• "In the code, according to 506.4, when we calculate the allowable area, for two level building we multiple area by 2 and for building more than 2 levels, we multiple area by 3(no matter how many floors it has?)."

Also look at 506.4.1 Exception 2

• Thanks Kurt,

506.4.1 Exception 2 seems even confusing for me tho....

I would like to know if I have a type IIA with group A-1. It will allow me to build a 3 floor building according to section 503. It is also sprinkelered.

When determining the maximum area, should I multiply by 3 or by 4?

• The 506.4.1 Exception 2 applies only to Group R occupancies. If you go to the section that exception references (903.3.1.2) there's more info. In that limited situation when doing just Group R it looks like you're able to multiply by 4.

I think everywhere else it's 3. A lot of good info on this exact question here: https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/115008606368-Area-Height-Increase-with-Sprinklers-Mixed-Occupancies-

• Zhi -- have to apologize -- I mistyped and gave you the wrong info.

I'll add what I meant to shortly...

• Zhi --

"I would like to know if I have a type IIA with group A-1. It will allow me to build a 3 floor building according to section 503. It is also sprinkelered."

First off -- from this second post you've added -- are you saying that the condition would be Type IIA as a result of adding the sprinkler, per Table 601, Note "d"?  In other words, in place of the protected construction as required to qualify as IIA, you are substituting the sprinkler?

• Benjamin:

Thank you so much for your information and the link is incredibly help. I already understand everything.

Kurt:

Thank you so much for your clarification. I already get it through Benjamin's link. It should be 3 if it is not Group R

• (Edited )

Ben and Zhi -- check me on this:

The reason I asked about the substitution of a sprinkler in place of protected construction for Type IIA -- if that is your premise, then I don't think you'll be able to proceed as it looks like you're trying to do:

(You had also noted A-1 Occupancy as part of your example.)

From Table 601, Note "d

d. An approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 shall be allowed to be substituted for 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction, provided such system is not otherwise required by other provisions of the code or used for an allowable area increase in accordance with Section 506.3 or an allowable height increase in accordance with Section 504.2. The 1-hour substitution for the fire resistance of exterior walls shall not be permitted.

So, note that you're precluded from the area increase, height increase, and additional stories otherwise provided.  If I'm reading Note "d" from Table 601 correctly, then per Table 503 for A-1 and Type IIA, when substituting a sprinkler for protected construction, then you get 3 stories at 15,500 per story --  and that's it -- no increases (other than frontage)..

Any thoughts?

• (Edited )

Kurt,

That sounds right to me, but can you make that decision in 2 minutes? I think maybe that's getting too much into the weeds of a complex budget/construction issue that would be resolved between many parties. It doesn't say you HAVE to do that, so you could keep your 1-Hr rating and use the sprinklers for the increased footage. For these tests I think we just need to show that we understand that sprinklers get you more floor area and how to do the basic calcs for it...and then keep zoning in mind because your FAR is more limiting than your sprinkler increase! I could be wrong, but for me footnote D is approaching the "don't memorize any formulas with a friggin' cosine" principle.

• Haha I agree with Ben.

• I also -- WHOLEHEARTEDLY -- agree with Ben.  I am sincerely hoping the test is more general -- Ben, it sounds like you've got a great grasp on this stuff.

"It doesn't say you HAVE to do that, so you could keep your 1-Hr rating and use the sprinklers for the increased footage."    This is correct -- and also a point worth knowing as well --  but I could not discern which Zhi was proposing and thought I'd show the possible difference.

• (Edited )

I was reading through this post and got a little concerned, as I read about utilizing a sprinkler in lieu of a rated wall...  Not saying that this is still the understanding in this thread but I feel I need to clarify.  In a rated building (IA, IIA, IIIA, IVA, VA) you CANNOT substitute a non-rated assembly with a fire sprinkler.  I've only seen this substitution happen while utilizing a sprinkler at an existing wall in a non-rated building (Type VB) that required a fire separated wall/assembly because creating a rated wall would have been prohibitively expensive and nearly impossible to execute.

