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Building Code rules for adding a temporary thrust.

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Whos_Curly, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Whos_Curly

    Whos_Curly New Member

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    My stage is a proscenium stage with a small apron and orchestra pit. Before my time a pit cover was built and installed. I would like to add a thrust onto the stage that pushes 12 feet into the audience seating. It will curve back to the apron, basically the bow of a ship jutting into the audience.

    To do this I will need to remove a few seats and create a walkway around the thrust wide enough to not impede egress. I have tried to research this extensively. I can not find any building code, fire code, or osha code that prevents me from doing it. But I could be one sided in my search so I only see what I want to. This is what I think I know: IBC code 105.2 exempts me from needed to get a city permit. IBC 410.4.1 may consider this to be a temporary platform. IBC 410.7.2 says I am not changing the "stage" enough to effect fire code so I don't need to install sprinklers.

    I am hoping for some input on weather or not I can do this. What am I missing that keeps me from doing this. If you include the code that backs me up or proves me wrong so I can look up any ideas you have that would be awesome. Thanks for any help you may have.
     
  2. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Good questions and good research. Way above what I more commonly see. Sort of fundamental, but how long will this be up? I'm guessing not an unlimited run. As all things code, ultimately your local building official or authority having jurisdiction can permit what they want, so my comments are based on what I believe the codes intend and what code staff would say - always with a disclaimer of it not be official.
    While it is not always enforced, as a guide, from the NFPA Life Safety Code: Scenery and stage properties not separated from the audience by proscenium opening protection shall be of noncombustible materials, limited-combustible materials, or fire–retardant-treated wood.
    And the IBC says: 410.3.6 Scenery. Combustible materials used in sets and scenery shall meet the fire propagation performance criteria of Test Method 1 or Test Method 2, as appropriate, of NFPA 701, in accordance with Section 806 and the International Fire Code. Foam plastics and materials containing foam plastics shall comply with Section 2603 and the International Fire Code.
    While FRT wood would be nice, I think painting with a paint with a flame spread rating is probably sufficient. Would be good to ask the official or authority.
    After that, providing the necessary clearance for egress is definitely required. A clear width (can measure with seat up if self rising) not less than the width of the aisles that lead to and from this area - assuming two or more aisles its technically a cross aisle - is the most that is needed. There are circumstances where you could leave the seats right to the stage edge, but requires some measurements and calculations. Post a plan - entire auditorium - and I could review - or just leave the width noted and move on.
    I could imagine other issues in unusual circumstances - like are you losing or doing something that would require supplemental aisle lights or exit signs, or are you losing required wheelchair spaces - but probably not.
     
    Whos_Curly likes this.
  3. Whos_Curly

    Whos_Curly New Member

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    Wow this is some great information thank you so much for your reply. I figured I had glossed over something that I needed to know. I could not find the NFPA code book to check either. I will look into the what qualifies as limited or noncombustible and that may affect how I build it and what materials I use. I always have trouble determining what they consider combustible in different circumstances.
     
  4. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Well, I think you'll be between FRT wood and paint. Avoid thin ply, fabrics, and those things that look like you could light with a match. Best would be discuss with building or fire department before you start.

    Let's face the fact that people in theatre have built a lot into the house, and most without an issue. There may have been a few collapses but don't think you'll find a fire.

    And thanks for returning. It's disappointing when "new members" as a question, receive sincere replies, and are never heard from after the initial question.
     
    Jay Ashworth likes this.
  5. Whos_Curly

    Whos_Curly New Member

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    I started looking at this forum yesterday and saw some awesome information. I hope to make reading through some posts a regular routine I am sure I could learn a lot here and maybe share a little of what I know.

    I think I know how to move forward, I think that I have a good plan, now to check with the local powers that be to make sure they agree. Thanks again for all the great info.
     
  6. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Forgot this in Life Safety Code - right on point:

    12.4.6.2 Platform Construction.
    12.4.6.2.1 Temporary platforms shall be permitted to be constructed
    of any materials.
    12.4.6.2.2 The space between the floor and the temporary
    platform above shall not be used for any purpose other than
    the electrical wiring to platform equipment.

    Its intended for head tables in ballrooms, boxing rings, and the like, but seems to fit your application.
     
  7. Whos_Curly

    Whos_Curly New Member

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    Friend, you are a Wealth of knowledge! I think that this applies perfectly and it makes my life easier so in turn makes me very happy. Thank you so much for your efforts and help.
     
  8. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    This thread brought to you by the letters A, H, and J.

    (Authority Having Jurisdiction, regulatory language for the people who will shut you down if you screw up, and whom you should hence talk to before swinging a hammer.)
     

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