Egress Door Clear Opening

Hi All,

If asked to size an egress door by occupancy count but the question does not specify whether they want the clear opening or the actual door size. Minimums being 32" and 36". Should we give the clear opening or door size?

Hi @clent - I’d say that if a question is asking you specifically to size a door, they’re talking about the door leaf size, not the clear opening. I think a question would need to specifically use the term ‘clear opening’ if that’s what the question was asking about.

Thanks @coachchrishopstock i actually just came across a black spectacles quiz that contradicts that thought. I tend to agree with you but I have come across similar wording on NCARB and provided the door width as you suggest.

This is part of the paid subscription to black spectacles so I will reframe from posting the whole question but as you can see from the math the correct answer was in fact the clear opening:

Per the International Building Code (IBC) and assuming all occupants will egress equally from all doors, what is the minimum required egress door width for the building? Round to the nearest inch

185 occupants x 0.2 in/occupant = 37 inches

Hi @clent thanks for clarifying which question you’re talking about! For that one, the question specifically references the IBC and asks you to find the door width - in that case, I’d provide the clear opening width that you’d find according to IBC 1005.
Think about it this way - in order to find the actual door width, you’d need to know what size hinges are being used, how big the door stops are, etc. Of course, a standard assumption is that the door width is 4" larger than the clear width, but the ARE won’t have you provide an answer that relies on that assumption.

I hope this was helpful and good luck on your next exam!

I always assumed the 0.3 and 0.2 multiplier was for stairway widths. Does it also include hallways and doorways?

Don’t assume anything about the building code! IBC 1005.3.2 ‘Other Egress Components’ talks about applying the 0.2in/occupant to other aspects of the egress system, and lists a few exceptions.