Last week I took some of our specwriter apprentices on several field trips, so I have LOTS of photos to share.  One of our destinations was the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, a project I wrote the specification for 8-9 years ago.  The addition has been occupied since 2010, and the doors and hardware still look great.  That’s not always the case, as the doors start to show wear and tear, or facility personnel address issues by installing random hooks and plates or replacing hardware that has become damaged.  I’m very happy with how things are holding up.

I’ve posted photos of the MFA from past visits (like the stainless steel elevator lobbies and some other interesting applications), but this time I was able to see the auditorium which has some cool rabbeted doors (for acoustics) and some almost-invisible doors at the storage room and projection room.  There were quite a few unusual egress situations on this project that required permission from the AHJ.  What do you think of this one?

MFA Auditorium 1

MFA Auditorium 2

MFA Auditorium 3

MFA Auditorium 4

Here’s another opening from right outside the auditorium…

aaMFA Delayed Egress

aaMFA Delayed Egress 2

I often find that I am more cautious about modifying code requirements than even the AHJ.  This opening is serving an Assembly occupancy, where delayed egress is not allowed by the IBC.  In addition, the AHJ approved the 30-second delay instead of 15 seconds.  It doesn’t keep me awake at night, but I definitely advised the architect that they would need AHJ approval.  Luckily, this architect was great to work with and appreciated my concerns.

Have you ever worked with an architect or owner who wanted something specified or installed that was not code-compliant?  How did you handle it?

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