Documenting Code Adherence - Scale and Construction Types

8m 59s

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

Instructor Mike Newman will discuss issues related to the development of design concepts, the evaluation of materials and technologies, selection of appropriate construction techniques, and appropriate construction documentation.

When you are done with this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the content covered in the ARE 5.0 Project Development and Documentation Exam including integration of civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and specialty systems into overall project design and documentation.

One of the things that the CD sets should be very clearly demonstrating is that your building concept will meet all of the scale and construction system issues that are outlined in the code. We've talked about this a little bit already, but the idea here is that there's a set of construction systems all the way from very vulnerable construction systems like wood studs, that kind of thing, which in a fire is clearly going to be a bit of an issue, all the way to poured-in-place concrete or cast and precast concrete so that there's a big range of ability to withstand fires.

So that's going to be one set of issues. The idea that different occupancies are going to have different sort of sense of vulnerability for those particular people in that occupancy. So, something like a hotel has the expectation that I have a bunch of people who are not knowing much about the situation, they don't know the building well, so that's considered a vulnerable occupancy. That's a situation where the people are not expected to know what to do in an emergency.

In other situations the sort of expectation is that people are not so vulnerable. So, that would be an impact on the scale and construction system choices. Then the people themselves who are in that particular occupancy that can make a difference as well. So, if I have a daycare center, the fact that it's an occupancy of a certain type, but it's also the fact that it's the kids themselves are just not likely to know what to do in an emergency, and so the specifics of the people.

The idea being in a hospital- it's not just that it's an occupancy of a certain type, it's that the people themselves have a difficult time imagining getting them out in an emergency. So, each of these will impact whether I have more vulnerable people or less vulnerable people. A more vulnerable occupancy type, or a less vulnerable occupancy type. A construction system that is more of an issue with fire, or less of an issue with fire. Each of these issues is going to sort of move forward as we're trying to decide how big a building we can build using a particular construction system.

So the code is that thing that we're going back and forth, like we talked about in some of the previous exams, we're going back and forth, you're doing scale and construction system trying to find that happy medium that's going to get us the building that we want for the price point that we're looking for. So, what we're going to be doing at this point is describing that. So, we've already made those choices back when we were talking in exam four, about the kind of planning process, thinking about how we make these choices.

But now, we're talking about how do you tell the code officials which choices you've made. So, here, unlike with wall types where we're very clearly going to go to a UL listing or with egress path where we're very clearly going to put it right on the plan. Here's the egress distance and here's the two hour zone and here's the one hour zone. Unlike those things, which are pretty obvious how we're going to deal with it, this one's a little more kind of written out.

This would be one of those spots where we're going to say here's the construction type. We're going to give that a definition. Then we're going to say the total area allowed for that construction type. Then we're going to say actual area.

So then when we show the construction type, and we show the allowable area, and then we show the amount of area that we're actually proposing in this concept, it'll be very clear that we meet, that we are compliant with that set of issues. So, it's probably something as simple as just listing it out right there on the cover sheet, or near the cover sheet, and you'll have a whole series of these different issues that you need to sort of show yeah that we're meeting this issue.

We're compliant with the code in this way, so that if a code official is sort of quickly looking through a set of drawings, they can find those notes, they can look at it and sort of judge for themselves. Yes I understand the occupancy type, I understand the construction type, I can see the allowable area given those two pieces of information, and now I can see how much area you had. So, you can imagine in that situation you might have it be a couple of times on there. The reason for that is I might have a much larger area than is allowed.

So, I might have an allowable area that doesn't get me the whole floor plan. So what am I going to do, well I'm going to put a building separation wall right down the middle and, for the purposes of this discussion, I'm going to think of this as the A building and the B building. It's going to get divided in two different buildings. It's still obviously one building, I'm just going to separate there and call this out as a four hour separation wall.

So by doing that, I've effectively made this two buildings, so that way I can make sure that my numbers still fit within my allowable areas with that particular construction type. So, if we need to make it three buildings, if we need to make it five buildings, we can keep doing this. We can make all these separate buildings, we just then have to follow all the rules for each of those to be considered a separate building. So, we have to make sure that the egress works.

We have to make sure that each of them has the right area, so we don't end up with some that are larger and some that are smaller than the allowable area. That everything has to sort of make logical sense. We have the hallways that are going through so presumably there would be doors on hold opens and that so that the doors would feel wide open as your sort of everyday use, but as soon as an alarm would go off, they would close down and that four hour wall would become a continuous wall. So, if you were doing something like this, you had this larger floor plan and you were trying to break it up in this way in order to make the allowable areas make sense and make those work, that would be something that you would have to show on these drawings in order for that to make sense.

So, it was all within, you didn't need any of those four hour walls, those building separation walls, then you'd just have these notes, you'd just have this written out and it would be very clear. As soon as it gets a little more complicated than that, I'm going to have to have a diagram that's going to be very clearly stating this is building A, this is building B.

Each one has their allowable areas, et cetera, et cetera. So this note would get multiplied a few times and you would have to show it graphically. Imagine you're the code official, and you're sort of looking at this information, you would want to be able to see it and understand it in some way without having to measure it out yourself. You'd want some clarity to do that as a process, and because that would be a very big deal in terms of the decisions about how you're sort of dealing with this overall construction system and how that's relating to the fire safety issues.

That's a very big deal to divide these up into multiple buildings, as opposed to say, going to a better construction system. The code official would be highly interested, so you'd want to make sure that that was very clearly understood on the set of drawings. So, you've been thinking about these issues all the way through the process, what the people are like who are going to be using the building, what the occupancies are for this particular project, and then deciding what the construction system is.

That's that game back and forth between occupancy and construction and area and height, because all of those are going to be intertwined with each other. So, presumably, during the design phases, you've been going back and forth and settled on it, and now what you're doing is in the CD phases you're figuring out how you're going to explain that to the code officials and to the general contractor. It is very important that the general contractors understand why you have these big walls in all of these different odd locations. If they don't get why those are there, then they're just going to build them out in normal ways that wouldn't necessarily truly understand that those are fire rated walls in order to create separate buildings.

So those code officials want to make sure you're explaining that very clearly to them, and you want to make sure you're explaining it very clearly to the code officials so that they know exactly what you're proposing. So with the scale and construction system issues, these are all issues that we've been thinking about all the way through the project. At this phase, you're just trying to make sure that everybody else, the whole team, code officials, contractors, the owners, everybody understands the attempt of how you're going to make the building fit in with these issues, and how it's going to sort of be accomplished to be compliant with the code, so that everybody's on the same page.

That's what you're doing at this point. All those design questions have already been answered. Now you're just talking about the documentation questions.

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From the course:
ARE 5.0 Project Development & Documentation Exam Prep

Duration: 36h 46m

Author: Mike Newman