1009.1 minimum stairway - 44” or 48”?!

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26 comments

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    Joseph Petrarca

    Dude,
    I am going to repectfully suggest that you reduce the barrage of questions that you are throwing at the group. You really shouldn't be using this forum to answer EVERY question you come across while studying.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    joseph. maybe my count is off but have you checked the post count in this forum over - say the last six months recently?
    i’d strongly encourage you to move in the opposite direction and respectfully encourage you to suggest more posting here not less.
    but if that doesn’t work could you try replying to threads where you have something factual to contribute? i’m only interested in receiving factual replies thanks.

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    Joseph Petrarca

    I both post with questions and with helpful advice when appropriate. My comment is that you don't seem to be posting for particular items that you cannot find answers to in your study materials, but for almost everything that you run into. I like perusing the posts for various things people are discussing but in the past few months you are completely dominating the forum. You probably have over 100 posts with questions. Nobody has ever posted like that before. Be respectful. Allow space for others and don't dominate all the bandwidth with pedestrian questions.

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    Jonathan Chertok (Edited )

    contact me off list and we can discuss this further if you would like.

    on here can you post on other posts on here as you wish but only post on /factual/ aspects of my questions here moving forward?

    i mean is this a fair enough set of internet ground rules and i will adhere to the same guidelines on posts you initiate?

    seems fair to me.

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    Katie Merten

    I agree with Joseph--take it down a notch.  Form a study group to bounce some of these questions to.  I also echo Kevin's comment on another of your blathering posts--we WANT to be helpful, but we can't DO the work for you.  A fitting quote from Edward I. Koch: "I can explain it to you, but I can't comprehend it for you."  

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    Michael Riscica

    I agree with the others. He never helps anyone else, but expects everyone else do all the work for him by spamming this group and other ARE groups. I’ve even seen him get confrontational with the people who do try to help him.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    i'm down-voting michael's input here. 

    but thanks for your opinion.

    don't you have a big enough forum already to put your boot on?

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    Jonathan Chertok (Edited )

    hi katie,

    do you know the difference between 44" and 48" minimum stairway width?

    presumably we will need to use 44" since 48" is accessible means of egress and the example uses 44".

    just trying to clarify a code thing here on a problem set i was solving!

    "i’m working an example in the code. in the result it says refer to 1009.1 for minimum stairway width of 44”. i don’t see anything in 1009.1. in 1009.3 it specifies minimum width of accessible means of egress is 48”. is there a typo here stating 1009.1 specifies 44”? or what am i missing?"

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    Katie Merten

    Yes, I do know the difference.  I also know that, if you're testing December 14 or after, and using the 2018 IBC, they changed the requirement.  BECAUSE I RESEARCHED IT.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    OK folks. i'm super busy making things and studying. please find somewhere else to post on this forum if you are not answering factual questions. just facts on the code here please!

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    Robin Kuc

    Maybe not politically correct to say this, but my two cents ... I am benefiting from at least some of Jonathan's questions and am (as I speak) researching the stair issues as I go through the past few weeks' worth of forum posts (and print the more important ones).  Also thank you David Kaplan, for your input.  I am pretty much on my own when it comes to studying -- I do not work in a firm and have no study buddies.  Jonathan's questions (at least most of them) are helpful to me in the sense that they highlight things I need to study.  For those of you who can chew the fat with your colleagues -- more power to you.  Some of us can't and so this "stream of consciousness" type of discussion has a certain worth.  Understanding the building code is very difficult, even with the aid of the commentary and other sources.

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    Kevin Griendling

    There is nothing wrong with asking the questions. I don't share Katie's opinions above and do not want the community to associate me with them in their entirety. I only asked Jonathan for clarity in his inquiries. The questions do increase study-ability of other candidate because they can search these forums by keyword and find his posts. The content he is asking questions about is valuable content. I only asked that he be a little more intentional about crafting the conversation clearly and concisely. For the sake of his own understanding, that of whomever will respond to it, and any who stumble upon it later.

     

    Keep it up Jon.

     

    Kevin Griendling, AIA

    http://xQ.intersectartsstudio.com 

    http://www.pluralsight.com 

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    Jonathan Chertok

    good man kevin. i agree wholeheartedly.
    i would also add i am constantly surprised by the number of non-posting viewers there are on the forums i am on. with many not posting simply out of fear.
    it’s pernicious to allow other posters to tell others who can post, how often and what they can post. this applies for everything from motorcycles to knitting forums.
    the idea this would occur on a professional forum amongst professional colleagues i find disheartening.

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    Eric Jenison

    Wow, all of these comments, but not one answer to this guy's question.  If you are annoyed by the question(s), I suggest that you could always NOT READ THEM.  Otherwise, maybe we can resume being constructive here with our comments.  

