their separation to the floor below?
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    mezzanine

    So the stairs from the mezzanine meet the definition of an exit? Aren't they exit access as described unless enclosed and discharge accordingly? If a mezzanine, for whatever circumstance, needs two exits are the two required from the mezzanine level?

    On first read I was agreeing with you mtlogcabin and then I started overthinking it maybe?? So here is how I see it.

    A stairway that converges is no different than a hallway that converges and is not two means of egress. It would seem that two exits are required to ensure escape when one is potentially blocked. If the stairways converge this can not happen even though it may occur within the allowable common path of travel it still does not meet the definition of two exits from the mezzanine.

    In the example provided by the OP they could have just one set of stairs from the mezzanine level as long as they are within the allowable common path travel distance when they hit the bottom? How is that two exits from the mezzanine? I do not believe this is the correct use of the code section. Anyone else?

    ZIG

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    What about a tenant space in an office building that requires two means of egress. If both of those exits dump into a common corridor which is served by two means of egress are the exits from the tenant space not converging?
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    The two stairways cannot communicate with one another or you only have one exit. If smoke or flame should disable one of the remote exits it will quickly be communicated to the other exit by the stairwell connection. If you keep the stairs from communicating as drawn then your fine, but the wall needs to stay.

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    The sections I posted above get me there.....when two are required, the exit doors are required to be separated.....ALL exit doors (access, discharge, etc....)...I am sure there are circumstances where they can be closer (unenclosed)...but then they are not really an exit....Thanx for the discussion BTW!

    Quote Originally Posted by Codegeek View Post
    Steveray, I don't disagree which is why I made the post to begin with, but mtlogcabin seems to think it's ok. I expected to get differing responses which is why I made the post.

    Playing devil’s advocate now…where in the code does it say that the two exits from the mezzanine must continue to maintain their separation to the floor below?

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    Sawhorse mtlogcabin's Avatar
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    I stand corrected

    2. A mezzanine having two or more means of egress is not required to be open to the room in which the mezzanine is located if at least one of the means of egress provides direct access to an exit from the mezzanine level.

    EXIT. That portion of a means of egress system which is separated from other interior spaces of a building or structure by fire-resistance-rated construction and opening protectives as required to provide a protected path of egress travel between the exit access and the exit discharge . Exits include exterior exit doors at the level of exit discharge , vertical exit enclosures , exit passageways , exterior exit stairways , exterior exit ramps and horizontal exits .

    At least one stair must provide direct access to an exit. The design does not, so it is not code compliant

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    Mtlogcabin, while I see the section you have reference may apply in this case, the design complies with the exception #5 which allows for the mezzanine to be enclosed in a fully sprinklered building if two exits are provided. This exception does not say that the exits must provide direct access to an exit, only that two exits from the mezzanine are required.

    Again, I'll go back to a tenant in an office building. If the tenant is required to have two means of egress and those exits are properly separated, but those exits discharge to a corridor which is not required to be protected due to having a sprinkler system in the building and that corridor provides two means of egress, then how is that different than the proposed plan?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codegeek View Post
    Mtlogcabin, while I see the section you have reference may apply in this case, the design complies with the exception #5 which allows for the mezzanine to be enclosed in a fully sprinklered building if two exits are provided. This exception does not say that the exits must provide direct access to an exit, only that two exits from the mezzanine are required.

    Again, I'll go back to a tenant in an office building. If the tenant is required to have two means of egress and those exits are properly separated, but those exits discharge to a corridor which is not required to be protected due to having a sprinkler system in the building and that corridor provides two means of egress, then how is that different than the proposed plan?
    So is a 1022.1 exit enclosure required? If not why not?

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    Let me try to pose it another way...

    A council chambers has an occupant load that warrants two means of egress. If both of those means of egress dump into a lobby area why is that different than the proposed?

    A mezzanine is not considered a story so if the common path of travel is being met and the exits from the mezzanine are properly separated from the area being served then how is that different from a City Hall where two exits from the council chambers empty into a lobby area all the time? There are still two exits provided from the lobby area with the second being remotely located.

    Imhotep, 1022.1 does not apply since the mezzanine is not a story.
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    Sawhorse mtlogcabin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codegeek View Post
    Mtlogcabin, while I see the section you have reference may apply in this case, the design complies with the exception #5 which allows for the mezzanine to be enclosed in a fully sprinklered building if two exits are provided. This exception does not say that the exits must provide direct access to an exit, only that two exits from the mezzanine are required.

    Again, I'll go back to a tenant in an office building. If the tenant is required to have two means of egress and those exits are properly separated, but those exits discharge to a corridor which is not required to be protected due to having a sprinkler system in the building and that corridor provides two means of egress, then how is that different than the proposed plan?
    I missed the sprinklered building in the OP
    Exception #2 would be applicable to all buildings
    Exception #5 is specific to a building with a NFPA 13 sprinkler system which you have and there is no requirement for one of the stairs to lead directly to an exit therefore I would say the design would be code compliant


    I might have to go into politics after flip flopping twice now

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    mt take a deep breath count to ten and step away from the ledge, please we would hate to loose ya.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtlogcabin View Post
    I might have to go into politics after flip flopping twice now

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    If a building requiring two exits was configured so that the allowable common path of travel distance resulted in travel from the most remote point within the building to the public way outside would the building still be required to have two exits? I say yes due to the potential that one may be obstructed.

    For whatever reason the code says the mezzanine shall have two means of egress. So I say if you have two of each of the components in the definition of a means of egress, exit access, exit, and exit discharge, then you are good. If the stairway is exit access and converges then I say the mezzanine does not have two means of egress. Maybe the fact that it is an enclosed mezz and people can't jump or see the smoke/fire from the space is part of the consideration?

    My head hurts, maybe I should get on the fence with mtlogcabin... but seriously, consider my opening question.

    ZIG

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    Sawhorse
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    They can (possibly) dump into the same "space".....as long as they have proper remoteness....

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