April 17, 2015
Corrected code section -- material limitations of 424.2 should be followed.
April 17, 2015
This section limits the areas of children's playground structures to not exceed 300 SF in area, unless a "special investigation" has demonstrated adequate fire safety. What is a "special investigation, acceptable to the building official" to demonstrate adequate fire safety? I've provided a report tracing the code change history of this section back to the Shopping Mall section and indicated that a building dedicated to indoor play structures may comply with IBC 411 for Special Amusement Building" for the primary use of the building and therefore the area limitation of 424.5 and separation requirements of 424.4 may not apply. I've also proposed a higher sprinkler density to comply with 424.3 for Group A plastics from NFPA 13 and material limitations of 424.4 should be followed. The definition of Special Amusement Building includes a building or portion thereof that is "occupied for amusement, entertainment or educational purposes and that contains a device or system that conveys passengers or provides a walkway along, around or over a course in any direction so arranged that the means of egress path is not readily apparent due to visual or audio distractions or is intentionally confounded or is not readily available because of the nature of the attraction or mode of conveyance through the building or structure", so therefore Section 411 may apply to this human "Habitrail" facility.
What else is needed to meet an acceptable level of "Special Investigation?" There seems to be no calculated justification for the 300 SF limit, including in Marcelo Hirschler's original proposal (G50-04/05) in the Section 402 Covered Malls, moved to its own 424 Children's Play structures in later editions. What is allowing cities to install much larger structures for indoor play lands? I'm guessing that the 300 SF limit cane about from typical sized structures in the early 2000's that were about 17 feet wide by 17 feet deep by 17 feet tall (typical McDonald's structures." The issue of questioning the 300 SF limit does not seem to have been addressed sufficiently from all my research. Marcello tested a small structure that he indicates was approximately 1/10 the size of a typical structure in a play area. The requirements of Section 424 do not apply until the structure reaches 150 SF in area. What sets the maximum are of 300 SF and how is that exceeded in so many situations? (They were not all approved prior to moving this section from the Shopping Mall section into it's own. Thanks!
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