Would a mechanical penthouse be considered a “story” in terms of the 30-ft. standpipe threshold?
If the mechanical penthouse is not occupied, does it still apply for the 30-ft limit? Although that would be logical, I can’t the word “occupied” used anywhere except related to high-rise. I suppose a mechanical penthouse could be considered a mezzanine, I see some commentary that a mezzanine should be no more than 1/3 of the related floor.
The project has three floors where the top classroom floor is 28 feet above fire department access. But, there’s a mechanical level above that is much higher. It’s accessible, is it a “story” in terms of standpipe? It would seem logical that this penthouse doesn’t count. But I’m not 100% sure code backs me up on this.
Of course the thing that bites us, is whether or not the standpipe is manual or automatic – we have fond this to be totally up to the discretion (sometimes whim), of the AHJ. Sometimes based on good reasoning, sometimes it has causes the unnecessary (IMHO) requirement for a fire pump.
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3/19/2020 10:43:08 am
the building code does not consider the penthouse a story
3/19/2020 10:47:53 am
From Section 1510 of the 2015 IBC
3/19/2020 11:14:29 am
Good question. No, the penthouse is considered a part of the story below the deck on which it is situated. J
3/20/2020 10:30:50 am
This is a tricky question. The IBC states the following "...standpipe systems shall be installed throughout buildings where the floor level of the highest story is located more than 30 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access...". So even if the penthouse is part of the floor below but has a floor elevation greater than 30 ft. above FD vehicle access a standpipe system is required. If you have access to the IBC code commentary there is a good explanation of this.
3/23/2020 11:00:19 am
These are all the code minimum answers. A more performance based, specific facility answer might include fire department capabilities. The answered might be adequate for a department that’s just going to run a water supply to an aerial ladder, and run water across the roof from the tip.
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