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BCC Ruling No. 12-24-1328

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Ruling No.: 12-24-1328
Application No.: B 2012-21

 

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 Clause 3.4.3.2.(7)(a) and Sentences 3.8.3.3.(1) and 3.8.3.3.(10) of Regulation 350/06, as amended, (the “Building Code”).

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Jeff Wilson, Triovest Realty Advisors, for the resolution of a dispute with John Heggie, Deputy Chief Building Official for the City of Toronto, to determine whether the as-constructed exit corridor and the as-constructed exit doorways which are not equipped with power door operators, provide sufficiency of compliance with the requirements of Clause 3.4.3.2.(7)(a) and Sentences 3.8.3.3.(1) and 3.8.3.3.(10) of Division B, of the Building Code, in an existing Group E classified building at Woodside Square Shopping Mall, 1571 Sandhurst Circle, City of Toronto, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Jeff Wilson
Triovest Realty Advisors
City of Toronto, Ontario

RESPONDENT

John Heggie
Deputy Chief Building Official
City of Toronto, Ontario

PANEL

Leslie Morgan, Vice-Chair
Ed Link
Mina Tesseris

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

November 22, 2012

DATE OF RULING

November 22, 2012

APPEARANCES

Kevin Manuel
President, Kevin Manuel Architect Limited
Agent for the Applicant

Luke Johnson
Building Inspector, City of Toronto
Designate for the Respondent

 

RULING

 

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has received an Order to Comply under the Building Code Act, 1992, to remedy certain alleged deficiencies at Woodside Square Shopping Mall, 1571 Sandhurst Circle, City of Toronto, Ontario.

The subject building is a two storey, Group E retail mall having a building area of approximately 30,000 m2. The building is comprised of non-combustible construction and is equipped with a standpipe and hose system, a sprinkler system and a fire alarm system.

The construction in dispute involves the exit corridor located in Block G of the north wing of the mall.

The subject building underwent significant revisions to the tenant space in 2003, as result of these revisions an additional exit corridor was constructed. In 2011, the municipality became aware that the exit corridor was not constructed in accordance with the approved drawings and thus an Order to Comply was issued. It is this exit corridor that is the subject of the matter at dispute before the Building Code Commission.

The issue at dispute pertains to the width of this exit corridor, the clear width of the doorways located at the ends of the corridor and the latch side clearances of the doors at the ends of the corridor.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

3.4.3.2. Exit Width

(7) The width of an exit shall be not less than,
(a) 1 100 mm for corridors and passageways,

3.8.3.3. Doorways and Doors

(1) Every doorway that is located in a barrier-free path of travel shall have a clear width of not less than 850 mm when the door is in the open position.

(10) Unless equipped with a power door operator, a door in a barrier-free path of travel shall have a clear space on the latch side extending the height of the doorway and not less than,
(a) 600 mm beyond the edge of the door opening if the door swings toward approach side, and
(b) 300 mm beyond the edge of the door opening if the door swings away from the approach side.

3. Applicant’s Position

The Agent for the Applicant provided the Commission with brief history and overview of the building in question. He described the building as a large shopping mall and stated that it is the area referred to as Block G that is the subject of this dispute.

The Agent indicated that prior to 2003, Block G was mostly leased by a Zellers store. In response to the Zellers store leaving the mall, the bulk of the space vacated by Zellers was leased to a smaller major tenant and it was proposed to extend the existing mall corridor further into Block G, providing additional tenant spaces on either side. This renovation required the construction of an additional exit corridor.

The Agent explained that in 2011, further renovations were required in order to provide an additional exit from tenant space 158 and a building permit proposing these renovations was submitted. He stated that it was then discovered that the width of the exit corridor that was constructed in 2003 was less than 1 100 mm. He noted that the issue related to the clear width of the doorway and the latch side clearance also arose in 2011. As a result an Order to Comply was issued in 2012, which the Applicant is appealing to the Building Code Commission.

