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    Number Exits for Rooftop Deck

    Number Exits for Rooftop Deck

    New postby David Myers on Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:34 pm

    I am trying to develop my first property. The property is a mixed use property. It has 1,300 square feet of commercial on ground level with podium parking. On the second and third floor, there are 8 two story town home rentals. On the second floor, there are entries to the lower level of the town homes which consist of the kitchen, living room, etc. On the third level, there are two bedrooms and two baths. You can't gain access to the third floor except through the lower floor of the unit.

    My issue is the rooftop deck. The city allows me to put my communal outdoor living area on any level. I put the living area on the roof (not sure if that would be called the fourth floor). The roof deck has elevator access plus a stairwell that is enclosed that goes straight down four floors. It dumps out to the street (there are other fire rated doors the second story and ground level.

    As it currently set up, there is only the one staircase and the elevator. The architect has been of the position that it just needs one staircase because it's at 49 person occupancy.

    The city sent out the plan check to a third party. The third party has stated "even though its occupant load is shown as 49, since this community roof deck is located at that rood of the 3rd story, it does not meet conditions of CBC 1006.3.2 and Table 1006.3.2(2) to qualify for a single exit. Per 1006.3.1 and 1006.3.1, two exits/acce to 2 exits are required."

    Thoughts?
    Thanks.
    Dave
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    Re: Number Exits for Rooftop Deck

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:28 pm

    Dave,

    First, a clarification - you said:
    On the second and third floor, there are 8 two story town home rentals.


    Those are not townhouses, they are apartments or condos (which are addressed the same as apartments in the Building Code).

    You mentioned the CBC, which is likely referring to the California Building Code. I will reference the IBC, which is the base code for the CBC, and I will invite my California code guy (who understands the nuances of the California codes better than I do as California codes are often amended to be quite different from the base codes.

    The above is from the IBC (International Building Code) - the 2018 IBC code defines townhouse as follows: (underlining is mine)
    - [A]TOWNHOUSE. A single-family dwelling unit constructed in a group of three or more attached units in which each unit extends from the foundation to roof and with open yard on at least two sides.

    Your description does not fit that - as such, the units are "apartments" - that does not affect this discussion, that is just a point of clarification for accuracy and use of terminology.

    From the 2018 IBC: (underlining and bold are mine)
    - 1006.3 Egress from stories or occupied roofs.
    - - The means of egress system serving any story or occupied roof shall be provided with the number of separate and distinct exits or access to exits based on the aggregate occupant load served in accordance with this section. Where stairways serve more than one story, only the occupant load of each story considered individually shall be used in calculating the required number of exits or access to exists serving that story.
    - - 1006.3.1 Adjacent story.
    - - - The path of egress travel to an exit shall not pass through more than one adjacent story.
    - - - - Exception: The path of egress travel to an exit shall be permitted to pass through more than one adjacent sotry in any of the following:
    - - - - - 1. In Group R-1, R-2 or R-3 occupancies, exit access stairways and ramps connecting four stories or less serving and contained within individual dwelling unit, sleeping unit or live/work unit.
    - - - - - 2. Exit access stairways serving and contained within a Group R-3 congregate residence or a Group R-4 facility.
    - - - - - 3. Exit access stairways and ramps in open parking garages that serve only the parking garage.
    - - - - - 4. Exit access stairways and ramps serving open-air assembly seating complying with the exit access travel distance requirements of Section 1029.7.
    - - - - - 5. Exit access stairways and ramps between the balcony, gallery or press box and the main assembly floor in occupancies such as theaters, places of religious worship, auditoriums and sports facilities.
    - - 1006.3.2 Egress based on occupant load.
    - - - Each story and occupied roof shall have the minimum number of independent exits, or access to exits, as specified in Table 1006.3.2. A single exit or access to a single exit shall be permitted in accordance with Section 1006.3.3. The required number of exits, or exit access stairways or ramps providing access to exits, from any story or occupied roof shall be maintained until arrival at the exit discharge or a public way.
    - - - - (I am not including Table 1006.3.2 as it is not applicable to the discussion.)
    - - - 1006.3.3 Single exits.
    - - - - A single exit or access to a single exit shall be permitted from any story or occupied roof where one of the following conditions exists:
    - - - - - 1. The occupant load, number of dwelling units and common path of egress travel distance does not exceed the values in Table 1006.3.3(1) or 1006.3.3(2).
    - - - - - 2. Rooms, areas and spaces complying with Section 1006.2.1 with exits that discharge directly to the exterior at the level of exit discharge, are permitted to have one exit or access to a single exit.
    - - - - - 3. Parking garages where vehicles are mechanically parked shall be permitted to have one exit or access to a single exit.
    - - - - - 4. Group R-3 and R-4 occupancies shall be permitted to have one exit or access to a single exit.
    - - - - - 5. Individual single-story or multistory dwelling units shall be permitted to have a single exit or access to a single exit from the dwelling unit provided that both of the following criteria are met:
    - - - - - - 5.1. The dwelling unit complies with Section 1006.2.1 as a space with one means of egress.
    - - - - - - 5.2. Either the exit from the dwelling unit discharges directly to the exterior at the level of exit discharge, or the exit access outside the dwelling unit’s entrance door provides access to not less than two approved independent exits.(I am not including Table 1006.3.3.1(1) as it is not appliable - it addresses up to a maximum of 4 dwelling units.)
    - - - - Table 1006.3.3(2)
    - - - - - Stories with one exit or access to one exit for other occupancies
    - - - - - - (The first row below the heading is for "First story above or below grade plane" and is not applicable to this discussion.)
    - - - - - - (The second row below the heading is for "Second story above grade plane" and is not applicable to this discussion.)
    - - - - - - (The third row below the heading is for "Third story above grade plane and higher", this is what is applicable to this discussion - note that under the second column from the left, headed "Occupancy", it says "NP", and note that below the table it indicates "NP = Not Permitted" ... one exit is "Not Permitted" - for any "Occupancy " - for "Third story above grade plane and higher".)
    20118 IBC Table 1006.3.3(2) annotated.jpg
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    Re: Number Exits for Rooftop Deck

