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Title: Section 405  •  Size: 13996

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SECTION 405 - STAGES AND PLATFORMS

405.1 Scope.

405.1.1 Standards of quality. Stages, platforms and accessory spaces in assembly occupancies shall conform with the requirements of Section 405.

The standards listed below labeled a "U.B.C. standard" are also listed in Chapter 35, Part II, and are part of this code.

1. U.B.C. Standard 4-1, Proscenium Curtains

2. U.B.C. Standard 9-1, Installation of Sprinkler Systems

3. U.B.C. Standard 8-1, Test Method for Surface-burning Characteristics of Building Materials

4. U.B.C. Standard 7-1, Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials

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

BATTEN is a flown metal pipe or shape on which lights or scenery are fastened.

DROP is a large piece of scenic canvas or cloth which hangs vertically, usually across the stage area.

FLY is the space over the stage of a theater where scenery and equipment can be hung out of view. Also called lofts and rigging lofts.

FLY GALLERY is a raised floor area above a stage from which the movement of scenery and operation of other stage effects are controlled.

GRIDIRON is the structural framing over a stage supporting equipment for hanging or flying scenery and other stage effects.

LEG DROP is a long narrow strip of fabric used for masking. When used on either or both sides of the acting area, it is provided to designate an entry onto the stage by the actors. It is also used to mask the side stage area. They may also be called ``wings.''

PINRAIL is a rail on or above a stage through which belaying pins are inserted and to which lines are fastened.

PLATFORM is that raised area within a building used for the presentation of music, plays or other entertainment; the head table for special guests; the raised area for lectures and speakers; boxing and wrestling rings; theater in the round; and similar purposes wherein there are not overhead hanging curtains, drops, scenery or stage effects other than lighting.

PLATFORM, PERMANENT, is a platform used within an area for more than 30 days.

PLATFORM, TEMPORARY, is a platform used within an area for not more than 30 days.

PROSCENIUM WALL is the wall that separates the stage from the auditorium or house.

STAGE is a space within a building used for entertainment or presentations, with a stage height of 50 feet (15 240 mm) or less. Curtains, drops, scenery, lighting devices and other stage effects are hung and not retractable except for a single lighting bank; single main curtain, border and legs; and single backdrop.

STAGE AREAS are the entire performance area and adjacent backstage and support areas not separated from the performance area by fire-resistive construction.

STAGE HEIGHT is the dimension between the lowest point on the stage floor and the highest point of the roof or floor deck above the stage.

STAGE, LEGITIMATE, is a stage wherein curtains, drops, leg drops, scenery, lighting devices or other stage effects are retractable horizontally or suspended overhead and the stage height is greater than 50 feet (15 240 mm).

THEATER-IN-THE-ROUND is an acting area in the middle of a room with the audience sitting all around it.

405.1.3 Materials and design. Materials used in the construction of platforms and stages shall conform to the applicable materials and design requirements as set forth in this code. All assumed design live loads shall be indicated on the construction documents submitted for approval.

405.2 Platforms. Temporary platforms may be constructed of any materials. The space between the floor and the platform above shall not be used for any purpose other than electrical wiring or plumbing to platform equipment.

Platforms shall be constructed of materials as required for the type of construction of the building in which the platform is located. When the space beneath a raised platform is used for storage or any purpose other than equipment wiring or plumbing, the floor construction shall not be less than one-hour fire-resistive construction. When the space beneath the platform is not used for any purpose other than equipment wiring or plumbing, the underside of the platform shall be firestopped and may be constructed of any type of materials permitted by this code. The floor finish may be of wood in all types of construction.

405.3 Stages.

405.3.1 Construction. The minimum type of construction for stages shall be as required for the building except that the finish floor, in all types of construction, may be of wood.

Stages having a stage height of 50 feet (15 240 mm) or more shall be separated from the balance of the building by not less than a two-hour occupancy separation.

EXCEPTION: The opening in the proscenium wall used for viewing performances may be protected by a proscenium firesafety curtain conforming to U.B.C. Standard 4-1.

Where permitted by the building construction type or where the stage is separated from all other areas as required in the paragraph above, the stage floor may be of unprotected noncombustible or heavy-timber framing members with a minimum 11/2-inch-thick (38 mm) wood deck.

Where a stage floor is required to be of one-hour fire-resistive-rated construction, the stage floor may be unprotected when the space below the stage is sprinklered throughout.

Where the stage height is 50 feet (15 240 mm) or less, the stage area shall be separated from accessory spaces by a one-hour fire-resistive occupancy separation.

EXCEPTION: Control rooms and follow spot rooms may be open to the audience.

405.3.2 Accessory rooms. Dressing rooms, workshops, storerooms and other accessory spaces contiguous to stages shall be separated from each other and other building areas by a one-hour fire-resistive occupancy separation.

EXCEPTION: A separation is not required for stages having a floor area not exceeding 500 square feet (46.5 m²).

405.3.3 Ventilation. Emergency ventilation shall be provided for all stage areas greater than 1,000 square feet (93 m²) or with a stage height of greater than 50 feet to provide a means of removing smoke and combustion gases directly to the outside in the event of a fire. Ventilation shall be by one or a combination of the following methods:

405.3.3.1 Smoke control. A means shall be provided to maintain the smoke level not less than 6 feet (1829 mm) above the highest level of assembly seating or above the top of the proscenium opening where proscenium wall and opening protection is provided. The system shall be activated independently by each of the following: (1) activation of the sprinkler system in the stage area and (2) by a manually operated switch at an approved location. The emergency ventilation system shall be connected to both normal and standby power. The fan(s) power wiring and ducts shall be located and properly protected to assure a minimum 20 minutes of operation in the event of activation.

405.3.3.2 Roof vents. Two or more vents shall be located near the center of and above the highest part of the stage area. They shall be raised above the roof and provide a net free vent area equal to 5 percent of the stage area. Vents shall be constructed to open automatically by approved heat-activated devices. Supplemental means shall be provided for manual operation of the ventilator from the stage floor. Vents shall be labeled by an approved agency.

405.3.4 Proscenium walls. The proscenium opening shall be protected by an approved fire curtain or an approved water curtain complying with U.B.C. Standard 4-1. The fire curtain shall be designed to close automatically upon automatic detection of a fire and upon manual activation and shall resist the passage of flame and smoke for 20 minutes between the stage area and the audience area.

405.3.5 Gridirons, fly galleries and pinrails. Beams designed only for the attachment of portable or fixed theater equipment, gridirons, galleries and catwalks shall be constructed of materials consistent with the building type of construction. A fire-resistance rating is not required.

EXCEPTION: Combustible materials shall be permitted for use as the floors of galleries and catwalks of all types of construction.

405.3.6 Flame-retardant requirements. Combustible scenery of cloth, film, dry vegetation and similar materials shall meet the requirements of the Fire Code. Foam plastics shall have a maximum heat release rate of 100 kilowatts.

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