Charged with the design of a business class hotel, with a small footprint in a densely populated area, Architect Bernardo Sandoval, Associate Project Manager for Beame Architectural Partnership needed to make the best use of every square foot of buildable space. He accomplished this by removing the need to build enclosed elevator lobbies with the Smoke Guard system.
The five-story Marriott Courtyard project constructed in Miami, Florida was required, by the Florida 2004 building code, section 707.14.1, to provide an enclosed elevator lobby on floors two through five. Instead of building the code-prescribed vestibule into his design, Mr. Sandoval specified the Smoke Guard system at the elevator hoistway, enabling him to add an additional sleeping room on every floor, increase the size of every unit by six to eight inches, and provide more space in the back of the house.
"Using the rolling magnetic gasketing system, instead of an enclosed elevator lobby, I was able to dramatically reduce the size of the corridor and redistribute the saved space in ways that made the building more valuable" explained Mr. Sandoval. "The four extra hotel rooms I was able to add will generate additional revenue for the hotel owner throughout the life of the building and the product that made it possible had a payback period of less than six months."
Prior to this, local building officials had yet to apply the more recent provisions of the building code that defined options for providing elevator smoke protection and were not familiar with the ICC Evaluation Service reports. A meeting at the building department with all stakeholders–architect, building owner, building officials, and the Smoke Guard representative was arranged. We were able to gain approval of the installation at the Flagler Station Marriott following review by the building department.
The elevators in the Flagler Station Marriott are located at a central point in the core of the building and open directly onto the corridor. By using the Smoke Guard system, the elevators could have been moved anywhere on the corridor and the project would still meet code. Smoke Guard systems require less than one foot of space, from the bottom of the housing to the top, an important consideration as hotel properites tend to build tight slab to slab.
As Mr. Sandoval and the owners of the Flagler Station Marriott Courtyard learned, Smoke Guard is a valuable solution to have in your design when smoke containment is required by the building code. The Smoke Guard system enables architects to refine floor plans, enhancing the long term value of a property by reallocating space otherwise consumed by an enclosed elevator lobby to more profitable areas of the building.