Chapter 16.05

16.05.000    Chapter Contents


16.05.010    General.

16.05.020    Construction.

16.05.030    Occupancy.

16.05.040    Sprinkler Protection.

16.05.050    Height.

16.05.060    Fire fighting access.

16.05.070    Permit application.

16.05.075    Special Design Requirements.

16.05.080    Construction and Inspection.

16.05.090    Maintenance of fire protection systems in five-story apartment buildings.

(Ord. 6310 §16, 2004).

16.05.010 General

The provisions of this chapter may be used to design and construct mixed-use apartment buildings as an alternative to complying with the Olympia Building and Construction Regulations adopted in this title. Buildings designed and constructed under this chapter shall comply with all provisions of this chapter. Where a provision in this chapter is in conflict with the Building Code, the provision of this chapter shall take precedence.

(Ord. 6722 §2, 2010; Ord. 6310 §16, 2004; Ord. 5770 §1, 1998).

16.05.020 Construction

A.    Mixed Construction. Six-story buildings complying with this chapter may be designed and constructed so that the first story and / or the first and second story of a structure is constructed of Type IA Construction, and the remaining top four or five stories of Type VA construction. The Type IA Construction shall be separated from the Type VA construction with a three-hour occupancy separation.

B.    Construction Types. Type IA and Type VA construction shall be as specified in the Building Code.

C.    Shaft, Stairway, Ramp, and Escalator Enclosures. Shaft, stairway, ramp, and escalator enclosures shall meet provisions of Building Code Section 508.2.

(Ord. 6722 §2, 2010; Ord. 6310 §16, 2004; Ord. 5770 §1, 1998).

16.05.030 Occupancy

The occupancy of the top four or five stories of buildings shall be limited to Group R-2 apartment occupancies. Occupancies located on other stories constructed to Type IA standards shall be limited to:

Group A-2 and Group B

Drinking, dining establishments, and assembly areas for the common use of residents; and having an occupant load of less than 300 persons;

Group B


Group M

Retail stories;

Group E - Day Care

Day care occupancies; and

Group S

Parking and storage of private motor

(Ord. 6722 §2, 2010; Ord. 6310 §16, 2004; Ord. 5770 §1, 1998).

16.05.040 Sprinkler Protection

The building shall be protected throughout by an automatic sprinkler system complying with the International Building Code and Section 903.3.1.1 (NFPA 13) as contained in the 2009 International Building Code and as may be further modified by Chapter 16.40. The automatic sprinkler system shall not substitute for one-hour fire-resistive construction.

The sprinkler system shall be fitted with residential sprinkler heads in addition to providing areas of refuge (AOR) at required exits that are not grade accessible.

(Ord. 6722 §2, 2010; Ord. 6310 §16, 2004; Ord. 5770 §1, 1998).

16.05.050 Height

The maximum height from the finished grade of any building constructed under this Chapter shall be as determined by the Fire Marshal and the Building Official to meet or demonstrably exceed applicable Fire and Building codes. The height of buildings shall be measured from the apparatus set up point to the highest point of coping of a flat roof, the deck of a mansard roof, or the average height of the highest gable of a pitched or hipped roof associated with the building facade. The height of building sections with no fire apparatus access shall not exceed the height of adjacent sections. In no case shall the height of any building regulated by this Chapter be constructed higher than 75 feet to the highest occupied floor unless the building being constructed complies with the currently adopted edition of the International Building Code for such buildings and appurtenances attached thereto.

(Ord. 6950 §1, 2015; Ord. 6722 §2, 2010; Ord. 6310 §16, 2004; Ord. 5770 §1, 1998).

