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All, I have a project I am working with a client on. They want to turn an existing building (built apprx. 1915) into a restaurant. It is two stories, and we will be adding a kitchen, office, bathrooms, stairs, etc. downstairs and some bathrooms upstairs. It will also now be sprinkled where as it isn't currently. Permanent alterations will be much less than 50% of the floor area. The rest of the footprint will be tables and chairs.

I am trying to determine what is considered the "work area". Under section 603 (EXISTING IBC 2021), level 2 alterations have an exception that states "The movement or addition of nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters, and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height shall not be considered a level 2 alteration".

So, I take this as we can consider these alterations affecting less than 50% of the area since >50% of the changes are only nonfixed fixures (tables and chairs). Am I correct in thinking this?

Would like everyone's opinion on this please.

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