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October 12, 2007

How many feet make one story in a building?

Help us out, engineers & architects. Without consulting each other, my colleague Tom Pelton and I have come up with different estimates about how many stories high the proposed Ocean City wind turbines would be. They're 404 feet tall. To get "40 stories tall," Pelton figures on 10 feet per story, which is probably too little. To get "26 stories high," I figured 15 feet per story, which is probably too much. How many stories tall would these things be, anyway?? How high is a story including living space, structural stuff and HVAC & electrical? After thinking about it, I bet Pelton is closer to reality than me.

Posted by Jay Hancock at 11:20 AM | | Comments (2)


The Legg Mason building has 40 floors and is 529 feet tall.

The 2000 edition of the International Building Code (sect 502) defines a "story" as: that portion of a building included between the upper surface of a floor and the upper surface of the floor or roof above." In practical terms, that means it can be whatever height the architect/builder wants provided that minimum ceiling height is achieved. 12-1/2" feet/story is probably a very good estimate assuming about 10' for ceiling height and 2' for floor thickness. This almost exactly corresponds to the Legg Mason tower story height mentioned by the first commenter.

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About Jay Hancock
Jay Hancock has been a financial columnist for The Baltimore Sun since 2001. He has also been The Baltimore Sun's diplomatic correspondent in Washington and its chief economics writer. Before moving to Baltimore in 1994 he worked for The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk and The Daily Press of Newport News.

His columns appear Tuesdays and Sundays.

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