Elevators and Fire Service Access Elevators

Welcome back to our 10th Edition Major Changes blog series. In this post, we will be discussing miscellaneous code changes related to elevators and fire service access elevators (FSAE).

Elevator Hoistway Protection

In the 9th Edition of 780 CMR, in fully sprinklered buildings, elevator lobbies were most commonly required in Group I-2 (health care) buildings connecting more than three stories, or in high-rise buildings where the hoistway is greater than 75 feet. However, the 10th Edition of 780 CMR specifically addresses the elevator hoistway protection requirement for all elevators that open into fire-resistance rated corridors (780 CMR 3006.2.1). Options for compliance for elevator hoistways that open into fire-resistance rated corridors are the same as those for high-rise buildings: protected lobbies, hoistway pressurization, or protection at hoistway doors. This requirement primarily impacts buildings with fire-rated corridors, such as residential buildings.

Egress Through Elevator Lobbies

The 9th Edition of 780 CMR contained ambiguous language regarding whether rooms or spaces requiring only one means of egress were permitted to travel through an elevator lobby as a path to an exit. The 10th Edition explicitly permits egress through an enclosed elevator lobby for spaces that only require one means of egress (780 CMR 1016.2). Where two means of egress are required from a space, at least one is not permitted to travel through an elevator lobby. This code change will be helpful in establishing clear direction for design teams, and also for potential discussions with building officials.

Fire Service Access Elevators (FSAE)

FSAE are not overly common, only being required in a building having its highest floor elevation at greater than 120 ft. Where required, FSAE need to be provided with enhanced FSAE lobbies with direct access into an exit stairway with a standpipe for staging operations. The base code requirement has been that FSAE serve every floor of a building. The 10th Edition will be updated such that fire service access elevators now:

(1) Only need to serve floors above and including the lowest level of FD access (below-grade levels are exempt).

(2) Are not required for elevators that only serve open or enclosed parking and the lobby of the building, and

(3) Do not need to serve top floor(s) of buildings where such floor(s) are only for equipment for building systems (MEP floors)

Thanks for reading – stay connected for more Insights posts as we continue our “10th Edition Major Changes” series as part of CRC’s 10th Anniversary!

Application of any information provided, for any use, is at the reader’s risk and without liability to Code Red Consultants. Code Red Consultants does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained in this blog as applicable codes and standards change over time. The application, enforcement and interpretation of codes and standards may vary between Authorities Having Jurisdiction and for this reason, registered design professionals should be consulted to determine the appropriate application of codes and standards to a specific scope of work.