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    David Kaplan

    Jon,

    It's not one or the other.  1011.2 says that a stair shall not be less than 44" in width, but if you keep reading, the very next sentence tells you to see Section 1009.3 for accessible means of egress stairways.  You have to determine if your stair in question is in fact going to be an accessible means of egress, and Section 1009 is where you do that.  1009.3 states that 48" clear between handrails is required for a stair to be an accessible means of egress - HOWEVER - there are exceptions listed where you get out of that.  This is one of those instances in the code where the stricter requirement will apply once you've assessed the scenario.

    Here's the point: it's not "which one do I use in the ARE?"  The ARE is going to test your knowledge of whether or not you know which one to use.  They will give you criteria in the question and using that criteria, you will analyze the code sections and then find the answer.

    That's all I can tell you.  If you are still confused by this, I highly recommend you read up about it in the commentary.  I also wonder if you have the book "Ching's Illustrated Building Code."  I learned how to use the building code using that book.  

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    Jonathan Chertok

    thank you for your contributions and of course your answer here as always .
    i think there is a typo or two typos in the 2915 commentary in 1005 means if egress on this. in the problem they refer to 1009.1 (accessible) and state a minimum of 44”. there is no 44” in accessible afaik. just 48” in 1009.3.
    it’s a problem set in the commentary.
    seems like they either mean to refer to 1005 minimum somewhere or they mean to use 48” and cite 1009.3.
    but after thrashing through this i think the are-reductive answer us always going to be 44@ fit stairway width problems at least? since they use 44” in the example...

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    Jonathan Chertok

    2015 commentary...

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