ICC - International Code Council
 
Cart                                                                   
Skip to main content
 
Misc

Your ICC Account

Email:
Password:
Bookmark and Share
cdpACCESS

Codes & Standards Discussion Forum 

Welcome to the ICC Codes & Standards Discussion Forum

The Code Council has revisited how best to provide an online, professional Discussion Forum and area within the website that has a sense of community – where Members and nonmembers can provide input and exchange ideas with their peers in the industry. The new Codes & Standards Discussion Forum does just that, as it allows Registered Website Users and ICC Members to discuss the I-Codes in an online community.

Members Area Codes & Standards Discussion Forum

Note to Nonmembers: If you join the ICC you can have access to important building safety information!

Members Area Codes & Standards Discussion Forum

As an ICC Member, you have access to the Members Area of the Codes & Standards Discussion Forum. Follow the link to discuss the Membership Councils and other benefits of being an ICC Member.


15 post(s) First 1 Last
Search 
Interlocking / Scissor Stairs
This forum is under moderation. Your reply will appear when it is approved.
Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  Codeflo

Posts: 0

8/28/2003 5:38:00 AM

I would say that scissor stairways would not be allowed per code as 2000 IBC has a section that requires the rated vertical enclosures ahve aminimum seperation distanc e of 30 feet in IBC section 1004.2.2.1 if a rated corridor connected the two stairways.

2003 - simply says -- Interlocking or scissor stairs shall be counted as one means of egress. The exceptions provided deal with travel distance and sprinkler systems.

Now for real life info....
As a past career firefighter, I despised scissor stairways since it always seem to disorient me when I enter a stairway door at teh southeast corner and exited on the next floor at the northeast corner. Standpipes could be in a stairway, but once you climbed eight stories of scissor stairways, I always hated to appear at the wrong corner for using a standpipe. ( Thank god never had to for a real fire emergency, but had several training senarios to provide on hands trng. prior to a fire emergency.
IBC section 1014.2.1

------------------
Codeflo
2000 IBC/IMC/IPC/IFC/IFGC
ICC/ ANSI A117.1-98 ed. 2002 NEC
" Just my $.02 worth"

[This message has been edited by Codeflo (edited 08-28-2003).]


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  codeguy

Posts: 0

8/28/2003 7:03:00 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Codeflo:
[b]I would say that scissor stairways would not be allowed per code as 2000 IBC has a section that requires the rated vertical enclosures ahve aminimum seperation distanc e of 30 feet in IBC section 1004.2.2.1 if a rated corridor connected the two stairways.

2003 - simply says -- Interlocking or scissor stairs shall be counted as one means of egress. The exceptions provided deal with travel distance and sprinkler systems.

Now for real life info....
As a past career firefighter, I despised scissor stairways since it always seem to disorient me when I enter a stairway door at teh southeast corner and exited on the next floor at the northeast corner. Standpipes could be in a stairway, but once you climbed eight stories of scissor stairways, I always hated to appear at the wrong corner for using a standpipe. ( Thank god never had to for a real fire emergency, but had several training senarios to provide on hands trng. prior to a fire emergency.
IBC section 1014.2.1
[/b][/QUOTE]

I disagree with you on the 2000 IBC. There is nothing that prohibits a scissor stair. However, I do agree with you regarding the 2003 IBC and that they can create a disorientation or vertigo sensation.


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  maniac

Posts: 0

8/28/2003 7:25:00 AM

Scissor stairs were a design innovation in the last thirty years incorporated in the building codes. The enclosing of two stairs in one building is a cost savings that firefighters have expressed concerned about, especially since the stair enclosures can now be constructed of two layers of gypsum wallboard instead of masonry. Since 9/11, many design engineers want to "harden" the construction of high-rise buildings. Perhaps they should look at themselves and ask who was responsible for softening our buildings over the past fifty years! The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in its investigation, stated that the stairways of the World Trade Center buildings were clustered together in the core area. In pre-World War II buildings, stairways were required by code to be located on remote portions of a large floor area. This way, if fire blocked one exit, occupants find another exit at a remote area of the floor. Exit stairways also used to be at each end of a floor area. The New York City building code, written in 1968, defined the meaning of the term "remote" when applied to exit stairs. The building code defined exits "remote" if they were over 15 feet away from each other!
We, design professionals, should all think of life safety first. And remember "The Code", whichever one we use, is a minimum, not something to meet, but a starting point. And you enforcement types, need to make sure we start at the minimum, since you can''t enforce beyond the minimum.



