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BCC Ruling No. 14-16-1379

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Ruling No.: 14-16-1379
Application No.: B 2014-14

BUILDING CODE COMMISSION

IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, S.O. 1992, c. 23, as amended.

AND IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 8(1) of the Building Code Act, S.O. 1992, c. 23, as amended.

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Stephanie Chaffey, Property Manager, Terragon Development Corporation, for the resolution of a dispute with Ann Borooah, Chief Building Official, City of Toronto, to determine whether a building permit, issued under subsection 8(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992, was required for the installation of a replacement fire alarm panel in a three storey residential building located at 23 Saunders Avenue, City of Toronto, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Stephanie Chaffey, Property Manager
Terragon Development Corporation
City of Toronto, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Ann Borooah
Chief Building Official
City of Toronto, Ontario

PANEL

Tony Chow, Chair
Marina Huissoon
Mina Tesseris

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

July 10, 2014

DATE OF RULING

July 10, 2014

APPEARANCES

Brent Merrill, President
Terragon Development Corporation
City of Toronto, Ontario
Agent for the Applicant

Paul Posluszny
Inspector Generalist
City of Toronto, Ontario
Designate for the Respondent

RULING

 

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has received an order to comply under subsection 12(2) of the Building Code Act, 1992, because an inspection by Toronto Building Division, on or about April 1, 2014, at 23 Saunders Avenue, City of Toronto, Ontario, revealed that a building system was altered in contravention of subsection 8(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992. 

Subsection 8(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992, states, in part, that no person shall construct a building or cause a building to be constructed unless a permit has been issued therefor by the chief building official.

The Applicant was ordered to correct the contravention by submitting plans and obtain a building permit from Toronto Building Division.
The subject building is used as a Group C, residential occupancy, and is three storeys in building height and is about 325 m2 in building area. It is of combustible construction and it includes a fire alarm system.
The construction in dispute involves the replacement of fire alarm panel and end of line resistor components in an existing fire alarm system. This work was completed in 2013.

The dispute does not concern technical provisions in the Building Code; rather the issue is the interpretation of “construct” found in section 1 of the Building Code Act, 1992, and whether or not a building permit is required for the subject work.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

There is no provision in the Building Code that is in dispute.

3. Applicant’s Position

The Agent for the Applicant acknowledged that the subject work referred to in the order to comply did take place. However, he disagrees that a building permit was required for this small repair.
The Agent noted the definition of “construct” in the Building Code Act, 1992, and he stated that it is his belief that the subject work was not considered to be a material alteration or repair of a building.
The Agent explained that the work involved the like for like replacement of a fire alarm panel that had failed and he added that the existing fire alarm system was not altered by the repair.

It was for these reasons that the Agent argued that the order to comply should not have been given to the Applicant because, in this case, they did not construct a fire alarm system. 

4. Respondent’s Position

The Designate for the Respondent submitted that during an inspection of the subject building, it was noted that an existing fire alarm system was altered. He added that the alteration included the installation of a new fire alarm panel and end of line resistors. 
The Designate noted that the Applicant believes this work did not require a building permit. However, the Designate stated that, in this case, the opinion of Toronto Building Division is that the installation of a new fire alarm panel did require a building permit.

In support of this opinion, the Designate included excerpts from the Building Code Act, 1992, with the completed Confirmation of Dispute they submitted. One excerpt was the definition of “construct” from section 1 of the Building Code Act, 1992, which reads “In this Act, construct means to do anything in the erection, installation, extension or material alteration or repair of a building and includes the installation of a building unit fabricated or moved from elsewhere and construction has a corresponding meaning.”
The Designate argued that the subject work falls within the definition of “construct” and therefore a building permit was required.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that, under clause 24(1)(a) of the Building Code Act, 1992, the Commission does not have the jurisdiction to make a determination on the issues raised in relation to the matter at 23 Saunders Avenue, City of Toronto, Ontario.

6. Reasons

  1. Subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992, provides the Building Code Commission with the jurisdiction to resolve disputes concerning the sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code.
    While an order to comply under subsection 12(2) of the Building Code Act, 1992, has been given by Toronto Building Division to the Applicant, it was an order to correct a contravention of subsection 8(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992, by submitting plans and obtaining a building permit. Further, both parties agreed that there were no technical requirements of the Building Code currently at dispute.
  2. The Commission acknowledges that there is a dispute between the Respondent and the Applicant; however, the Commission, as noted above, has a very narrow jurisdiction outlined in subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992. Disputes concerning compliance with subsection 8(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992, are not disputes which are identified in subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

 
Dated at the City of Toronto this 10th day in the month of July in the year 2014 for application number B 2014-14.

 

Tony Chow, Chair

Marina Huissoon

Mina Tesseris