Monday, July 11, 2011

Note to Building Code Officials

Calling all building code officials--in what century do you live?

On a recent road trip, I stepped into an elevator and glanced at the Maximum Occupancy Load sign: 2,500 pounds or 15 people. Do the calculation and that's 167 pounds per person, on average. Let's hope all 15 passengers are women, because the average woman today weighs 165 pounds.

Since the average man weighs 195 pounds (up from 166 pounds in 1960--which is probably when the maximum occupancy code was written), a mixed group of 15 men and women would exceed the elevator's capacity by 200 pounds. Maybe building code officials are counting on the fact that 15 men and women of today's girth could not possibly fit on one elevator at the same time.

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