[This message has been edited by maniac (edited 08-28-2003).]


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  Garth Dreger PE

Posts: 0

8/28/2003 7:33:00 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by maniac:
[b]....Since 9/11, many design engineers want to "harden" the construction of high-rise buildings. Perhaps they should look at themselves and ask who was responsible for softening our buildings over the past fifty years! ....... The New York City
building code, written in 1968, defined the meaning of the term "remote" when applied
to exit stairs. The building code defined exits "remote" if they were over 15 feet away
from each other![/b][/QUOTE]
Designers typical design per the code as they see the code as a statement of the level of safety the public is asking for. Maybe you should be looking at who is allowing the code to be changed, not at who is designing per the code.


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  maniac

Posts: 0

8/28/2003 7:47:00 AM

Garth as a design professional, you quoted the wrong section.

We, design professionals, should all think of life safety first. And remember "The Code", whichever one we use, is a minimum, not something to meet, but a starting point. And you enforcement types, need to make sure we start at the minimum, since you can''t enforce beyond the minimum.


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  Easybreze1

Posts: 0

8/28/2003 8:25:00 AM

Thanks for the replies thus far.

Having come through the ranks of combat and administration in the fire service, I agree with codeflo and codeguy about the disorientation factor, but unfortunately that is not addressed by the code. I too, could not find anything to prohibit scissor stairs in the 2000 I.B.C.

While your comments are interesting and valid opinions, I am looking for documentation on why the code was changed to count scissor stairs as only one exit. I have an architect client that designs block and poured scissor stairs properly and their developer client builds them correctly, without any interconnecting penetrations. The fire review and inspection team is very clear when they tell my clients that the stairs will be constructed properly or the building will not be approved, and I applaud them for that.

Does anyone have a copy of the proposed code change that addressed the scissor stair sentence in section 1014.2.1? That would be most helpful if it could be posted in its entirety, or you could send it direct to codesolutions@earthlink.net .

As for the disorientation, communication helps a lot as do signs at each floor identifying the directional or placement location of the landing (not rqd by code but easy to get). Also, training with blacked out masks helps to develop the ability to work in smoke where there are no directions.

Thanks?cwe


------------------
Charlie Edwards
Building Code Solutions
Ft. Myers Florida
239-470-1562


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  Easybreze1

Posts: 0

8/28/2003 8:25:00 AM

Thanks for the replies thus far.

Having come through the ranks of combat and administration in the fire service, I agree with codeflo and codeguy about the disorientation factor, but unfortunately that is not addressed by the code. I too, could not find anything to prohibit scissor stairs in the 2000 I.B.C.

While your comments are interesting and valid opinions, I am looking for documentation on why the code was changed to count scissor stairs as only one exit. I have an architect client that designs block and poured scissor stairs properly and their developer client builds them correctly, without any interconnecting penetrations. The fire review and inspection team is very clear when they tell my clients that the stairs will be constructed properly or the building will not be approved, and I applaud them for that.

Does anyone have a copy of the proposed code change that addressed the scissor stair sentence in section 1014.2.1? That would be most helpful if it could be posted in its entirety, or you could send it direct to codesolutions@earthlink.net .

As for the disorientation, communication helps a lot as do signs at each floor identifying the directional or placement location of the landing (not rqd by code but easy to get). Also, training with blacked out masks helps to develop the ability to work in smoke where there are no directions.

Thanks?cwe


------------------
Charlie Edwards
Building Code Solutions
Ft. Myers Florida
239-470-1562


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  Garth Dreger PE

Posts: 0

8/28/2003 8:26:00 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by maniac:
[b]Garth as a design professional, you quoted the wrong section.

