Building Code and Building Construction - Questions and Answers
Or when you want to know how construction is supposed to be done.

|
AskCodeMan.com
|
The following Codemen are available to answer your questions:
All Codes and Standards - Jerry Peck, Codeman


Q&A Board links
  • REGISTER

  • FAQ

  • LOGIN

  • Q&A BOARD INDEX

  • View New Questions

  • View Unanswered Questions

  • View Active Questions/Answers

  • Mark Questions as read

  • View Your Questions

  • Go To Your User Control Panel




  • Links to:
  • Construction Litigation Consultants


  • Florida Building Commission

  • Florida Building Codes Online


  • International Code Council

  • ICC Codes Free Online


  • Building Officials and Administrators of Florida




  • Product Approvals
  • Florida Product Approval

  • ICC Evaluation Reports Search

  • Miami-Dade NOA Search




  • Inspector and Contractor License Search
  • Search Florida Licenses




  • Technical links
  • Technical Information page


























































  • Contact Codeman



  • Custom Search

    Fire separation between tenants

    Fire separation between tenants

    New postby wagurto on Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:54 am

    Hi guys, i have this project which is a office building. My client bought 1,500 sf of office space and i noticed that the a/c units for this space come from the other units. The building is fire sprinklered but i am not sure if it is properly compartmented between tenants. Do you think the code will force me to compartment and fire separate my office from the others? Do i need to separate electrical and mechanical systems?
    please let me know what do you think.
    thanks
    Wil
    wagurto
     
    Posts: 11
    Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:00 pm

    Re: Fire separation between tenants

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:31 pm

    wagurto wrote:Hi guys, i have this project which is a office building. My client bought 1,500 sf of office space and i noticed that the a/c units for this space come from the other units. The building is fire sprinklered but i am not sure if it is properly compartmented between tenants. Do you think the code will force me to compartment and fire separate my office from the others? Do i need to separate electrical and mechanical systems?


    Will,

    You have a couple of concerns/issues there, so I will separate them out from each other:

    1) "Do you think the code will force me to compartment and fire separate my office from the others?"

    - First, though, a couple of stated conditions: a) it is an office building, that means the occupancy is Group B Business; b) the building is fire sprinklered.

    - From the 2017 (6th Edition) Florida Building Code (I recall you said you are in Florida before):
    - - 508.4.4 Separation.
    - - - Individual occupancies shall be separated from adjacent occupancies in accordance with Table 508.4.
    - - - 508.4.4.1 Construction.
    - - - - Required separations shall be fire barriers constructed in accordance with Section 707 or horizontal assemblies constructed in accordance with Section 711, or both, so as to completely separate adjacent occupancies.
    - - Table 508.4
    - - - REQUIRED SEPARATION OF OCCUPANCIES (HOURS)
    - - - - (sixth main column over to the right from the left, not counting the left most column) B e ... "B" occupancies with a note "e"
    - - - - (sixth row down, not counting the top heading row) B e ... "B" occupancies with a note "e"
    - - - - - (where they intersect) under both "S" and "NS" , the separation is listed as "N"
    - - - - - the notes show this:
    - - - - - - S = Buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
    - - - - - - NS = Buildings not equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
    - - - - - - N = No separation requirement.
    - - - - - - e. See Section 422.2 for ambulatory care facilities.

    Being as all of the occupancies are B (it is an office building, with no ambulatory care facilities), the table shows that no separation is required between individual occupancies (tenant spaces).

    2) "Do i need to separate electrical and mechanical systems?"

    - Not for fire separation purposes.

    - For tenant needs and uses, you should, yes.

    - I had an office in an office building for many years, the building had been split into various large office areas from previous tenants. Over the years, the large offices area were split into smaller office spaces and rented to businesses who only needed smaller office spaces - the electrical and HVAC systems were split up to serve the larger office areas, which mean that the smaller offices spaces shared electrical and HVAC systems ... and if one tenant wants the air conditioning set low while another wants it set higher ... you can see the conflict it could create. The electrical system was so much of an issue as tenants simply switched the lights on in their own office spaces, albeit one larger office space was wired such that all the lights in that larger space turned on with one main switch, which lead to re-wiring each office space with its own switch for lighting control. Occasionally, one tenant would overload a circuit and trip a breaker, shutting down all receptacles and lights for all other tenants which had receptacles and lights on that circuit - those circuit would be re-wired when that happened.

