A building owner has an existing mixed-use building which has approximately 6,000 sqft of storage space (S-1 Occupancy) and offices (larger than 6,000 sqft). The offices and storage appear to have a rated separation (steel studs, 2x gypsum on at least one side of the wall) in-between them.
The owner is looking to store new product in the warehouse, but would like for it to be sprinkler protected. This building, if new, would be under the 2015 International Building Code.
As the building currently stands, it is a code-compliant mixed-use separated, non-sprinklered occupancy.
Can the owner voluntarily provide a sprinkler system above code, but only for the warehouse portion?
If so, does anything with the fire barrier between the warehouse and office need to change?
As this is only a voluntary improvement to the property and life safety systems, I could see it being an alternative design method and seek approval from the AHJ under IBC Section 104.11 as a partially-protected building - I just wasn't sure if it even needed to come to that. Would be interested in other opinions, thank you in advance!
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