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Exception to 2-stair requirement?

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gentle puppies

Say I want to design a six-storey building with 4 units (two 2-storey townhomes each take up half of Levels 1-2, Levels 3-4 is one unit, and Levels 5-6 is one unit).  The same elevator opens directly into each of the 4 units, so there is no "public corridor" of any kind above the ground floor lobby.

Codes seem to require 2 exit stairs where there is more than 1 suite per floor or occupancy greater than x-amount.  But what about in this situation?  I've seen a number of one-unit-per-floor buildings with 2 stairs but they tend to be much taller with higher occupancies. Even a scissor stair still takes up an awful amount of space for such a small building.

 
May 25, 20 8:09 pm
Non Sequitur

2 exits required and there is a min distance between them two. (Equal to half or more of the diagonal floor distance). You’ll need dedicated exit stairs. It’s a 6 story building for fucks’ sake!  

May 25, 20 8:26 pm  · 
6  · 
citizen

Maybe one stair and a small-sized backup. Fireman's pole? Rope ladder? Diving board?

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natematt

NS, many of the codes are 1/3 if you have sprinklers though.

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Non Sequitur

Nate, not here. 1/2 floor plate is min separation. Sprinklers only help increase travel distance. The Op and I share the same building code.

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Non Sequitur

Citizen, we’ve done new builds, once, with a fixed stair as 2nd means. Don’t know about diving boards but slides are explicitly forbidden.

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Non Sequitur

*fixed ladder. Not stair.

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citizen

^ Really? What use and occupancy?

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Non Sequitur

citizen, from what I remember, it was a 8 or so storey office building. This was 10y ago and I was still junior and not involved outside of some of the working drawings. Anyways, floor plate was long and skinny and thus required 3 separate exit stairs. The mech penthouse was small and was centered on the floor plate. The arch in charge forgot to account for 2 means of egress and had the other 2 stairs stop short of the penthouse. Don't know how they convinced the AHJ, but the solution was to put in a 2hr FRR shaft from penthouse to top occupied floor and install a ladder.

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citizen

Ahhh, I get it. So, very specific case, small mechanical occupancy, and just one level. Interesting.

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Non Sequitur

^yes. It's basically an emergency firemen pole... but with rungs.

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citizen

I dunno, I think a good case could be made.

https://archinect.com/news/article/150202638/danish-architecture-center-unveils-new-four-story-slide-by-artist-carsten-h-ller

Watch the little video.  Why not have some fun while you escape being burnt to a crisp?

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Something to consider is that as the architect you are responsible for the life safety of the buildings occupants.  Just because the AHJ may allow an interpretation of the building code that only one exit from the sixth story of a building is required do you really want that?

Remember building codes are the minimum requirements.  

May 26, 20 10:13 am  · 
2  · 
mightyaa

Building to the code minimums is the worst building you can legally construct.

1  · 
bklyntotfc

In NYC, you can have a single means of egress from residential buildings of up to 6 stories as long as they're not more than 2,000 s.f. per floor, and are type I or II construction (NYC BC 1021). If we were to tell a client that we felt obligated to put in two means of egress, we would be immediately fired, and I wouldn't blame them, as we'd be eating up a large amount of s.f. for stairs and hallways accessing them. Is there really anyone out there who in practice is doing thi s?

2  · 
midlander

it's a huge shortcoming of most codes that FAR is strictly restricted, but life safety systems (stairs, basically) aren't exempted from these measurements. if cities want to improve life safety they can start by implementing more rational ways to limit built area that don't limit egress areas.

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Almosthip

Why would want to have only have one option to exit safely? We are talking about families and children, possibly the elderly.  Think about the occupants of this building and the usage.

May 26, 20 10:41 am  · 
1  · 
mightyaa

Umm... 2018 IBC, 1006.3.3 Single exits.  Short story; any story as long as your occupant load is below 10 serving that story exit, only one exit with no number of stories served limits.  

May 26, 20 11:04 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Puppies is in Ontario. IBC does not apply.

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mightyaa

Ah... I stand corrected.

