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The Building Code, Part 2 Use & Occupancy

September 30, 2011

Use and Occupancy need to be established first when evaluating a building against the building code. Every space needs to be broken down into one of several categories depending on what the building will be used for and they type of people that will be occupying the building. Determining the use and occupancy of a building effects other portions of the code; for example the building use and type of construction determine the building area and height limitations. (We will talk about this in future posts)

Below is a list of of uses as defined by the 2006 International Building Code fond in chapter 3:

A – Assembly  – Any space where groups of people gather for events, including but not limited to theaters, bowling allies, and churches.  Places of assembly are further broken down into subcategories of A1 through A4 depending on the type of event that the space us used for.

B – Business – Any space where professional services are performed, including but not limited to banks, office buildings, & civic administration buildings.

E – Educational – Any space K-12 school building.

F – Factory Industrial – Any space where products are assembled, disassembled finished, packaged or repaired. Factories are further broken down into subcategories of F1 & F2 depending on the type of factory it is.

H – High Hazard – Any space what contains hazardous materials, with further subcategories of H1, H2, H3, H4 & H5 depending on how dangerous the activities or chemicals inside the building are.

I – Institutional – Any space where people are cared for including but not limited to Hospitals, group homes & jails. Intuitional building are further broken down into subcategories of I1, I2 & I3 depending on the type of occupant the building is built for.

M – Mercantile – Any space that contains merchandise for sale including but not limited to drug stores & department stores.

R – Residential – Any space that is used for sleeping purposes (that is not covered by institutional). Residential buildings are further broken down into subcategories of R1, R2, R3, & R4.

S – Storage – Any space that is used for the storage of products that are not hazardous, with further subcategories of S1, & S2 depending on the type of products that are stored there.

U – Utility and Miscellaneous – Any space that is does not fall into any other use category.

 

Other posts in this series:

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – Use and Occupancy

Part 3 – Special requirements

Part 4 – General Building Height and Area Limitations

Part 5 – Types of Construction

Part 6 – Fire Resistant Construction

Part 7 – Interior Finishes

Part 8 – Means of Egress

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