We, design professionals, should all think of life safety first. And remember "The Code", whichever one we use, is a minimum, not something to meet, but a starting point. And you enforcement types, need to make sure we start at the minimum, since you can''t enforce beyond the minimum.[/b][/QUOTE]
So, since a three story building is obviously safer than a thirty story building you would never design a building over three stories right.


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  DaveW

Posts: 0

8/29/2003 4:51:00 AM

maniac...I couldn''t agree more!!

[QUOTE]Originally posted by maniac:
[b]Garth as a design professional, you quoted the wrong section.

We, design professionals, should all think of life safety first. And remember "The Code", whichever one we use, is a minimum, not something to meet, but a starting point. And you enforcement types, need to make sure we start at the minimum, since you can''t enforce beyond the minimum.[/b][/QUOTE]



------------------
DaveW - California
ICBO/ICC, UBC97/NEC99/UMC97/UPC/IPC2000/IFGC2000/IMC2000


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  Codeflo

Posts: 0

8/29/2003 5:37:00 AM

I disagree if you cannot find anything to prohibit scissor stairs if a corridor is required to be rated in the 2000 IBC.
The first exception listed under IBC section 1004.2.2.1 requires that the exit enclosure walls shall not be less than 30 feet apart at any point in a direct line of measurement.

I meant to say that combining two scissor stairways together could not be done. Scissor stairs could still be used but if two means of egress (stairs) are required, the actual exit enclosure walls could not be any closer than 30 feet at any point in the stairway if the corridors are rated.
If the stairways are required to be seperated by thirty feet, it tends to make the scissor stairway concept not a "space saving" feature.

------------------
Codeflo
2000 IBC/IMC/IPC/IFC/IFGC
ICC/ ANSI A117.1-98 ed. 2002 NEC
" Just my $.02 worth"


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  Garth Dreger PE

Posts: 0

8/29/2003 7:25:00 AM

DaveW and Maniac, As a design professional I design affordable buildings and components within the level of safety that the public tells me they want, by way of the building codes. To design a building or component to a higher level of safety, without their knowledge, would be a disservice to my clients. If you can find clients who want your higher level of safety, more power to you.


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  maniac

Posts: 0

8/29/2003 7:31:00 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Garth Dreger PE:
[B]DaveW and Maniac, As a design professional I design affordable buildings and components within the level of safety that the public tells me they want, by way of the building codes. To design a building or component to a higher level of safety, without their knowledge, would be a disservice to my clients.B][/QUOTE]

It would be a disservice to your clients, and the public, not to think of safety first. Even if it is not required in the code.I have convinced many of my clients to put in fire sprinklers, even when not required. They save thousands in Insurance costs.


[This message has been edited by maniac (edited 08-29-2003).]


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  Garth Dreger PE

Posts: 0

8/29/2003 7:41:00 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by maniac:
[b] It would be a disservice to your clients, and the public, not to think of safety first. Even if it is not required in the code.I have convinced many of my clients to put in fire sprinklers, even when not required. They save thousands in Insurance costs.


[This message has been edited by maniac (edited 08-29-2003).][/b][/QUOTE]

So the sprinkler make the building more affordable by lowering the insurance rates. I bring up many such cost saving ideas to my clients.


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  Easybreze1

Posts: 0

8/29/2003 1:03:00 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Codeflo:
[B]I disagree if you cannot find anything to prohibit scissor stairs if a corridor is required to be rated in the 2000 IBC.
The first exception listed under IBC section 1004.2.2.1 requires that the exit enclosure walls shall not be less than 30 feet apart at any point in a direct line of measurement.

Codeflo,
Your argument regarding the 30? distance between stairs seems to makes sense when you read the section you called out. The problem is the section doesn?t make any sense. Please allow me to explain why I say this.

First of all, section 1004.2.2.1 deals with the positioning of doors and requires the measurement between the doors to be taken in a straight line. The section has nothing to do with the positioning of exit enclosures.

Secondly, exception #1 deals with the way to measure between the doors when you have a rated corridor connecting the doors. Again, nothing to do with the positioning of exit enclosures.

