There are 7 Major Changes for Office Design in the new 2019 CA Building Code that will effect most projects in the Bay Area. Read below for a brief outline of some of the most impactful changes.
The 2019 CBC (California Building Code) will go into effect in the State of California starting in January 2020. Here are 7 major changes to the Building Code which affects Offices and other Group B (Business) occupant buildings:
- Change in the Business areas occupant load factor from 100 to 150 gross square feet per occupant (This change decreases occupant loads for ‘office; use by 1/3 from the previous code.). Reference CBC Table 1004.1.2.
- New occupant load classification for “Concentrated Business Use Areas” with a factor of 50 gross square feet per occupant. (This change doubles the occupant load from the previous code.). Reference CBC Section 1004.6. Concentrated Business Use Areas shall be applied to telephone call centers, trading floors, electronic data processing centers and similar business use areas with a higher density of occupants than would normally be expected in a typical business occupancy environment.
- Change in Egress based on occupant load and common path of egress travel distance. The following exception as been added: The number of exits from foyers, lobbies, vestibules or similar spaces need not be based on cumulative occupant loads for areas discharging through such spaces, but the capacity of the exits from such spaces shall be based on applicable cumulative occupant loads. Reference CBC Section 1006.2.1.
- Change in Egress from stories or occupied roofs. The following has been added to this section for clarification: Where stairways serve more than one story, only the occupant load of each story considered individually shall be used in calculating the required number of exits or access to exits serving that story. Reference CBC Section 1006.3.
- Change to Exit discharge. Illumination shall be provided along the path of travel for the exit discharge from each exit to the public way with the following exception: Illumination shall not be required where the path of exit discharge meets both of the following requirements (Reference CBC Section 1008.23):
- The path of exit discharge is illuminated from the exit to a safe dispersal area complying with section 1028.5
- A dispersal area shall be illuminated to a level not less than 1 foot-candle at the walking surface.
- New door hardware release of electrically locked egress doors. Door hardware release of electric locking systems shall be permitted on doors in the means of egress in any occupancy except Group H where installed and operated in accordance with items 1-6 listed in Section 1010.1.9.10
- New Pedestrian street crossing. Where walks or sidewalks are provided, a curb ramp, blended transition or a combination of curb ramps and blended transitions complying with Section 11B-406 shall connect the walks or sidewalks at each pedestrian street crossing. The curb ramp (excluding any flared sides) or blended transition shall be contained wholly within the width of the pedestrian street crossing served. Reference CBC 11B-206.2.19
As codes change it’s important to have an expert on your side to help you understand the impacts and how to address them properly. If you have any questions about the upcoming code changes, FaciliCorp is here to help!!
Kendra Burch is a Senior Project Manager and head of Business Development at Facilicorp. For more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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