Project Code Compliance Example - Occupancy Limitations

5m 6s

In this ARE 5.0 Project Management Exam Prep course you will learn about the topics covered in the ARE 5.0 PjM exam division. A complete and comprehensive curriculum, this course will touch on each of the NCARB objectives for the ARE 5.0 Project Management Exam.

Instructor Mike Newman will discuss issues related to office standards, development of project teams and overall project control of client, fee and risk management.

When you are done with this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the content covered in the ARE 5.0 Project Management Exam including quality control, project team configuration and project scheduling.

So let's think about an example where these kinds of issues would come to play. Let's imagine that your client, they wanna build a building that is 14,000 square feet on each floor, but as you read through the code as you're going through the occupancy and construction time tables, you're sort of reading through it, and you realize that it clearly states that a building of this construction type for this particular occupancy has a limitation of 10,000 square feet per floor. What do you do? So, the issue here is you're following the code, you're using the code, you've gone to the occupancy, figured out how to use the occupancy to understand the construction type.

The construction type is telling you a number, this is not reasonable, the client wants to build more, you're telling the clients that you can only build 10,000 square feet per floor. Either that or we have change the construction type or something so what are you gonna do? Well, the first thing you're gonna do is, there's a couple of different options here, right?

One is well maybe the construction type is just the wrong construction type. If we look at some of the other construction type possibilities maybe we can find one where the allowable square footage per floor is over the 14,000 square feet so we can talk to the client about well maybe we have the wrong construction type. And that's certainly plausible, but you know, that's probably something that's already come into play so it's maybe not truly sort of a likely way to answer it in this context.

What's the most likely way to think about it is, if this is my footprint, my floor footprint and that's the 14,000 square feet and I have find some way to make it 10,000 square feet, well probably what I'm just gonna do is I'm gonna put a wall right down the middle, make that a four hour wall and while this is one building in certain ways, it becomes two buildings in other ways.

And so from the code standpoint, this is building one and this is building two. So those become two separate buildings because I have what's called a building separation wall in between them and then when I come through and I have maybe my corridor is sort of going right across from one side to the other, I would be able to have doors at this point, but I would be able to just leave those doors open on some sort of hold open that kind of a element, like magnetic system that's part of be alarm system so that when the alarm goes off those doors would close and kind of make the continuation of that for our wall.

So effectively what I'm saying here is this is not a system to stop you from doing something. This is system you have certain restrictions from doing things, you can still do them, you just have to do them in a way that is safe, that the code officials have decided this is a way that you can do this, but it's safe.

So we've made a building that is much larger than the 10,000 square foot per floor, but we're still keeping everybody safe by creating a spot where if there was a fire over here, it would be very difficult for that fire to get through that four hour wall before it could get over to the other side and cause problems so I'm spending money to build that wall.

It's gonna cost more to do this, but I'm able to get the overall project that the client wants. You know maybe it's better to use a different construction type. Maybe it's better to use the building wall. This is the kind of thing you would be figuring out using your code review, understanding what all limitations were so that you had that conversation early on, you could bring in all the appropriate players. You could understand the cost implications and understand the decision making about how you would to make an irrational set of decisions for this.

So the point to take away from this is, don't be fooled when something says in the code, something says you can't do it. Almost always what that means is you can't do it the way you're trying to do it and that you need to figure out, well, okay, what does that mean we could do? You know, is it that we can't do it and we can do it if we add a sprinkler system. Maybe that allows us to have a bigger building or we can do it if we go from steel to concrete or we can do it if, right?

There's a whole series of different ways that you can approach these kinds of projects when it says you can't, what you're really trying to figure out is, all right so I can't that way, what's the way that I can? Nobody's trying to stop people from building 14,000 square foot buildings, right? That's not the point of the code. The point of the code is to keep people safe. So what's the way that you can do the thing that you need but keep people safe?

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From the course:
ARE 5.0 Project Management Exam Prep

Duration: 15h 3m

Author: Mike Newman