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Non Sequitur

Puppies, I'll assume you'll need to conform to the OBC for this, hopefully theoretical, design. A few OBC points:

  • single storey dwelling units in an apartment building need not lead to a public corridor or exterior passageway on the same storey provided the dwelling units are served by private stairways leading directly to a public access to exit on the storey
  • a dwelling unit containing more than 1 storey shall have an exit door or an egress door opening directly into a public access to exit from the uppermost storey and from the lowest storey of the dwelling unit so that each storey is served by an exit or egress door located not more than 1.5 m above or below its floor level.
  • A single exit is permitted from a dwelling unit provided the exit is an exterior doorway not more than 1.5 m above adjacent ground level and,
    • (a) it is not necessary to travel up or down more than 1 storey to reach the exit door, or 
    •  (b) the uppermost floor level opens to a balcony not more than 6 m above adjacent ground level.

But, more importantly, almost all buildings above 2 storeys require a minimum of 2 exits (3.4.2.1).  Given the compensation information you've provided us in another post... I'd say you should know all this stuff very well at that payscale.  Very surprising and suggests you have greater negotiation skills than basic architect skills.


May 26, 20 11:22 am  · 
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Or BP is just really good at conceptual design. I was in that situation early on in my career (2007). Taking into account inflation I was making $55K in USD at that point and wasn't licensed.

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Non Sequitur

OP claimed 94kcad and 9y licensed exp in an earlier thread hence my criticism.

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Hmmm, doing the maths . . . .carry the one . . . account for maple syrup . . . yeah that would be like making $55K back in 2007.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

also, my home team went to the cup finals in 2007. That counts for something, even if they lost.

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Wait, so in Canada your local football team is part of your compensation package?! Cool.

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Non Sequitur

Ha, meant hockey... but CFL counts too. I don't get many football tickets from clients/contractors but hockey tickets certainly are a big deal.

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I'd rather own part of a hockey team and a football team. I'd want to hang out with the people that can drink hard and not roll around on the grass when they get hit.

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Rusty!

Surprisingly common new type of construction in Brooklyn. All units are accessible via elevator that directly opens into the unit. They pushed stairs to exterior facade. Each unit has a "balcony" but all balconies are physically connected and can be used for passage. This is what happens when Scandinavian architects try to do work here. They don't account for 1000% increase in crime and how this is possibly a terrible idea. 

May 26, 20 3:57 pm  · 
1  · 

I think that's called 'Collaborative Housing' works well for the better behaved Norse people. 8-)

1  · 
Rusty!

Norse are not better behaved. It's just that their commie society keeps them grounded. In pic I posted, penthouse unit rented out for $5k/m. That is not a cool neighborhood by any means. Average household income in that neighborhood is 50k. Property crime is byproduct of sharp inequality. And now you can gain access to said penthouse by jiggling a stair door.

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I think you mean their democratic socialist policies keep them grounded and thus better behaved.

2  · 

Rusty where can we see a floor plan of that building?

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Rusty!

Hey Donna, You can see all the floorplans of that building here. https://streeteasy.com/building/651-new-york-avenue-brooklyn#tab_building_detail=2

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Or you could just go to the architects website.

https://www.loadingdock5.com/#/651-new-york-avenue/

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gentle puppies

Non Sequitur, thanks for the through info haha you'll be surprised to know that at my firm i'm considered above-average for code knowledge - my boss sometimes asks me questions lol, that's what happens when we have consultants for everything.

Interesting about the New York floorplate restriction, as my idea would seem to pass there.  I'm talking 6 stories, about 1000sf per floor, except level 1 and 2 which are 2000sf each. The whole building is 8000sf GFA (a scissor stair would be almost a quarter that already).  Note that each unit here is 2-stories, thus has its own internal stair to get to a different floor if the exit stair is blocked by fire on one floor... does that change anything?

You mentioned 1 exit is ok from a dwelling unit if the top level is <6m from adjacent ground level.  In Vancouver, many condo projects have 3-storey townhomes stacked on a commercial podium.  Their top floor balconies are 6m above the roof of the podium they sit on, but closer to 6 stories measured to "ground level".

I'm looking at 3.4.4.2(2)... does it really say that I can't have one of my scissor stair exits go through the lobby if there is residential units next to the lobby?  If so, what's the logic?  The lobby is tiny, so the 15m travel distance is no problem.

May 26, 20 9:40 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Puppies, a scissor stair is complicated and I'm not sure if it even complies with the OBC 3.4.1.2. Separation of Exits.

