As the world continues to navigate pandemic restrictions, many businesses have relied on outdoor seating spaces to continuing serving their communities throughout COVID-19. As a result of the nuanced and regulated nature of adding outdoor seating, the International Code Council (ICC) has published considerations and guidelines for business owners and designers leveraging this strategy.
Similar to the structures converted to temporary healthcare facilities at the onset of the pandemic, the new outdoor seating spaces must comply with building codes and safety standards. The guidelines document provides considerations for business owners and designers when working with local code officials and their Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Key takeaways from the document include:
"Throughout the pandemic, outdoor spaces have played a large role in sustaining our economy, especially as many businesses have had to reduce capacity for their indoor locations, and simply because the weather is turning colder does not mean this should stop," said Stephen Jones, ICC senior regional manager for government relations. "However, structures need to continue to be safe and structurally sound, which is where this guide comes into play."
For the full guide, "Considerations for Converting Outdoor Spaces into Temporary Seating Spaces," click here. This guide, along with other relevant tools and resources, can be found in the Code Council's Coronavirus Response Center. Acting as an aggregate information hub, the Coronavirus Response Center ensures building safety professionals are properly equipped with the necessary tools and resources to safely and smartly navigate the pandemic.