Item 13

Plain English

Every occupancy, as well as each different activity within occupancies, such as (within a commercial occupancy) an office, manufacturing area or stock room, has a different "occupant load factor." This term does not actually refer precisely to the number of people who can occupy a space, although it is not unrelated. Depending on its hazard level–either in terms of the hazards generated by the occupancy, or the susceptibility to hazards of the probable occupants of that occupancy, suppositions are made about the number of square feet that should be allotted to each occupant.

These factors are found in the Building Code in Table 10-A. For example, office use has an occupant load factor of 100. Therefore a 2500 square foot space divided by an occupant load factor of 100 would equal an occupant load of 25. Looking further on Table 10-A, one sees that over 30 occupants require a second means of egress from that space. It is also true that any floor above the first floor requires two means of egress from that floor when the occupant load exceeds 10. Therefore if our example was on the first floor it would need one exit. On the second floor, one could have one exit from the 2500 square foot room, but two ways off the floor, i.e. stairs, normally would have to be provided. This section requires an analysis of whether the existing building’s exiting configuration, ("exits or lack of exits") meets code, a task best left to your architect.


Therefore, occupant loads are important baseline information. Each existing separate room should be listed showing its area divided by the occupant load factor (200 in live/work) with the resultant occupant load. The total occupant load of the building is important, and should be tabulated.


Note on plans regarding the nature of the permit: for (complete)(partial) conversion of an existing building to the specific occupancy with complete build-out of individual spaces; for (complete)(partial) shell conversion of existing building to the specific occupancy with individual spaces to be completed under separate permit; for finished improvement of an individual tenant space within a previously converted or constructed shell building or portion of building; [as applicable for other than JLWQ: for new complete building; or for new shell building];

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