The Agent described the as-constructed corridor as having a width of 1 050 mm instead of 1 100 mm as required by Clause 3.4.3.2.(7)(a) of Division B of the Building Code. He referred the Commission to the exit analysis that had been submitted as part of the Application for Hearing and observed that based on that analysis, the existing corridor width is adequate to function as an exit. He advised that Sentence 3.4.3.2.(1) of Division B of the Building Code allows 6.1 mm per person for corridor exit capacity. Based on 6.1 mm per person, the existing corridor width provides a capacity of 172 persons versus the required capacity of 180 persons, which results in a difference of 8 persons or 4.4%. In addition, he noted that there are many other available exits from the mall.

With regard to the as-constructed exit doorways and the clearance deficiencies associated with the doorways, the Agent admitted that the existing doorway does not provide a clear width of 850 mm as required by Sentence 3.8.3.3.(1) of Division B. In addition, the doorways are not equipped with power door operators nor are the clear space on the latch side requirements stipulated by Sentence 3.8.3.3.(10) achieved. He indicated that this corridor is purely an exit corridor and is not used for accessing any other part of the building. He suggested that this corridor and its exit doorways play a minimal part in the overall exit capacity of the building and therefore he believes the existing condition is adequate.

In summary, the Agent reiterated that he believes the existing conditions in this corridor sufficiently comply with the Building Code.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Designate for the Respondent advised that the permit was issued based on permit drawings which showed the exit corridor being 1100 mm in width and having doors that were to be equipped with a power door operator. He informed the Commission that upon inspection it was noted that the exit corridor was constructed narrower than what had been shown on the permit drawings, the doors are narrower than permitted and power door operators had not been provided. Consequently, an order to comply was issued.
The Designate stated that the as-constructed corridor does not comply with the requirements of the Building Code as it is less than 1100 mm in width. In addition, the doors for the corridor do not provide the appropriate clearances on the latch side and they are not equipped with power door operators and therefore do not comply with the requirements of the Building Code.
In conclusion, the Designate maintained that the as-constructed exit corridor does not comply with the Building Code nor has it been constructed in accordance with the approved permit drawings.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the as-constructed exit corridor provides sufficiency of compliance with Clause 3.4.3.2.(7)(a) of Division B, of the Building Code, at Woodside Square Shopping Mall, 1571 Sandhurst Circle, City of Toronto, Ontario.
Further, it is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the as-constructed exit doorways which are not equipped with power door operators do not provide sufficiency of compliance with Sentences 3.8.3.3.(1) and 3.8.3.3.(10) of Division B, of the Building Code at Woodside Square Shopping Mall, 1571 Sandhurst Circle, City of Toronto, Ontario.

6. Reasons

  1. Clause 3.4.3.2.(7)(a) of the Building Code states that the width of an exit shall be not less than 1 100 mm for corridors and passageways. The Commission heard that the as-constructed width of this exit corridor having a width of 1 050 mm is slightly less than required by the Building Code.
  2. The Commission recognizes that Part 11 of the Building Code does not form part of this dispute; however, the Commission notes that Compliance Alternative DE38 of Part 11 of the Building Code would accept existing corridor widths provided the occupant load is not more than 15% above the exit capacity. Evidence was presented regarding the exit capacity for the building. The Commission heard that the available exit capacity is more than adequate for the full occupant load of the building. The Commission finds that the existing corridor width of 1 050 mm sufficiently complies with the requirements of the Building Code.
  3. The Building Code is explicit in that it requires a barrier-free path of travel throughout the entrance storey. Sentence 3.8.3.3.(1) requires every doorway that is located in a barrier-free path of travel to have a clear width of not less than 850 mm when the door is in the open position. Sentence 3.8.3.3.(10) requires doors, in a barrier-free path of travel that are not equipped with a power door operator, to provide not less than 600 mm or 300 mm of clear space on the latch side of the doorway depending on the direction of the door swing.
    The Commission heard that the as-constructed doorways, associated with the exit corridor, have widths that are less than the required 850 mm, have clear space on the latch side that is less than required and are not equipped with power door operators. The Commission notes that Part 11 would permit an existing doorway to be acceptable provided the doorway was not less than 810 mm, however, in this instance the existing doorway is less than 810 mm. The Commission finds that the as-constructed doorways without power door operators do not provide sufficient clear width nor do they provide sufficient clear space on the latch side of the doorway.
     

Dated at the City of Toronto this 22nd day in the month of November in the year 2012 for application number B-2012-21.

Leslie Morgan, Vice Chair

Ed Link

Mina Tesseris