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what do you call this???

tod1

Basically, it's almost like a loggia, but it's indoors and doesn't have an outside opening. It's usually on a platform above a room and has balusters, because there's space in the middle that shows the room below. It wraps the full way around the room below. Is that a gallery?

 
Sep 15, 22 10:51 am

It would be easier to do your work for you if you provided a picture.  ;)

Sep 15, 22 10:54 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

It could be a very nice broom closet.

Also, see here:

https://archinect.com/forum/th...


Sep 15, 22 11:37 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

Instead of asking what it is, you should be asking what is the use. A name is just a name.

Sep 15, 22 12:29 pm  · 
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natematt

Probably just an interior balcony...

Sep 15, 22 2:00 pm  · 
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tod1

It definitely isn't an indoor balcony, as those are usually used to refer to modern architecture. It would be something like this, but if the top were also under a ceiling. I've seen it before many times, I just can't find any pictures.


Sep 15, 22 10:37 pm  · 
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natematt

I think technically that is a gallery because of the supports then (regardless of modernity). But I think you're trying to pull a name for a very specific application, which may or may not have a name.

Sep 16, 22 4:03 am  · 
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Stasis

would this be a cloister?, or that only applies to the covered rectangular arcade at the ground level only?

Sep 16, 22 2:59 pm  · 
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atelier nobody

"Cloister" refers to the function, not the architecture, so this could be a cloister but probably isn't. I'd call it a "gallery" surrounding an atrium. It's not an "arcade" because it has a straight lintel, not arches. I think it might technically also count as a "loggia", although I would typically only use "loggia" if it were outward-facing. Cloisters, galleries, arcades, and loggias can all be on floors above the ground floor.

Sep 19, 22 5:14 pm  · 
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Volunteer

If the central space is open to the sky or glazed over it is an atrium.

Sep 16, 22 7:32 am  · 
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bennyc

From an architectural point of view: It can be called whatever you want it to be called, gallery, loggia, covered portico, hallway, cloister arcade walkway, etc etc

From a code point of view: it varies based on jurisdiction, it can be called a covered porch, covered terrace, open covered porch etc, and may or may not be counted as square footage depending on project location

Sep 16, 22 12:43 pm  · 
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JLC-1

I'd call it a lousy description of a balcony - no such thing as those are usually used to refer to modern architecture

Sep 16, 22 2:00 pm  · 
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atelier nobody

Except for (most, not all) theater balconies, it's not a balcony if it's supported on 3 sides, and it's never a balcony if it's supported on 4 sides as this one is.

Sep 16, 22 6:32 pm  · 
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Stasis

I think many of folks here already know this, but please check your architectural definitions on UBC/CBC Ch 2 and the code implications... 

For instance, Atrium is an opening connecting Two or More stories.... Atrium requires smoke control and fire barrier... Similar requirements for shafts too... 

I wouldn't try to get fancy with the name but simply follow what the code defines... If your plan checker struggles to understand your space, then he/she may cause world of pain for you...  

Sep 16, 22 3:07 pm  · 
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Volunteer

You can have a single-story atrium house. There is no requirement that they be multi-story. Many depictions of the ancient Roman atrium houses are single story

Sep 17, 22 6:48 am  · 
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Stasis

This was straight from UBC/CBC CH2. You are comparing the Roman Pompeian houses as a counter example to the current building codes?

Sep 17, 22 5:17 pm  · 
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Volunteer

Yes. There are plenty of single story atrium houses in contemporary styles. If their definition says two stories are required they need to change it.

Sep 18, 22 8:48 am  · 
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curtkram

i could see stasis making the argument to his AHJ "but in first century CE Pompeii they did this thing and the code official allowed it"

Sep 18, 22 10:16 am  · 
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Stasis

@Volunteer, have you successfully obtained a permit and built an atrium in a residential application? Is this from your professional experience with precedents or you are just arguing the definition of 'atrium'? Perhaps those houses didn't label their vertical opening space an 'atrium' and called it something else. If you have done this yourself, then you can certainly share how you worked through the permitting.

Sep 18, 22 4:35 pm  · 
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atelier nobody

@Stasis, many modern houses have atria (by the traditional definition) - try Googling "Eichler Homes" for many examples. The fact that these atria are not defined as such in current Codes certainly doesn't mean they can't be built, nor does it mean "atrium" is not still the correct term.

Speaking as a former Plans Examiner myself, any plan checker or inspector who sees the word "atrium" on a set of SFR plans and assumes that means it has to meet the Code requirements for a multi-storey atrium is an idiot.

Sep 19, 22 1:20 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Struggling employee or struggling student?

Sep 16, 22 5:25 pm  · 
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Wood Guy

Something like this?



