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Risk Category for Medical Office Building with Group I-2 Occupancy (IBC)

Risk Category for Medical Office Building with Group I-2 Occupancy (IBC)

Risk Category for Medical Office Building with Group I-2 Occupancy (IBC)

This is an IBC question that I figured I'd ask in case anyone here has come across it before. I'm designing a medical office building that will have a group I-2 occupancy. Per table 1604.5, it looks like this building should be designed for risk category III or IV depending on whether it has surgery or emergency treatment facilities. I believe the intent is for their to be surgeries done in the building, so I think that would push us into risk category IV.

However, this seems pretty high since this is definitely not a hospital building. The wording in Table 1604.5 also states that risk category II applies for group I-2 occupancies with 50 or more "resident care patients". Do you think "resident care patients" only applies if people are staying over night and residing within the building. I'm pretty sure the intent is to have outpatient surgeries only, so maybe that brings me back to the typical Risk Category II?

Curious if anyone has had to do anything greater than Risk Category II for any medical office buildings you've worked on in the past? Or if no one has any ideas, has anyone used a forum similar to eng-tips that is building code related where I could ask this question?


RE: Risk Category for Medical Office Building with Group I-2 Occupancy (IBC)

I would recommend a discussion with the owner, architect and building official as there are a few triggers that could make this II, III, or IV.

For IV, the trigger is I2, Condition 2, which includes surgeries, but specially says "emergency surgery" which leads me to believe more of a hospital setting, not an out-patient surgery, like many scheduled surgeries performed in medical facilities occupying "office space" buildings. Additionally, it is my understanding that IV is typically for facilities that are to remain open after a disaster, providing medical treatment, shelter, etc. to individuals, hence why hospitals fall into this category.

Condition 1, which states "occupancies with 50 or more care recipients" does not include surgeries, per 308.3.1.1.

I2, Condition 2, which includes surgeries is mentioned in III. Therefore I believe that the building would fall into category III.

It is worth noting that I have seen many commercial ,strip mall type, buildings that have medical services located in them, sometimes years down the road, most of the buildings were designed for category II, and potentially should be located in a category III building. This is why the building official should be consulted as there may be exceptions where this is allowed, depending on the services provided.

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