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BCC Ruling No. 13-03-1331

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Ruling No.: 13-03-1331
Application No.: B  2012-32

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 9.15.3. of Division B of Regulation 350/06, as amended, (the “Building Code”).

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Arthur Tarala, Owner, for the resolution of a dispute with Robert Lamarre, Chief Building Official, to determine whether the proposal to design and construct a free standing three car garage on a pile and partial grade beam foundation provides sufficiency of compliance with Subsection 9.15.3. of Division B of the Building Code at 2628 Deramore Road, Township of Selwyn (Lakefield), Ontario.

APPLICANT

Arthur Tarala
Owner
Lakefield, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Robert Lamarre
Chief Building Official
Township of Selwyn, Ontario

PANEL

Tony Chow, Chair
Ed Link
Mina Tesseris

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

February 21, 2013

DATE OF RULING

February 21, 2013

APPEARANCES

Arthur Tarala
Owner
Lakefield, Ontario
Applicant

Robert Lamarre
Chief Building Official
Township of Selwyn, Ontario
Respondent

RULING

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has applied for a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992, to construct a three car garage at 2628 Deramore Road, Township of Selwyn, Ontario.

The subject building is described as a detached three car garage to serve a single family dwelling unit. The proposed garage will have a building area of approximately 70 m2 (760 ft2) and will be comprised of combustible construction material. The garage design includes three parking bays and an attic level storage area accessible by stair.

The construction in dispute in the case primarily relates to the drawings that were submitted with the building permit application and in particular the proposed foundation design of the garage. The drawings that accompanied the application for building permit appear to detail a combination of piles with a reinforced concrete cap and grade beams, together with a reinforced concrete slab. The building permit application did not include any calculations or assessment of the subsoil.

A second area that seemed to be at issue related to the “attic level storage area” and whether that area should be considered a second storey or a mezzanine or simply attic space. During the presentations by the parties, it was agreed that this matter did not need to be determined by the Commission. The space could be used for storage but it was not considered a mezzanine.

Section 9.35. of Division B, of the Building Code, regulates the construction of garages and carports. Article 9.35.3.1. requires foundations provided for the support of carport and garage super-structures, including the portion beneath garage doors, to conform to Sections 9.12. and 9.15. Section 9.15. contains the prescriptive solutions associated with the construction of footings and foundations.

The matter for the Commission to determine, as clarified by the parties at the outset of the hearing, is whether the proposed design and construction of the footings and foundation supporting the garage sufficiently complies with the technical requirements of Subsection 9.15.3.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

9.15.3. Footings
9.15.3.1. Footings Required
  1. (1) Footings shall be provided under walls, pilasters, columns, piers, fireplaces and chimneys that bear on soil or rock, except that footings are permitted to be omitted under piers or monolithic concrete walls if the safe loadbearing capacity of the soil or rock is not exceeded.
9.15.3.2. Support of Footings
  1. (1) Footings shall rest on undisturbed soil, rock or compacted granular fill.
  2. (2) Granular fill shall not contain pyritic material in a concentration that would adversely affect its stability or the performance of assemblies separating dissimilar environments.
9.15.3.3. Application of Footing Width and Area Requirements
  1. (1) Except as provided in Sentence 9.15.3.4.(2), the minimum footing width or area requirements provided in Articles 9.15.3.4. to 9.15.3.7. shall apply to footings where,
    1. (a) the footings support,
      1. (i) foundation walls of masonry, concrete, or flat insulating concrete form walls,
      2. (ii) above ground walls of masonry, flat insulating concrete form walls or light wood frame construction, and
      3. (iii) floors and roofs of light wood frame construction,
    2. (b) the span of supported joists does not exceed 4.9 m, and
    3. (c) the specified live load on any floor supported by the footing does not exceed 2.4 kPa.
  2. (2) Except as provided in Sentence 9.15.3.4.(2), where the span of the supported joists exceeds 4.9 m, footings shall be designed in accordance with Section 4.2.
  3. (3) Where the specified live load exceeds 2.4 kPa footings shall be designed in accordance with Section 4.2.
9.15.3.4. Basic Footing Widths and Areas
  1. (1) Except as provided in Sentences (2) and (3) and in Articles 9.15.3.5. to 9.15.3.7., the minimum footing width or area shall comply with Table 9.15.3.4.
  2. (2) Where the supported joist span exceeds 4.9 m in buildings with light wood-framed walls, floors and roofs, footing widths shall be determined according to,
    1. (a) Section 4.2., or
    2. (b) the following formula:

