Egress Capacity Factor for Stairways?

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    David Kaplan

    Victoria - for the purposes of this exam, you will be told the criteria you need to follow very clearly.  The question may say "calculate the egress capacity in a stair with X amount of people.  The building is fully sprinkled and there will be an emergency voice/alarm system."  The Code would also be given to you.  The intent there is okay, you've just been told a, b, and c, now apply all that to the code and select the correct multiple to use to get the answer.  That's the point of the question right there - do you know how to do that?

    I think you're reading too much into it.  The code you cited above is very clear.  You start with 0.3 inches per occupant.  Now, is your building fully sprinkled?  Yes, okay keep going.  Will you have an emergency voice/alarm communication system installed in the stairwell?  Yes?  OK the code now tells you that you don't need to use 0.3" anymore, you can use 0.2".  If you don't meet either of those criteria, you're back to 0.3".  That's it.

    Hope that helps.  You do not need to memorize these numbers, you will have these codes on the exam.  You just need to understand how you apply exceptions in the code.  

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    Victoria Shingleton

    I agree that the code is very clear. And these are numbers that I actually do have memorized - I calculate egress capacity very frequently in my role. Which is why it has driven me to insanity that I keep missing this question on a set of practice exams which is telling me to use 0.2 on sprinklered buildings alone.

    Really I just needed confirmation that 0.3 is the applicable egress factor unless both sprinkler and voice/audio system criteria are met. Thank you!

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    David Kaplan

    The ARE is going to intentionally trip you up like this many, many times.  It is absolutely possible that they would say the building is sprinkled, but leave out the communication system, and the point is for you to catch that and say "nope, says right here we need both.  I'm using 0.3" ".  Be on the lookout for things like this, it will happen, and it will happen often.  Just read the questions clearly and you won't mess up.  Most of the time, just being able to pick up on those tricks is the key to getting the entire question.  If you find yourself between two answers that both seem correct, go back and read the question and ask yourself, "did I miss something?"  That usually is the case.  Best of luck!

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