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A Step by Step Guide to Maximizing your Brewery Tasting Room Occupancy – Part 4 of 4

How to determine Bathroom Fixture Counts

In this last section of our four part series we will find out how to properly determine the fixture counts for our bathrooms. So, is it bathrooms or bathroom?

Well let’s take a look at Section 412.3 Exceptions 1, 2, and 3, of the California Plumbing Code (CPC) for the answer. The exception allows for two conditions, one, if you are less than 10 occupants, or two, if you are a Group B occupancy with less than 1,500 total square feet. Than you may have a single-facility restroom.

In part two of this post we mentioned that you could reduce the Tasting Room Group A-2 occupancy to a Group B occupancy provided you met the requirements in Section 303.1 1, 2, or 3. This is where we can take advantage of those requirements, if you prefer to have a single-facility restroom.

For example, a Tasting Room of 300 square feet using a Group A-2 occupancy as standing room only (5 net) the resulting occupant load would be 60 occupants. Due to the high occupancy load of 60 Section 412.3 of the CPC Exception 1 would be eliminated. However, Exception 2 would still be viable. 300 square feet is less than the 1,500 square foot threshold. So, in this case I would only need a single-facility restroom.

Fixture Counts

Section 412.1.1, defines the fixture count and conditions for a single-facility restroom.

“Effective January 1, 1990, in new construction and those existing facilities which occupancy type are listed in Tables 4-1 and 4-4 for public use, which apply for permit to undertake construction, structural alterations, repairs or improvement which exceed 50 percent of the square footage of the entire facility, shall install water closets, urinals, lavatories and drinking fountains as stipulated in Tables 4-1 and 4-4 for public use. Community and/or municipal parks with a bleacher capacity not exceeding 500 seats shall be exempt from the requirements of this section and Tables 4-1 and 4-4. Each bathroom shall comply with Part 2, Chapters 11A and 11B of the California Building Code.”

For cases with separate men and women bathrooms simply divide your occupant load in half, 50% for men, 50% for women and follow Table 4-1

Table 4-1

Well, this series of posts were highly technical and a tough read, even for me. There are a few other pitfalls and tricks that need to be navigated along the way, but that’s what were here for.

What do you think about this guide? Let us know in the comments below.

About Neil Rubenstein

Neil Rubenstein joined Rubenstein Architects in 2004 as co-founder of this second-generation architectural firm. With an extensive background as a Senior Technical Director in Visual Effects working for industry leading studios as, Sony Imageworks, Warner Digital, my vision for the firm is to blend my past experience creating buildings that possess a subtle character and personality of their own.

Comments (4)

  • Bennett Foster January 24, 2014 - 3:42 pm Reply

    Our local fire engineer considers the fermentation tank room an H-3 occupancy (due to quantities of Class 1C flammable liquids), which severely limits the allowable area and its area increase. F-2 would allow for greater starting area and area increase x 3 due to sprinklers. Any advice on how to argue the F-2 vs H-3 occupancy.

    • Neil Rubenstein January 27, 2014 - 6:33 pm Reply

      Without having done a significant amount of research, I have a few thoughts. Let’s take a closer look at the language of the code:

      306.3 Factory Industrial F-2 Low-hazard Occupancy. Factory industrial uses that involve the fabrication or manufacturing of noncombustible materials which during finishing, packing or processing do not involve a significant fire hazard shall be classified as F-2 occupancies and shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

      Beverages: up to and including 16-percent alcohol content …”
      Reading 306.3 it clearly identifies “Beverages: up to and including 16-percent alcohol content” as noncombustible and further defines beverages which would include beer, as F-2.

      307.5 High-hazard Group H-3. Buildings and structures containing materials that readily support combustion or that pose a physical hazard shall be classified as Group H-3. Such materials shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

      Class I, II or IIIA flammable or combustible liquids that are used or stored in normally closed containers or systems pressurized at 15 pounds per square inch gauge (103.4 kPa) or less …”

      Reading 307.5 If the Fire Marshal is referring to Ethanol which is a byproduct of the brewing process we should take a look at the definition for “Flammable Liquid” which in turn defines Class I liquids.

      Flammable liquid: any liquid having a flash point below 100ºF (37.8ºC), except any mixture having components with flashpoints of 100ºF (37.8ºC) or higher, the total of which make up 99 percent or more of the total volume of the mixture. Flammable liquids shall be known as Class I liquids. Class I liquids are divided into three classes as follows:

      1.Class IA shall include liquids having flash points below 73ºF (22.8ºC) and having a boiling point below 100ºF (37.8ºC).
      2.Class IB shall include liquids having flash points below 73ºF (22.8ºC) and having a boiling point at or above 100ºF (37.8ºC).
      3.Class IC shall include liquids having flash points at or above 73ºF (22.8ºC) and below 100ºF (37.8ºC).”

      The Definition of Flammable Liquid states “…the total of which make up 99 percent or more of the total volume of the mixture …” It would be reasonable to assume that beer is not 99% or more flammable. Point out that Ethanol is a byproduct of beer and is in very small amounts compared to the rest of the mixture.

      I have not verified this, but it would be a good argument. I will do a bit more research post more information as I get it.

      If you have any further questions please post or just give me a call. I would be happy to help in any way I can.

  • Mark M June 4, 2014 - 3:10 pm Reply

    Are there any extra requirements for the natural gas heating elements other than venting that you’ve seen?

    • Neil Rubenstein July 8, 2014 - 11:15 am Reply

      Hi Mark,

      Other than making sure that you have enough make up air. I good Mechanical Engineer is worth the cost, they should be able to tell you exactly what you need rather than figuring it out in the field. Hope that helps!

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