February 24, 2016
I have been getting conflicting opinions about egress requirements under the 2015 IBC / 2016 CalBC for a dining patio attached to a restaurant. The patio is open to the sky, enclosed by low walls on three sides and the building on the fourth, with one egress path (a gate with panic hardware) directly out to the public way. There are no other adjacent buildings that would cause the patio to be considered a "court". The patio also serves as the required second egress path from the restaurant, so the cumulative occupant load on the patio exceeds 50. One opinion I have received states that, due to occupant load, two exits are required from this patio. Another opinion states that the patio is already part of the exit discharge, and therefore cannot (by definition) be provided with "exits" - and there is no code requirement for multiple paths in the exit discharge, so the single egress gate meets code. Which is the more appropriate interpretation of Chapter 10 requirements?
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