 # Calculate Occupancy Loads

The occupancy load is the number of people that can occupy a building, arena, auditorium or stadium at the same time. Generally, city fire departments establish occupancy loads in association with building and fire codes. However, all fire departments use general guidelines established by educational or research institutions such as the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT). GIT’s report established guidelines for four basic types of buildings: assembly, business, laboratory and residential.

To calculate the occupancy load for an assembly building, first calculate the area of the building by determining the length and width and multiplying them together. This will give you the area in square footage. If the assembly area is without seating, divide the area by seven to get the occupancy load. If the assembly building has conference rooms, dining rooms, exhibit rooms or a gymnasium, divide by 15 to get the load. If the assembly area has seating arrangements, such as bleachers and pews, divide the square footage by 2.25. For libraries with book stacks, divide by 100. For reading rooms within libraries, divide by 50.

To determine the occupancy load for a business building, measure the width and length of the building and multiply them together to get the square footage. Divide the square footage by 100 to get the occupancy load.

To calculate the occupancy load for a laboratory, measure the width and length of the building and multiply them together to get the square footage. Divide the square footage by 100 to get the occupancy load.

To compute the occupancy load for a residential building, measure the width and length of the building and multiply them together to get the square footage. Divide the square footage by 200 to get the occupancy load.