For Commercial Kitchens, are Walk-In Coolers and Dry Storage considered occupied space and if so, is the occupancy 500SF/Person? (2018 NFPA 101 Table 18.104.22.168 Storage Use for other than Mercantile Occupancies)
Yes - storage rooms are occupied spaces.There are no set rules for determining occupant load. You could use the storage use occupancy load if you feel it fits for those rooms. However, remember that those storage rooms are normally occupied by occupants storing and retrieving items from the kitchen. So, they could be include in the gross area factor used for the kitchen use.
Here how I do it during a plan review.
Each occupied area of the building needs to be evaluated, and the occupant load factor that best represents how the space will be used should be applied. If the space has multiple uses, the expected use that would give the higher occupant load should be applied. The occupant load is the maximum probable number of occupants that can be present at any one time.
Table 22.214.171.124 includes occupant load factors using both “net” and “gross” factors. Gross area is used for most uses and includes all of the floor area within the perimeter walls of the floor or area in question. Net area is used for some spaces in assembly, educational, and day-care uses. Net area is the actual floor space where a person can stand or sit. Furniture is ignored as it is movable. Adjunct areas such as corridors, janitor closets, stairs, and storage rooms are not included in net areas. Net area calculation works better to provide a more realistic occupant load calculation in those uses.
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