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Title: Section 404  •  Size: 22895

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404.1 General.

404.1.1 Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish minimum standards of safety for the construction and use of covered mall buildings having not more than three levels.

404.1.2 Scope. The provisions of Section 404 shall apply to buildings or structures defined herein as covered mall buildings and shall supersede other similar requirements in other chapters of the code.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. Covered mall buildings conforming with all other applicable provisions of this code.

2. Terminals for transportation facilities and lobbies of hotels, apartments and office buildings.

404.1.3 Definitions. For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms are defined as follows:

ANCHOR BUILDING is an exterior perimeter department store, major merchandising center or Group R, Division 1 Occupancy having direct access to a covered mall building but having all required exits independent of the mall.

COVERED MALL BUILDING is a single building enclosing a number of tenants and occupancies such as retail stores, drinking and dining establishments, entertainment and amusement facilities, offices and other similar uses wherein two or more tenants have a main entrance into the mall.

GROSS LEASABLE AREA is the total floor area designed for tenant occupancy and exclusive use. The area of tenant occupancy is measured from the center lines of joint partitions to the outside of the tenant walls. All tenant areas, including areas used for storage, shall be included in calculating gross leasable area.

MALL is a roofed or covered common pedestrian area within a covered mall building which serves as access for two or more tenants and may have three levels that are open to each other.

404.1.4 Applicability of other provisions. Except as specifically required by this chapter, covered mall buildings shall meet all applicable provisions of this code.

404.2 Types of Construction and Required Yards for Unlimited Area.

404.2.1 Type of construction. One- and two-level covered mall buildings may be of any type of construction permitted by this code. Three-level covered mall buildings shall be at least Type II One-hour construction.

Anchor buildings and parking garages shall be limited in height and area in accordance with Sections 504, 505 and 506.

404.2.2 Required yards for unlimited area. Covered mall buildings may be of unlimited area, provided the covered mall building, attached anchor buildings and parking garages are adjoined by public ways, streets or yards not less than 60 feet (18 288 mm) in width along all exterior walls.

404.3 Special Provisions.

404.3.1 Automatic sprinkler systems. The covered mall building shall be provided with an automatic sprinkler system conforming to the provisions of U.B.C. Standard 9-1 which is a part of this code. See Chapter 35. In addition to these standards, the automatic sprinkler system shall comply with the following:

1. All automatic sprinkler system control valves shall be electrically supervised by an approved central, proprietary or remote station or a local alarm service which will give an audible signal at a constantly attended location.

2. The automatic sprinkler system shall be complete and operative throughout the covered mall building prior to occupancy of any of the tenant spaces. The separation between an unoccupied tenant space and the covered mall building shall be subject to the approval of the building official and fire department.

3. Sprinkler protection for the mall shall be independent from that provided for tenant spaces. However, tenant spaces may be supplied by the same system if they can be independently controlled.

The respective increases for area and height for covered mall buildings, including anchor buildings, specified in Sections 311.9, 505 and 506 of this code, shall be permitted.

404.3.2 Standpipes. There shall be a combined Class I standpipe outlet connected to a system sized to deliver 250 gallons per minute (946.4 L/min.) at the most hydraulically remote outlet. The outlet shall be supplied from the mall zone sprinkler system and shall be hydraulically calculated. Standpipe outlets shall be provided at each of the following locations:

1. Within the mall at the entrance to each exit passage or exit corridor.

2. At each floor-level landing within enclosed stairways opening directly onto the mall.

3. At exterior public entrances to the mall.

404.3.3 Smoke-control system. A smoke-control system meeting the requirements of Section 905 shall be provided.

EXCEPTION: A smoke-control system need not be provided when both of the following conditions exist:

1. The mall does not exceed one story and

2. The gross leasable area does not exceed 24,000 square feet (2230 m²).

404.3.4 Fire department access to equipment. Rooms or areas containing controls for air-conditioning systems, automatic fire-extinguishing systems or other detection, suppression or control elements shall be identified for use by the fire department.

404.3.5 Tenant separation. Each tenant space shall be separated from other tenant spaces by a wall having a fire-resistive rating of not less than one hour. The separation wall shall extend from the floor to the underside of the ceiling above. Except as required by other provisions of this code, the ceiling need not be a fire-resistive assembly. A separation is not required between any tenant space and a mall except for occupancy separations required by Section 404.5 or for smoke-control purposes.

404.3.6 Public address system. Covered mall buildings exceeding 50,000 square feet (4645.2 m²) in total floor area shall be provided with a public address system accessible for use by the fire department. Covered mall buildings of 50,000 square feet (4645.2 m²) or less in total floor area, when provided with a public address system, shall have such system accessible for use by the fire department.

404.3.7 Plastic panels and plastic signs. Within every story or level and from side wall to side wall of each tenant space or mall, approved plastic panels and signs shall be limited as follows:

1. They shall not exceed 20 percent of the wall area facing the mall;

2. They shall not exceed a height of 36 inches (914 mm) except that if the sign is vertical then the height shall not exceed 96 inches (2438 mm) and the width shall not exceed 36 inches (914 mm);

3. They shall be located a minimum distance of 18 inches (457 mm) from adjacent tenants.

404.3.8 Lease plan. Each covered mall building owner shall provide both the building and fire departments with a lease plan showing the location of each occupancy and its exits after the certificate of occupancy has been issued. Such plans shall be kept current. No modifications or changes in occupancy or use shall be made from that shown on the lease plan without prior approval of the building official.

