• Welcome to the new and improved Building Code Forum. We appreciate you being here and hope that you are getting the information that you need concerning all codes of the building trades. This is a free forum to the public due to the generosity of the Sawhorses, Corporate Supporters and Supporters who have upgraded their accounts. If you would like to have improved access to the forum please upgrade to Sawhorse by first logging in then clicking here: Upgrades

employee work area VS accessible story

Hyrax4978

Registered User
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
118
Location
Hartford, CT
2 story building, 4,500 SF footprint. both floors have grade access. interior stair connecting the two floors. CT
Owner was told by the B.O. he doesn't need an elevator. I spoke in depth with the B.O. and he cited that he would use 1103.2.2 employee work area exemption to get out of installation of an elevator. He would call the entire floor as an exemption to chapter 11 and only needing to comply with 907.5.2.3.1, 1009 and 1104.3.1.

I suggested that the entire floor being over 3,000 SF, and containing a primary function including loading/unloading work vehicles, storage, toilets etc. would mean its an accessible story that might have portions of the area as employee work areas, but that the employee work area would not exempt the entire 4,500 SF of the floor from being accessible. the offices are all on the upper level. This place is a small contractors office in which employees park the vehicles in, load them with tools, materials etc, receive deliveries of supplies, and minor vehicle maintenance.

I see most of section 1104 as a problem to not having an elevator, or ramps or something.

I can not find a place to clearly show the B.O. that the entire floor can't just be called an employee work area because he told a local business that they don't need an elevator.

any comments or thoughts would be helpful.

Thank you.
 

mark handler

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Messages
10,808
Location
So. CA
that excuse would not fly for me, you still need access, and what of his/her disabled employees? Do they get fired when they can no longer get up the stairs?
I would consider the elevator as part of the Common use circulation path and accessible route.


Connecticut Building Code
Chapter 2 Definitions
EMPLOYEE WORK AREA. All or any portion of a space used only by employees and only for work. Corridors, toilet rooms, kitchenettes and break rooms are not employee work areas.


1104.3.1 Employee Work Areas

Common use circulation paths within employee work areas shall be accessible routes.
Exceptions:
  1. Common use circulation paths, located within employee work areas that are less than 1,000 square feet (93 m2) in size and defined by permanently installed partitions, counters, casework or furnishings, shall not be required to be accessible routes.
  2. Common use circulation paths, located within employee work areas, that are an integral component of equipment, shall not be required to be accessible routes.
  3. Common use circulation paths, located within exterior employee work areas that are fully exposed to the weather, shall not be required to be accessible routes.

2010 ADASAD 203.9 Employee Work Areas. Spaces and elements within employee work areas shall only be required to comply with 206.2.8, 207.1, and 215.3 and shall be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the employee work area. Employee work areas, or portions of employee work areas, other than raised courtroom stations, that are less than 300 square feet (28 m2) and elevated 7 inches (180 mm) or more above the finish floor or ground where the elevation is essential to the function of the space shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.
 
Last edited:

Tim Mailloux

Registered User
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
339
Location
Hartford CT
I still don't see how you get around 1104.4 & then 1103.2.15 seeing how your building footprint is larger than 3000sf. Also remember that 1103.2.15 is state statue and the local BO or state BO does not have the authority to grant a waiver from that requirement.

1104.4 Multilevel buildings and facilities.
At least one accessible route shall connect each accessible story and mezzanine in multilevel buildings and facilities.

Exceptions:
1. An accessible route is not required to stories and mezzanines that comply with Sections 1103.2.15 and 1103.2.16, respectively.

2. Stories or mezzanines that do not contain accessible elements or other spaces as determined by Section 1107 or 1108 are not required to be served by an accessible route from an accessible level.

3. In air traffic control towers, an accessible route is not required to serve the cab and the floor immediately below the cab.

4. Where a two-story building or facility has one story or mezzanine with an occupant load of five or fewer persons that does not contain public use space, that story or mezzanine shall not be required to be connected by an accessible route to the story above or below.
 

classicT

Sawhorse
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
1,509
Location
Washington State
It would seem that the BO may have spoken without thinking, and now faces a predicament. Perhaps trying to force the code to say what he wants it to, not what it intends.
 

e hilton

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
1,227
Location
Virginia
I don’t see the issue. There’s nothing stopping the owner from installing an elevator. Seems like it would be a good addition to the future of the building.
 

Sifu

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
1,369
Are the same services or elements available on both levels?
 

steveray

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
7,575
Location
West of the river CT
BO is wrong.....For at least a few reasons.....

1104.3.1 Employee Work Areas

Common use circulation paths within employee work areas shall be accessible routes.
Exceptions:
  1. Common use circulation paths, located within employee work areas that are less than 1,000 square feet (93 m2) in size and defined by permanently installed partitions, counters, casework or furnishings, shall not be required to be accessible routes.
This gimmie is only <1000 sqft and nevermind statute....
 

jj1289

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
93
Location
Connecticut
Keep in mind that you can have an accessible mezzanine without having an elevator. 1009.2.1 states when elevators are required. IBC section 1009.1, exception 2 states "One accessible means of egress is required from an accessible mezzanine level in accordance with section 1009.3, 1009.4 or 1009.5." If you meet the requirements of 1009.3, which is for stairways, you are good to go.

Now a question that comes into play, is that stair required to provide 48" clearance between the handrails as required by section 1009.3.2. If your opinion is yes, then what about the exception under section 1009.3.1 which states "Exit access stairways providing means of egress from mezzanines are permitted as part of an accessible means of egress."
 

ADAguy

Sawhorse
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
5,083
Location
California
Bad info from B.O., not a defenseable position, what of reasonable accommodation requirement.
State is still bound by ADA as a minimum even if code says otherwise.
 
Top