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Atrium Features and Firefighting Tactics

BY RONALD R. SPADAFORA An atrium (plural, atria) is a large open space, at least three stories high and with a glazed roof. Often, it is positioned just beyond the main entrance doors within a larger multistory building. Atria are a popular architectural design feature because they enhance the perception of light and space within structures. Basically, an atrium is defined by building codes (such as the International Building Code) as an opening connecting two or more stories other than enclosed stairways, elevators, hoistways, escalators, plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning, or other equipment, which is closed at the top and not defined as a mall. Buildings with atria, however, can be...

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