780 CMR 9th Edition Code Change to Fire Service Access Elevator

8th Edition 780 CMR

The current Massachusetts State Building Code (8th Edition; also known as 780 CMR) is an amended version of the 2009 International Building Code (IBC). The base 2009 IBC code introduced a new requirement for a fire service access elevator (FSAE) in buildings with an occupied floor more than 120 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access (780 CMR 403.6.1). Massachusetts amended Section 403.6.1 to require a FSAE in buildings more than 70 feet in height above grade plane such that FSAE are required in all hi-rise buildings. In order to serve as the FSAE, an elevator must satisfy the following conditions (780 CMR 3007):

  • The FSAE must serve every floor of the building;
  • The FSAE must be open to a lobby that is:
    • 150 square foot& minimum with an 8-foot minimum dimension on every floor except the street floor.
    • Enclosed by 1-hour smoke barriers with 3/4 –hour doors.
    • Provided with direct access to an exit enclosure.
  • A Class I standpipe hose connection must be provided in the exit enclosure having direct access from the FSAE lobby;
  • FSAE must be continuously monitored at the fire command center; and
  • Normal and standby power must be provided in accordance with 780 CMR Chapters 27 & 30

9th Edition 780 CMR

The 9th Edition 780 CMR is an amended version of the 2015 IBC. For further information about the adoption date of the 9th Edition 780 CMR, applicable codes, and the code adoption process please see Code Red Consultants Blog Post titled Building Code by Chris Lizewski.

The 2015 IBC, and thus 9th Edition 780 CMR, significantly changes the requirements related to FSAEs. The 2015 IBC base code requires that in buildings with an occupied floor more than 120 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access, no fewer than two fire service access elevators, or all elevators, whichever is less, be provided. Additionally, it is important to note the draft amendments for public review do not amend IBC Section 403.6.1 as was done for the 8th Edition 780 CMR. The impact of this code change is twofold in that buildings less than 120 feet in height above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access no longer require a FSAE; however, buildings exceeding this threshold now need two FSAE instead of one. It is important that this code change be considered early in design based on the considerable impact on building core configuration.

In addition to the above code change, the 2015 IBC also introduces the following notable changes:

  • Under the 8th Edition 780 CMR it was required that a Class I standpipe hose connection be provided in the exit enclosure having direct access from the FSAE lobby. This requirement has been updated such that the exit enclosure containing the standpipe must have access to the floor without passing through the fire service access elevator lobby. A change was made to this requirement in order to prevent the passage of smoke from the floor to the FSAE lobby and hoistway when firefighters run hoses from the standpipe to the floor (2015 IBC 3007.9.1).
  • Access to not less than one of the required exits from the floor must be provided without travel through enclosed elevator lobbies (2015 IBC 1016.2)
  • A pictorial symbol designating which elevators are fire service access elevators must be installed on both sides of the hoistway door (2015 IBC 3007.6.5).

Continue to monitor the Code Red Consultants Blog for updates relating to the proposed timeline of the 9th Edition 780 CMR code adoption and any proposed changes to the FSAE.

Figure 1 depicts a complaint FSAE and FSAE lobby configuration with direct access to Stair 03 per the 8th Edition 780 CMR.<br><br>Credit: 8th Edition 780 CMR FSAE & FSAE Lobby.

Figure 1 depicts a complaint FSAE and FSAE lobby configuration with direct access to Stair 03 per the 8th Edition 780 CMR.

Credit: 8th Edition 780 CMR FSAE & FSAE Lobby.

Figure 2 provided by the International Code Council in the <em>Significant Changes to the International Building Code 2012 Edition</em> depicts a complaint FSAE and FSAE lobby configuration per the 9th Edition 780 CMR.<br><br>Credit: 9th Edition 780 CMR FSAE & FSAE Lobby.

Figure 2 provided by the International Code Council in the Significant Changes to the International Building Code 2012 Edition depicts a complaint FSAE and FSAE lobby configuration per the 9th Edition 780 CMR.

Credit: 9th Edition 780 CMR FSAE & FSAE Lobby.