The last two sentences of that section state:
"In other than high-rise buildings, Group A, E, H, I, L and R occupancies or other applications listed in Section 111 regulated by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, these increases are permitted in addition to the height and story increases in accordance with Section 504.2. For Group R-2 buildings of Type VA construction equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, these increases are permitted in addition to the height increase in accordance with Section 504.2."
The way I interpret the first sentence is that Groups A, E, H, I, L, and R, that are not high rise buildings, may use a sprinkler increase for both height and area. Correct?
Or, is the dual increase (height and area) only permitted for SFM regulated buildings, as the latter part of the first sentence stipulates?
My situation, if it will clarify why I'm asking, is a podium-type building (Type IA first floor and Type IIIA for floors above) permitted by Section 509.2. The "building" above the 3-hour horizontal assembly is a 5-story Group R-2. The architect said they used the sprinkler increase for the extra story (only 4 stories for Type IIIA per Table 503), but they cannot use the sprinkler for an area increase per the CBC section I quoted above.
I think they're wrong. What say you?