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Roof Paver Deck Railing 4" spacing or 21" spacing?

Discussion in 'Commercial Building Codes' started by redbird11, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. redbird11

    redbird11 Sawhorse

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    For a paver roof deck system that will be 10" higher than the white membrane roof and more than 20 feet from the actual roof edge what are the railing requirements? The parapets at roof edge are not 42". Access to the roof is controlled by key card. Occupancy will be Business.
     
  2. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    Can you provide a sketch or photo? What is the intended use of the roof?

    If you are intending to create a barrier element to limit the rooftop area available to general occupants, a guard is required per IBC 1015. Guards are required where the walking surface extends to within 36-inches of a 30-inch or greater drop. The guard does not necessarily have to be installed adjacent to the drop. A barrier element that meets the requirements for and is equivalent to a guard, such as a partial height wall, fence, etc., can be used to limit the roof area available to occupants.

    <4-inch spacing is required for guards unless meeting one of the 6 exceptions of 1015.2, which you most likely do not.
     
  3. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    Example what this may look like.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. redbird11

    redbird11 Sawhorse

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    TJ, I created a diagram to clarify my question. I am thinking I need a guardrail along the paver paths from the stairs to the deck and around the deck. Just questioning whether the guardrail can have 21" requirement or needs to meet 4" requirement?
     

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  5. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    You NEED nothing unless you are considering the whole roof a walking surface...Which it does not look like that is the intent. But it might be a good idea...
     
  6. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    If the whole roof is open as a walking surface, then guards with 4" spacing are required. Check out section 1015.2 regarding the exceptions - from info provided, 4" spacing is required.

    The AHJ will most likely want some delineation of the walking surface other than just placement of pavers to exempt guardrail at perimeter of entire roof or surrounding pathway and deck.
     
  7. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    The whole world is open but we don't put rails at the Grand Canyon.....If the walkway is raised 10" the roof cannot possibly be a walking surface as 10" is not a compliant step...Again, good idea, but not code IMO
     
  8. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    Agreed, that is exactly what I am saying. It has to be delineated somehow.
     
  9. redbird11

    redbird11 Sawhorse

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    The entire roof is not intended to be a walking surface. The white membrane roof area would only be accessed by maintenance staff to access equipment or repair the roof. The paver paths to the pavered deck would be utilized by a business occupancy, and my thought was that I needed to keep them on the pavers and not have them wander over to the parapets that are not 42".
     
  10. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    Which is my point, something needs to delineate this. Be that by a curb, a fence, a single rail, posts w/ single chain, etc. The delineation is not regulated by the codes, however unless delineated, I would consider the whole roof a walking surface.
     
  11. redbird11

    redbird11 Sawhorse

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    Alright, so delineated (by a curb, a fence, a single rail, posts w/ single chain, etc) but not necessary to meet the guardrail requirements because the adjacent roof area is not a walking surface? Is that the conclusion?

    1015.2 Where required. Guards shall be located along open-sided walking surfaces, including mezzanines, equipment platforms, aisles, stairs, ramps and landings that are located more than 30 inches (762 mm) measured vertically to the floor or grade below at any point within 36 inches (914 mm) horizontally to the edge of the open side.Guards shall be adequate in strength and attachment in accordance with Section 1607.8.
     
  12. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    Agreed
     
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  13. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    Somebody should talk to the insurance company. My guess is that the aisles and patio will be separated from the roof by a 5’ tall fence.

    As an aside, that’s the only way I would approve it.
     
  14. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    Insurance company can request whatever they want. Point is, an inspector using the building code can only enforce the minimum standard as established in the code. Doesn't mean that what the code requires is adequate or even a "good" idea. If it complies with the minimum provision, move on.
     
  15. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    There is an occupied roof that has less than a 42” guard at the edge of the roof. They have options as to how the danger will be mitigated. The parapet could be raised to 42”. The space that will be occupied can be separated from the rest of the roof by a barrier.

    There is a code for that.
     
  16. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    Please provide the code section.

    I agree that the occupiable area must be delineated from the non-occupiable area, however I am unaware of a code section requiring a guard as asked in the OP. I would personally cite IBC 116.1- Unsafe Condition to require some type of delineation (as noted above, a curb, fence, single rail, posts w/ single chain, etc.).
     
  17. Builder Bob

    Builder Bob Sawhorse

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    The situation raised is not a code requirement - however litigation would probably dictate 4" spacing on the pickets with a guard height of 42" to prevent youths from climbing down and running all over the roof.

    From a legal standpoint, you have met or exceeded the codes with proper picket spacing and provide a "guard" to properly delineate the walking surfaces for the common or public use. BTW in today's society, don't expect parent to watch their kids - go to any restaurant and watch the varmints run free in the restaurant.
    .
     
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  18. RCT

    RCT Registered User

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    This has always been a gray area in the code for interpretations, most guard manufactures would build a compliant guard for this type of situation, however if a fence company installs some fence, there are many a fence that does not comply with guard load requirements, just as the fence barrier code for pools are not required to meet loads when under 6ft in height.

    I too am curious as to what code section you are claiming requires a "barrier"?

    If you label the entire roof simply occupied space because of the access to the defined walking area and the non-defined walking area are now considered all the same, one could push the limit and say guards all around, however, if they have a defined walking surface and a defined non-walking surface, though not wise, one could establish it as non-occupied space, and therefore read it another way.

    However lets ask this question, do you calculate the square footage for the required MOE by the defined walking surface of the pavers or the entire roof area? and why?
     
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  19. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    It's Tiger code...You get used to it...The heart is in the right place. Some of us just get a little too worried about getting sued for asking for too much, even if it is a good idea.
     
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  20. Paul Sweet

    Paul Sweet Sawhorse

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    21" spacing (with a curb or low pipe to keep crutches from slipping off the edge) is sufficient because the deck is only 10" above the roof. However it would be prudent to have a 42" high guard with no more than 4" between pickets. The code is written with the assumption that careless parents will bring their toddlers everywhere and leave them unsupervised, so you could be in for a lawsuit if somebody explores beyond the edge of the deck and falls over the parapet.
     
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