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2010 California Building Code:

Significant Changes

Brian McLaughlin, P.E.

Los Angeles, CA
 Understand the California Building Standards Commission code
development process.
 Learn about significant changes in the 2010 California Building
 Review the basis for certain code changes.
 Discuss possible impacts on building design.

2 Learning Objectives
 Each project and jurisdiction is unique. Approaches discussed
here may or may not be appropriate for your project.
 National model codes and standards are discussed. Code
provisions may differ locally.

3 Disclaimers
 California Building Standards Commission
 Development/Adoption Process

4 Code Development Process

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 Egress width calculations is now the  Sprinklered Buildings
same for Sprinklered and • Stairways: 0.2 inch/occupant
Nonsprinklered buildings. • Doors, ramps, corridors : 0.15
• 0.3 inch/person for stairs inch/occupant
• 0.2 inch/person for corridors
 Nonsprinklered Buildings
• Stairways: 0.3 inch/occupant
• Doors, ramps, corridors : 0.2

5 Key Changes: Egress Width Factors Increase

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 Areas of Refuge not required in  Areas of Refuge required
sprinklered buildings
 Two per stairway
 CBC 1007.3 Exception 3
 Exception for less than 200 occupants

6 Key Changes: Areas of Refuge

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 General: Maximum 20 feet  General: Maximum 20 feet.
• Group B, E, F, M, I-3, R-1,2,2.1 and • B, F, some I-3 can be 50 feet in
4, S and U occupancies can be up to sprinklered buildings
50 feet in sprinklered buildings

7 Key Changes: Dead Ends, New Exceptions

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 All fire barrier joint protection systems  713.4 Exterior Curtain Wall/Floor
to be tested in accordance with ASTM Intersection
• Where fire resistance rated floor or
E2307, “Standard Test Method for floor/ceiling assemblies are required,
Determining Fire Resistance of voids created at the exterior curtain
Perimeter Fire Barrier Systems Using wall were required to be sealed with
Intermediate Scale Multi-story Test an approved material in accordance
with ASTM E119 or with ASTM
Apparatus.” E2307.
• This removes the option of using
more traditional methods to seal the
opening between curtain walls and
the slab edge. Where assemblies do
not strictly comply with a tested
assembly, an engineering review
can be performed to evaluate the
expected performance. These
engineering judgments are subject to
the approval of the AHJ.

8 Key Changes: Curtain Wall/Floor Intersection

 Remoteness of exit stairs
 Fire service elevator
 Fire command center
 Smoke removal
 Emergency radio coverage
 Luminous exit path marking
 Additional Exit Stair
 Occupant Evacuation Elevator
 Strength of enclosures
 Strength of fire proofing
 Sprinklers and water supply

9 High-Rise Changes
2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 High-rise buildings exit stair separation  Two Exits or Exit Access Doorways
• Separated by either a distance equal • Exit doors or exit access doorways
to one-fourth of the maximum overall shall be placed a distance apart
diagonal dimension or by 30 feet, equal to not less than one-third of
whichever is larger. the length of the maximum overall
diagonal dimension of the area
served for sprinklered buildings.
• Applies to all buildings.

10 High-Rise: Remoteness of Stair Enclosures

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 Minimum size of fire command center  Minimum size of 96 ft2 with a
increased to 200 ft2 with a minimum minimum room dimension of at least 8
dimension of 10 ft.

11 High-Rise: Fire Command Center Size

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 All high rise buildings will be required  High Rise Buildings
to be provided with natural or • No previous requirements for smoke
mechanical ventilation for smoke removal.
removal. • Smokeproof exit enclosures are
required for buildings under Sections
 Options: 403 or 405.
• Operable windows at a rate of 40 ft2
per 50 linear feet of perimeter,
• Mechanical ventilation at a rate of 4
air changes per hour.
• Glazed opening for ventilation may
be fixed if it can be cleared by
• Exception for Group R-1 (Hotels)
allowing each sleeping unit to have 2
ft2 of venting.
• Any other approved designs.
 Smokeproof exit enclosures are required
for buildings under Sections 403 or 405.

12 High-Rise: Smoke Removal

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 Requirements for approved radio  Fire Department Communications
coverage within new and existing System
buildings (not only high-rise) are • Two-way fire department
added. Details are in Fire Code communications system required.
• May require the incorporation of
• An exception permitted the use of
repeater systems within buildings for
fire department radio systems where
approved by the fire department.
• Exceptions are provided that allow
the authorities to accept wired
systems on a case by case basis.

