Q: Am I allowed to have a suite inside an area designated as an Ambulatory Occupancy? And for clarification, do suite boundary walls need to be one-hour fire rated?
A: Yes… you are permitted to have a suite in an ambulatory health care occupancy. Look at section 20/188.8.131.52 which permits suites in AHCO, but any suite over 2,500 square feet must have two remotely located doors from the suite. No… Suite boundary walls are not necessarily required to be 1-hour fire-rated. They are required to be equal to the fire-resistive rating of the corridor walls. For new construction, corridor walls would be a minimum of 1-hour fire rated barriers, unless one of the following exists:
- Where exits are available from an open floor area
- Within a space occupied by a single tenant
- Within buildings that are fully protected with automatic sprinklers
For existing construction, there are no requirements for corridor walls, so therefore there are no requirements for suite boundary walls.