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Building Official insists waiting area is "A" occupancy

nitramnaed

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Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
159
Location
L'Etolle du Nord
Hello All,
Can you pick certain areas in a B Occupancy and require that you calculate the use as an assembly (example is a waiting room)? This is the "B" Outpatient Medical Clinic space issue. My argument is that it is a "B" through and through.

Part of the question is:

Is waiting area part of the "B" Occupancy?
Do you have to use areas without fixed seating at 15sf if the occupant load is less than 50?
Is a waiting area an accessory use to the primary Occupancy "B" - or just part of the overall "B"?

The waiting area is 479 SF. This is affecting our restroom requirement.

Thanks, Jeff
 

Tim Mailloux

Registered User
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Feb 12, 2018
Messages
321
Location
Hartford CT
The occupant load factors in chapter 10 table 1004.1.2 ( I think thats the one) have nothing to do with occupancy (chapter 3), they are tied to the function of the space or how the room is used. IMO it is approriate to use the 1/15 load factor in a waiting room, but becuase the size of the waiting room is smaller that 750SF or 50 people the room itself is a B occupancy. But the occupant load is what it is.
 

cda

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Oct 19, 2009
Messages
18,706
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Basement
The occupant load factors in chapter 10 table 1004.1.2 ( I think thats the one) have nothing to do with occupancy (chapter 3), they are tied to the function of the space or how the room is used. IMO it is approriate to use the 1/15 load factor in a waiting room, but becuase the size of the waiting room is smaller that 750SF or 50 people the room itself is a B occupancy. But the occupant load is what it is.

I concur with that very lucid thought.


BO needs to go back to school.
 

Ty J.

Sawhorse
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
1,446
Location
Washington State
Tim got this spot on. Just adding IBC Section 303.1.2 for reference.

303.1.2 Small Assembly Spaces
The following rooms and spaces shall not be classified as Assembly occupancies:
  1. A room or space used for assembly purposes with an occupant load of less than 50 persons and accessory to another occupancy shall be classified as a Group B occupancy or as part of that occupancy.
  2. A room or space used for assembly purposes that is less than 750 square feet (70 m2) in area and accessory to another occupancy shall be classified as a Group B occupancy or as part of that occupancy.
 

cda

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
18,706
Location
Basement
Hello All,
Can you pick certain areas in a B Occupancy and require that you calculate the use as an assembly (example is a waiting room)? This is the "B" Outpatient Medical Clinic space issue. My argument is that it is a "B" through and through.

Part of the question is:

Is waiting area part of the "B" Occupancy?
Do you have to use areas without fixed seating at 15sf if the occupant load is less than 50?
Is a waiting area an accessory use to the primary Occupancy "B" - or just part of the overall "B"?

The waiting area is 479 SF. This is affecting our restroom requirement.

Thanks, Jeff

So what ol is the bo assigning to it????
 

nitramnaed

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
159
Location
L'Etolle du Nord
So what ol is the bo assigning to it????
Asking us to provide a new calculation with the waiting room calculated at 15 net in lieu of 100 gross. This puts us into an occupancy that would require more restroom facilities.
So what ol is the bo assigning to it????
The Occupancy calculations for the entire clinic at 100/ is 33. Because they are requiring us to calculate the waiting area as assembly, 15/, that bumps the occupancy up to 60. This pushes us over the bathroom requirements which increase's at 50 occupants. We would have to redesign the space with more fixtures which would result in reduced calculatable SF to bring us down below 50 occupants. Ridiculous...Chicken before the egg. We do not have any exiting issues. I'm not sure you could fit 28 people in this waiting area the way it's designed.
 

Ty J.

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Aug 2, 2017
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1,446
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Nitramnaed, I agree with the BO that you are up against. Unfortunately, it is an all too common error to assign OLF based upon occupancy classification; however, that is not the intent of Ch. 10.

The only thing I may suggest, is provide a furniture plan and see if the BO is willing to base the lobby occupancy load off of the number of seats provided. May be worth the shot.
 

cda

Sawhorse
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Oct 19, 2009
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Basement
Well especially in these times

Most people that set in the lobby ,than progress to an exam room.

Only so many exam rooms normally

And people normally do not go to a Dr waiting room just to assemble

Like the idea the people at your office, will normally be the ones to use the conference room.
 

Yikes

Gold Member
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Nov 2, 2009
Messages
1,629
Location
Southern California
I agree that a furniture layout of the waiting room may convince them to go with a lower occupant load than 15 SF/person.
I once had an outpatient clinic where I showed the # of exam rooms, then assumed that due to appointment system, when the exam rooms were fully occupied there would be no more than a 1:1 queue (e.g. 6 exam rooms would equate to 6 people waiting their turn). Then I doubled the number, assuming someone drove the patient to their appointment. Then I showed the furniture layout, which the BO recognized as reasonable from his own experience. He stuck with the B occupancy.
 

tmurray

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Joined
Jun 10, 2011
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1,882
Location
NB, Canada
We typically allow some discretion in washroom numbers. A lot of the time, the numbers we get from the area method, specifically in waiting areas, are unreasonably high. Sometimes I have 2-3 times the occupancy load in the waiting room than I do in the remainder of the building. While we use this high occupant load for exiting, we work a little closer with the owner and their design team on washroom numbers to get a more reasonable number.
 

mark handler

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Oct 25, 2009
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10,783
Location
So. CA
First of all, less than 50 is a "B"
What is this a waiting room for?
Is there chairs/seating?
What is the configuration?
Can the SQ Ftg. Be reduced?
 

Tim Mailloux

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Feb 12, 2018
Messages
321
Location
Hartford CT
I belive the model IPC does have an exception to allow plumbing fixtures to be calculated for a lower number of people than calculated by chapter 10 for egress. This is at the discretion of the AHJ.
 

Tim Mailloux

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Feb 12, 2018
Messages
321
Location
Hartford CT
I am on the design side of the field, in this case its very clear that the BO is right and the design team was wrong in the way the occupant loads were calculated.
Something that may help shave off a few numbers would be to calculate and storage rooms, electrical closets, etc at 1 person per 300SF

One other option would be to use the assembly occupancy plumbing calculations for the waiting room occupants, and the Business plumbing calculations for the remainder of the occupants. Even thought the waiting room is not an assembly occupancy, the IPC code commentary does allow for this approach. This mixed calculation approach might come up with a lower number that a strait B plumbing calculation.
 

nitramnaed

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
159
Location
L'Etolle du Nord
I belive the model IPC does have an exception to allow plumbing fixtures to be calculated for a lower number of people than calculated by chapter 10 for egress. This is at the discretion of the AHJ.
The code does allow the AHJ to determine occupants if it is not covered under the table. I think this is clearly a Business occupancy so I don't see any discretion there. Is there somewhere else in the IPC for determining a different calc? I can't seem to find it, unless its hiding somewhere.
 
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