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Non Sequitur

To the rest of your comment, while I won't do the code research for you, read through 3.3.4.4. A common exit stair is only permitted if it serves a building under 3 storeys and I believe the only way to get around this would be to provide each unit with their own dedicated exit stair. Not a reasonable solution obviously. To your vancouver example, well, that's BC code, but as far as the OBC is concerned, read 3.3.4.4(4). Still does not apply to your project example tho.

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Non Sequitur

Exits through lobbies are typically kosher as long as it conforms to clause no.2. Your stairs still need to conform to 3.4.1.2 first.  Sprinklering will take care of the residential part.  Your building will be sprinklered anyways so it's a moot point.

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Puppy - listen to NS. This is not something you should be needing to ask the internet.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Cheers Chad. Exiting is a project within itself Puppies. Take the time to do the code research and get familiar with the terms and definitions. Is your building really 6 stories? Where are the exits vs the means? Where are the FRR partitions? Plenty of real work required here and no where is the answer going to be to remove one exit stair.

1  · 

Even in conceptual design a good code review is essential to start the design process. When in doubt ask your AHJ.  They are more than willing to help and I've found that they are happy to be consulted so early in a project and this seems to make them more willing to work with you since they have a vested interest in the project.  Just my opinion though. . .

1  · 
gentle puppies

Yeah, my mom wanted to subdivide their lot and replace the family home with 2 houses, and city replied within 1 business day lol.

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gentle puppies

The below project in Philly (i know, diff code) has a very similar floorplate relationship to the scissor stair - my project has an even smaller floorplate. I wonder if the odd location of the powder/mech room is to intentionally lengthen the distance between the 2 exit doors... if so then it seems the intent of the rule is well past diminished returns at this scale.

A normal condo floor with multiple units and shared corridor will have units that are larger than this entire floor.  If there's a fire inside my unit door, I'm fucked anyway regardless of how many stairs the shared corridor links with.

The Beaumont - 110 South Front Street - High Rise Philadelphia Condos

May 27, 20 12:28 pm  · 
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I didn't really understand your post - I assume you're trying to justify your one stair design. Regardless I don't think the location of the toilet and mech room where done to further separate the doors to the stairs. Their location is just because the designer had the space to place them there due to the lengths of the stairs.

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Non Sequitur

Puppies, I've already made it clear above that single stair is not permitted... but to your question, not, that wc and mech room does not extend the smoke travel distance between the 2 stairs. It's minimal. separation of exits is min half the diagonal distance of the space.

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gentle puppies

I forgot that the intent of the separation of the exits is less about access from different areas of the floor but to prevent smoke from blocking both exits at the same time. Ok I get the 2 exits thing, but here's another example from Museum House in Toronto... it seems like the upper level of the penthouse has only 1 fire exit, and the 2 exits at the lower level are nowhere near half the diagonal distance of the floor area - how was that possible?

museum house on bloor penthouse - BuzzBuzzHome News | Pent house ...

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5839

Because it's a 2-story unit with an internal 3rd stair, it was allowed to locate the required accesses to the 2 enclosed fire stairs on 2 different levels. So the access to the switchback fire stair is considered to be from the little corridor on the 2nd level, and the access to the L-shaped fire stair is considered be from the corridor on the main level, and the travel distance between those two accesses to the 2 fire stairs far exceeds the diagonal of the whole unit (and the entrance to the switchback stair from the main level is irrelevant to this equation - it's basically extra, non-required.) In your 6-story building, you could get away with one of your fire stairs only reaching the 5th story, if you have a separate stair within the unit that connects its 5th and 6th levels.

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Puppies - I'm sorry to be blunt but you really do not understanding building code when it comes to exiting. Previously you state that you have nine years of licensed experience and that you're the code guy in your office. I find this a bit concerning. I'm starting the get the feeling you're asking us to answer the code questions you're being asked by your boss.

1  · 
gentle puppies

2 years licensed experience, 7 post MArch, not that the first 5 were that different. Like I said, big firms have code consultants, envelope consultants, etc for everything.

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Why are you not asking your code constants in house then?

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gentle puppies

Oops not finished - this forum is being weird with edits.  This is not a work project.  Knowing the code is different from what I want to know, which is the intention of the code, to see if there's a case for an alternate solution.

