Some of our most transcendent moments occur in assembly occupancies, such as churches and theaters, but such occupancies have also hosted some of our most horrific fires, say Ramond Battalora, project manager with Aon Fire Protection Engineering Corporation, and Jack Sawyer, an associate with Eskew Dumez Ripple Architects in New Orleans.
“That’s in part why egress—the ability to get out of a building safely and quickly—is such an elemental concept in both the renovation and new construction of assembly occupancies,” they say. “It’s also why the egress schematic—or what NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, refers to as the 'life safety floor plan'—is such an important tool for stakeholders in these projects.”
The 2015 edition of NFPA 101 requires life safety evaluations for assembly occupancies that can hold more than 6,000 people, for indoor festival seating areas that hold more than 250 people, and for occupancies that use the more favorable smoke-protected assembly seating exit capacity factors.
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