Clustered Conference Rooms: Live Load and Occupancy

There is a recent design trend of office tenants seeking more collaborative work spaces.  Where typical office layouts used to locate conference rooms throughout a tenant space, conference rooms are now being grouped together in a cluster to encourage collaboration, and eliminated in the rest of the office space.  Because of the concentration of conference rooms, there is a higher chance that all rooms will be simultaneously loaded.  This is even more likely when the tenant occupies most of the floor or multiple floors in an office building.

This situation increases the live load of the floor in the clustered conference rooms beyond that expected by the Seattle Building Code (SBC) and can create a hazard.  SDCI has issued a new code interpretation titled SBC Section 1607.2: Clustered Conference Rooms: Live Load and Occupancy.

This code interpretation addresses the live load requirements for clustered conference rooms.  It includes criteria for when a group of conference rooms is designated a cluster and the structural framing must be designed for an assembly live load.

This code interpretation also addresses the occupancy classification for a large cluster of conference rooms.  Individually, the conference rooms may be still be classified as a Business occupancy.  However, when a cluster of conference rooms and adjacent assembly areas has a high occupant load, both the clustered conference rooms and assembly areas will be classified as an Assembly occupancy.

Questions may be directed to:

Ardel Jala
(206) 684-0573

Rat Eradication Required for Demolition Projects

On January 1, 2017, the updated Seattle Building Code takes effect. The updated code requires all applicants to complete a rat eradication program as a condition to getting a demolition permit. Only projects that apply under the 2015 Seattle Building Code will be subject to this new requirement.

The rat eradication program must be in place on the project site at least 15 days prior to the start of any demolition or any clearing or grading on the site. Applicants must provide proof to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections that a licensed pest control agent successfully completed the eradication. You can find licensed pest control operators at the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s website. (Search for commercial applicators with a CA endorsement of PCO General within King County.)

We are updating our demolition permit process and accompanying forms. During this transition, applicants can submit a letter from a certified pest control agent that includes the planned eradication method and a statement that they will continue eradication until the demolition begins.

For more information, contact:

Jill Vanneman
(206) 733-9062