5839, not sure if your logic applies in Ontario (though the building IS in Ontario) - wonder what Non Sequitur thinks of Museum house? By that logic, since my building only has 2-storey units, every unit can have 2 exits via entering the same stair from different floors?  I'm guessing the limiting factor is the travel distance to grade, which requires redundancy of stairs in case of anything?

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Non Sequitur

Puppies, finding the intent of every clauses in the code is easy. Just follow the OS & FS bread crumbs. But there are no alternative solutions for life safety. Staff at half your compensation in my office can do this level of code stuff. You should not/don’t need to outsource this if you have a license.

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Zeu's butthole - hehehehehe

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Ah - so this 'project' is a side job for the OP, thus he can't use his firms in house staff. Puppies - don't take on side jobs, they bring a lot of liability to the firm you work for and thus are a great way to get yourself fired.

2  · 
Non Sequitur

Ricky, it depends on the firm, but it can quickly become a big issue. This particular project is not someone doing a backyard addition.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Puppies, I don’t nearly know enough about that example floor plan to deduct anything. We can easily spend A full day to write up our code analysis and exit strategies when starting projects. You should honestly be able to do this without crowd-sourcing specially since very few here know anything about the OBC. I’ve already given you 80% of the answer.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Now, with the obvious out of the way, how about that 2nd plan? That 2 level unit has its own internal elevator plus the buikding’s regular and freight ones.

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gentle puppies

Well yeah, I was wondering how that Toronto building got away with just one exit stair at the top floor despite being subject to OBC.  If I can understand the why, then it might help inform this project, which is more of an extended personal thesis with implications for SFH zoning (to those who were asking).  That's why I'm more interested in following the intent of the code more than the actual code itself.

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Non Sequitur

Puppies, where does that 2nd stair on the lower level lead to? Did you consider that the corridor that houses all 3(!) elevators, access to both stairs, the refuse chute, etc... is a rated area separate from both the unit and egress stairs? I would not be surprised if the code review treated this as a "public" corridor and not part of the suite itself. Building code is minimum req. Don't go below this bar just to suit a design brief.

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gentle puppies

The southern L shaped stair continues down to grade as a switchback just like the north stair. I assumed there's a rating between any elev/stair shaft and the unit, either via the corridor/vestibule or through the door assembly itself.  Pretty much assume that any requirement that can be met through sprinklers or firelite glass or other expense will be done those ways instead through square footage.  But that doesn't address the fact that only one exit stair serves the top floor?

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Threesleeve

If you go through all the exceptions in the OBC, you'll see that it's possible to have a 2-story unit with access to egress stairs from 2 different levels. In other words you can have a level within that unit that only has access to one of the enclosed stairs, if the other floor gives you access to the other enclosed stair, and the unit has internal circulation from floor to floor.  There are several inter-related factors that can make this work - or not - for a particular building and unit configuration. 

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Non Sequitur

Puppies, I've already listed the clause earlier.

a dwelling unit containing more than 1 storey shall have an exit door or an egress door opening directly into a public access to exit from the uppermost storey and from the lowest storey of the dwelling unit so that each storey is served by an exit or egress door located not more than 1.5 m above or below its floor level.

Emphasis is mine, but note that it's singular.  Still does not remove the requirements to have 2 separate means of egress (different clause).  In your example, the unit is served by 2 exits and each floor has it's own means of egress. If the corridor linking both stairs on the main level has a FRR, then the smoke travel distance needs only to be measured within the corridor.  

Dude... this is basic life-safety stuff and you should have a handle on this stuff.  You'll get your ass handed to you in the commercial world if you can't figure this out.  

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gentle puppies

Ok, so since my project only consists of 2-storey units just like this penthouse, only one exit is needed from each floor. It never says that the exits have to go to different stairs, so the 2-stair requirement is coming more from 9.9.9.3 rather than anything to do with smoke on the floor it seems...

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Non Sequitur

2 separate exits. Different clause. 3.4.2

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Rusty!

I am really grateful none of my junior staff is this dense.

2  · 
Non Sequitur

Puppies, this project falls under chapter 3, not 9.