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    Jonathan Chertok

    hi eric.
    thanks for the kind words.
    i think i will set up a space where testing candidates and folks that have passed can discuss code specific questions and answers along with posted snips of ICC code more easily.
    to my mind the code is the most useful part of this process. there should be a more convenient and collaborative was to discuss the topics IMHO.
    frankly i don’t find anything except the code to be of any practical interest really.. and it would be great to have a collaborative and freer space to talk facts basically IMHO.
    REGARDS.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    big “ups” to robin here too. she also obviously gets it...

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    Kevin Griendling

    Eric,

    You are right. I avoided answering it because, as it was written, I can't really comment on it.

    Jonathan, I suspect it may be a typo, or there is a difference between 2012, 2015 and 2018 that has not translated well. Unfortunately we need the exact text and complete references to understand what you are asking, and to be able to help.

     

    Kevin Griendling, AIA

    http://xQ.intersectartsstudio.com 

    http://www.pluralsight.com 

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    Laura Daniels

    Wait, I spent a bunch of time on the Facebook forum answering this exact question for you on Monday. I think it's pretty clear. You don't automatically say all stairs are 44" or 48" because it depends on so many things. The exam will give you clues on occupancy, building type, if the building is sprinkled and other things that you will be able to look up in a few places in the code. That's what tells you the stair width. Don't rely on the commentary, look at the actual code and you will find the answer.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    hi laura.
    of course i appreciate your answer on the other forum. and of course i appreciate your answer here.
    i couple thoughts?
    first i personally find the other forums to generally be good with ADA responses but not with code specific questions whereas david here has been a long time exceptional contributor to code specific question. i don’t find many good answers on the other forum on IBC specific questions generally speaking.
    also david is very good at “globally explaining the code”. i value this kind of ability. no one else i have run into during this process has this ability. none.
    also, this equation has been asked on here before without a good answer so i don’t dee any harm in asking it again. personally i like to see concrete IBC section citations or examples particularly with the code. so as far as i know this question is still sort of open.
    lastly, the code commentary is of course the code it just has the additional commentary. if it had been explained in a way i understand in the code or in the commentary we could be more specific about it but afaik one if ADA 48” and one is IBC (44”) and you would only use the larger value in an handicap accessible means of egress?
    oh well maybe i still don’t get it?

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    Laura Daniels

    The code is specific. The minimum stair width is 48" if there are no sprinklers.

    1009.3.2 Stairway Width

    Stairways shall have a clear width of 48 inches (1219 mm) minimum between handrails.


    Exceptions:

    1. The clear width of 48 inches (1219 mm) between handrails is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.

    If there are sprinklers (see exception 1), then you can go to the minimum width of 44", unless your occupant load is less than 50.

    1011.2 Width and Capacity

    The required capacity of stairways shall be determined as specified in Section 1005.1, but the minimum width shall be not less than 44 inches (1118 mm). See Section 1009.3 for accessible means of egress stairways.


    Exceptions:

    1. Stairways serving an occupant load of less than 50 shall have a width of not less than 36 inches (914 mm).

    With these specific code references, is there still a question? 

    My point with saying you should rely on the code and not the commentary is because the commentary you posted on FB had a typo in it. The test will have the actual code, so that is what we need to be familiar with.

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    Joseph Petrarca

    If it's an ADA compliant exit...it has to be 48 between rails anyways.

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    Joseph Petrarca

    Jonathan... If you don't have a copy if Ching's Building Code Illustrated, you should. That will probably reduce your questions by 90%

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    Joseph Petrarca

    Jonathan... If you don't have a copy of Ching's Building Code Illustrated, you should. That will probably reduce your questions by 90%

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    Laura Daniels

    Joseph, on page 216 of BCI is says:

    "Stairways in an accessible means of egress must be at least 48" wide between handrails. This is to provide sufficient width to carry people with disabilities between two other people. This requirement does not apply to exit access stairways or exit stairs in fully sprinklered buildings." (see 1009.3.2 exception 1)

    So it only has to be 48" if it is a building that doesn't have sprinklers.

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    Laura Daniels

    The point of passing these exams is not so that they know we've memorized specific dimensions, it's so that they know that we can look at the code and apply it to our specific project. If we can do that, we are protecting the life and safety of the public. 

    Specific example:

    I worked on a commercial remodel where I found that the new occupancy was B and the occupant load was more than 50. The building was already equipped with an automatic sprinkler system and we would be adjusting those to fit the new design. We also had to add an egress stair because the third floor did not comply with current building codes and because we were adding on to the square footage of that floor. Based on all of these factors and looking at all the codes (the ones I referenced), I know that the required minimum width of the new egress stair is 44" between handrails. Also, because it has sprinklers, I know I don't have to provide an area of refuge within that stair. 

    This is the real life application of what NCARB wants us to know.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    hi laura,

    thanks for your help here. just to verify i have it correct.

    means of egress stairway width MINIMUMS:
    (3) 1011.2 = 36” if less than 50 occupants (exception 1).
    (1) 1009.3.2 = 48” unsprinklered
    (2) 1009.3.2 = 44” if sprinklered (exception 1).

    (i numbered them to try to make sense of it.)

    and you are confirming that the 2015 code commentary does in fact have a typo (or two) in it?

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