This Has Got To Be An Arbitrary Number, Right?


I’ve always wondered how they come up with these maximum occupancy numbers. This is from the Starbucks on Georgia Ave. by Howard University. So why do they say 199 instead of 200? Or 198 for that matter?

7 Comment

  • Likely it is just a standard equation of bodies per square ft, that is then rounded up or down, but it does make for some seemingly odd numbers..

  • Square footage, number of exits, type of fire suppression system available – there are a number of factors. It’s probably public information if you look hard enough.

  • It’s also a occupancy determination for the city. 99 and below is one class of license, 100-199 another, etc. They charge different prices for different things.

  • have none of you been to the events where they determine occupancy???

    they shove as many people as they can into the joint, yell “FIRE”, and time how long it takes for them to exit. they need to evacuate in under 29.635 seconds per 22.876 square feet.

    sometimes they have to keep redoing, and redoing it, just to get it right.

    it’s quite an event. plus, they give you circuit city gift cards for participating.

  • That’s a lot of people for a Starbucks, isn’t it?!?! Having a hard time picturing even 100 people in any Starbucks I have ever been in…

  • Occupancy load is set through building the codes. Depending on a space (i.e. assembly with fixed seating, assembly without fixed seating, educational, library, etc.), there is a certain amount of floor area, in square feet, that is allotted to each occupant. You take the total area of the space and divide it by the area per occupant to calculate your occupancy. You also have to round down to the nearest whole number.

  • 199 fat people or 200 skinny people?

    I know, incredibly rude.

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