Code Enforced = NFPA 101 2015
Project Description = Interior renovation of a two-story office space. Floor area = 15,680 sf. Cost of the renovation exceeds 50% of the appraised value of the property.
Occupancy Classification = Existing Business/New Business
Construction Type = V(111) Fully sprinklered.
Corridor separation = Not required by 220.127.116.11
Background: See attached floor plan diagram. The proposed design includes a new convenience opening per 18.104.22.168 as permitted by 38/22.214.171.124(1). The AHJ has disallowed it citing non-compliance with 126.96.36.199(3), separation from corridors. The AHJ has interpreted that the unenclosed passageway alongside the proposed opening leading to a stair (guard on one side and partition on the other) is a corridor and must be separated from the convenience opening by a smoke barrier per 188.8.131.52(5). The Life Safety Code does not contain a definition of "corridor" but the IBC defines it as "An enclosed exit access component that defines and provides a path of egress travel." We also note that the LSC implies that aisleways between cubicles in an open office area are not corridors (c.f. 101:184.108.40.206(1)).
Questions: Is the unenclosed passageway a corridor and should the non-separated convenience opening be permitted?