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Occupancy in building construction and building codes is the use or intended use of a building or part thereof for the shelter or support of persons, animals or property. A closely-related meaning is the number of units in such a building that are rent or leased, or otherwise in-use. The lack of occupancy in this sense is a vacancy.

Building code

It is possible to have multiple occupancies (or building uses) within one building. For instance, one may have a high-rise building, where the lower levels are occupied by retail stores, whereas the upper levels could be residential. Different occupancies within one building are separated by a fire barrier with a defined fire-resistance rating. It is common for a penetration, such as a fire door, to have a fire protection rating lower than the wall fire resistance rating in which it is installed. For example, a two-hour fire separation normally requires fire doors rated at 90-minutes.

For some high challenge occupanciesNFPA 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code 2006 Edition /...
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