Building Code Clarified

Flashing 34-0

Flashing, hey requirement on all buildings per IBC. Something many designers try to avoid and may don’t think they need. It is there to help protect the integrity/longevity of the building. If you don’t see the flashing then your not doing it right.

Wall Type 33-0

Wall Types, are confusing to a lot of folks. Hope this video will help clarify. Firewalls are the most stringent wall type. It must stand on its own or you must have two side-by-side so that if there is a fire on either side it will totally fall away on its own without damaging the other adjacent to it.

Then there is, fire partition, firewall and smoke partition and smoke barrier.

Smoke Compartment Travel 32-0

Smoke compartments similar to exits, have there own travel distance requirements. Not only in healthcare do we have to travel to exit it we also have a requirement to travel to a smoke compartment door/wall. Even if for standing at the exit door we can see daylight, we still have to be able to travel lesson 200 feet to a smoke compartment door without having to go outside.

Smoke Compartments what are they 31-0

Smoker Compartments are unique to Healthcare, Penitentiary. It allows the facility to defend in place i.e. not evacuate the building it also helps protect those people incapable of self preservation. Healthcare patients and persons in prison, incarcerated cannot evacuate on their own nor do we actually want them to. As for prisoners we do not want to release them into the public. As for healthcare we want to be able to keep our loved ones on emergency power i.e. the ventilator in a protected environment and/or medical gases to help keep them alive. These items are not available outside therefore we want to evacuate them i.e. move them to another part of the building another smoke compartment

Deadend & Common Path of Travel 30-0

Deadend and Common Path of Travel can be confusing. Hope this video can help with some of its understanding. Most of the time we have a choice of two ways to get out of a SPACE, and that is your common path of travel. From the most remote point in the building or space to a decision point to go to exit “A” or exit “B” to get out of the space, that is your decision point/common path of travel.

Understand that “commen path of travel” is not appiclible to hospitals. Hospitals have “suites” and “intervening rooms” other video cover those topics


ARE Help

I have added a category for ARE. So to the left, under categories you can select the videos I have taged “ARE” Architecture Registration Exam, I believe they would help understand some concepts regarding building code like travel distances

Air Balance HVAC 29-0

With the Ebola issues I have been asked to explain “Air Balance” in hospitals and Isolations room several time. This video is on understanding isolation rooms and how the supply and return air works. I have been asked a couple times to explain this at work so I decided to do a video on it. The question was coming up concerning Ebola. We design hospitals, and I was being asked why cannot any hospital handle in Ebola patient. Essentially the answer is anyone can, some facilities/very few facilities have additional safeguards put in place as it relates to the infrastructure of the building that makes it easier. Isolation rooms with anti-rooms and then anti-rooms to anti-rooms provides an additional level where staff can change clothes and be monitored.

Suites Why 28-0

I have been asked many times why should someone try to create a suite. In 27-0 & 27-1 I talk a little about why, helping prevent DeadEnd Corridors or the understanding of what a sweet is.  This video covers why you would want a suite within a healthcare environment how much money could potentially be saved by our clients. Also not first cost, but long-term inspection cost is money to be saved. 

Suites 27-0

This video is covering suites in both IBC and N both before the year 2012 code. In the 2012 code, the requirements change. Sense CMS is still under NFPA 2000 and a lot of jurisdictions have not adopted the 2012 building code, this video covers everything before 2012. Because we are required to follow the stringent of the codes, and this video covers that. The next video will cover you are able to apply all the requirements from 2012 in both codes..

Fire Extinguisher Labeling 25-0

Fire extinguisher classifications/labeling what kind of fire extinguisher to put out your standard home fires. What kind of extinguisher will put out ordinary wood and clothing and what kind of fire extinguisher is best for only electrical fires. Is there a special fire extinguisher for MRI, yes the housing should be nonferrous/non-magnetic.

