NFPA 101 HDBK
Life Safety Code Handbook
|Publication Date:||1 January 2000|
The following is a suggested procedure for determining the Code requirements for a building or structure:
(1) Determine the occupancy classification by referring to the occupancy definitions in Chapter 6 and the occupancy Chapters 12 through 42 (see 6.1.14 for buildings with more than one use).
(2) Determine if the building or structure is new or existing (see the definitions in Chapter 3).
(3) Determine the occupant load (see 7.3.1).
(4) Determine the hazard of contents (see Section 6.2).
(5) Refer to the applicable occupancy chapter of the Code (Chapters 12 through 42) (see Chapters 1 through 4 and 6 through 11, as needed, for general information (such as definitions) or as directed by the occupancy chapter).
(6) Determine the occupancy subclassification or special use condition, if any, by referring to Chapters 18 and 19, health care occupancies; Chapters 22 and 23, detention and correctional occupancies; Chapters 28 and 29, hotels and dormitories; Chapters 32 and 33, residential board and care occupancies; and Chapters 36 and 37, mercantile occupancies, which contain subclassifications or special use definitions.
(7) Proceed through the applicable occupancy chapter to verify compliance with each referenced section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, and referenced codes, standards, and other documents.
(8) Where two or more requirements apply, the occupancy chapter generally takes precedence over the base Chapters 1 through 4 and 6 through 11.
(9) Where two or more occupancy chapters apply, such as in a mixed occupancy (see 6.1.14), the most restrictive requirements apply.
The steps outlined in A.1.2 were developed to help the user determine which Code requirements might apply to a given building if the more prevalent, prescriptive, specification-based life safety systems option is used. If the new performance-based option is used, see 4.4.3.
Because specific occupancy requirements are detailed in separate chapters, the Code user should first identify the proper occupancy classification for a building. This will direct the Code user to the appropriate chapter(s) for that occupancy.
For example, a jewelry retail sales operation (that is, a jewelry store) occupying all of the twelfth floor of a multi-tenant building uses 5000 ft2 (465 m2), or 95 percent, of the floor area for sales purposes. Using the occupancy classification criteria and definitions found in Chapter 6, the jewelry store should be classified as a mercantile occupancy. In determining that the floor is a mercantile occupancy, the Code user narrows the range of choice of applicable occupancy chapters from Chapters 12 through 42 to the two that specifically address mercantile occupancies- Chapter 36 or Chapter 37.
Using the definition of existing building found in 3.3.60, the user can determine whether the building is subject to the requirements for new construction or for existing buildings. If the jewelry store used in the example was occupied subsequent to the adoption of the Code currently being enforced, the user determines that the life safety features required are those that apply to new construction. Thus, the user could narrow the applicable occupancy requirements to those for new mercantile occupancies as detailed in Chapter 36.
The Code user next identifies the subclassification of the mercantile occupancy as Class A, Class B, or Class C based on the 5000-ft2 (465-m2) floor area used for sales purposes. Because the jewelry store occupies more than 3000 ft2 (280 m2) but less than 30,000 ft2 (2800 m2), it is classified as a Class B mercantile occupancy. The user then locates the requirements of Chapter 36 that specifically apply to Class B mercantile occupancies. The user notes that Chapter 36 does not repeat the requirements found in Chapters 1 through 4 and Chapters 6 through 10 because the Code mandatorily references the use of these chapters. Because the jewelry store is located in the highrise portion of the building, 36.4.2 requires compliance with a portion of the high-rise building requirements of Chapter ll-specifically, the automatic sprinkler system provisions of 220.127.116.11.
In this example, the Code user recognizes that the requirements of Chapters 1 through 4, Chapters 6 through 10, a portion of Chapter 11, and Chapter 36 apply and are required to be met. This selection process is outlined in Exhibit 1.1.