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Open parking garages shall comply with Sections 406.2, 406.4 and 406.5.
406.5.1 Construction
Open parking garages shall be of Type I, II or IV construction. Open parking garages shall meet the design requirements of Chapter 16. For vehicle barriers, see Section 406.4.2.
406.5.2 Openings
For natural ventilation purposes, the exterior side of the structure shall have uniformly distributed openings on two or more sides. The area of such openings in exterior walls on a tier shall be not less than 20 percent of the total perimeter wall area of each tier. The aggregate length of the openings considered to be providing natural ventilation shall be not less than 40 percent of the perimeter of the tier. Interior walls shall be not less than 20 percent open with uniformly distributed openings.
Exception: Openings are not required to be distributed over 40 percent of the building perimeter where the required openings are uniformly distributed over two opposing sides of the building.
406.5.2.1 Openings Below Grade
Where openings below grade provide required natural ventilation, the outside horizontal clear space shall be one and one-half times the depth of the opening. The width of the horizontal clear space shall be maintained from grade down to the bottom of the lowest required opening.
406.5.3 Mixed Occupancies and Uses
Mixed uses shall be allowed in the same building as an open parking garage subject to the provisions of Sections 402.4.2.3, 406.5.11, 508.1, 510.3, 510.4 and 510.7.
406.5.4 Area and Height
Area and height of open parking garages shall be limited as set forth in Chapter 5 for Group S-2 occupancies and as further provided for in Section 508.1.
TABLE 406.5.4
TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION AREA PER TIER (square feet) HEIGHT (in tiers)
Ramp access Mechanical access
Automatic sprinkler system
No Yes
IA Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
IB Unlimited 12 tiers 12 tiers 18 tiers
IIA 50,000 10 tiers 10 tiers 15 tiers
IIB 50,000 8 tiers 8 tiers 12 tiers
IV 50,000 4 tiers 4 tiers 4 tiers
For SI: 1 square foot = 0.0929 m2.
406.5.4.1 Single Use
Where the open parking garage is used exclusively for the parking or storage of private motor vehicles, and the building is without other uses, the area and height shall be permitted to comply with Table 406.5.4, along with increases allowed by Section 406.5.5.
Exception: The grade-level tier is permitted to contain an office, waiting and toilet rooms having a total combined area of not more than 1,000 square feet (93 m2). Such area need not be separated from the open parking garage.
In open parking garages having a spiral or sloping floor, the horizontal projection of the structure at any cross section shall not exceed the allowable area per parking tier. In the case of an open parking garage having a continuous spiral floor, each 9 feet 6 inches (2896 mm) of height, or portion thereof, shall be considered under these provisions to be a tier.
406.5.5 Area and Height Increases
The allowable area and height of open parking garages shall be increased in accordance with the provisions of this section. Garages with sides open on three-fourths of the building's perimeter are permitted to be increased by 25 percent in area and one tier in height. Garages with sides open around the entire building's perimeter are permitted to be increased by 50 percent in area and one tier in height. For a side to be considered open under these provisions, the total area of openings along the side shall be not less than 50 percent of the interior area of the side at each tier and such openings shall be equally distributed along the length of the tier. For purposes of calculating the interior area of the side, the height shall not exceed 7 feet (2134 mm).
Allowable tier areas in Table 406.5.4 shall be increased for open parking garages constructed to heights less than the table maximum. The gross tier area of the garage shall not exceed that permitted for the higher structure. Not fewer than three sides of each such larger tier shall have continuous horizontal openings not less than 30 inches (762 mm) in clear height extending for not less than 80 percent of the length of the sides. All parts of such larger tier shall be not more than 200 feet (60 960 mm) horizontally from such an opening. In addition, each such opening shall face a street or yard with access to a street with a width of not less than 30 feet (9144 mm) for the full length of the opening, and standpipes shall be provided in each such tier.
Open parking garages of Type II construction, with all sides open, shall be unlimited in allowable area where the building height does not exceed 75 feet (22 860 mm). For a side to be considered open, the total area of openings along the side shall be not less than 50 percent of the interior area of the side at each tier and such openings shall be equally distributed along the length of the tier. For purposes of calculating the interior area of the side, the height shall not exceed 7 feet (2134 mm). All portions of tiers shall be within 200 feet (60 960 mm) horizontally from such openings or other natural ventilation openings as defined in Section 406.5.2. These openings shall be permitted to be provided in courts with a minimum dimension of 20 feet (6096 mm) for the full width of the openings.
406.5.6 Fire Separation Distance
Exterior walls and openings in exterior walls shall comply with Table 601 and Table 705.5. The distance to an adjacent lot line shall be determined in accordance with Section 705 and Table 705.5.
406.5.7 Means of Egress
Where persons other than parking attendants are permitted, open parking garages shall meet the means of egress requirements of Chapter 10. Where persons other than parking attendants are not permitted, there shall be not fewer than two exit stairways. Each exit stairway shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm) in width. Lifts shall be permitted to be installed for use of employees only, provided that they are completely enclosed by noncombustible materials.
[F] 406.5.8 Standpipe System
An open parking garage shall be equipped with a standpipe system as required by Section 905.3.
406.5.9 Enclosure of Vertical Openings
Enclosure shall not be required for vertical openings except as specified in Section 406.5.7.
406.5.10 Ventilation
Ventilation, other than the percentage of openings specified in Section 406.5.2, shall not be required.
406.5.11 Prohibitions
The following uses and alterations are not permitted:
  1. Vehicle repair work.
  2. Parking of buses, trucks and similar vehicles.
  3. Partial or complete closing of required openings in exterior walls by tarpaulins or any other means.
  4. Dispensing of fuel.

Related Code Sections

510.7 General Building Heights and Areas, Open Parking Garage Beneath Groups A, I, B, M and R
Open parking garages constructed under Groups A, I, B, M and R shall not exceed the height and area limitations permitted under Section 406.5. The ...
510.7 General Building Heights and Areas, Open Parking Garage Beneath Groups A, I, B, M and R
Open parking garages constructed under Groups A, I, B, M and R shall not exceed the height and area limitations permitted under Section 406.5. The ...