A terrific way to grow your business is to build a patio overlooking a restaurant or just other commercial property, but contractors accustomed to working inside residential settings should be aware of the significant differences.
Planning and designing public areas must consider how people will move through and interact within the buildings. The number of aspects that can affect a patio’s overall design for an eatery, nursery, or apartment building may surprise you.
Commercial Decking and Building Regulations
It has an International Building Code which is used for other types of housing and is also used in most districts that regulate habitats under some variation of this International Housing Code. Click here for more on the International Building Code.
Be it residential, business, educational, or other settings, every building code has different requirements based on the occupancy. Patio designs are far more carefully controlled in restaurants than in private residences because they are congregational areas.
The size of the building and the expected occupancy (the potential number of occupants) are rarely, if ever, taken into account by regulations for single-family dwellings.
But for businesses like restaurants, the building’s occupancy type is carefully considered. The minimum width of all exit components is determined by the size of the building, which also defines the maximum permitted man load.
A restaurant deck can be part of an exit, exit discharge, or exit access. All three components have different requirements.
In general, the basic design of decks for commercial, or even residential properties, is the work of a registered design professional, or at least requires informative review by the planning inspector of the jurisdiction. It can be challenging to determine your needs, however, this may serve as a base guideline.
Residential and Commercial Building Codes Differ
The geometrical boundaries of stairs or steps are one feature of terraced design that differs greatly from other types. Remember that one modification in height qualifies as a stair and necessitates a top and bottom landing when determining the need for stairs. Each of the steps as well as the landings needed to go from a single floor to another are collectively referred to as stairs.
A minimum spacing of 11 inches, measured between nosing to nosing, is often required for commercial stair steps. The number of persons utilizing a commercial stair and whether it is a part of an effective evacuation path determine its width. A single span of at least 36 inches is necessary for residential areas.
The design of the staircase has a big impact on how residential and business codes differ from one another. Typically, landing depth is calculated in the course of travel opposite the previous step. For commercial use, the depth should not exceed 48 inches and should be a minimum as wide as the stairway.
Commercial settings require stair security rails to be 42 inches tall. Up to 34 inches high, the “4” sphere rule for the greatest opening size only applies. The IBC may consider stair railings installed on or next to brick, stucco, or equivalent “polished surfaces” to be in violation. However, the individual codes for the county or township must be referenced before determining this factor.
If the railing does not connect from the railing of the flights below or above, the IBC requires railing expansions at the top as well as the bottom of staircases. The lower extender must slant outward beyond the final step about an amount of horizontal space equal to the diameter of the tread cord, and the upper expansion must extend a minimum of 12 inches beyond the summit rise in a horizontal direction.
A middle along with intermediate guardrail may be needed as a supplement to the handrail requirements on the two sides of an industrial stairway. No portion of the minimum needed width for commercial stairs, as determined with passenger loads, should be wider than 30 inches away from the handrail. In other words, you require an intermediate railing if the minimal stair dimensions is 61 inches.
The Occupancy Matters
The traffic loads that structural members must withstand can have a large impact on the size of materials selected for a project. For San Diego deck builders, the minimum commercial occupancy capacity depends on the type of occupancy provided by the deck.
The minimum floor load capacity for most commercial buildings, including restaurants, is 100 pounds for each square foot, which is more than 100% greater than the minimal residential decking load capacity of 40 psf.
The IRC provides a practical exception to the depth under frost requirement for foundations or piers that support decks. A foundation does not have to go below frost depth when using a ledger. The IBC does not recognize this exception.
Commercial platform height variation is often constrained by a number of variables, but residential deck elevation variation is generally unconstrained. Although multi-story decks are appealing to homeowners, they can impede occupant movement in public areas and represent a safety hazard.
The Bottom Line in Decking
A well-built deck will increase the value of a building and offer a socializing area outside. Decking, whether it be commercial or residential, may undoubtedly increase the impact of a building and frequently turn into the center of attention in a house or place of business, such a restaurant.
A deck can be a long-lasting structure provided all local regulations are followed when it is constructed. After installation, careful maintenance will lengthen the useful life of your investment.