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Penthouses in compliance with Sections 1511.2.1 through 1511.2.4shall be considered as a portion of the story directly below the roof deck on which such penthouses are located. Other penthouses shall be considered as an additional story of the building.
[BG] 1511.2.1 Height Above Roof Deck
Penthouses constructed on buildings of other than Type I construction shall not exceed 18 feet (5486 mm) in height above the roof deck as measured to the average height of the roof of the penthouse. Penthouses located on the roof of buildings of Type I construction shall not be limited in height.
Exception: Where used to enclose tanks or elevators that travel to the roof level, penthouses shall be permitted to have a maximum height of 28 feet (8534 mm) above the roof deck.
[BG] 1511.2.2 Use Limitations
Penthouses shall not be used for purposes other than the shelter of mechanical or electrical equipment, tanks, elevators and related machinery, stairways or vertical shaft openings in the roof assembly, including ancillary spaces used to access elevators and stairways.
[BG] 1511.2.3 Weather Protection
Provisions such as louvers, louver blades or flashing shall be made to protect the mechanical and electrical equipment and the building interior from the elements.
[BG] 1511.2.4 Type of Construction
Penthouses shall be constructed of building elements as required for the type of construction of the building on which such penthouses are built.
Exceptions:
  1. On buildings of Type I construction, the exterior walls and roofs of penthouses with a fire separation distance greater than 5 feet (1524 mm) and less than 20 feet (6096 mm) shall be permitted to have not less than a 1-hour fire-resistance rating. The exterior walls and roofs of penthouses with a fire separation distance of 20 feet (6096 mm) or greater shall not be required to have a fire-resistance rating.
  2. On buildings of Type I construction two stories or less in height above grade plane or of Type II construction, the exterior walls and roofs of penthouses with a fire separation distance greater than 5 feet (1524 mm) and less than 20 feet (6096 mm) shall be permitted to have not less than a 1-hour fire-resistance rating or a lesser fire-resistance rating as required by Table 705.5 and be constructed of fire-retardant-treated wood. The exterior walls and roofs of penthouses with a fire separation distance of 20 feet (6096 mm) or greater shall be permitted to be constructed of fire-retardant-treated wood and shall not be required to have a fire-resistance rating. Interior framing and walls shall be permitted to be constructed of fire-retardant-treated wood.
  3. On buildings of Type III, IV or V construction, the exterior walls of penthouses with a fire separation distance greater than 5 feet (1524 mm) and less than 20 feet (6096 mm) shall be permitted to have not less than a 1-hour fire-resistance rating or a lesser fire-resistance rating as required by Table 705.5. On buildings of Type III, IV or VA construction, the exterior walls of penthouses with a fire separation distance of 20 feet (6096 mm) or greater shall be permitted to be of heavy timber construction complying with Sections 602.4 and 2304.11 or noncombustible construction or fire-retardant-treated wood and shall not be required to have a fire-resistance rating.

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