Code classes for the door and hardware industry often focus on the requirements that pertain specifically to door openings…clear width, opening force, panic hardware, etc. Many of the more basic requirements are things that the architects or code consultants address. When we receive a set of plans to use when specifying, bidding, or supplying hardware, someone else has already looked at requirements like egress width, travel distance, occupancy classification, and hazard of contents (and more!).
Here are some articles that might help with a general understanding of these broader requirements:
Decoded: Egress Terminology – What is a means of egress? How are the travel distance and common path of travel measured? What are the limitations on dead end corridors? This article clarifies some of the common terminology related to egress.
Decoded: Use Groups and Occupancy Classifications – Before doing any research to answer a code question, you must know which occupancy classification you’re working with. The requirements vary based on who is using the facility, for what purpose, how familiar they are with the building, and other considerations. It’s critical to correctly identify the occupancy classification.
Decoded: Calculating the Occupant Load – Many code requirements are dependent upon the occupant load of the room or space in question. For example, the International Building Code (IBC) requires panic hardware for doors equipped with a lock or latch, when the doors serve assembly or educational occupancies with an occupant load of 50 or more. How is this calculated?
Decoded: Calculating the Egress Width of Door Openings – How many egress doors are required for a given room or area? This is based on a calculation and depends on the calculated occupant load and the presence or absence of a sprinkler system. This article explains how to calculate the required egress width, and how to calculate the egress capacity of doors serving a space.