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    Garage apartment means of egress

    Garage apartment means of egress

    New postby mtCDCcb on Tue May 24, 2016 7:00 pm

    We have a garage apartment that is above a garage that is attached to the main dwelling (R3 occupancy). Access to the unit is through the garage. You have a fire door to the stairs and at the top of the stairs you have another door that leads to the garage apartment. The apartment is studio style and has double doors that lead to an exterior deck (2nd level). The doors meet the requirements of 311.2. I contend that this exits meets the means of egress requirement from IRC 311.1. While I would say this isn't the best design I would say that it meets the minimum requirements of the IRC. Would you agree? Thanks.
    mtCDCcb
     
    Posts: 79
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    Re: Garage apartment means of egress

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Tue May 24, 2016 11:04 pm

    The IRC does not apply to an apartment building - you need to use the IBC.

    From the IBC: (underlining is mine)
    - SECTION 1003 GENERAL MEANS OF EGRESS
    - - 1003.1 Applicability.
    - - - The general requirements specified in Sections 1003 through 1013 shall apply to all three elements of the means of egress system, in addition to those specific requirements for the exit access, the exit and the exit discharge detailed elsewhere in this chapter.

    - SECTION 1014 EXIT ACCESS
    - - 1014.1 General.
    - - - The exit access shall comply with the applicable provisions of Sections 1003 through 1013. Exit access arrangement shall comply with Sections 1014 through 1019.
    - - 1014.2 Egress through intervening spaces.
    - - - Egress through intervening spaces shall comply with this section.
    - - - - 1. Egress from a room or space shall not pass through adjoining or intervening rooms or areas, except where such adjoining rooms or areas and the area served are accessory to one or the other, are not a Group H occupancy and provide a discernible path of egress travel to an exit. (Jerry's note: A garage is not an accessory to the apartment dwelling unit, the garage has its own occupancy, the garage is not permitted to serve as a means of egress. I realize that you are not using the garage as a means of egress, but that leaves the means or egress at the balcony, not at grade level and not at a public way.)
    - - - - - Exception: Means of egress are not prohibited through adjoining or intervening rooms or spaces in a Group H, S or F occupancy when the adjoining or intervening rooms or spaces are the same or a lesser hazard occupancy group.
    - - - - 2. An exit access shall not pass through a room that can be locked to prevent egress.
    - - - - 3. Means of egress from dwelling units or sleeping areas shall not lead through other sleeping areas, toilet rooms or bathrooms.
    - - - - 4. Egress shall not pass through kitchens, storage rooms, closets or spaces used for similar purposes.
    - - - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - - - 1. Means of egress are not prohibited through a kitchen area serving adjoining rooms constituting part of the same dwelling unit or sleeping unit.
    - - - - - - 2. Means of egress are not prohibited through stockrooms in Group M occupancies when all of the following are met:
    - - - - - - - 2.1. The stock is of the same hazard classification as that found in the main retail area;
    - - - - - - - 2.2. Not more than 50 percent of the exit access is through the stockroom;
    - - - - - - - 2.3. The stockroom is not subject to locking from the egress side; and
    - - - - - - - 2.4. There is a demarcated, minimum 44-inch-wide (1118 mm) aisle defined by full- or partial-height fixed walls or similar construction that will maintain the required width and lead directly from the retail area to the exit without obstructions.
    - - - 1014.2.1 Multiple tenants.
    - - - - Where more than one tenant occupies any one floor of a building or structure, each tenant space, dwelling unit and sleeping unit shall be provided with access to the required exits without passing through adjacent tenant spaces, dwelling units and sleeping units.
    - - - - - Exception: The means of egress from a smaller tenant space shall not be prohibited from passing through a larger adjoining tenant space where such rooms or spaces of the smaller tenant occupy less than 10 percent of the area of the larger tenant space through which they pass; are the same or similar occupancy group; a discernable path of egress travel to an exit is provided; and the means of egress into the adjoining space is not subject to locking from the egress side. A required means of egress serving the larger tenant space shall not pass through the smaller tenant space or spaces.