    New postby GunnarAlquist on Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:57 pm

    As Jerry mentioned, the CBC does differ in some respects to the IBC. Sometimes, I am not sure why, because they both often end-up saying the same thing.

    I am going to agree with Jerry that one exit is not permitted for the same reasons that he found in the IBC. However, some of the references in the CBC are different.

    IBC 1006.3.3 Single exits is covered in CBC 1006.3.2
    CBC 1006.3.2.1 Mixed occupancies references Table 1006.3.2.1 (which is not applicable to this situation) and Table 1006.3.2(2).
    IBC Table 1006.3.3(2) is similar to CBC Table 1006.3.2(2) - (I have posted this table here because of the additional line).

    1006.3 Egress from stories or occupied roofs. The means of egress system serving any story or occupied roof shall be provided with the number of exits or access to exits based on the aggregate occupant load served in accordance with this section. The path of egress travel to an exit shall not pass through more than one adjacent story. Each story above the second story of a building shall have not less than one interior or exterior exit stairway, or interior or exterior exit ramp. Where three or more exits or access to exits are required, not less than 50 percent of the required exits shall be interior or exterior exit stairways or ramps.

    Exceptions:
    1. Interior exit stairways and interior exit ramps are not required in open parking garages where the means of egress serves only the open parking garage.
    2. Interior exit stairways and interior exit ramps are not required in outdoor facilities where all portions of the means or egress are essentially open to the outside.

    (The two exceptions do not apply)

    1006.3.2 Single exits. A single exit or access to a single exit shall be permitted from any story or occupied roof where one of the following conditions exists:
    1. The occupant load, number of dwelling units and exit access travel distance do not exceed the values in Table 1006.3.2(1) or 1006.3.2(2).
    2. Rooms, areas and spaces, at the level of exit discharge, complying with Section 1006.2.1 with exits that discharge directly to the exterior, arc permitted to have one exit or access to a single exit.
    3. Parking garages where vehicles are mechanically parked shall he permitted to have one exit or access to a single exit.
    4. Group R-3 and R-4 occupancies shall be permitted to have one exit or access to a single exit.
    5. Individual single-story or multistory dwelling units shall be permitted to have a single exit or access to a single exit from the dwelling unit provided that both of the following criteria are met:
    5.1. The dwelling unit complies with Section 1006.2.1 as a space with one means of egress.
    5.2. Either the exi1 from the dwelling unit discharges directly to the exterior at the level of exit discharge, or the exit access outside the dwelling unit's entrance door provides access to not less than two approved independent exits.


