A building shall be considered as separate and distinct buildings for the purpose of determining area limitations, continuity of fire walls, limitation of number of stories and type of construction where all of the following conditions are met:
- The buildings are separated with a horizontal assembly having a fire-resistance rating of not less than 3 hours.
- The building below the horizontal assembly is of Type IA construction.
- Shaft, stairway, ramp and escalator enclosures through the horizontal assembly shall have not less than a 2-hour fire-resistance rating with opening protectives in accordance with Section 716.5.
Exception: Where the enclosure walls below the horizontal assembly have not less than a 3-hour fire-resistance rating with opening protectives in accordance with Section 716.5, the enclosure walls extending above the horizontal assembly shall be permitted to have a 1-hour fire-resistance rating, provided:
- The building or buildings above the horizontal assembly shall be permitted to have multiple Group A occupancy uses, each with an occupant load of less 300, or Group B, M, R or S occupancies.
- The building below the horizontal assembly shall be protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, and shall be permitted to be any occupancy allowed by this code except Group H.
- The maximum building height in feet (mm) shall not exceed the limits set forth in Section 504.3 for the building having the smaller allowable height as measured from the grade plane.