August 8, 2016
I've got a school going up that has divided the school into two separate areas with a two hour fire separation. This was to get around the sprinkler system requirement as both areas are less than 12,000 sq. ft. One area has the cafeteria and gym. The occupant load of the gym as an A4 occupancy would require a sprinkler. The cafeteria occupant load as an A2 would also require as sprinkler system. However; under Occupancy Classification for an Assembly there is the section on Associated with Group E occupancies. From how I read this section you would not consider the gym or cafeteria as an assembly but consider it as accessory to the educational occupancy. So the sprinkler requirement would not apply.
Are there any opinions on the two hour separation coming in to play and negate this exception? I have a hard time understanding the logic behind why a cafeteria with adults would require a sprinkler but the code allows a cafeteria with kids to not have one.
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