What are the Code Allowances for Podium Construction?
In my last newsletter, I explained the basics of podium design and the benefits it offers to developers and hoteliers. Today, I discuss what is allowed by the International Building Code (IBC) when utilizing podium construction.
What Are the Code Allowances?
The IBC limits the number of stories a building can have based on the construction type and materials being used. See the below chart for the limits of each construction type.
As you can see above, a traditional Type V (wood framed) construction is limited to 4 stories and Type III construction (FRT wood) is limited to 5 stories. If you are building a hotel utilizing either construction types, you will be limited to this.
The number one benefit of podium construction is that the IBC allows you to go higher than the limits noted above utilizing the horizontal building separation allowance (IBC 510.2). This allowance consents the building to be considered as two separate and distinct buildings for the purpose of determining the maximum number of stories, assuming certain criteria are met.
In other words, you can place a Type V or Type III building on top of a Type I building.
These criteria determine whether or not a building falls within the allowance code:
- The horizontal assembly that separates the buildings must have at least 3 hours of fire-resistance rating.
- The building below the horizontal assembly is a Type I construction.
- Stairway, escalator, shaft, and ramp enclosures penetrating the horizontal assembly must not have a fire-resistance rating of fewer than 2 hours.
What Has Changed Recently?
- Up until the 2012 IBC version, podiums were limited to only one story above grade.
- The 2015 version of the IBC increases this limits and allows 5-over-2 podium-style construction.
- This update lets a 5-over-2 building utilize the maximum building height of 85 feet.
- Please note that local jurisdictions may have set their own amendments to the IBC, based on geographic factors such as seismic activity.
Interested in podium construction? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
Recently Completed Podium Design Projects by Our Team: