I have a client who would like to put a very small wine tasting facility in the basement of his existing basement of his commerical building.  The dimension from floor to floor jsts above is only 7ft.  I am not seeing any exceptions in the Califl Historic Code, the Calif Existing Bldg Code or the CBC that anything less than 7'-6" is allowed.  Am I missing something?  Thanks all 


Original Post

I had a wild idea and thought I would throw it at you folks


Since the client would like to keep this rustic we are not covering the existing 2x10 floor joists above.  So with that in mind could we not call the ceiling the floor sheathing above which is at 7’-9-1/2” AFF and call the floor joists above protruding objects (CBC 1003.3)?  I know, I know, am I kidding?  Hey, I am trying to think outside the box here.  This would meet the requirements of CBC 1003.3.1 since the joists would only account for 10% of the total area which is well under the allowable 50% in the Code.  Also notice, these protruding objects are allowed to extend down to 6’-8” AFF and we are at 7’-0” to the bottom of the floor jsts above.  I am thinking (cannot confirm) that the 7’-6” min ceiling requirement is a requirement of the State Fire Marshal to maximize the time it takes for a room to fill with smoke.   Bring a ceiling lower only lowers the time for it to take to fill a room with smoke.   If it was a headroom issue, why would they allow 50% of the room to be covered with protruding objects?    Well, what do you think?  Have I lost my mind?

The Bldg Official asked me to see what ICC's opinion on it was so I sent them the WHOLE thread between the BO and myself and here is their response


Wayne, pursuant to the detail, the ceiling height is 93 inches and the protruding objects (i.e., joists) are 84 inches.  As such, the details appear to depict compliance with the requirements in 2012 IBC Sections 1003.2 and 1003.3.    





Senior Technical Staff


International Code Council, Inc.

Chicago District Office

4051 West Flossmoor Road

Country Club Hills, IL 60478

Well, we learned that we can use a lift in existing buildings so the BO is good with that but now he not accepting the ICC interpretation as posted above regarding the ceiling hgt.  He now wants opinions of other BO's.  So, any feed back would be appreciated. 

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