Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only

State of Oregon
Building Codes Division Staff 
Technical Advisory

   
The following advice applies to current code and conditions described in the question. Applications for similar situations may have different determinations.
   
PROGRAM: Structural Program
SUBJECT: Elevator requirements
SOURCE: 1996 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC)
REFERENCE: Section 1108.3.1.1
DATE OF ISSUE: October 15, 1996 
PREPARED BY: C. Darin Wilson, P.E., Code Specialist, (503) 373-1354
   
QUESTION: Are there new exceptions to the requirements for elevators that do not appear in the state's amendment packet?

DETERMINATION: Pursuant to OAR 918-460-0015, and effective April 1, 1996, the 1996 OSSC has been further amended in the accessibility sections related to elevators. These additional amendments do not appear in the state's amendment packet. This new language implements Senate Bill 326 (1995 Legislation) to establish exceptions to the requirements for elevators in ORS 447.247 and to define "lowest flooring" and "overhead finish."

ANALYSIS: The new amendments are attached to this advisory, and that page may be cut out and inserted between pages 1-207.9 and 1-207.10 of the 1996 OSSC. The following is a summary explanation of the new changes:

  1. SECTION 1102 -- DEFINITIONS. Two new definitions, "Lowest Flooring" and "Overhead Finish," have been added to clearly identify the locations used to measure the height of the building pursuant to ORS 447.247(1)(b) and (c). Importantly, these definitions only apply to OSSC Chapter 11 and that statute. They do not apply to OSSC Section 106.3.2 or to the Architect's Law (ORS 671.030).
  2. SECTION 1108 -- FACILITY ACCESSIBILITY. Many significant changes have occurred in this section, as follows:
  3. Floor Level vs. Story: In many areas, the term "Floor Level" has been replaced with the term "Story." The distinction between a floor level and a story is very important. Chapter 11 has its own definition of the term "Story," which is identical to the definition of "Story" in the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Some examples are:
    • A basement designed to be occupiable is considered a story. See the Chapter 11 definition of "Occupiable."
    • A mezzanine is considered a floor level. See the Chapter 2 definition of "Mezzanine."
    • A building with one floor, one roof/ceiling assembly and ANY number of approved mezzanines is considered a one-story building. See the Chapter 11 definition of "Story."
    ORS 447.247 requires elevators in certain buildings with more than one floor level. The exceptions in this section refer to stories. ORS 447.247(2) allows the Building Codes Division to write rules creating elevator exceptions that lessen the statutory requirements. The following exceptions have been created:
    Exception 1.5 is equivalent to the requirements in ADAAG. This is a general exception applicable to the occupancies listed in the exception.

    Exception 1.6 is equivalent to the requirements in ADAAG. The intent is that exceptions 1.5 and 1.6 work together. A minor use (less than 3,000 square feet per floor level) occupancy mixed with any of the occupancies in exception 1.5 is also exempt from the elevator requirement.

    Exception 2 changes the word "With" to the word "Without." The distinction is that if an area is served with an accessible route, an elevator can be exempted using exception 1.1. The actual intent of this exception is to exempt those floor levels less than 4,000 square feet from the elevator requirement.

    Exception 3 is equivalent to the requirements in ADAAG for title III buildings and equivalent to the requirements in the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) for title II buildings. Additionally, it incorporates the requirements in the proposed revisions to ADAAG, which should be issued sometime in 1996 or 1997.

  4. SECTION 1112 -- ADDITIONS. Exception 2 was added to clarify how the similar exception in Section 1108 would apply to additions.

(Authorized by ORS 447.247, adopted by OAR 918-460-0015, effective April 1, 1996.)

SECTION 1102 - DEFINITIONS

LOWEST FLOORING of a building is the lowest surface of a level, story or floor, whether located below or above grade, except for the exceptions listed in Section 1106.1.1.

OVERHEAD FINISH of a building is the lowest point of the interior finished ceiling surface on the uppermost floor level required to be accessible, but in no case shall this point be lower than the highest point used to measure the clear height for an accessible route on that level, as required in Section 1109.4.2.

SECTION 1108 - FACILITY ACCESSIBILITY

1108.3 Elevator and Platform Lifts

1108.3.1 Where required.

1108.3.1.1 Affected buildings. Elevators, provided in affected buildings, shall comply with ORS 447.247. Where elevators are provided in a building or portion thereof, at least one elevator shall serve each floor level, including mezzanines.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. In affected buildings, other than those listed in ORS 447.247(1)(a), elevators or other means of vertical access need not be provided in the following circumstances provided that all facilities and elements located on floor levels not served by an elevator shall be accessible as required by this chapter:
1.1 In a building of fewer than three stories, an elevator need not be provided where ramps, grade-level entries or accessible horizontal connections from adjacent buildings are provided to each floor level provided all facilities, elements and spaces are connected to an accessible route.

1.2 In a building of fewer than three stories, an elevator need not be provided where the floor level which will not be provided with an accessible route is less than 3,000 square feet (279) in commercial facilities, private entities and places of public accommodation.

1.3 In a Group R, Division 1 hotel or motel of fewer than three stories, an elevator need not be provided where all public and common use areas and all accessible guest rooms are located on an accessible floor level.

1.4 In a parking garage of fewer than three stories, an elevator need not be provided to an upper or lower floor level provided that all of the accessible parking spaces are provided on a floor level with an accessible route to an accessible building entrance or to another building.

1.5 In a building of fewer than three stories, an elevator need not be provided in the portion of the building that is of the following occupancy classifications.

  1. Group F, Division 1 and 2;
  2. Group H, Division 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7;
  3. Group S, Divisions 1, 2 and 5; and
  4. Group U, Divisions 1 and 2.
1.6 In a mixed occupancy building of fewer than three stories, involving a Group B or Group M Occupancy mixed with Group F, Division 1 or 2; Group H, Division 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7; Group S, Division 1, 2, or 5; or Group U, Division 1 or 2 Occupancies, an elevator need not be provided, if the Group B or Group M Occupancy is less than 3,000 square feet (279) on any floor level without an accessible route.
2. In private membership clubs and churches, an elevator need not be provided where the level served without an accessible route is less than 4,000 square feet (372).

3. In affected buildings of fewer than two stories, an elevator need not be provided in the portion of the building that is classified as a Group I, Division 3 jail or prison, or similar occupancy, if:

  1. At least 5%, but not less than one cell or room, of the housing or holding cells or rooms are accessible on an accessible route;
  2. Accessible cells are dispersed among all categories and types of general housing and holding areas;
  3. At least one of each type of special holding cells provided for uses such as protective custody, disciplinary detention, detoxification and medical isolation is accessible; and
  4. All public-use, common-use and employee-use areas are accessible on an accessible route.
SECTION 1112 - ADDITIONS

1112.1 General. New additions shall comply with the requirements for new construction and this chapter and may be made to existing buildings without making the entire building comply.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. Additions of three or fewer dwelling units to Group R, Division 1 apartment buildings need not comply with this chapter.

2. Elevators are not required in existing private membership clubs and churches when additions not greater than 4,000 square feet (372) in ground area are provided.