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gentle puppies

what about all the 4-storey townhouses down by Cityplace where the uppermost floor is definitely more than 6m above grade?

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Threesleeve

Again: there are code-compliant ways to accomplish that.

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Non Sequitur

higher than 3 storeys in building height gets kicked out of part 9 (A1.1.2.4(1)). You can have 4 storeys in part 9 but it depends on how that 4th floor is described. A common trick is to design this as a mezzanine which does not count as a level in determining building height. Again, this is all very common knowledge stuff.

2  · 
gentle puppies

Yes I know about the mezzanine, but check this out:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.6343377,-79.4003934,3a,47.1y,183.44h,100.16t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPo5tufyir0Azac5ndAfLqw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Basically these are 3.5 storey townhouse stacked on top of 2.5 storey townhouses.  One is accessed off a raised roof over the garage, while the lower is accessed off the garage-facing alley side.

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Non Sequitur

Puppies, I've literally bottle-fed you twice as much info than you need. Stop looking at what you think are X storey times Y units and read the code clauses.

Here are a few pics of that marina housing complex.  Looks like there is a healthy assortment of stairs.  Think these 1+mil condos would prefer not to have all this unless it was part of the min req exit codes?


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Rusty - stop it. You don't have any staff junior or senior.

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Non Sequitur

RickyB, the 1st example is definitively part3 since it's a 6 storey building. The 2nd probably falls in part9.

In the marina example, there appears to be direct street access to both lower and upper units via an exterior staircase and there is some sort of roof exit path that leads to 2 enclosed stairs at end end. This is not a good example for what Puppies initially proposed.

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Bloopox

Why are you all doing the work for this person? If this is for an academic or theoretical project, he's way beyond a few general questions here, and should use this as a learning opportunity to do the research on all of these examples himself, to figure out how they each did what they did. If it's for anything that will actually intended to be built (and I'm not so sure I'd take him at his word that this is purely a hypothetical exercise) then he should hire a consultant if he's not comfortable/qualified doing this aspect himself.

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Non Sequitur

I know Ricky, you must have kept editing your post while I typed my reply. I think I need to start a dumpster fire somewhere... My nonsense vs architecture comment ratio is way off today. I have a reputation to uphold.

1  · 
Rusty!

Chad, what triggered this kind of microaggression? I am in charge of technical mentoring of junior staff. I never implied business ownership of any kind. Chad chad chad.

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Non Sequitur

Ricky, I've said it many times when any exam prep thread pops up (ExAc). It's not hard to get a license in canada. The bigger issue here is the OP, as admitted in another thread, carries a salary much much higher than their years of exp should give (2 in this case). I have my suspicions as to why that is (hint, A&E gig with large civil/industrial jobs) so I carry on with my answers to highlight the gaps in knowledge.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Ricky, it can be... but not when the first fucking line is "above 2 storeys requires 2 separate means of egress".

1  · 

  

Rusty! - Try harder.  


1  · 
Threesleeve

As I said:  there are several interrelated factors.  You need to apply the entire code.  One paragraph is never going to tell you everything that applies - that's not how codes are organized.  What you need to do is become familiar with the entire code.  Don't you work in a firm?  Doesn't the firm have some sort of in-house checklist or spreadsheet for their code analyses?  You need a systematic approach that will take you all the way through every relevant code item.  Requirements for distance between exits, how many exits, rating of exits, etc. - each of these is in a different part of the code.  It's your job to find all of them and analyze all of them in relation to your project.

May 29, 20 12:39 pm  · 
1  · 
midlander

reading the above dialogue starts to sound like me explaining to my 5 year old son why he has to pick up his toys and go to bed. What if what if what if...


OP, if you have actual interest in this, do some case study research. Look through your offices own projects in the city / region. Look up other recent projects. See what is normally done and you'll understand how the code is interpreted.


Picking apart a code to find potentially novel interpretations is a terrible design methodology that will certainly waste much time for everyone involved. If you have a client who is hiring you (a young architect with obviously little experience in this matter) to find hidden loopholes in the code, you are working for an idiot with poor judgment and should expect a bad outcome.

May 29, 20 8:28 pm  · 
1  · 
gentle puppies

I don't know if it's that obvious.  First I was being told that the 2 exit stairs need to be separated by half the diagonal distance of the floorplate; but since all the units are 2-level units, the stair doors can be right next to each other on each floor, and each unit will still have more than enough separation between exits (on different levels per Museum House).  Here's a sketch showing a potential 5-storey four-plex.

