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#80041 - 02/15/02 10:17 AM Definition of a basement
Looee Offline

Registered: 02/12/02
Posts: 13
Loc: Willmar, MN, 56201
I am enrolled in the electrician program at a tech school and was wondering if there is a good definition of what a basement is? I spent at least an hour going through the NEC trying to find it, but I'm stuck. Our teacher said he would give some bonus points to anyone that could find and answer and he didn't care how we got it.


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#80042 - 02/15/02 12:26 PM Re: Definition of a basement
Joe Tedesco Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
A story of a building or structure having one-half or more of its height below ground level and to which access for fire-fighting purposes is unduly restricted.

See Article 100 Scope: ..... It is not intended to include commonly defined general terms or commonly defined technical terms from related codes and standards.......

I found this definition among many that are defined in the National Fire Codes.
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#80043 - 02/15/02 12:33 PM Re: Definition of a basement
dana1028 Offline

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 163
Loc: San Carlos, CA
a basement is defined in the building codes (and I assume the NEC is not going to argue with the building codes over this definition since they have not bothered creating a different definition)-

Uniform Bldg. Code -
"Basement is any floor level below the first story in a bldg., except that a floor level in a bldg. having only one floor level shall be classified as a basement unless such floor level qualifies as a first story as defined herein." . . .. now is that confusing or what? . . . however it does go on (in definitions of story, first story) to define what constitutes the 1st floor...I'm sure the bldg. codes in your area will define basements/1st story.

#80044 - 02/15/02 12:43 PM Re: Definition of a basement
resqcapt19 Offline

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2209
Loc: IL
In 336-5(a) the NEC defines the first floor.
"For the purpose of this article, the first floor of a building shall be that floor that has 50 percent or more of the exterior wall surface area level with or above finished grade."
Can we then assume that if the floor in question is below the first floor that it is a basement?

#80045 - 02/15/02 01:53 PM Re: Definition of a basement
Elzappr Offline

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
So how do we measure the "wall surface area" of the 1st floor? Do we measure from finished floor to finished floor? Or are the basement joists considered part of the first floor?

#80046 - 02/15/02 04:22 PM Re: Definition of a basement
Looee Offline

Registered: 02/12/02
Posts: 13
Loc: Willmar, MN, 56201
By the way, we are using the 2002 NEC, in case there is any difference in the older code books



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