13 High-Rise: Emergency Responder Radios

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 Photoluminescent or self-luminous exit  No previous requirement
path markings are now required to
identify the egress paths in exit
enclosures and exit passageways in new
high rise buildings of Group A, B, E, I,
M and R-1.

14 High-Rise: Luminous Exit Path Markings

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 In high rise buildings with occupied  Elevators
floors 120+ feet: • In high rise buildings, a single
• Fire service access elevator needs elevator was required to serve all
to open into a fire-rated vestibule floors.
that also provides access to an exit • Phase II “recall” (fire fighter control)
enclosure. • Standby power
• Hoistway illumination required
• Standby power

 Be sure to confirm with AHJ

High-Rise: Fire Service Elevator for Buildings with Floors 120 feet above
2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 A minimum size of 150 ft2 with a  Elevator car must accommodate an
minimum dimension of 8 feet is ambulance stretcher.
required for lobbies that fire service
elevators open into.

16 High-Rise: Fire Service Elevator Lobby

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 The same as the 2006, PLUS  Minimum Number of Exits
 Buildings greater than 420 ft are • 1-500 occupants: 2 exits.
required to have an additional • 501-1,000 occupants: 3 exits.
redundant stair. • 1000+ occupants: 4 exits.
• Not to be used to accommodate any
occupant load.
• Response to the WTC disaster.
• “Evacuation elevators” are allowed in
lieu of extra exit stair.
• R-2s (apartments/co-ops/condos)

17 420+ feet: Additional Exit Stairway

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 Provisions for design and use of  Elevators, Escalators and Moving
evacuation elevators have been added. Walks
 Permitted for all high-rise buildings. • Elevators are not permitted to be
used as a component of the required
 For buildings over 420 feet, evacuation
means of egress.
elevators are allowed to substitute for
the added redundant stair.
 Be sure to confirm with AHJ

18 420+ feet: Occupant Evacuation Elevators

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 Requirements for structural integrity of  No previous requirement
exit enclosures and elevator hoistways
in buildings greater than 420 feet, and
also high rise buildings in category III
or IV.

19 420+ feet: Structural Integrity of Enclosures

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 Buildings > 420 feet: The minimum  No previous requirements
bond strength for sprayed fire-resistive
materials: 1,000 psf.
 Buildings <420 feet: 430 psf.

20 420+ feet: Spray on Fire Proofing

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 Buildings >420 feet are required to  No previous requirement. Adjacent
have alternating floors supplied by floors were permitted to be served by
different sprinkler and standpipe risers. the same riser.
• Response to WTC disaster.

21 420+ feet: Sprinkler System Design

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 Elevator hoistway pressurization  Hoistway Pressurization Alternative
requirements revised: • Min. 0.04 – max. 0.06 inches of
• The minimum and maximum have water column positive pressure
been changed to 0.10 and 0.25
inches of water column respectively.
• Engineering report required to
support results.

Elevator Hoistway Pressurization:

(Alternative to Lobbies)
2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 The maximum number of stories has  Table 503 – Allowable Height and
been reduced Building Areas
• Group B, M, S-1, S-2 in Type IIB and • Group B, M, S-1, S-2 in Type IIB and
IIIB construction: IIIB construction:
maximum 3, 2, 2 and 3 stories maximum 4, 4, 3 and 4 stories
respectively respectively.

23 Maximum Number of Stories

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 The IBC has been modified to require  Structural frame considered to be the
that bracing members essential to the columns, girders, beams, trusses, and
vertical stability of the primary spandrels having direct connections to
structural frame under gravity loading the columns and bracing members
are to be considered part of the primary designed to carry gravity loads.
structural frame whether or not the
bracing member carries gravity loads.

24 Primary Structural Frame – Clarification

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 The requirement is clarified:  Travel Distance
• Atrium travel distance limitations are • “In other than the lowest level of the
only applicable to travel distance atrium, where the required means of
within the atrium space and not egress is through the atrium space,
applicable to travel distance in the portion of exit access travel
spaces that may be open to the distance within the atrium space
atrium but that don’t require travel shall not exceed 200 feet.”
through the atrium to exit.