Non Sequitur - I don't work in civil/engineering, I mainly do civic, higher ed, sports/rec, office towers.  Again, most of my coworkers know even less about code... consultants for everything hehe


May 30, 20 11:13 am  · 
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Threesleeve

What you were told about separation, and about 2-story units, were both correct. It's not clear from these diagrams what you're trying to say or ask with them.

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Non Sequitur

Puppies, you have a lot to learn. Our 45k/y junior staff can knock this code stuff by themselves. Outsourcing your code review is a terrible idea when you can’t even do the basics. Sorry, I’m not feeding you anymore if you’re not able to read.

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gentle puppies

Threesleeve, i'm basically trying to confirm with these plans what I understood to be possible from this thread: basically 2 stairs, one exiting through the lobby. 1 exit per floor on levels 3 and up, where 2-storey units occur. Level 2 has 2 exits due to multiple dwellings opening onto it, but those exits can be less than half the diagonal floor distance other since all the dwellings have 2nd exits on other floors.

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gentle puppies

Hehe here's a quick in-progress shot of the scale i'm talking about

Jun 4, 20 12:49 pm  · 
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Neat. Sure hope you've figured out the code issues though.

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Don't get into the details Rick - we could be re-designing the OP's project just based on the issues we can see from the rendering. Resist Rick, RESIST! 8-)

2  · 
Non Sequitur

how can you justify all that glass against the property line?

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Non Sequitur

Ricky, in Puppies's building code, we have EBF tables that determine the max % of unprotected openings/walls, construction type (combustible or non), and min FRR. These vary on the building major occupancy, fire-suppression methods, and distance from prop line. It can get pretty tedious and I doubt this was even a consideration.

1  · 
gentle puppies

Underground parking duh!   Taking up just the footprint of the building to preserve soil space for future mature trees.  Lot size is assumed to be a standard 66x120'.  One way ramp to minimize ground coverage - more greenery!  I know, there should be another 6 feet of aisle for maneuverability into Unit 1 and 4 garages lol.

Obviously not cheap, but hey, in Vancouver, a standard new $2M house is usually a $600k monster on a $1.5M lot.  It seems silly to build less considering the land value.  I'm thinking many like myself, hoping to eventually upgrade from condo life to lusher settings, will rather pay ~$1M for 1/4th of a ~$3M construction + land in a decent location rather than spend that amount on a plastic faux-heritage thing in the exurbs with tiny "yards" dominated by driveways

Jun 4, 20 7:25 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

your exits don't work.

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gentle puppies

lol how so? FYI one of them is through the elevator vestibule/lobby; the gap at the ramp is a graphic error.  There's a few moving parts since i haven't finalized the planning above hence i haven't separated the storage/mechanical from the exit corridor.

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Non Sequitur

smoke distance.

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Non Sequitur

Ricky, I see many things that are off. The scale of the stalls looks off and it aspects that getting out of the right stalls in 1& 4 would be a bitch.

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Non Sequitur

He is... apparently.

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gentle puppies

I don't see the issue with the smoke distance between exit stairs. I haven't finalized the walls around the stair between the ramp and garage 1 but it'll be tight around the stair. The rest of the space is mech and bike storage. Since I don't have lot width, I'm going to slide garage 1 way south into that empty space so that with the increased aisle width I dont need an aisle extension for maneuverability. Yes getting around the elevator is tricky but corner cuts aren't required for this capacity of parking. The stalls look big only because these are 20x20' garages. The ramp is 12' per minimum

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gentle puppies

The whole premise is a rezoning of SFH areas hence I'm not as concerned with zoning as I am with fire code.  This type of housing is meant to slowly replace inner-city gridded SFH neighbourhoods for a denser city, but generally can't really rely on increased transit infrastructure in the beginning. It's also a marketability thing, as no one spends $1M in a SFH area without having a double-garage

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Rick - it's ok - if you hadn't said something I would have. We simply cannot resist.


I think GP is actually a long game troll.  Started off with a thread about how much money he/she makes, then each post GP simply appears to be more an more inept at architectural design.  Has to be a troll.  


