Is an Elevator LOBBY always required?

i haven't checked the ibc, but a lobby may not be required in certain situations under the ubc (lower level, fully sprinklered office building, i think). i'm going off the top of my head so i'm not sure.

also i'm not sure a lobby is required if the elevators open directly into an open office tenant (without rated corridors). that would seem not to make any sense, but i believe the original intent was separation from corridors. if you have no corridors how would separation be required? the exits from the floor would presumably be to stair enclosures directly, without entering into a rated corridor system. again, fully sprinklered, single office tenant occupying the entire floor.

under the ibc it would seem many things aren't required with a fully sprinklered building. that appears to be the plan

The one case in which I know the IBC would require an elevator lobby is in a nonsprinkled building where the elevator is an accessible means of egress. In that case, an area of refuge is required next to the hoistway door -- thus you get an enclosed lobby.

Brian Black
Director, Building Codes/Standards
Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association
111 West Huron St.
Buffalo, NY 14202

Elevator lobbies are required in IBC 707.14.1.

Generally if the corridor is required to be fire rated, an elevator lobby is required.

Exceptions are: Office buildings with sprinkler system, elevators not located in shafts, additional doors installed to maintain rating of the shaft, buildings greater than four stories without sprinkler protection.

[This message was edited by codexman on Wednesday, 07 August 2002 at 08:10.]
Frequently enclosed elevator lobbies are a result of other forces. An underground parking garage, if frequently not conditioned. In the northern climates, this area becomes quite cold, especially when the exhaust/supply fans are running. And, the eleveator smoke detector is only rated to 32 degrees. Hence, a lobby walls, a heater or fan coil unit, different lights, and a contented smoke detector results.
In CA, we have a SFM exception which is really useful...
In 707.14.1 exception 4
(SFM) In other than Group I-3 and high rise buildings, enclose elevator lobbies are not required where the building is protected by an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Sec. 903.3.1.1. or 903.3.1.2.
From the 2007 CBC, 707.14.1 Elevator lobby.
An enclosed elevator lobby shall be provided at each floor where an elevator shaft enclosure connects more than two stories in high-rise buildings, Group A, E, H, I, L, R-1 and R-2 occupancies and other applications listed in Section 111 regulated by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and three stories for all other occupancies. The lobby shall separate the elevator shaft enclosure doors from each floor by fire partitions equal to the fire-resistance rating of the corridor and the required opening protection. Elevator lobbies shall have at least one means of egress complying with Chapter 10 and other provisions within this code.

4. [SFM] In other than Group I-3, and high-rise buildings, enclosed elevator lobbies are not required where the building is protected by an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 (NFPA 13) or 903.3.1.2 (NFPA 13-R).
I have a related question -- I am designing a 5 story, R-2 building, so it needs the elevator to be an Accessible Means of Egress. I believe this also means I have to have an elevator vestibule on floors 2-5 to serve as the Area of Refuge, correct? For that AofR to be safe, should I keep a Smoke Guard curtain at the elevator hoistway door? We will need an emergency generator for the elevator. Does the shaft also have to be pressurized? The building is fully sprinklered.

What about exception #4 in Section 707.14.1 ?

If the building is sprinkelered, NFPA 13 in this case since its 5-stories, then you may not need to provide "enclosed elevator lobbies".

Elevator shaft does not need to be pressurized. The elevator will have to comply with Section 1007.4.

Regarding "Accessible Means of Egress"- you may find the attached document helpful.


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