Thirdly, A gramartition (one who understands the nuances of English grammar ? not a spelling ace) would tell you that ?Exit Enclosure walls? is talking about more than one wall in one exit enclosure. If the requirement was to provide minimum 30? between exit enclosures, the code should state ?Distance between exit enclosures shall be not less than 30? apart at any point in a direct line of measurement.? It makes no sense to me why there is a requirement for an exit enclosure to be minimum 30 wide inside, but that is what it says.

Fourthly, based on your understanding, the distance between the exit enclosures is only a requirement when there is a rated corridor connecting the doors of the exit enclosures. Apparently, if there is no rated corridor between the doors to the exit enclosures, and the doors were located the required ⅓ or ? diagonal distance, it would make no difference how far apart the exit enclosures are located because the exception speaks only to exit enclosures connected by a rated corridor. That makes no sense to me. That is unless of course there is another section of code that I am not aware of, that speaks to this.

Having said all that, the goal of positioning exits is to locate them so that the likelihood of a single fire or emergency will not block both means for egress. As long as the exit enclosures are properly constructed and the entry doors into those exit enclosures are positioned properly, why should the positioning of the enclosures be a concern. I can only think of two reasons. SHEETROCK & AIRPLANES. If you construct exit enclosures out of sheetrock, I would understand the concern. So if the concern is sheetrock, address sheetrock by limiting construction to concrete above a certin height. If the concern is to offer better protection from airplanes, good luck. The wing span of most planes exceed 30?. Enough said.

I believe the not so typical disclaimer stating that the opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of others, but they are the same as my employer, me.
Have a good weekend?cwe


   

Re: Interlocking / Scissor Stairs By  Easybreze1

Posts: 0

8/29/2003 1:03:00 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Codeflo:
[B]I disagree if you cannot find anything to prohibit scissor stairs if a corridor is required to be rated in the 2000 IBC.
The first exception listed under IBC section 1004.2.2.1 requires that the exit enclosure walls shall not be less than 30 feet apart at any point in a direct line of measurement.

Codeflo,
Your argument regarding the 30? distance between stairs seems to makes sense when you read the section you called out. The problem is the section doesn?t make any sense. Please allow me to explain why I say this.

First of all, section 1004.2.2.1 deals with the positioning of doors and requires the measurement between the doors to be taken in a straight line. The section has nothing to do with the positioning of exit enclosures.

Secondly, exception #1 deals with the way to measure between the doors when you have a rated corridor connecting the doors. Again, nothing to do with the positioning of exit enclosures.

Thirdly, A gramartition (one who understands the nuances of English grammar ? not a spelling ace) would tell you that ?Exit Enclosure walls? is talking about more than one wall in one exit enclosure. If the requirement was to provide minimum 30? between exit enclosures, the code should state ?Distance between exit enclosures shall be not less than 30? apart at any point in a direct line of measurement.? It makes no sense to me why there is a requirement for an exit enclosure to be minimum 30 wide inside, but that is what it says.

Fourthly, based on your understanding, the distance between the exit enclosures is only a requirement when there is a rated corridor connecting the doors of the exit enclosures. Apparently, if there is no rated corridor between the doors to the exit enclosures, and the doors were located the required ⅓ or ? diagonal distance, it would make no difference how far apart the exit enclosures are located because the exception speaks only to exit enclosures connected by a rated corridor. That makes no sense to me. That is unless of course there is another section of code that I am not aware of, that speaks to this.

Having said all that, the goal of positioning exits is to locate them so that the likelihood of a single fire or emergency will not block both means for egress. As long as the exit enclosures are properly constructed and the entry doors into those exit enclosures are positioned properly, why should the positioning of the enclosures be a concern. I can only think of two reasons. SHEETROCK & AIRPLANES. If you construct exit enclosures out of sheetrock, I would understand the concern. So if the concern is sheetrock, address sheetrock by limiting construction to concrete above a certin height. If the concern is to offer better protection from airplanes, good luck. The wing span of most planes exceed 30?. Enough said.

I believe the not so typical disclaimer stating that the opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of others, but they are the same as my employer, me.
Have a good weekend?cwe


   

15 post(s) First 1 Last
2015 I-Codes
2015 I-Codes