Somethings that aren't always super apparent in the code is that whenever a Building Type includes a 'B', it is a NON-RATED building.  Type 'A' or RATED buildings are achieved by making those elements as defined in Table 601, fire rated assemblies.  (Also need to be to the prescribed amounts in Table 601)  Also, if the rated elements are not achieved in a rated building... it is NOT a rated building.  Super important to understand as you're in the field, because your butt is on the line if the contractor cuts corners on rated assemblies.

Lastly, Non-Rated (Type B) buildings at times do require rated walls/roofs, etc.  That doesn't make them a rated BUILDING, only the ASSEMBLY is rated.  Typically elevators, certain shaft walls, required separations or openings that are near property lines or other buildings fall into this category.  (List is not all encompassing).

For the test, yes, know how you get an area increase through inclusion of an approved sprinkler system.  Also know that a sprinklered building is NOT necessarily a fire rated building and vice versa.

• (Edited )

interesting -- I had responded here to another post, which since disappeared...

• you probably responded to my response which I edited one too many times...  and, hey, take it easy on the code intricacies, you're gonna scare people off the testing path.

• Sean - heh - mainly I'm trying not to confuse myself.

• Thanks Kurt, but eh, it's easy to write some good sounding BS when staring directly at the code. I do think this issue is beyond scope of the test. Minimum competency, that's my game!

Also to give credit where due, I was quoting Allie Poval with the cosine thing.

• Now, here is a question. . . Are the snippets of the IBC 2012 provided on the exam for questions that would reference them, or is it that we are expected to memorize the content of the tables? Understanding how to use the table to get a specific answer is very different than memorizing the exact values contained in the table.

• Hi Marta,

No, you're not expected to memorize any IBC tables for the ARE.  Any tables you need to answer a question will be provided to you.  You're right about the difference between memorizing and understanding...and yes, you are expected to know how to use the tables and other code information to determine the correct answer.

• (Edited )

hi testers (and former testers kind enough to hang around and offer expertise),
can someone answer the following? i don’t know if i am misunderstanding zhi’s post or there is more to this 2015/2012 issue than i thought.
1. is it the case that the ONLY practical difference between my working with the 2015 IBC code and commentary (and ching BCI 2015 and Ballast using 2015 is that i need to use TABLE 503 general building height and area limitations from 2012 and not tables 504.3/504.4/506.2 in 2015?
also, why am i not seeing a Table 506.4 or 504.2 or 503 in my chapter 5 IBC 2015 code and commentary? i have 504.3, 504.4, 506.2 and the next one is 508.4.
is there more to this 2015/2012 issues besides the fact that every single reference i have is using 2015 tables? i mean, do i need to review more than table 503 from 2012 to not “be hit by a truck” as someone somewhat vividly describes this?
THANKS

• Jonathan,

Building height and area is simplified in 2015, but you should read up on how to do sprinkler and frontage increases in the 2012 code. There are other wording and minor changes in other areas, so no Architect or potential Architect should ever answer "yes" when someone asks if something is the ONLY practical change. My advice is put down Ching and Ballast and read the actual 2012 IBC. And take one of these exams already!

Good videos (Marty Huie): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5yM2g7t2CA&list=PLjQJje5nUCiwjeojdUapeIobP3z5FxCUT&index=20

• (Edited )

thanks ben. i was under the impression from reading the forum that it was just table 503 that one had to review.

glad i caught it and thanks for the heads up.

i’m gonna operate under the assumption that this is just a chapter 5 issue at this point. it is prohibitively costly to get ching 2012 (\$500) or downgrade to 2012 or 2012 commentary.

so the solution seems to be to scan or xerox chapter 5 from these docs at the architecture library.

might be nice for others to know this as a fact since i think a lot of others are in the same boat.

• (Edited )

keee-rimeny.
there was a post with a heads up about the case study using 2012 IBC referencing table 503 (and not using the three in 2015) and i’ve been operating under the assumption i could use my 2015 IBC commentary as long as i just get ahold of table 503 from 2012.
not even close. you need the full chapter 5 from 2012, ching BCI chapter 3 from 2012 (fork over \$500) or use ching 2000 (which seems just as good). not sure what ASC is using but i guess i’ll skip any ballast height/area increase problem due to them using 2015.
word to future testers...