25 Travel Distance through Atria – Clarification

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 The code language and table has been  Section 1019.2: Buildings with one
revised to clarify issue.

Story Occupancy Maximum occupants (or dwelling units) per

floor and travel distance (TD)

First Story or A, B, E, F, M, U 49 occupants and 75 feet TD


First Story or H-2, H-3 3 occupants and 25 feet TD


First Story or H-4, H-5, I, R 10 occupants and 75 feet TD


First Story or S 29 occupants and 100 feet TD


Second Story B, F, M, S 29 occupants and 75 feet TD

Second /Third R-2/R-2 with Spr. 4 dwelling units and 50 feet TD


26 Single Exit Buildings – Clarification

2010 CBC 2007 CBC
 A code change to clarify the code intent  Enclosure of atriums
regarding the treatment of spaces that • Atrium spaces shall be separated
are allowed to be open to the atrium. from adjacent spaces by a 1-hour
• Exception 3: …are accounted for in fire barrier
the design of the smoke control
• Exception 3: Adjacent spaces of
any three floors of the atrium shall
not be required to be separated from
the atrium where such spaces are
included in the design of the
smoke control system.

27 Atrium Smoke Control – Clarification

2010 CBC – Subtle Changes
 Table was simplified, some change of
• Exterior wall openings and exterior
wall fire-resistance rating tables
were coordinated

© International Code Council

28 Exterior Wall Openings – Clarification
 Fire walls, fire barriers, fire partitions, smoke barriers and smoke partitions:
• Must be effectively and permanently identified with signs or stenciling.
• Must be located in accessible concealed floor, floor-ceiling or attic spaces.
• Must be repeated at intervals not exceeding 30 feet.
• Include lettering not less than 0.5 inch in height.
• Exception:
- Walls in Group R-2 occupancies that do not have a removable decorative ceiling
allowing access to the concealed space.

29 Marking of Fire- and Smoke-Resistive Walls

 Group R-2 and R-3 Changes
• If sprinklered, a maximum occupant load of 20 can be served by one means of

30 Miscellaneous Egress Changes

 Stage Proscenium Curtains
• Fire curtains per NFPA 80 OR water curtains OR a smoke control system.

31 Special Occupancy Changes

 Podium Buildings
• The allowable occupancies within the podium of mixed construction type
buildings permitted under Section 509 were expanded to allow residential
• Special height increases for Group R-1 occupancies
- Type IIA: 9 stories and 100 ft when having a fire separation distance of 50 ft, exits
are separated by two-hour fire wall, and first floor assembly = 1.5 hours
- Type IIA: 6 stories and 75 ft when first floor = 3 hours and floor is subdivided into
3,000 sf compartments by 2-hour fire walls
• Important Clarification: Multiple buildings are permitted above a parking

32 Special Occupancy Changes

 Open Mall Buildings
• The special conditions and allowances available for covered mall buildings
are now also applicable to similar facilities that do not have a roof over the
common pedestrian circulation area.

33 Special Occupancy Changes

 Ambulatory Health Care Facilities
• New provisions for Group B facilities
where individuals are rendered incapable of self-

 I-2 Occupancies
• An allowance for the use of delayed egress devices in I-2 occupancies,
where necessary for patients.
• Increased fire-resistance rating for occupancy separations.

 I-3 Occupancies
• A code change was approved to clarify the code intent regarding multi-level
housing units in I-3 detention occupancies.

34 Miscellaneous Health Care and Institutional Changes

 The maximum allowable area for an
E Occupancy (schools) was reduced from
20,000 sf
to 12,000 sf
 An exception was added to the
requirements for
M Occupancies (mercantile) that requires
regardless of building area when the use
is for display
and sale of upholstered furniture.
 The sprinkler exception for areas used
exclusively for participant sports with
50+ ft roof and smoke protection has
been removed from the codes.

35 Miscellaneous Sprinkler Changes

 The 2010 California Building Code includes several significant
changes from the 2007 edition.
 Several changes are related directly to the changes between the
2006 and 2009 IBC and were in response to the 9/11 disaster
with focus on high-rise buildings.
 Many of these changes may have significant impacts on building

36 Conclusions
Thank You for Your Time!

Brian McLaughlin, P.E.

Senior Engineer

Arup North America Ltd.

12777 W. Jefferson Boulevard, Suite 100
Los Angeles, California 90066
T: 310.578.4400