I'd call it a gallery.
Sep 17, 22 9:18 am  · 
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Volunteer

Stasis,

Here are three single-story floorplans with atriums marked as atriums

How much longer do you want to debate the issue? 

Sep 19, 22 7:21 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

I'll continue dope;

[BG] ATRIUM. An opening connecting two or more stories other than enclosed stairways, elevators, hoistways, escalators, plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning or other equipment, which is closed at the top and not defined as a mall. Stories, as used in this definition, do not include balconies within assembly groups or mezzanines that comply with Section 505.

Sep 19, 22 8:00 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

atrium (n.)
1570s, from Latin atrium "central court or first main room of an ancient Roman house, room which contains the hearth," from Proto-Italic *atro-, sometimes said (on authority of Varro, "De Lingua Latina") to be Etruscan. Watkins suggests it is from PIE root *ater- "fire," on notion of "place where smoke from the hearth escapes" (through a hole in the roof). De Vaan finds this not very compelling, "since soot is black, but not the fire itself," and prefers a different PIE root, *hert-r- "fireplace," with cognates in Old Irish aith, Welsh odyn "furnace, oven," Avestan atarš "fire."

The appurtenance of atrium depends on the interpretation that this room originally contained the fireplace. This etymology was already current in ancient times, but there is no independent evidence for it. Still, there is no good alternative. [de Vaan]

The anatomical sense of "either of the upper cavities of the heart" first recorded 1870. Meaning "sky-lit central court in a public building" is attested by 1967.


Residential building codes do not define atrium. Atriums in a one story is both anachronistic and complete archispeak for an interior courtyard.

Sep 19, 22 8:42 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

oooooo, a garage. how fancy


Sep 19, 22 8:47 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

Plans are so like you, where's the sections at?

Sep 19, 22 8:52 am  · 
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Volunteer

The absence of stairs in the floorplans pretty well indicate they are for single-story atrium homes, as noted by the architects. But maybe not in whatever world you inhabit.

Sep 19, 22 9:07 am  · 
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Stasis

Volunteer, Those plans don't mean crap to me as they are not approved permit drawings. They look like example images from 'Architectural Drafting and Design' by Alan Jefferis. As this is a forum for design professionals, I'd hope to see someone to actually provide relevant examples and deeper insights based on one's professional experience. b3tadine[sutures] sort of did it for you. The point of my post was clear. To re-iterate, It was about architects need to do their due diligence in researching the name of the space for its code compliant definition and any associated requirements.

Sep 19, 22 12:08 pm  · 
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Stasis

b3tadine[sutures],

Sep 19, 22 12:11 pm  · 
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Stasis

Sorry, my response got truncated.. Thank you for your insights. I've never done residential projects and in fact never read the residential code. If the residential code doesn't define an atrium, then can you also get away from fire/smoke requirements as well in a residential application? If you don't know top of your head, that's fine.. i'll look it up. I'm genuinely interested.

Sep 19, 22 12:21 pm  · 
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atelier nobody

See 2021 IBC, 404.1 Exception and 712.1.2. I'll send you an invoice for my consulting fee.

Sep 19, 22 1:31 pm  · 
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Stasis

Atelier nobody, 

Thanks for the information.    If the residential code does NOT define 'Atrium' space, then I wanted to know if one can get away without having to provide provisions for Smoke and Fire barrier.  I've done commercial atriums, vertical openings, etc to know enough about the commercial application, but do not know how a plan checker interprets Atrium in residential applications. 

404.1 Does not have exceptions and 712.1.2 only states that vertical opening is allowed in an individual dwelling unit.  I guess 404.6 Exception 3 has something.  If this code holds, then residential atrium needs to either provide 1-hour fire barrier or provide a smoke control system.  Hope I read this correctly. 

Sep 19, 22 2:53 pm  · 
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atelier nobody

Are you sure you're looking at the current IBC?


Sep 19, 22 3:50 pm  · 
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Stasis

I am in CA, so I look at CBC first.  2019 version is the latest i need to go by.  For the fun of it, I looked up 2021 IBC.   I see that IBC 2021 has been modified.  

In short, If a house has an atrium connecting only up to 2 stories, then there is no need for a smoke control (404.5) and a fire barrier (404.6 Exception 4).  Just to make my job easier, I may not even call out an atrium in a residential project. 

Sep 19, 22 4:49 pm  · 
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atelier nobody

In the 2019 CBC, the relevant references are the words, "and where permitted by Section 712.1.7," (although I believe it's an error and reference should be to 712.1) and 712.1.2.

You are, of course, welcome to call an atrium "George" or "Fred" on your drawings if you'd like - they're your drawings.

Sep 19, 22 5:06 pm  · 
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Stasis

i'm not disputing the permitted use of the atrium, so Chapter 7 isn't as important to me. Just wanted to know the smoke/fire requirements.

Sep 19, 22 5:14 pm  · 
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