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When considering the layout for your basement development, windows need to factor in as a major consideration. Basement windows are regulated the Alberta Building Code as well as the Rules and Regulations regarding safety from City of Calgary.
Windows become a deciding factor in permit approvals when it comes to Bedrooms. Bedroom windows in a basement must have an opening measuring at least 0.35 square metres or 3.8 square feet. An awning style window that has a large enough opening, however would still not pass if it obstructed the escape from the basement window due to opening out word into a window well. The window would also need to not have any keys or special tools required to get them open. Every second is crucial in the event of a fire and clear unobstructed exit is crucial. Developing the rest of the basement would not affect the window size other than pure aesthetics of the space.
A few other factors that weigh into the rules and regulations for basement bedroom windows; Clearance will depend on the windows clearance whether they are at or below ground level. A window wells design is to protect your foundation by keeping out the moisture, rain and snow. They also provide clearance for safe departure from your basement in case of fire or emergency. I would recommend trying to climb up through your basement window, its a real eye opener. Keeping everyone safe is the #1 priority.
The second factor to consider is the clearance required in front of the basement window. The window well structure will need to accommodate a clearance of 2.5 feet. That being said, this is a fairly large window well. Also considered are any obstacles nearby the window well that could affect the safe departure of the area, this would include anything above the exterior of the window. Interior windowsills do not have a height restriction, however a piece of furniture located below the window is recommended to help with escaping. Fire and safety regulations dictate this so people must always have a means of escape and fire fighters are able to enter the buildings lower level safely.
Picking the right window can be a challenge to say the least, size; conformity and efficiency are all factors to consider. Calgary has a very different climate to consider as well regarding all of our weather systems. Our teams of experts at Econo Basement are here to help guide you in picking the right window for your home, making sure they fall within all rules and regulations and safety requirements.
The City of Calgary requirements regarding windows can be found here.