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LevisL

Ship Ladder Code Requirements?

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I have a client that wants a ship ladder to access a small loft. Just curious if there's any code requirements for such ladders in Canada. Are they even allowed? I can't find anything that says they are allowed in the Alberta Building Code. The closest I found is that stairs do not need to conform to the rise and run requirements if they serve areas 'only used as service rooms or service spaces' and requirements for 'fixed industrial stairs', which would tell me they're not allowed for a loft. How do tiny homes get away with them? 

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I think the key is to call it a ladder, not stairs, and make sure the loft is not livable floor area.

I don't have access to the Alberta Building Code but the IRC/CRC allows Ship Ladders for areas where a means of egress is not required.  Check carefully the definition of "Habitable Spaces" and the exceptions listed for low ceiling heights.  If the loft is less than the minimum area or has a ceiling height that exempts it from being considered a "Habitable Space" then it doesn't need to have "stairs".

 

 

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Thanks Joe. The client ended scrapping the whole loft idea, so I don't have to worry about it now! From what I could find though, I don't think a ship's ladder would've been allowed in this particular case with the size and ceiling height of the loft.

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