Your Houston General Contractor & Means of Egress Codes

Houston general contractor drafting building design blueprint

Building codes are there to help protect people inside your building. Failing to comply with building codes can cause major safety hazards for those within your building and can result in things like fines, liability, and major renovations to correct violations. That’s why it’s so important to work with a Houston general contractor who knows applicable building codes inside and out!

One of the most common violations is not having adequate means of egress for your building. Our team designs and builds your project to ensure it’s safe and up to code standards, including designing compliant means of egress for your commercial building.

Make Sure Your Houston General Contractor Knows Building Codes

Houston general contractor drafting building design blueprint
Your Houston general contractor creates building designs that comply with international, federal, state, and municipal building codes.

Why look for a reputable Houston general contractor with expertise in building codes? This can help save you a lot of money and headache in the future! 

Code violations can cause some serious issues for you as a property owner. If caught during the design phase, it can lead to delays and major changes before construction can start. If it’s caught after the building is complete, then you could be on the hook for citations and fines. You’ll also be responsible for changing your building to meet code, which can become quite expensive. 

Also, buildings not compliant with building codes could cause safety hazards. Obviously no one likes to think about emergencies happening in their building. However, if the unthinkable does happen and a fire or other emergency happens, code violations could harm those within your building. For example, without proper means of egress, people could become trapped in the building. 

Therefore, it’s best to work with a knowledgeable and experienced Houston commercial construction contractor for your project. This can help you avoid serious issues from  commercial building code violations.

Means of Egress is a Common Commercial Building Code Violation

Obviously there are many different parts of building code, and they vary from municipality to municipality. However, building codes almost always address means of egress. Unfortunately, means of egress is also a common building code violation

According to the International Code Council’s “Common Code Noncompliance Survey Report” from February 2019, means of egress is one of the top three most common reasons for rejected building plans were for noncompliant code. About 32% of building plan rejections were due to means of egress violations. So, it’s a major issue for the commercial construction industry! Working with a trusted design build contractor can help you avoid these issues.

What is “Means of Egress?” What Does it Have to do with My Houston General Contractor?

So, what exactly is means of egress? How can you make sure your new building follows applicable codes? The first step is finding a reputable Houston general contractor for your project to help with the design and construction process. 

Means of Egress is How People will Exit the Building During an Emergency

Means of egress is basically how people inside your building will get to safety during an emergency. It includes things like exit doors, exit pathways, and also where the exit leads. For example, pretend you’re in a building and the fire alarm goes off. You’ll need to find an exit door, which may lead to a corridor or staircase and follow it until you reach, say, the parking lot. This entire route is the building’s means of egress. 

Compliant means of egress is essential for safety inside your building, which is why it’s included in building codes. It’s illegal to violate these codes, which means you could be on the hook for fines and legal issues if your building isn’t up to these standards.

Means of Egress Requirements in Commercial Buildings

The codes when it comes to means of egress for your building depends on many different factors, so talk to your Houston commercial construction contractor about the specifics of your project. 

However, in most cases, you’ll need at least two exit routes in your building, typically as far away from each other as possible. This is to help get people to safety in case one route is blocked or unsafe. However, your building may need more exit routes depending on the occupancy. For example, if you have fewer than 500 people in the building, then you may only need two means of egress. For 500 to 999 occupants, you may need three, and for 1,000 or more you may need four or more means of egress. Also, in some special cases, depending on occupancy and building size, you may only need one means of egress. Sometimes these rules can even change based on whether you have safety measures like fire sprinklers or not.

There are also regulations for how many exit doors lead to the means of egress, accessibility requirements or areas of refuge for those with disabilities, and there may even be requirements for fire resistant materials separating the path from the rest of your building. Because requirements and codes are so complex, having experts for your project can give you peace of mind. High quality commercial construction specialists can help ensure you’re on the right side of the law with your building.

How Your Houston General Contractor Helps Create Compliant Means of Egress for Your Building

As we’ve mentioned, code violations can have some serious consequences, from delays in your project to legal issues after completion. Therefore, you need a Houston general contractor on your side to help ensure everything is up to building codes. 

Our design build team has helped create countless code-compliant commercial buildings. Our experts understand building codes and review them regularly to ensure we’re up-to-date on all current standards. We then apply these codes to your building design before they ever go to Houston Building Code Enforcement for plan review and approval.

Also, since we design the building, we’re familiar with the needed construction efforts before we even begin breaking ground at your site. Our Houston construction management efforts also ensure that everyone, including subcontractors like plumbers and electricians, are on the same page for your project

Expert Commercial Building Design and Construction from Momentum General Contractors

When you need experienced, turnkey commercial construction services, choose our experts at Momentum General Contractors! Our team offers high quality workmanship, attention to detail, and services that meet your goals and budget. We work together to ensure your project goes smoothly for on-time and on-budget completion. We’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction, so we go above and beyond to provide you with the highest quality services for your construction project. Call us now at (713) 856-9977 to request a bid!