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An Easy Way To Get Your Building Up To Code: Photo Luminescent Paint

Posted by Megan Thome on May 5, 2019 10:34:00 AM

Is Your Building Up To Code?

NYC building code rs 6-1a photo luminescent paint

In the wake of tragedy, the New York City Department of Buildings created the World Trade Center Building Code Task Force to reevaluate current building design, construction and operating requirements for high rise office buildings. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks the Task Force brought together experts from public and private sectors as well as survivors of the attacks to review the codes in relation to high-rise office buildings and determine where safety improvements could be made.

RS 6-1A

 NYC building code rs 6-1a photo luminescent paint

The Task Force recommended changes in structural strength, evacuation and egress, fire protection and mechanical systems, as released in their findings in 2003. Of these findings, 13 were signed into law in June of 2004.

One of these 13 codes is the New York Building Reference Standard RS 6-1A. Although this code was passed in 2004, you may not be aware of it. RS 6-1A requires that pathways, obstacles and exits use photo luminescent markers to guide occupants safely to the exits in the event of power loss and back-up power failure. This code is meant to supplement signage and illuminated exit signs.

NYC building code rs 6-1a photo luminescent paint

Photo luminescent material is charged by exposure to light and will softly glow when the active light source fails, providing guidance to the exits for all occupants. The photo luminescent markings should be found in egress paths, corridors, doors opening to exits or corridors that act as exit passageways, stairwells, handrails, and around obstacles.

Additionally, all photo luminescent products must be independently tested and comply with characteristics listed in RS 6-1A, including a minimum Brightness Rating of 30-7-5 (30 millicandelas per square meter at 10 minutes, 7 mcd at 60 minutes, and 5 mcd at 90 minutes).

Woah, what? Simply put, according to this code any high rise building needs to have photo luminescent markings in egress paths, corridors, doors, stairwells, handrails and around obstacles to improve safety for all occupants should the power fail. Is this something you’re actively planning for in your designs?

Naturally, there are several products to help you comply with RS 6-1A and get your building up to code. 

NYC building code rs 6-1a photo luminescent paint

Light Vision is the one and only glow in the dark designer finish. This means you can get your building up to code while still creating a seamless design for your spaces. Not all photo luminescent products need to stick out like a (bright green) sore thumb totally ruining your design scheme. Light Vision photo luminescent paint activates when the lights go out, creating a soft green-yellow glow illuminating important spaces for up to 25 minutes and returning to your chosen specified color when the light source is active. Light Vision meets and exceeds all of the requirements for the New York Building Reference Standard RS 6-1A, Sections 1-5 for interior use. 

Safety first, but looking good should always be a close second. 

Find out more on building code RS 6-1A and Light Vision right here.

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Topics: Design, Technical

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