404.3.9 Openings between anchor building and mall. Except for the occupancy separation between Group R, Division 1 sleeping rooms and the mall, openings between anchor buildings of Type I, II-F.R, II One-hour or II-N construction and the mall need not be protected.

404.3.10 Standby power. Covered mall buildings exceeding 50,000 square feet (4645.2 m²) shall be provided with standby power systems which are capable of operating the public address system, the smoke-control activation system and the smoke-control equipment as required by Section 905.

404.4 Exits.

404.4.1 General. Each tenant space and the covered mall building shall be provided with exits as required by this section and Chapter 10 of this code. Where there is a conflict between the requirements of Chapter 10 and the requirements of this section, the requirements of this section shall apply.

404.4.2 Determination of occupant load. The occupant load permitted in any individual tenant space in a covered mall building shall be determined as required by Section 1002 of this code. Exit requirements for individual tenant spaces shall be based on the occupant load thus determined.

The occupant load permitted for the covered mall building, assuming all portions, including individual tenant spaces and the mall to be occupied at the same time, shall be determined by dividing the gross leasable area by 30 for covered mall buildings containing up to 150,000 square feet (13 935 m²) of gross leasable area, by 40 for covered mall buildings containing between 150,001 and 350,000 square feet (13 935 m² and 32 516 m²) of gross leasable area, and by 50 for covered mall buildings containing more than 350,000 square feet (32 516 m²) of gross leasable area. Exit requirements for the covered mall building shall be based on the occupant load thus determined.

The occupant load of anchor buildings opening into the mall shall not be included in determining exit requirements for the mall.

404.4.3 Number of exits. When the distance of travel to the mall exceeds 75 feet (22 860 mm) within the public area of a tenant space or when the occupant load served by the exit to the mall exceeds 50, not less than two exits shall be provided. The occupant load of a public sales area shall be computed at 30 square feet (2.8 m²) per occupant. Occupant loads for other areas shall be computed in accordance with Table 10-A.

404.4.4 Arrangement of exits. Group A, Divisions 1, 2 and 2.1 Occupancies, other than drinking and dining establishments, shall be so located in the covered mall building that their entrance will be immediately adjacent to a principal entrance to the mall and shall have not less than one half of their required exits opening directly to the exterior of the covered mall building.

Required exits for anchor buildings shall be provided independently from the mall exit system.

Malls shall not exit through anchor buildings. Malls terminating at an anchor building where no other means of exit has been provided shall be considered as a dead-end mall.

404.4.5 Distance to exits. Within each individual tenant space in a covered mall building the maximum distance of travel from any point to an exterior exit door, horizontal exit, exit passageway, enclosed stairway or entrance to the mall shall not exceed 200 feet (60 960 mm).

The maximum distance of travel from any point within a mall to an exterior exit door, horizontal exit, exit passageway or an enclosed stairway shall not exceed 200 feet (60 960 mm).

404.4.6 Access to exits. Exits shall be so arranged that it is possible to go in either direction from any point in a mall to a separate exit, except for dead ends not exceeding a length equal to twice the width of the mall measured at the narrowest location within the dead-end portion of the mall.

The minimum width of exit from a mall shall be 66 inches (1676 mm).


Storage is prohibited in exit passageways which are also used for service to the tenants. Such exit passageways shall be posted with conspicuous signs so stating.

404.4.7 Malls. For the purpose of providing required egress, malls may be considered as corridors but need not comply with the requirements of Sections 1005.7 and 1005.8 of this code when the width of mall is as specified in this section.

The minimum aggregate clear width of the mall shall be 20 feet (6096 mm). There shall be a minimum of 10 feet (3048 mm) clear width to a height of 8 feet (2438 mm) on each side of the mall between any projection from a tenant space bordering the mall and the nearest kiosk, vending machine, bench, display or other obstruction to egress. Kiosks, vending machines and similar uses shall be spaced at least 20 feet (6096 mm) from each other and shall not be more than 300 square feet (28 m²) in area.

Malls which do not conform to the requirements of this section shall comply with the requirements of Sections 1005.7 and 1005.8 of this code.

404.4.8 Security grilles and doors. Horizontal sliding or vertical security grilles or doors which are a part of a required means of egress shall conform to the following:

1. They must remain secured in the full open position during the period of occupancy by the general public.

2. Doors or grilles shall not be brought to the closed position when there are more than 10 persons occupying spaces served by a single exit or 50 persons occupying spaces served by more than one exit.

3. The doors or grilles shall be openable from within without the use of any special knowledge or effort when the space is occupied.

4. When two or more exits are required, not more than one half of the exits may be equipped with horizontal sliding or vertical rolling grilles or doors.

404.5 Occupancy.

404.5.1 General. Covered mall buildings shall be classified as Groups B and M Occupancies and may contain accessory uses consisting of Group A, B, E or R, Division 1 Occupancies. The area of individual accessory uses within a covered mall building shall not exceed three times the basic area permitted by Table 5-B of this code for the type of construction and the occupancy involved. The aggregate area of all accessory uses within a covered mall building shall not exceed 25 percent of the gross leasable area.

An attached garage for the parking or storage of private or pleasure-type motor vehicles having a capacity of not more than nine persons and open parking garages may be considered as separate buildings when they are separated from the covered mall building by an occupancy separation having a fire-endurance time period of at least two hours.

404.5.2 Mixed occupancy. Individual tenant spaces within a covered mall building which comprise a distinct ``occupancy,'' as described in Chapter 3 of this code, shall be separated from any other occupancy as specified in Section 302.4 of this code.

EXCEPTION: A main entrance which opens onto a mall need not be separated.

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