    1006.3.2.1 Mixed occupancies. Where one exit, or exit access stairway or ramp providing access to exits at other stories, is permitted to serve individual stories, mixed occupancies shall be permitted to he served by single exits provided each individual occupancy complies with the applicable requirements of Table 1006.3.2(1) or 1006.3.2(2) for that occupancy. Where applicable, cumulative occupant loads from adjacent occupancies shall he considered in accordance with the provisions of Section 1004.1. In each story of a mixed occupancy building, the maximum number of occupants served by a single exit shall be such that the sum of the ratios of the calculated number of occupants of the space divided by the allowable number of occupants indicated in Table 1006.3.2(2) for each occupancy does not exceed one. Where dwelling units are located on a story with other occupancies, the actual number of dwelling units divided by four plus the ratio from the other occupancy does not exceed one.
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    Re: Number Exits for Rooftop Deck

    New postby David Myers on Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:26 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate both of your thoughts.

    I just noticed this section in the California Building Code (this is my first attempt at quotes and bold):

    [BE] 1004.5 Outdoor areas

    Yards, patios, courts and similar outdoor areas accessible to and usable by the building occupants shall be provided with means of egress as required by this chapter. The occupant load of such outdoor areas shall be assigned by the fire code official in accordance with the anticipated use. Where outdoor areas are to be used by persons in addition to the occupants of the building, and the path of egress travel from the outdoor areas passes through the building, means of egress requirements for the building shall be based on the sum of the occupant loads of the building plus the outdoor areas.

    Exceptions:

    Outdoor areas used exclusively for service of the building need only have one means of egress.
    Both outdoor areas associated with Group R-3 and individual dwelling units of Group R-2.


    The space is required from the City as a communal outdoor living area for residential uses. They allow the space to be on any level, including the roof. This space would only be used by the tenants (and I guess their guests). The general public will not have access to this area.

    Thanks,
    Dave
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    Re: Number Exits for Rooftop Deck

    New postby David Myers on Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:28 pm

    I just reread the exception. I think I misread it as I think the exception contemplates service to the physical building (ie boiler, ac).

    That being said, does this provision help Ssuming occupant load is low?

    Dave
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    Re: Number Exits for Rooftop Deck

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:29 pm

    David Myers wrote:I just noticed this section in the California Building Code (this is my first attempt at quotes and bold):

    [BE] 1004.5 Outdoor areas

    Yards, patios, courts and similar outdoor areas accessible to and usable by the building occupants shall be provided with means of egress as required by this chapter. The occupant load of such outdoor areas shall be assigned by the fire code official in accordance with the anticipated use. Where outdoor areas are to be used by persons in addition to the occupants of the building, and the path of egress travel from the outdoor areas passes through the building, means of egress requirements for the building shall be based on the sum of the occupant loads of the building plus the outdoor areas.

    Exceptions:

    Outdoor areas used exclusively for service of the building need only have one means of egress.
    Both outdoor areas associated with Group R-3 and individual dwelling units of Group R-2.


    The space is required from the City as a communal outdoor living area for residential uses. They allow the space to be on any level, including the roof. This space would only be used by the tenants (and I guess their guests). The general public will not have access to this area.

    Thanks,
    Dave


    That section does not apply to your roof area for several reasons, which include, but are not necessarily limited to:
    - There is a specific section for: 1006.3 Egress from stories or occupied roofs.
    - "Roofs" are not the same as "Yards, patios, courts and similar outdoor areas" and are specifically addressed, see above
    - That section does not state that only one exit is permitted, in fact it states (underlining and bold are mine)
    - - Exceptions:
    - - - Outdoor areas used exclusively for service of the building need only have one means of egress.

    The roof is not an "outdoor area", the roof is not "used exclusively for service of the building", therefore the last part about only one means of egress does not apply to that.

    Think of what that applies to as service alleys in major cities - the service alley is used for dumpsters, electrical meters, and the like ("used exclusively for service to the building"), most are walled in deadends (one way in/same way out)

    What you are proposing is on a "roof", and that roof is at the "third story above grade plane and higher" - second floor roof is relatively easy to escape/be rescued from; third story roof and higher ... not so easy to escape/be rescued from. Jump from a one story roof and you will likely survive, and have few injuries, jump from a second story roof and you will likely survive, but are more likely to have serious injuries, jump from a third story roof or higher ... and "survive" might not be the word that would is used.

    (Added with edit - I was typing the above before the follow-up post about rereading the exception, and my post immediately posted after the follow-up post - however, I think I covered the follow-up post's questions in this reply.
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    Re: Number Exits for Rooftop Deck

    New postby David Myers on Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:56 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. We are putting in a new staircase.
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