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Architecture/Escalator Limitations.


Dear Richard

Are there Escalator Limitations regarding it is not recommended above a certain height for Security reasons?.



Escalators are typically restricted to only two stories per Chapter 7 of the IBC (Fire and Smoke Protection) unless the vertical penetrations through three or more stories are treated as an atrium space with a smoke evacuation system.  The same would be true for any multi-level stair.

The issue of security would be more dependent on the type of occupancy.  There are no prescriptive security measures for escalators that I am aware of.  Where security is an issue, it is best to spend more than an hour trying to think like a deviant person and then another hour pretending that you are liable for any mischief caused by your deviant person.  I can not imagine that you would need an escalator for a jail, daycare center, or memory care facility.  Places where people are detained and restricted from leaving the building do not normally have escalators.  

What type of occupancy or use do you have in mind for this escalator?

Richard Burton, AIA
Registered Architect
ICC Certified Plan Reviewer
NFPA Certified Fire Plan Examiner


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Richard Burton AIA


A combined total of 25 years experience with construction, architecture, and building code enforcement. Ask me about residential and commercial design. Ask me about design aesthetics, structural methods, and building something that will withstand severe weather conditions. Ask me my opinion about YOUR design ideas and I will tell you the merits of good design and challenge your thinking about practical issues. Ask me how to best find and work with your local architect and approach general contractors to get the most value for the least amount of headaches. You can ask me about improving your energy efficiency and things that are both green and practical. But don't ask me about solar panels and wind turbines unless you are currently paying your utility company 35 cents per Kilowatt. Otherwise the math does not justify the initial cost and return on investment. Ask me any building code question and how to get a building permit from the most difficult enforcement agencies.


Here in the midwest, we design and build "green" in ways that make sense. My construction methods prioritize weather resistance, ease of maintenance and durability. While a graduate student in San Diego, I taught drafting and history of architecture. After working ten years for other architecture firms, I have started my firm Arrow Architecture in 2008. More than half of my work involves commercial office buildings. But my portfolio of work also includes custom homes, residential additions, home remodels, and second story additions.

President-Elect of American Institute of Architects - Lincoln, NE

B.S. Architecture - (Interior Design) University of Nebraska Lincoln 1997 Master of Architecture - (Urban Design and Professional Practice) NewSchool of Architecture - San Diego 2004 Graduated Summa Cum Laude ICC Certified Building Plans Examiner

Awards and Honors
AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate

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