16.05.060 Fire fighting access

Access to the building for fire fighting and related purposes shall be provided as follows:

A.    Subject to the approval of the Building Official and the Olympia Fire Department, two of the exterior facades of the building shall be accessible by a ladder truck, according to the following standards:

1.    The design shall minimize the number of apparatus set up points and shall maximize the number of apartments within the ladder reach;

2.    For each accessible facade of the building, one apparatus set up point shall be provided for each 200 feet of building facade, or fraction thereof;

3.    At least fifty percent (50%) of all living units which have windows on the exterior facades of the building must be within ladder reach of apparatus located at approved set points. Living units which only have windows on exterior courtyards are not included in this determination;

4.    Set up points shall be on an access road which may be either a public right-of-way or an area of the property set aside for access road purposes. The access road shall be paved and must support the weight of the apparatus. The access road shall comply with the Olympia Fire Department standards and shall be of sufficient width to provide access to and around apparatus set up points;

5.    Each accessible building facade shall be within 21 feet of the closest edge or curb of the access road;

6.    Any trees planted between the edge of an access road and an accessible building facade shall be subject to the approval of the Olympia Fire Department;

7.    The location of overhead wires along accessible building facades shall be subject to the approval of the Olympia Fire Department.

B.    Interior courtyards shall not be less than 30 feet in any interior dimension.

C.    Unless the roof has a slope greater than four vertical in 12 horizontal, all stairways shall extend to the roof surface.

D.    Each stairway shall include a Class I standpipe complying with the Olympia Fire Department standards.

(Ord. 6722 §2, 2010; Ord. 6310 §16, 2004; Ord. 5770 §1, 1998).

16.05.070 Permit application

Permit applications submitted pursuant to this chapter shall include the plans and specifications as specified by the Community Planning and Development Department. Prior to application, the applicant shall have land use approvals, to include conceptual design review, if applicable.

(Ord. 6722 §2, 2010; Ord. 5770 §1, 1998).

16.05.075 Special Design Requirements

A.    All buildings covered by this Chapter shall provide the following special design features:

1.    All required exits must be constructed as exterior stairs, smokeproof enclosures, or pressurized stair enclosures to conform with IBC Section 909.20. The stair pressurization system must be supplied by an emergency power system complying with this Code;

2.    Required dwelling egress doors must exit directly into a one-hour fire resistive corridor;

3.    No dwelling egress door can open directly into an exit enclosure or onto exterior exit stairs that serve as path of egress for another dwelling unit;

4.    Location of the fire control panel with ADA communication devices shall be approved by the Fire Department; and

5.    Provide for at least one of the following:

a.    Limit the height of the wood frame portion to 50 feet above the Type IA portion.

b.    Reduce the allowable building area above the Type IA portion to 20 percent.

c.    Provide an additional stair enclosure or additional horizontal exit from each floor level.

d.    Provide less than 30 feet of travel distance from each dwelling unit egress door to an exit.

e.    Restrict the number of dwelling units per floor to a maximum of four.

f.    Provide at least two sides of the building perimeter with an area at grade that can be utilized for firefighting purposes and a third side that is accessible for aerial ladder rescue.

(Ord. 6722 §2, 2010; Ord. 6310 §16, 2004).

16.05.080 Construction and Inspection

For buildings constructed pursuant to this chapter, a quality assurance plan and special inspections are required as per IBC Chapter 17, including a special inspection for seismic resistance as specified in the Building Code, and structural observation shall be provided by the registered design professional:

The engineer’s design and structural observation shall verify shrinkage does not adversely affect the strength or serviceability of the structure and building systems, and account for shrinkage in the design of the shear wall/hold-down system. Details for interior and exterior finishes allowing for shrinkage shall be provided and inspected (such as for continuous interior finishes such as stairways, shafts, atriums, and exterior walls). The engineer shall review stamp mechanical, plumbing, and electrical designs with regard to design compatibility.

The engineer’s design must address the capacity of wood studs at each level for axial and bending loads including any associated reduction for fire resistive assemblies, review stud end bearing on plates at each level, and limit moisture content of framing lumber to a maximum 15 percent.

(Ord. 6722 §2, 2010; Ord. 6310 §16, 2004; Ord. 5770 § 1, 1998).

16.05.090 Maintenance of fire protection systems in five-story apartment buildings

The owners of mixed-use apartment buildings of Type VA construction approved under city building regulations, Chapter 16.05, shall be responsible for assuring that the fire and life-safety systems required by the Building Code and Title 16 are maintained in an operable condition at all times. Unless otherwise required by the Fire Chief, quarterly testing of such systems shall be conducted by testers approved by the City. A written record shall be maintained and shall be forwarded to the Fire Marshal and be available to the inspection authority.

(Ord. 6722 §2, 2010; Ord. 6310 §16, 2004; Ord. 5770 §1, 1998).