By David R. Taylor, P.E.
In 1904, the Iroquois Theater in Chicago had a devastating fire which was the deadliest theater fire in United States history. Its aftermath caused code officials to rethink many things including the presence of wood in a theater. Wood was quickly removed from most construction projects as the primary framing and relegated behind other building materials. However over the course of the last decade and now into the 21st Century, our fire codes are quite complex and very well thought out.
Now in 2015, theater renovations are becoming more and more common place in the U.S. With R.S. Means (Ref.#1) reporting the national average (as of 2013) cost of a “new build” to be $165 per square foot, most theater owners are looking to upgrade existing theaters at much lower costs where the costs range from $65 to 85 per square foot. (Ref.#3) (more…)