    - SECTION 1027 EXIT DISCHARGE
    - - 1027.1 General.
    - - - Exits shall discharge directly to the exterior of the building. The exit discharge shall be at grade or shall provide direct access to grade. The exit discharge shall not reenter a building. The combined use of Exceptions 1 and 2 shall not exceed 50 percent of the number and capacity of the required exits.
    - - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - - 1. A maximum of 50 percent of the number and capacity of interior exit stairways and ramps is permitted to egress through areas on the level of exit discharge provided all of the following are met:
    - - - - - - 1.1. Such enclosures egress to a free and unobstructed path of travel to an exterior exit door and such exit is readily visible and identifiable from the point of termination of the enclosure.
    - - - - - - 1.2. The entire area of the level of exit discharge is separated from areas below by construction conforming to the fire-resistance rating for the enclosure.
    - - - - - - 1.3. The egress path from the interior exit stairway and ramp on the level of exit discharge is protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system. All portions of the level of exit discharge with access to the egress path shall either be protected throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2, or separated from the egress path in accordance with the requirements for the enclosure of interior exit stairways or ramps.
    - - - - - 2. A maximum of 50 percent of the number and capacity of the interior exit stairways and ramps is permitted to egress through a vestibule provided all of the following are met:
    - - - - - - 2.1. The entire area of the vestibule is separated from areas below by construction conforming to the fire-resistance rating for the enclosure.
    - - - - - - 2.2. The depth from the exterior of the building is not greater than 10 feet (3048 mm) and the length is not greater than 30 feet (9144 mm).
    - - - - - - 2.3. The area is separated from the remainder of the level of exit discharge by construction providing protection at least the equivalent of approved wired glass in steel frames.
    - - - - - - 2.4. The area is used only for means of egress and exits directly to the outside.
    - - - - - 3. Horizontal exits complying with Section 1025 shall not be required to discharge directly to the exterior of the building.
    - - 1027.2 Exit discharge capacity.
    - - - The capacity of the exit discharge shall be not less than the required discharge capacity of the exits being served.
    - - 1027.3 Exit discharge components.
    - - - Exit discharge components shall be sufficiently open to the exterior so as to minimize the accumulation of smoke and toxic gases.
    - - 1027.4 Egress courts.
    - - - Egress courts serving as a portion of the exit discharge in the means of egress system shall comply with the requirements of Section 1027.
    - - - 1027.4.1 Width.
    - - - - The minimum width of egress courts shall be determined as specified in Section 1005.1, but such width shall not be less than 44 inches (1118 mm), except as specified herein. Egress courts serving Group R-3 and U occupancies shall not be less than 36 inches (914 mm) in width. The required width of egress courts shall be unobstructed to a height of 7 feet (2134 mm).
    - - - - - Exception: Encroachments complying with Section 1005.7.
    - - - - - - Where an egress court exceeds the minimum required width and the width of such egress court is then reduced along the path of exit travel, the reduction in width shall be gradual. The transition in width shall be affected by a guard not less than 36 inches (914 mm) in height and shall not create an angle of more than 30 degrees (0.52 rad) with respect to the axis of the egress court along the path of egress travel. In no case shall the width of the egress court be less than the required minimum.
    - - - 1027.4.2 Construction and openings.
    - - - - Where an egress court serving a building or portion thereof is less than 10 feet (3048 mm) in width, the egress court walls shall have not less than 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction for a distance of 10 feet (3048 mm) above the floor of the court. Openings within such walls shall be protected by opening protectives having a fire protection rating of not less than 3/4 hour.
    - - - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - - - 1. Egress courts serving an occupant load of less than 10.
    - - - - - - 2. Egress courts serving Group R-3.
    - - - 1027.5 Access to a public way.
    - - - - The exit discharge shall provide a direct and unobstructed access to a public way.
    - - - - - Exception: Where access to a public way cannot be provided, a safe dispersal area shall be provided where all of the following are met:
    - - - - - - 1. The area shall be of a size to accommodate at least 5 square feet (0.46 m2) for each person.
    - - - - - - 2. The area shall be located on the same lot at least 50 feet (15 240 mm) away from the building requiring egress.
    - - - - - - 3. The area shall be permanently maintained and identified as a safe dispersal area.
    - - - - - - 4. The area shall be provided with a safe and unobstructed path of travel from the building.

    Short answer result: There needs to be another way out of the apartment, a proper means of egress which discharges at grade and which leads to a public way (or an area of refuge where the occupants are sufficiently far enough from the structure to be away from danger and the heat of a fire).

    Sounds like there are no interior common corridors and no exterior common stairs for access or egress, that leaves installing a stair which meets the egress requirements from each apartment above grade.
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    Re: Garage apartment means of egress

    New postby mtCDCcb on Wed May 25, 2016 10:14 am

    This is not an apartment building. It is an accessory unit to a single family home. The IRC governs and I have found the answer.
    Where exterior landings or floors serving the required
    egress door are not at grade, they shall be provided with
    access to grade by means of a ramp in accordance with
    Section R311.8 or a stairway in accordance with Section
    R311.7.

    For the double doors to satisfy the requirements of an egress door the deck must have a stairway (or ramp) that leads to grade.
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    Re: Garage apartment means of egress

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Wed May 25, 2016 11:01 am

    mtCDCcb wrote:This is not an apartment building. It is an accessory unit to a single family home. The IRC governs.


    Got it now - when you said "R3 occupancy" I ruled out the IRC as there are no occupancy classifications in the IRC ... "R3 occupancy" is an IBC occupancy.

    The end result is the same: (underlining is mine)
    - R311.4 Vertical egress.
    - - Egress from habitable levels including habitable attics and basements not provided with an egress door in accordance with Section R311.2 shall be by a ramp in accordance with Section R311.8 or a stairway in accordance with Section R311.7.
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    Re: Garage apartment means of egress

    New postby mtCDCcb on Wed May 25, 2016 1:01 pm

    Yes,
    Thank you. I discovered that section this morning.
    mtCDCcb
     
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