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Storm shelters - opting out during the 2018 IBC update

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Applicable code: 2018 IBC Section 423

Our group of code study volunteers are currently looking at the significant changes to the 2018 ICC Codes. One of the engineers is recommending that we delete this section which otherwise requires storm shelters for our new K - 12 schools. We are located somewhere in the middle of tornado alley.

Questions:

1) Other than those jurisdictions that fall outside the 250 mph wind zone (Las Vegas and Phoenix for example), do you know of any municipalities that have opted out of the new storm shelter requirement for new schools ("E" occupancies greater than 50 students) ??? In other words, are there any examples of amendments that have deleted Section 423 ?

2) Are there any examples of amendments that modify Section 423 ?

I would love to hear from the following cities:
Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Fort Worth, Dallas, Amarillo, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Topeka, Wichita, Kansas City, St. Louis.

Thank you,

ICC Certified Plan Reviewer
NFPA Certified Fire Plan Examiner
 

cda

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WE just had three built in our DFW area ahj.

And have not heard discussion in the DFW area about not requiring them.
 

Pcinspector1

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1) Other than those jurisdictions that fall outside the 250 mph wind zone (Las Vegas and Phoenix for example), do you know of any municipalities that have opted out of the new storm shelter requirement for new schools ("E" occupancies greater than 50 students) ??? In other words, are there any examples of amendments that have deleted Section 423 ?

My 2018 has ("E ocupancies greater than 250 students) in risk category III

Does that change anything in your thought process or did you miss-type?

Thanks for bringing that little jewel to my attention.
 

cda

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My 2018 has ("E ocupancies greater than 250 students) in risk category III

Does that change anything in your thought process or did you miss-type?

Thanks for bringing that little jewel to my attention.


Is that amended??? If not what section are you seeing that in?
 

Pcinspector1

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IBC 2018 table 1604.5 Risk Category III, Group E occupancy

423.1 General, sez go to table but IV, but does not list group E, (see Category III)
423.4 Group E occupancies with a design 250 mph design wind speed for tornados in accordance with figure 304.2(1). (With occupant load 50 or more)

Where is figure 304.2(1)?

cda, I'm confused? :confused:
 
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A Group "E" occupancy with an occupant load greater than 250 falls into Risk Category III according to Table 1604.5. All that to say it does not fall into Categories II or IV. All that to say, I don't care so much.

2018 IBC 423.4
A Group "E" occupancy with an occupant load greater than 50 shall have a storm shelter constructed in accordance with ICC 500. This only applies to those areas where the shelter design wind speed for TORNADOS (not hurricanes or New Jersey or Alaska or ... ) is 250 mph in accordance with Figure 304.2(1) of ICC 500.
 

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classicT

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FYI, the 2015 IBC has this same requirement. Looks like the 2018 version stripped away the last sentence of 423.4, but other than that, is the same.

(2015) IBC
423.4 Group E Occupancies
In areas where the shelter design wind speed for tornados is 250 MPH in accordance with Figure 304.2(1) of ICC 500, all Group E occupancies with an aggregate occupant load of 50 or more shall have a storm shelter constructed in accordance with ICC 500. The shelter shall be capable of housing the total occupant load of the Group E occupancy.
Exceptions:

  1. Group E day care facilities.
  2. Group E occupancies accessory to places of religious worship.
  3. Buildings meeting the requirements for shelter design in ICC 500.
(2018) IBC
423.4 Group E Occupancies

In areas where the shelter design wind speed for tornados is 250 mph in accordance with Figure 304.2(1) of ICC 500, all Group E occupancies with an occupant load of 50 or more shall have a storm shelter constructed in accordance with ICC 500.
Exceptions:

  1. Group E day care facilities.
  2. Group E occupancies accessory to places of religious worship.
  3. Buildings meeting the requirements for shelter design in ICC 500.
 
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Only one out of these twelve cities deleted the section related to storm shelters for schools.

Kansas City Missouri = no amendment to the 2018 IBC
Dallas = no amendment to the 2015 IBC. Dallas CBO confirmed that storms shelters are required for schools.
Detroit = lots of amendments related to wrecking and demolition. No other amendments related to storm shelters found.
Cleveland and the Ohio Building Code = no amendment to the 2015 IBC.
Chicago = 2015 IBC; several Chapter 4 amendments related to homeless shelters. But no amendments related to Section 423 Storm Shelters.
Fort Worth = has an amendment to the 2015 IBC that rearranges Section 423.4 so that it says the same thing but in a different way. It still applies to schools with an aggregate occupant load of 50 or more and the storm shelter must accommodate the total occupant load.
Amarillo = 2015 IBC; no amendments to Chapter 4.
* Tulsa Oklahoma = 2015 IBC; deleted section 423.4 that would otherwise require storm shelters for schools. And then there are several amendments that specify detailed requirements for storm shelters such as minimum number of doors, escape hatches, chemical toilets and sinks.
Oklahoma City = 2015 IBC Section 423.4; All new buildings or structures incorporating an Educational Group "E" occupancy shall have a safe room(s) with an occupancy load equivalent to or greater than the number of students and faculty the building or structure is designed for.
Topeka Kansas = no amendments to Chapter 4 of the 2015 IBC.
Wichita Kansas = 2018 IBC no amendments to Section 423 Storm Shelters.
St. Louis = 2018 IBC; Fifteen amendments to Chapter 4 but nothing related to storm shelters.
 
Last edited:
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According to Kortney D. Capello, the Assistant Director of the Sedgwick County Kansas:
"The City and Sedgwick would require a new building to have a storm shelter, and even some additions if the occupancy is over 50."

I have reached out to Dallas asking for the contact information for the architects who designed the new schools in the DFW area. Those three new schools should provide good examples.

Dodge Reports provides access to blueprints for new schools that are currently out for bidding. So far the only school designs that I have found online were designed under the 2012 IBC - which would not require storm shelters. But I will keep searching.
 

cda

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According to Kortney D. Capello, the Assistant Director of the Sedgwick County Kansas:
"The City and Sedgwick would require a new building to have a storm shelter, and even some additions if the occupancy is over 50."

I have reached out to Dallas asking for the contact information for the architects who designed the new schools in the DFW area. Those three new schools should provide good examples.

Dodge Reports provides access to blueprints for new schools that are currently out for bidding. So far the only school designs that I have found online were designed under the 2012 IBC - which would not require storm shelters. But I will keep searching.

Check your message box
 
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Thanks CDA. I have sent an email to that architecture firm requesting examples of storm shelters for the two new classroom wings.

Most of our local discussion has been related to the calculated occupant load. I expect that we will add an amendment that requires the design professional to size the storm shelter for a capacity that is based on the larger of these two categories:
1. The total occupant load of the classrooms, vocational rooms and office in the Group E occupancy.
2. The occupant load of any indoor assembly space that is associated with the Group E occupancy.

In other words, the capacity of the storm shelter is not based on both the gymnasium and the classrooms. It is based on one or the other.
 

cda

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Thanks CDA. I have sent an email to that architecture firm requesting examples of storm shelters for the two new classroom wings.

Most of our local discussion has been related to the calculated occupant load. I expect that we will add an amendment that requires the design professional to size the storm shelter for a capacity that is based on the larger of these two categories:
1. The total occupant load of the classrooms, vocational rooms and office in the Group E occupancy.
2. The occupant load of any indoor assembly space that is associated with the Group E occupancy.

In other words, the capacity of the storm shelter is not based on both the gymnasium and the classrooms. It is based on one or the other.



Does your base code say this::: ????



""""shall be the greater of the following:""""


Also have you read the commentary? I know it is not code.
 
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