Building technology calculators
contact | a more detailed discussion of vertical openings

2021–2024 IBC-Compliant Vertical Opening Calculator

Jonathan Ochshorn


Directions: Enter values for code version (2021 or 2024 IBC), occupancy group, number of floors connected by the opening, whether the opening contains an escalator, whether the opening is designed as an atrium, whether the opening contains an exit access stair or ramp, and whether the opening is within an individual dwelling unit. This calculator then tells you if your proposed vertical opening is acceptable (code-compliant) or not, and provides additional information about automatic sprinkler requirements. Section numbers referenced in the calculator refer to the International Building Code (IBC).

For additional information about this calculator, and about vertical openings in general, read my more detailed discussion. Figure 1 (below) illustrates a possible vertical opening, or hole, in a building floor.

Pressing the "update" button is not usually necessary when using the pop-down menus.

sketch showing hole in building floor
Fig. 1. Sectional perspective showing hole in building floor, admittedly exaggerated. Image created by Jonathan Ochshorn using PhotoShop.