Our project has a proposed layout includes convenience stairs next to a corridor that serves restrooms, utility spaces, and doors to large open office areas. It's a B-occupancy subject to NFPA 101 requirements.
As a side note, the International Building Code (2018) makes it clear that two-story openings are permitted in occupancies other than I-2 and I-3 when they meet certain limitations, per section 712.1.9. One of the limitations it that is it not open to a corridor, but that's in Group I or R occupancies only. Group I and R occupancies require special treatment for corridors.
NFPA 101 has similar provisions for Convenience Openings (Section 8.6.9). One of the requirements is that "such openings shall be separated from corridors", per section 220.127.116.11(3). If corridors in a building are not required to be separated (such as for an open-office B occupancy), does this requirement still apply, or is this section saying that we have to have rated corridors whenever we have convenience stair openings?
8.6.9 Convenience Openings.
18.104.22.168 Where permitted by Chapters 11 through 43, unenclosed vertical openings not concealed within the building construction shall be permitted as follows:
(1) Such openings shall connect not more than two adjacent stories (one floor pierced only).
(2) Such openings shall be separated from unprotected vertical openings serving other floors by a barrier complying
(3)* Such openings shall be separated from corridors.
(4)* In other than approved, existing convenience openings, such openings shall be separated from other fire or smoke compartments on the same floor.
(5) In new construction, the convenience opening shall be separated from the corridor referenced in 22.214.171.124(3) by a smoke partition, unless Chapters 11 through 43 require the corridor to have a fire resistance rating.
(6)* Such openings shall not serve as a required means of egress.
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