Building Code

Reviewing Elongation Reports

by Calvin Curtis August 25, 2017
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At this point, I think it’s fair to say that I’m a proponent of post-tensioned structures.  I’ve found that they can be very economical, and there are many things you can only do with post-tensioned concrete.  However, there’s one point that I think all structural engineers […]

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The Maximum Occupant Load in the Building Code – Not a Maximum

by Sean O'Hara August 25, 2017

There is a common misconception about the “Maximum” Occupant Load table in the International Building Code. This table list the number of occupants per square foot that you are designing to rather than a true maximum. As an example, the table lists 100 gross sf […]

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Commercial Ramp Design – Guidelines, Criteria and Dimensions

by Sean O'Hara May 15, 2017

The 2006 International Building Code dictates the rules for ramps used in commercial buildings. The rules apply to most ramps in a building excepting ramped aisles in theaters, curb ramps and vehicle ramps in parking garages. The code also covers those conditions, but they have […]

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Staples or Nails? Choosing the Right Fastener for Wall and Roof Sheathing

by Dean Dalvit May 15, 2017

We are often asked by contractors if they can substitute framing staples instead of nails for their wall and roof sheathing fasteners. There is no easy universal answer to this question because the location of the project may place it in a high wind or […]

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Accessory Occupancies in the International Building Code

by Sean O'Hara May 15, 2017

The International Building Code provides several routes for designing buildings with more than one occupancy. Building owners who don’t want to separate occupancies with fire separations have to employ one of these. For buildings with a large primary occupancy and a small accessory occupancy, the […]

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Why It’s Critical To Have Correct Floating Sill Plates on Slab-On-Grade Floors in Colorado

by Jim Houlette May 15, 2017

When I’m requested to investigate a house with structural concerns one of the first things I check is proper floating sill plates on slab-on-grade floors.  I’m always amazed how so many basements are finished without a floating sill plate or some way of allowing the […]

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Archived Historic Denver Building Codes

by Sean O'Hara April 27, 2017

While researching code regulations for a structure that we are remodeling, I came across the page holding all of the adopted building codes and amendments for the City and County of Denver. They date as far back as 1881 and are certainly an entertaining read. […]

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Accessible Fitting Room Requirements

by evstudio April 27, 2017

When designing an accessible fitting room, remember to provide the required clear floor space along with a code compliant bench.  According to ANSI 803.4 and ADA 4.35.4, a bench is required in all accessible fitting rooms. Benches must be 42 inches long, between 20 and 24 […]

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Denver Dad Saves $$$ on Post-Tension Tendon Supports Using One Simple Trick

by Calvin Curtis April 7, 2017

Last month, I discussed the need for precompression in a post-tensioned slab.  In that post, I mentioned that the code minimum amount of precompression is 125 psi for elevated slabs. I’ve also mentioned some of the various types of elevated decks in the past.  One […]

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How Many Toilets and Sinks Do You Need – Plumbing Fixture Requirements

by Sean O'Hara January 20, 2017
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Have you ever wondered how a mall only seems to have one set of restrooms while an office building has nearly as many on every floor? It all comes back to the plumbing fixture requirements dictated by the building code. When we design a building, […]

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Allowable Building Height, Story and Area Tables Updated in IBC 2015

by EVstudio AEP January 20, 2017
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Updated versions of the International Building Code are published every 3 years.  On a new project, one of the first code restrictions to determine is the allowable building height, area, and number of stories. Since 2000, the International Building Code has shown the allowable building […]

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The Escalating Cost of Escalators

by Dean Dalvit January 20, 2017

Often in larger scale commercial developments, vertical circulation is handled by escalators in addition to elevators in order to move large volumes of people from one space to another. Escalators are complex truss structures with a remarkable mechanism of chained treads that move in sync […]

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