Outdoor space in building code?

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    Gang Chen

    It depends. For example, if it is an outdoor area for an office building users only, you should not count the occupant load twice: counting the same group of people in office , AND at the outdoor area again. On the other hand, if it is an outdoor dining area in a restaurant, you probably should count them.

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Elizabeth Meyer

    Alison,

    I noticed you referenced 2015 IBC. While there aren't major differences between that and 2018. There are some subtleties. The reason I bring this to your attention is, as I understand it, ARE now references IBC 2018. You may already be aware of this; if so, I apologize for overanalyzing.

    Here's the updated section you quoted:

    Hope this helps, Liz

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    David Kaplan

    Alison, 

    With respect to egress it is pretty clear.  Yes, if that outdoor space is completely open to its surroundings, or if fenced has gates allowing me to exit without having to go back into the building, there is no need to count these people in terms of egress WITHIN the building.  If you have to run back in the building, then you have to take these people into consideration.  

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    Ransolina Sawyerr

    Gang Chen David Kaplan Just to confirm: for example, if the outdoor space is an open courtyard within  an office building or school, that courtyard is used by just the building occupants. So the occupancy for that area does not need to be added to building occupant load, correct? But let's say you have to go back through the building to ultimately reach an exit onto a public way. What do the doors or means of egress from that courtyard need to be sized for? All the building occupants? Or the design occupancy of the courtyard? And is there ever a scenario where the design occupancy of the courtyard needs to be accounted for, in addition to building occupancy?

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    Timothy Miller

    A courtyard and an occupied roof are two specific outdoor areas I have dealt with. Both need to be treated as separate spaces capable of having their own occupant load. For example, both could be holding an event for the public while the normal occupants of the building are still within the covered building... therefore, the means of egress needs to account for this increased occupancy. 

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    Gang Chen

    It really depends on the situation, and the building official or AHJ has the final say. One of the project that I worked on had a lunch shelter and a play yard for a school, they were for the students.  The AHJ agreed the occupancy should not be double-counted.

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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