Groupon & Pole Barn Water Park

For those who have been hiding under rocks, or do not have internet access (in which case you are not reading this article), Groupon (derived from “group coupon”) swept onto the scene in November 2008.

Groupon offers one “Groupon” per day in each of the markets it serves. The Groupon works as an assurance contract – if a certain number of people sign up for the offer, then the deal becomes available to all. If the predetermined minimum number is not reached, no one gets the deal of the day. Groupon makes money by keeping approximately half of the money paid for the coupon.

With 2013 revenues of $2.573 billion dollars and a website ranked in the top 400 worldwide Groupon is a force in the marketplace.

Well, I am a Groupon subscriber so every day I get an email with the day’s Groupon deal. Today’s deal opened my eyes to a pole building use I had not considered previously – the water park!

great-wolf-lodgeThe Groupon was for Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound in Centralia, Washington. The photo with the Groupon ad has various water slides covered by a pole building!

See it here:

My best guess is this post frame building has a Use and Occupancy classification under the International Building Code (IBC) of A-3. An A-3 building would be, “Assembly uses intended for worship, recreation or amusement and other assembly uses not classified elsewhere in Group A”.

Post frame buildings are what is known as Type V-B construction – a wood framed assembly without a fire rating. IBC Table 503 limits V-B Group A-3 buildings to a single story of 6,000 sft (square feet) and a 40 foot overall height.

Using one-hour fire assemblies (Type V-A construction) would increase the limits to two stories, each of which could be 11,500 sft with a 50 foot overall height.

Increases in building area are allowed for in IBC Equation 5-1 for both frontage (if the building adjoins or has access to a public way) and for having an automatic sprinkler system. The sprinkler increase alone triples the allowable footage to 18,000 sft.

Ever considered putting a water park inside of a pole building? I probably never would have – if it wouldn’t have been for Groupon!

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