Form 1, Case Study 1, Question 4

Hello again,

Just checking to see if my logic was off on this question as I thought it was pretty straightforward, however I got it incorrect.

Q: How many occupants can the client expect to have on the proposed additional level? Assume that the proposed additional level will be built with the same footprint as the building below, and round up to the nearest occupant.

Same footprint stood out to me as being different than the gross sqft.

When calculating gross sqft. we would not count the double height space twice so the foot print can not be the same as the gross sqft. correct?

Given Information:

Gross SF of building: 4,200 SF Number of stories: 2 Overall building height: 30’-0” Lobby: 230 SF Changing Area: 70 SF Restroom: 50 SF Dance Studio: 3,500 SF Administration/offices: 160 SF Storage: 190 SF

Dance studio to be double height!

What I did: 4,200ft (total gross sqft) - 3500ft (gross sqft of double height dance studio) = 700ft (remaining sqft of total).
700 ft / 2 (two floors) = 350 sqft
350 sqft + 3500 sqft = 3850 sqft should be the building footprint if i’m not mistaken

3850 sqt / 50 occupants per gross sqft = 77 occupants.

I could be wrong but I’m trying to understand WHAT exactly was wrong with my logic? Was I reading too much into the footprint vs. gross sqft?

Thank you!

@Charlesanthonylent -

I think your over thinking this question…

I would say that the building footprint should be 4200 total gross sqft/2 stories… = 2100 sqft.

Let me know what you think.


Sorry Elise,

I forgot to put the “correct” answer in here.

The case study scenario notes that the proposed additional level will be the same gross square footage as the building below (4,200 sf).

To find the number of occupants that are permissable in this space, divide the square footage by the occupancy factor found earlier:

4,200 sf / 50 occupants per gross square foot = 84 occupants.

So in short they are proposing an additional 3rd level that has the same foot print as the space below. There was never a footprint given, what was given was the gross sqft of the two levels below which was 4200 sqft. how can one additional level above have the same gross sqft as two levels below if they share the same footprint?

Can you please try to solve the question and let me know what you come up with?


@Charlesanthonylent -

This is a poorly worded question. What I find to be confusing is that they are saying that the building is 2 stories with a gross sqft of 4200… which would lead me to think that the footprint of each floor would be 4200/2= 2100 sqft. Therefore if you add a third story you would get 2100/occupants.

The reality of what they are trying to convey is something else I think. I think they are saying that the building is a single story and that you are adding an additional level that has the same foot print. With this logic it would be 4200sf/50 occupants = 84 occupants as the answer states…

Perhaps I am not reading into it correctly, lets get our resident architect’s opinion @coachchrishopstock

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Hi @Charlesanthonylent thanks for writing in!
The question as written is simply stating that the proposed additional level (i.e. a third level, above the double-height dance studio) will be the same gross square footage as the building below, which is 4,200 square feet. I wouldn’t read further into the question than that since more information is not given - it’s certainly possible to place a 4,200sf level above a 3,500sf double height space utilizing some small cantilevers for the proposed additional level.
It’s always hard, as architects, not to bring additional information to the table when answering ARE questions because that’s the nature of our every day practices - bringing outside information to solve design problems. For the purposes of the ARE, always only use the provided information and take it very literally to answer each question.

Sorry, the confusion here is that the question states that it is built on the same foot print as the space below not the same gross sqft. And when you have a double height space these numbers can certainly be different from one another right?

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