Horizontal Exit 22-0

Horizontal exits, this video covers components that are required for a horizontal exit. They are, 1. two-hour rated wall, 2. wall shall go from slab to deck, 3. smoke detector each side, 4. pull station each side, 5. fire hose connection. This one is missed a lot. This is located in the standpipe section for IBC and NFPA 14

Panic or Fire Hardware 21-0

Panic or fire hardware, panic hardware at exit doors and/or out of other spaces is what this video covers. Panic hardware is used more times than it is required. It’s probably only required about half the time that I see it used. Only required in H occupancies or A or E spaces or occupancies, Where those occupancies are over 50 persons.

Door Closer 20-0

Automatic door closing device,Door closer, where there required. Any room or space that requires a rating or at one time required a rating and the sprinkler exemption was taken to not have to rate that room. Door closer is still required for that space. Healthcare, since that is my design background, places more door closers than are required by either code in order to help facilitate the facilities of actuation plan.

Exit / Exterior Walls 19-0

Ratings of exterior wall where an exit or horizontal exit meets the exterior wall. Picture wall is not required to be rated if the adjoining walls around the exit on the exterior are all 180 degrees or greater. Where the walls are less than 180° you joining walls shall be rated one hour 10 feet beyond the exit walls.

Door Encroachment 18-0

The distance a door is allowed to encroach into a hallway/corridor/exit way or path of travel out of the building. If a door opens on to a required exit width this video talks to how much it’s allowed to encroach. 7 inches is the max when the door is in its fully open position that it’s allowed to encroach. Otherwise if the door opens 180° the radius in which it opens that radius cannot encroach more than one half during that swing.

Type of Construction 16-0

Type of construction table 601 and NFPA 220 both speak to the types of material you’re allowed to use. Both of these tables and sections relate to other sections of the code that speaks to how big or how tall your allowed to build building. For instance code wise you’re not allowed to build a building out of wood if it’s over a certain amount of square footage. Likewise you not allowed to use would be the building of different heights in concealed spaces i.e. your on allowed to build your Interior partition walls of wood on a high-rise.  This table does not speak to those locations it only gives you the definition of the building types. Table 503 speaks to hide insights that directly relates to take 601.

Door Locations 15-0

I will be updating this video soon, It was just pointed out to me that I say and show “1/2 divided by D” it should be “1/2 * D”  for your trying to get 1/2 the distance of D for a not sprinkled building. for a sprinkled it would be 1/3.  I will get this corrected soon.  This video is on where doors you be located in a room where the occupied requires more than one door. Most occupancies that threshold is 49 people. Once that threshold is met two doors are required and a shout be remotely located from each other. Storage occupancies the threshold is 29, institutional occupancies most are around 10, hazard three people require you to have more than one door but with hazard on doors shall swing in the direction of travel.

Fire Extinguishers Locations 14-0

Fire extinguishers and their locations. The matter how you look at this is going to cost someone money. Fire extinguishers are required to be inspected monthly, documented for both local and federal agencies depending on the type of building our occupancy you have. Healthcare for instance with all the regulations they need to follow, fire extinguishers on average cost $500-$800 per year just for inspections. So an architect or engineer placing too many fire extinguishers in the building can easily cost the owner quite a bit more money. At a facility I reviewed a few years ago we counted between 15 and 25 more fire extinguishers per floor them they needed. They had five floors that is about 125 more fire extinguishers than required assuming the minimum amount of dollars for inspection, $500, this equates to about $62,000 per year for inspections only a fire extinguisher is not required or needed. This is an ongoing cost, so in 10 years this is easily $620,000 that could have been spent better for our healthcare facilities. Take time to analyze every fire extinguisher removed those that are not needed or required. This all needs to be documented with your local AHJ. This can be done at any time you discover you have too many. But the whole floor or area should be analyzed as a whole.

Exit inches for doors & stairs 7-0

This video focus on calculating exit inches required for doors and stairs. How they differ and how/why they are important to calculate.

I have taught myself something by producing this video. Never could figure out/remember was it .2 or .3 door or .2 or .3 for a stair. While putting this together I realized you come to a door before you come to stair. You come to .2 before you come to .3. —– .2 is for doors .3 is for stairs. I now no longer have to look this up every single time.