Sunday, May 5, 2013

Egress requirements in the Building Code

Egress requirements in the Building Code

Provide a minimum of two exits from each floor separated by a travel distance equal to not less than 1/2 of the length of the maximum overall diagonal dimension of the floor to be served.

What does it mean?

Let's understand the intent of the code.

If the code would only ask the architect to provide two exits without saying anything about how far apart the two exists need to be, the designer can--theoretically--provide two exits, side by side, on just one elevation of the building, and meet the code.  So, there was a need to say that the two exits need to be very far apart so that in case of an emergency people can run in either direction.  But then how far is 'very far'?  Enter the diagonal.  Measure the diagonal and then take half of that measurement.  Your two exits need to be equal to or more than that number.  Say, the diagonal is 100 feet.  Then the exits should be anywhere between 50 and 100 ft--two exits only 49 ft. apart will not work.