National building codes require the installation of egress windows or doors when converting basement spaces into living areas. Egress windows provide an alternative exit from the basement. We can work with your choice of contractor or complete the installation for you.
Things to consider when installing an egress opening:
- Is the proposed location structurally safe?
- Who is going to protect the interior from dust and debris during the cutting process?
- Who is going to remove concrete?
- Who is disposing of the concrete?
310.1 Residential Group R. Residential Group R includes, among others, the use of a building or structure, or a portion thereof, for sleeping purposes when not classified as an Institutional Group 1.
Detached One-, Two-, or Three-Family Dwellings. The "Residential Code of Ohio for One-, Two-, or Three-Family Dwellings" shall apply to structures comprised exclusively of one-, two-, or three-family dwellings and their accessory structures in jurisdictions where a residential department is certified by the board. If no residential department is certified in a jurisdiction, construction documents for structures comprised exclusively of one-, two-, or three-family dwellings are not required to be submitted for approval.
Residential occupancies shall include the following:
R-1 Residential occupancies containing sleeping units where the occupants are primarily transient in nature, including:
- Boarding houses (transient)
- Hotels (transient)
- Motels (transient)
R-1 occupancies typically will include sleeping units but may also include dwelling units when those units are not used primarily as permanent residences.
R-2 Residential occupancies containing sleeping units or more than three dwelling units where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature in structures with shared means ofegress, including:
- Apartment houses
- Boarding houses (not tranSient)
- Fraternities and sororities
- Hotels (nontransient)
- Monasteries Motels (nontransient)
- Vacation timeshare properties
Congregate living facilities with 16 or fewer occupants are permitted to comply with the construction requirements for Group R-3.
Residential occupancies in buildings or structures of mixed use containing one or more dwelling units where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature in structures with shared means of egress.
Buildings or structures containing two or three dwelling units when the units share an enclosed means of egress.
R·3 Residential occupancies having more than three dwelling units where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature and not classified as Group R -1, R -2, R-4 or I, and where each unit has an independent means of egress including:
- Adult care facilities that provide accommodations for five or fewer persons of any age for less than 24 hours.
- Child care facilities that provide accommodations for five or fewer persons of any age for less than 24 hours.
- Congregate living facilities with 16 or fewer persons.
This group includes residential occupancies in buildings or structures of mixed use, three stories or less, where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature and where each dwelling unit has independent means of egress. The 2006 edition of the "Residential Code of Ohio for One-, Two-, and Three-Family Dwellings" (RCO) is permitted to be used in place of the requirements of this code for R-3 occupancies in buildings three stories or less, comprised exclusively of dwelling units where each unit has independent means of egress with the following conditions:
- No more than one dwelling unit is allowed to be located above another unit. Fire separation between units within a grouping of two units including a unit located partially or totally above another unit shall be in accordance with the RCO Section R317.1. Fire separation between any grouping of two units and other adjacent units shall be in accordance with RCO Sections R317.2 through R317.3.2.
- Chapter 1 of the OBC shall be applicable for code administration purposes.
- The applicable provisions of this code shall apply when installing non required components, equipment and systems for which there are no provisions in the RCO (such as elevators and fire protection systems).
R·4 Residential occupancies shall include buildings arranged for occupancy as residential care/assisted living facilities including more than five but not more than 16 occupants, excluding staff.
Group R-4 occupancies shall meet the requirements for construction as defined for Group R-3, except as otherwise provided for in this code.
310.2 Definitions. The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this section and as used elsewhere in this code, have the meanings shown herein.
BOARDING HOUSE. A building arranged or used for lodging for compensation, with or without meals, and not occupied as a single-family unit.
CONGREGATE LIVING FACILITIES. A building or part thereof that contains sleeping units where residents share bathroom and/or kitchen facilities.
DORMITORY. A space in a building where group sleeping accommodations are provided in one room, or in a series of closely associated rooms, for persons not members of the same family group, under joint occupancy and single management, as in college dormitories or fraternity houses.
DWELLING, ONE., TWO·, OR THREE·FAMILY. A structure, exclusively comprised of one-, two-or three-dwelling units and physically separated from adjacent structures. Each dwelling unit is intended for occupancy by a family and no more than five lodgers or boarders. For this occupancy type, shared means of egress for two-and three-family dwellings shall be limited to those open to the exterior.
DWELLING UNIT. A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, that includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation. The unit may include any accessory space intended for the exclusive use of the occupants of an individual dwelling unit such as a private garage, greenhouse, etc.
