fire proofing


Hi all!

I ve a quaestion: we are doing a gym in a basement in NYC: do the columns must be fire protected or  not?


Thanks so much





Aug 19, 14 11:16 am

There are too many variables for anyone to answer that.

Aug 19, 14 11:44 am
Non Sequitur


Aug 19, 14 11:51 am

A Gym in the basement of a single-dwelling structure is inconsequential. A Gym in the basement of an apartment building or commercial building is consequential. What the buildings columns are made of or whether they need protection is a function of code research for all the columns in the building regardless of them being in the basement.

A gym in a multiple use building implies “Assembly” and would put the basement gym into a different/separate Use Group and bring fire separation of the above floor and ceiling into play. It too would almost always trigger the application of fire sprinklers and multiple exits. In this case also the separate Use Group and its size in SF might require that the basement columns be different or protected. If the gym is too big it could be the dictator of the construction assembly of the entire building.

Aug 19, 14 12:28 pm

Why would its size in San Francisco matter if it's in NYC?

Aug 19, 14 1:42 pm

LOL, No my use of SF refers to square feet not San Fran as in California.

Aug 19, 14 1:51 pm

It would probably be best to contact your local code official with all of the details on the construction and occupancy.  But then again, you could ask an anonymous forum with little to no details.

Aug 19, 14 1:52 pm

If you are doing this type of project in NYC you need to be a NY licensed architect. If you are a NY licensed architect then you should know how to answer this question. Hint: read the NYC building code.

Aug 20, 14 10:17 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

the answer is YES no matter how you slice it by the way....i know a little NYC code and the scenario for NO is virtually impossible.

Aug 21, 14 9:50 pm

I just designed a gym and I didn't rate any columns, so yes its possible but as many have already stated too many factors to consider to determine and you did not give us any. I think you are over your head on this one, so hire an architect!

Aug 22, 14 9:42 am

Depends on the construction type of the building where the basement is located... check the Certificate of Occupancy on the DOB website... it should list it there...

This of course, is dependent on weather or not you are also planning on changing the use of the building... As someone else stated above... too many variables...

Aug 24, 14 10:07 pm

what columns?

Aug 25, 14 10:53 am

Yes, you need to provide a rated enclosure around your columns.  How much of an enclosure depends on many variables, such as occupancy and construction type.  Use the UL fire resistance design wizard to help you find the right design:

The rule of thumb in the five boroughs is everything is fire rated min 1 hr, even stick construction.

Aug 25, 14 5:59 pm

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