Why call an area a suite? First of all, think of a suite as one big room surrounded by corridor wall construction. Suites only apply to Health Care Occupancies. They do not apply to Ambulatory Health Care or Business Occupancies.
The code allows wall construction within suites to be made of just about anything except combustible construction. Walls dont even have to be smoke resistive in fact you dont have to have walls.
Corridor wall requirements do not apply within suites, so use areas can be open to the “corridors” within suites without any special requirements being met (actually you shouldnt call them corridors when they are in suites call them halls, circulation routes, or aisles).
Since there are no construction requirements (besides combustible construction being prohibited), there are no corridor door requirements and no fire or smoke damper requirements within the suite. Therefore doors can be all glass and have wood frames and have no positive latching
Minimum aisle widths do not have to be 8 feet wide, as is required for corridors in new health care construction (4 feet in existing). The minimum aisle width of 44″ applicable for new construction (28″ in existing) still apply, but chances are, you want that much clearance anyway.
There are 2 types of suites – patient sleeping room suites and non-patient room suites. Examples of patient sleeping room suites include intensive care units, nurseries, and smaller Behavioral Health departments. Examples of non-patient room suites include Emergency departments, Radiology departments, PT/OT departments, Laboratory departments, office suites, etc.
There are different criteria for patient sleeping room suites and non-patient sleeping room suites. The criteria for patient sleeping room suites includes that if the suite is over 1,000 sq. ft. it must have 2 remote access doors and cannot exceed 5,000 sq. ft. Intervening rooms cannot be a hazardous area. On a patient floor this could be a soiled linen room, a trash collection room, or a storage room greater than 50 sq. ft. The travel distance from any point within the suite and the corridor door cannot be more than 100 feet and the travel distance between any point in a room and an exit cannot be more than 100 feet.
The criteria for non-patient sleeping room suites includes that if the suite is over 2,500 sq. ft. it must have 2 remote access door and cannot exceed 10,000 sq. ft. Intervening rooms cannot be a hazardous area. On a non-patient floor this could be a storage room, physical plant maintenance shops or other hazardous areas. The suite can have two intervening rooms if the travel distance in the suite to the exit access door is not more than 50 feet. The suite can have one intervening room if the travel distance in the suite is not more than 100 feet.
Think of it this way. As soon as you put a door on an interior room you have created an intervening room before you get to a corridor door (referred to as exit access doors). But remember, corridor wall perimeter construction requires that your entrance doors, including automatic doors, be positive latching.