The International Building Code (IBC) addresses fire service access elevators in Section 3007. These elevators – for the use of firefighters – are typically required by the IBC for buildings with an occupied floor more than 120 feet above the lowest level of fire department access (refer to the code for an exception related to open parking garages).
The IBC requires water protection, to prevent water infiltration from the sprinkler system into the elevator hoistway enclosure. Here’s the paragraph from the IBC:
3007.3 Water protection. Water from the operation of an automatic sprinkler system outside the enclosed lobby shall be prevented from infiltrating into the hoistway enclosure in accordance with an approved method.
The IBC Commentary clarifies that this protection could occur at the hoistway or at the elevator lobby doors, and states, “Solutions include concepts such as a door sweep, trench drains, sloped floors, curbs and gasketed openings, which may be used individually or in combination. Other methods may also be available to meet this intent.”
My questions are: When trying to prevent water intrusion at the elevator lobby doors, what type of door sweep or door bottom meets the intent of this section? Is a threshold required? Perimeter gasketing? Are there any test standards that an AHJ might look for the openings to comply with? How do we prove that a particular combination of products meets the intent of the IBC?