If you own or occupy a commercial building, it’s important to be aware of what the building’s occupancy load limit is. This has been increasingly impactful in recent months when COVID-19 restrictions were often based on the number of people who can occupy an indoor area. However, occupancy load limits are not new, and they have always been important for safety reasons – not least of which is due to the need for escaping a building quickly due to fire or violence.
Occupancy load limits are typically defined by the type of activity being done in the building, the size of the building, and how many exits are available. There is specific math to be done involving the area of each room and the prescribed unit of area per person. In some cases, regulators require posting the occupancy load limit of a building in a visible place, like the primary entry.