Problems with Uses in Existing Buildings

Change of use gets pretty interesting when it is beyond the residential to office conversion, which generally requires accessible ramp and van parking compared to required parking by the Planning Department.

When multi-story buildings are going through a change of use, the grade plane location can make or break the use of an assembly tenant on the second (or third) floor, based on height and area and construction type.

E-mail me if you would like more information on a specific project.
One of the most difficult issues is hazardous materials, exempted amounts, HMMP's, control areas, and fire separations.
Categorizing occupancy can also be difficult when the Architect proposes an occupancy category more favorable to the building than actual use. Example, high tech R&D office with supposed "B" research areas that the Owner and Architect do not want to disclose the nature of research operations or materials being used. I had quite a time with a high energy electrical system in a research lab a couple of years ago.

I'm gonna take a look at how teh grade palne couls affect uses. Thanks

Hazardous uses are my foremost specialty so I don't have much of a problem there. I will cover control rooms and how the strict enforcement could affect existing buildings.

Thanks, Chuck
This is pretty close to the truth: 45 years ago, a 1-story building with unreinforced CMU walls was built to house orphans. That use existed for 35 years. It went vacant for 5 years, and then became a B occupancy, and office workers moved in. Then there was another period of vacancy, and now the next proposed use is a halfway house for ex-drug offenders. What codes apply?
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