PERSONAL CARE SERVICE. Assistance to residents with the activities of daily living to include assistance with the self-administration of medications and preparation of special diets as may be prescribed by physician or licensed dietitian. For purposes of this code, personal care service shall extend to assurance of physical safety of the resident.
PRIMARILY TRANSIENT. Use of a space for sleeping that has facilities for sanitation, with or without other spaces used for living purposes, offered or otherwise intended to be used for short periods of time but not intended to be used as a permanent residence or an institutional use group facility where care or supervision is provided.
RESIDENTIAL CARE/ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES. Any building or part thereof, regardless of by which name held out publicly, housing residents on a 24-hour basis, who, because of age, mental illness, severe mental disability, infirmity, or other reason, live in a supervised residential environment which provides personal care service as a condition of licensing, and the occupants of which are capable of responding to an emergency situation without physical assistance from staff. This classification shall include, but not be limited to, residential care facilities holding themselves out as: board and care facilities, assisted living facilities, halfway houses, adult care or mental health group homes, congregate care facilities, social rehabilitation facilities, alcohol and drug abuse centers, and convalescent facilities with a maximum of 16 persons as residents.
TRANSIENT. See "Primarily transient" above.
1026.1 General. In addition to the means of egress required by this chapter, provisions shall be made for emergency escape and rescue in Group R and I-I occupancies. Basements and sleeping rooms below the fourth story above grade plane shall have at least one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening in accordance with this section. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency egress and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room, but shall not be required in adjoining areas of the basement. Such openings shall open directly into a public way or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.
1. In other than Group R-3 occupancies, buildings equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section
903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.
- In other than Group R-3 occupancies, sleeping rooms provided with a door to a fire-resistance-rated conidor having access to two remote exits in opposite directions.
- The emergency escape and rescue opening is permitted to open onto a balcony within an atrium in accordance with the requirements of Section 404, provided the balcony provides access to an exit and the dwelling unit or sleeping unit has a means of egress that is not open to the atrium.
- Basements with a ceiling height ofless than 80 inches (2032 mm) shall not be required to have emergency escape and rescue windows.
- High-rise buildings in accordance with Section 403.
- Emergency escape and rescue openings are not required from basements or sleeping rooms that have an exit door or exit access door that opens directly into a public way or to a yard, court or exterior exit balcony that opens to a public way.
- Basements without habitable spaces and having no more than 200 square feet (18.6 m2) in floor area shall not be required to have emergency escape windows.
1026.2 Minimum size. Emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet (0.53 m2).
Exception: The minimum net clear opening for emergency escape and rescue grade-floor openings shall be 5 square feet (0.46 m2).
1026.2.1 Minimum dimensions. The minimum net clear opening height dimension shall be 24 inches (610 mm). The minimum net clear opening width dimension shall be 20 inches (508 mm). The net clear opening dimensions shall be the result of normal operation of the opening.
1026.3 Maximum height from floor. Emergency escape and rescue openings shall have the bottom of the clear opening not greater than 44 inches (1118 mm) measured from the floor.
1026.4 Operational constraints. Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools. Bars, grilles, grates or similar devices are permitted to be placed over emergency escape and rescue openings provided the minimum net clear opening size complies with Section 1026.2 and such devices shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening. Where such bars, grilles, grates or similar devices are installed in existing buildings, smoke alarms shall be installed in accordance with Section 907.2.10 regardless of the valuation of the alteration.
1026.5 Window wells. An emergency escape and rescue opening with a finished sill height below the adjacent ground level shall be provided with a window well in accordance with Sections 1026.5.1 and 1026.5.2.
1026.5.1 Minimum size. The minimum horizontal area of the window well shall be 9 square feet (0.84 m2), with a minimum dimension of 36 inches (914 mm). The area of the window well shall allow the emergency escape and rescue opening to be fully opened.
1026.5.2 Ladders or steps. Window wells with a vertical depth of more than 44 inches (1118 nun) shall be equipped with an approved permanently affixed ladder or steps. Ladders or rungs shall have an inside width of at least 12 inches (305 nun), shall project at least 3 inches (76 mm) from the wall and shall be spaced not more than 18 inches (457 mm) on center (o.c.) vertically for the full height of the window well. The ladder or steps shall not encroach into the required dimensions of the window well by more than 6 inches (152 nun). The ladder or steps shall not be obstructed by the emergency escape and rescue opening. Ladders or steps required by this section are exempt from the stairway requirements of Section 1009.