1  · 
Non Sequitur

Pups, can you direct me to where you got the 3.6m min ramp width?

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Don't do it NS - you're falling for the troll!


Pups - I'm only kidding with you.  Don't take it an insult.  In all seriousness I think you owe NS a beer for all the help he's given you on this project of yours.  I hope you realize the incredible amount of knowledge and (snarky) mentorship NS has given you in this thread.  

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Non Sequitur

Chad, don't think pups is trolling at all... just really out of their "expertise" area.

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Yeah - I know. I'm just messing with the guy a bit. :)

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I was in his position (kind of) when I was first starting out in the field. A lot of conceptual design with only mediocre understanding of building science and construction techniques. My understanding of building codes was solid though. The only reason I'm not trying to help Pups more is I don't understand the Canadian building codes. For that I'm glad you're here NS.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Cheers Chad... and I'm deliberately leaving out code parts from my replies. This ain't no free lunch here. The issue here is OP claimed previously that his/her office relies on external consultants for all the difficult parts. My real question is, if this is true, then how can the OP justify their 80-90k cad salary when they themselves can't do basic architect stuff? That's senior arch money here.

1  · 

Oh I agree. That part is what made me briefly wonder if Pups was trolling. In my area of 'Murica the OP is making mid level Project Architect money. To be fair though - there's nothing like doing a side project on your own to show you where you're lacking in knowledge.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Yep. Good learning experience when you can’t rely on a team or underlings to fill in all the blanks for you.

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Nothing wrong with a team. I'm a firm believer that any building design is a team effort. The idea that one person will know everything required to design a building is a bit ridiculous. That being said you should at least know where to look to get the answers on your own if needed.

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Non Sequitur

ricky, you can't look at zoning unless you know the exact parcel. almost every property has an exception or modification.

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Non Sequitur

on any new build, even with repeat clients, the first service we do (not an option) is zoning assessment. This is the best and fastest way, even if it costs the client 5k, to gauge the potential of a property. If a site plan amendment is required, then that submission could easily become a 20k+ task by itself. Protip, we don't source our answers from online forums.

1  · 
gentle puppies

"Pups, can you direct me to where you got the 3.6m min ramp width?"

It's a Vancouver rule (https://bylaws.vancouver.ca/Bulletin/P001.PDF). I'm based out of both cities and this project is intended for a generic site in any expensive city.

"how can you justify all that glass against the property line?"

I haven't finished refining the envelope, but the intent is that the non-core walls on the side closest to the property line will be mostly metal panel as seen on the front facade, with some glazed corners; otherwise the glass is mainly on the other 3 sides.  At the ground level, the side yard is 10-15 feet to a view of hedges; the 2nd floor only has narrow bedroom windows so the view doesn't really matter; levels 3-5 have almost 40 feet clear to the mostly-solid side of the next building.

This whole arrangement relies on a new zoning type favoring one side yard, and various requirements for retaining future mature trees on the remaining land beyond the life of the current building

Jun 8, 20 10:55 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Thanks for clarifying... but generic design solutions do not work well since every location has it's own layers of codes and zoning regulations. Nothing wrong with designing in a vacuum, but it's not reasonable to expect that what works in one province will be applicable in another. You still need to answer for EBF calcs tho, that's a bitch for narrow lots.

Also, retaining mature trees never, ever, works.  We've tried this before and even went ahead to tag and relocate.  Just does not work unless you leave a lot more space (aka equal to the canopy volume).


1  · 
gentle puppies

I'm proposing replacing vast areas of SFH's with 4-plexes, so local bylaws not related to life safety such as driveway widths are probably the least of my concerns lol

What are EBF calcs?

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Non Sequitur

you should know what EBF means... it's basic life/safety architect stuff.

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Yeah, what are EBF calcs - please explain for us non Canadians.


Nevermind - 20 seconds of google.

https://boabc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/12-0097-JUNE-2017.pdf

2  · 
gentle puppies

Oh, that.  I didn't know there was an acronym for it.  I only deal in noncombustible and sprinklered construction (which this project is), so with a little common sense I've never gotten close to hitting the limit for window area - privacy I'd imagine would be the limiting factor here more than anything else.

Jun 9, 20 9:56 pm  · 
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