Denver Sheraton Downtown

Tynan Group
Denver, CO

Egress Analysis and Construction Evaluation

The Denver Sheraton Downtown features significant below-grade ballrooms and meeting spaces that make it one of Denver’s premiere meeting and exhibition forums. The ability for these large assembly spaces to continue to safely house these events was a critical factor in the client’s selection of WJE. The WJE project team was able to assist the client in resolving potential egress concerns that arose as part of the hotel’s brand audit program, which permitted the repositioning of the hotel to achieve the client’s design and operational objectives.


The Denver Sheraton Downtown, located on the popular downtown 16th Street Mall, is a high-rise hotel comprised of two separate structures connected below grade by assembly spaces, hotel parking, and support spaces, with the only above-grade connection being a pedestrian walkway located above Court Street, which bisects the hotel. Following a change of ownership, the building was subject to an audit by the hotel brand. Fire protection and life safety aspects of the audit sought clarity regarding specifics of the building’s egress plan for large assembly spaces in the hotel. In particular, the audit sought confirmation that high-occupant load spaces located in the building’s below-grade ballroom could egress safely in the event of a fire.


WJE was requested to perform an egress analysis of the below-grade assembly occupancy spaces within the Plaza Building of the Denver Sheraton Downtown Hotel. WJE coordinated with the design architect involved in the reconfiguration of the Plaza Ballroom and participated in a review of their design drawings and preliminary egress analysis for these spaces. WJE also reviewed the original design documents to understand and determine the life safety egress strategy associated with the original design. Finally, WJE participated in discussions with the hotel brand with regard to its fire protection and life safety brand standards that, along with local requirements, would apply to the final solution that would ultimately be implemented into the egress strategy.

WJE reviewed building egress component construction, developed a conceptual framework that leveraged existing stairway and horizontal exit wall construction to aid occupant egress, and helped resolve contractor questions during construction. WJE also conducted a final construction site visit to verify that repair and modification to building egress components were implemented consistent with that required by the design documents and applicable codes and standards.