Occupancy Classification.

Occupancy Classification

Occupancy classification is the categorization of buildings, which is dependent on its usage. These classifications are useful in building and enforcement of fire codes known as model building codes. It is noteworthy that a single building may have multiple occupancies, hence a mixed occupancy building. In such a case, the different parts have to meet the codes for the individual areas such as shopping and a parking area of a shopping mall (Sean, 1). These requirements are meant for safety from fire and other emergencies, unrestrained crowd movement, occupant’s protection, structural integrity and systems effectiveness (Nfpa, 22).

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is tasked with the responsibility of covering all aspects of fire protection and prevention, and it has NFPA fire codes that have 60 chapters and seven annexes. These chapters and annexes provide the standards or specifying, constructing and maintaining fire protection systems.

According to the international building code, a single family occupancy in a residential area fall under group R under subdivision R-2. This building type falls under this category because of the shelter and accommodation aspect of it on a long term basis (Hageman et al, 27).


A 100 bed nursing home is coded Group I because it is an institution where people receive care on the basis of health, physical or medical conditions. In this case, the nursing home falls under subdivision I-2 because, in such homes medical, surgical, psychiatric and personal care are provided on a 24hours basis (Scott, 112). Such people are not capable to responding to an emergency situation without assistance, and it is this characteristic that becomes helpful with NFPA on how it can disburse fire emergency services.

A 100 bed assisted living home is coded I-1 under the institutional group  I where even though the occupants  they are receiving medical assistance because of  mental problems, or are old, they are capable of responding to emergencies and self-preservation (Harmon and Kennon, 51). However, an exemption occurs if a facility has less than 16 occupants on medical care who are capable of self-preservation, and it thus classified as group R.

Meanwhile, a movie theater with a capacity of 362 at one time falls under group A. This is because this it is asocial assembly of more than 75 occupants at one time (Harmon and Kennon, 54). It falls under the subcategory A-1 because the structure is fitted with permanent seats for viewing performance arts or motion pictures.

Meanwhile, for a Police Station including a temporary detention center, this falls under a group B and Group R building codes. This is because the building provides for both government services and accommodation. Therefore, this is classified as an accessory use area because it has two different occupancies with one being a subordinate to the other. In this case, the detention centre is subordinate to the police station (Lastamerican Institute of architects, 815).


For a room having a strip center that includes a Home Improvement Store, a Clothing Store, an accountant’s office, and an instant care medical facility. A strip center falls under group A because it is an assembly of occupants for entertainment purposes (Harmon and Kennon, 56). Meanwhile, a home improvement store is classified under group M because in such a store goods are displayed and stored. Classify both the individual stores and the strip center. A clothing store is classified under Group S because it is a storage facility, whereas an accountant’s office is classified as group B because it provides services. Meanwhile, an instant medical care facility is classified as a business because it functions more of a doctor’s office with no subsequent accommodation. The strip centre will thus be classified as mixed occupancies building because these the building is occupied by more than two uses that are not included in the same occupancy classification (Scott, 111).



Works cited

Hageman, Jack, Beeston, Brian and Hageman, Ken. Contractor’s Guide to the Building Code:

Based on the 2006 Ibc & Irc. London. Craftsman Book Company, 2008. Print

Harmon, Sharon and Kennon, Katherine. The Codes Guidebook for Interiors. New York, John

Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print

Lastamerican Institute of architects. The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice. New

York, John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print

Nfpa. Operation Of Fire Protection Systems. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2003. Print

Scott, James. Architectural Building Codes: A Graphic Reference. New York, John Wiley &

Sons, 2008. Print

Sean Tracey. Bridging the enforcement gap.  Retrieved on 18th Sedp 2012 from

< http://www.mboa.mb.ca/BridgingtheEnforcementGap.pdf.pdf >Print

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