    - I highly recommend separate HVAC and electrical systems for each tenant space.

    There are times and occasions where fire-separation walls are required and installed, in some of those cases, the fire-separation wall would create "separate buildings" within one "structure", and, yes, everything would be required to be separate in those installations - separate service, separate meter, separate everything - but that is unusual to find in an office building; however, it is common to find that separation in strip shopping centers.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
    AskCodeMan.com

    Construction and Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC.
    ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com
    User avatar
    Jerry Peck - Codeman
    Site Admin
     
    Posts: 1104
    Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:06 pm

    Re: Fire separation between tenants

    New postby wagurto on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:54 pm

    Thank you Jerry always helpful and knowledgeable.
    wagurto
     
    Posts: 11
    Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:00 pm

    Re: Fire separation between tenants

    New postby wagurto on Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:43 pm

    Hi Jerry,
    I have this project that is 6,000 sf warehouse. We are dividing this space is 5 office spaces. The building is fire sprinklered and my question is "Do I need to fire separate each space from each other" Per your previous response I guess not but I want to make sure.
    thanks
    Wil
    wagurto
     
    Posts: 11
    Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:00 pm

    Re: Fire separation between tenants

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:50 pm

    Separation between occupancies - see tables below.

    For offices, Business occupancy, go to 6th row below the header row, to B<sup>e</sup> (see note e), then across to 6th header column, which has "S" (Sprinklered) and "NS" (Not Sprinklered) sub columns.

    See note "S" for the type of sprinklers systems which can be used for reductions in separations) - however, in this case (Business and the other occupancies listed, there is an "N" which means that no separation is required between theses occupancies (see note "N - No separation requirement) ... however, there can be a catch in this for "Existing Buildings".

    For existing buildings, you first start with the Existing Building Code, which addresses maintaining what was there (legally existing) from the code the existing building was built under. This can affect repairs, etc, as the code under which the building was constructed still applies, and that older code may have required tenant separation for various occupancies. However, the Existing Building Code also states:
    - From the 2017 FBC-Existing Building (underlining is mine)

    - - [A]101.4 Applicability.
    - - - This code shall apply to the repair, alteration, change of occupancy, addition and relocation of existing buildings, regardless of occupancy, subject to the criteria of Sections 101.4.1 and 101.4.2.
    - - - [A]101.4.1 Buildings not previously occupied.
    - - - - A building or portion of a building that has not been previously occupied or used for its intended purpose in accordance with the laws in existence at the time of its completion shall be permitted to comply with the provisions of the laws in existence at the time of its original permit unless such permit has expired. Subsequent permits shall comply with the Florida Building Code, Building or Florida Building Code, Residential, as applicable, for new construction.
    - - - [A]101.4.2 Buildings previously occupied.
    - - - - The legal occupancy of any building existing on the date of adoption of this code shall be permitted to continue without change, except as is specifically covered in this code, the Florida Fire Prevention Code, or as is deemed necessary by the code official for the general safety and welfare of the occupants and the public.

    - - SECTION 506
    - - - CHANGE OF OCCUPANCY
    - - - - 506.1 Scope.
    - - - - - Change of occupancy provisions apply where the activity is classified as a change of occupancy as defined in Chapter 2.
    - - - - 506.2 Application.
    - - - - - Changes of occupancy shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 10.

    Which means you get to review Chapter 10 to see what applies:
    - - CHAPTER 10
    - - - CHANGE OF OCCUPANCY
    - - - - 1001.2.2 Change of occupancy classification or group.
    - - - - - Where the occupancy classification of a building changes, the provisions of Sections 1002 through 1012 shall apply. This includes a change of occupancy classification and a change to another group within an occupancy classification.

    Which means ... you may end up with no separation as per the current code ... but check with the AHJ to make sure how and what is being applied.

    2017 FBC-B Table 508.4.jpg


    2018 IBC Table 508.4.jpg
    You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
    AskCodeMan.com

    Construction and Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC.
    ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com
    User avatar
    Jerry Peck - Codeman
    Site Admin
     
    Posts: 1104
    Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:06 pm


    Return to Fire-rated assemblies: Fire walls, fire partitions, smoke barriers, ceiling-floor, ceiling-attic; Separation of garages from dwelling unit; Separation between structure's exterior walls and property line



    Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest



    www.AskCodeMan.com