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Meet and Greet with building inspectors...


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I went to the City of Dallas building inspection office with a floor plan of a space I'd like to lease, to get a ball park estimate of all the things I'd need to make the building code compliant. Some interesting things came up...

1) The inspector I spoke to told me he'd need quantities of all products I'd be storing on site, including malt, corn, and sugar. Should have thought of that, but didn't. He also mentioned only allowing certain quantities per control area...how much sugar/grain are you all storing in one location? I am doing rum, hadn't thought that sugar or molasses storage would be an issue at all. Planned on keeping it in the tasting room area.

2) My space is 2000 sqft. Will be divided into roughly 1/3-2/3...one section will be F-1 or course, the other he said would either be A-2 or B. With B I wont need sprinklers, but I'd only be allowed 735sqft for the tasting room. BUT, I read after our meeting that A-2 has some exceptions where I wont need sprinklers, ie, less than 100 people load, less than 5000sqft, etc. Anyone using that exception as an A-2 with no sprinklers? Before you ask, sprinklers aren't really an option in this location due to cost for the utility work.

3) The space operated as a hair salon and most recently as a smoothie shop until very recently. It only has one bathroom. He told me I'd have to install another bathroom and make them both ADA compliant. If the other two places, esp the smoothie shop, were operating with one restroom, why couldn't I?

4) He mentioned something about dust hazards due to the sugar involved in my process and wanting some report saying the dust was less than 5 microns.

This is beginning to sound REALLY fun.

All insights appreciated. Thank you.

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Be careful, you may not be allowed to store any significant quantity in an A occupancy (assembly), especially alcohol (finished goods). To get the limit exception, you may need to be in an M occupany or B equivalent (merchandising). Check local code standard. Also, sugar is flammable, as is grain, so will have limits in a hazard area where alcohol will be stored, even F1. F1 also has very limited alcohol storage allowance for manufacture, compared to higher hazard occupancies (120g, 240g with sprinklers, I think).

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I met with an architect today as well as a city building consultant. Both agree that I even though my "use" is technically A-2, due to the tiny size of my tasting room, I'll actually be considered an occupancy code B. This will allow me to avoid sprinklers, AND avoid firewalls between my F1 and B. I have a whopping 1500sqft of awesomeness to work with here, so I'll be fitting 10lbs of sugar in a 5lb bag here pretty soon. hahaI

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