      W = w • [∑ sjs / (storeys • 4.9)]

      where,
      W = minimum footing width,
      w = minimum width of footings supporting joists not exceeding 4.9 m, as defined by Table 9.15.3.4.,
      ∑ sjs = the sum of the supported joist spans on each storey whose load is transferred to the footing, and
      storeys = number of storeys supported by the footing
  3. (3) Where a foundation rests on gravel, sand or silt in which the water table level is less than the width of the footings below the bearing surface,
    1. (a) the footing width for walls shall be not less than twice the width required by Sentences (1) and (2), and Articles 9.15.3.5. and 9.15.3.6., and
    2. (b) the footing area for columns shall be not less than twice the area required by Sentences (1) and (2), and Article 9.15.3.7.

Table 9.15.3.4. Minimum Footing Sizes
Forming Part of Sentence 9.15.3.4.(1)

Number of Floors Supported

Minimum Width of Strip Footings, mm

Minimum Footing Area for Columns Spaced

3 m o.c.(1), m2

Supporting  Exterior Walls(2)

Supporting Interior Walls(3)

1

250

200

0.40

2

350

350

0.75

3

450

500

1.0

Column 1

2

3

4


Notes to Table 9.15.3.4.:
(1)See Sentence 9.15.3.7.(1).
(2)See Sentences 9.15.3.5.(1).
(3)See Sentence 9.15.3.6.(1).

9.15.3.5. Adjustments to Footing Widths for Exterior Walls
  1. (1) The strip footing widths for exterior walls shown in Table 9.15.3.4. shall be increased by,
    1. (a) 65 mm for each storey of masonry veneer over wood frame construction supported by the foundation wall,
    2. (b) 130 mm for each storey of masonry construction supported by the foundation wall, and
    3. (c) 150 mm for each storey of flat insulating concrete form wall construction supported by the foundation wall.
9.15.3.6. Adjustments to Footing Widths for Interior Walls
  1. (1) The minimum strip footing widths for interior loadbearing masonry walls shown in Table 9.15.3.4. shall be increased by 100 mm for each storey of masonry construction supported by the footing.
  2. (2) Footings for interior non-loadbearing masonry walls shall be not less than 200 mm wide for walls up to 5.5 m high and the width shall be increased by 100 mm for each additional 2.7 m of height.
9.15.3.7. Adjustments to Footing Area for Columns
  1. (1) The footing area for column spacings other than shown in Table 9.15.3.4. shall be adjusted in proportion to the distance between columns.
9.15.3.8. Footing Thickness
  1. (1) Footing thickness shall be not less than the greater of,
    1. (a) 100 mm, or
    2. (b) the width of the projection of the footing beyond the supported element.
9.15.3.9. Step Footings
  1. (1) Where step footings are used,
    1. (a) the vertical rise between horizontal portions shall not exceed 600 mm, and
    2. (b) the horizontal distance between risers shall be not less than 600 mm.

3. Applicant’s Position

The Applicant began by stating that he believes his proposed construction more than meets the requirements of the Building Code. He described the construction of the foundation as being comprised of 300 mm (12 in) sono tubes, which will be filled with concrete and #5 rebar, with a 300 mm by 200 mm (12 in by 8 in) concrete beam tied with rebar to the foundation posts. He directed the Commission to detail “A” on his drawings, where the design of the wire cage and #5 rebar set in concrete pier and beam was shown.

In response to questions from the Commission members, the Applicant provided the following additional information. He maintained that this a simple foundation design where the grade beams go around the entire perimeter of the garage and span from pier to pier. When asked what loads had been used to design the beam, the Applicant advised that he had not done any load calculations, however, he stated that in his opinion the foundation pier alone would support the roof and walls. He added that he had not done the live load calculations as he believed it was not necessary because the design is such standard post and beam construction.

When asked about the space that is accessed by the stair, the Applicant advised that this space was to be used for additional storage of household items such as books and the holiday decorations. He stressed that this space was not for human occupancy. The Applicant stated that he does not view this space as a second floor but rather as additional storage.

The Applicant advised that rafters span the short length of the garage and the roof is supported by the front. When asked how the four front posts at the footing level are tied to prevent movement, the Applicant stated that the posts are tied together with 50 mm by 200mm (2 in by 8 in) beams and jackstuds. He advised that he believed it was necessary to tie the sono tubes at the front.

In summary, the Applicant informed the Commission that he believes the design he has submitted not only complies with what the Building Code requires but that it far exceeds the requirements. He stated that his design is more than adequate for such a structure.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Respondent submitted that, since the proposed design of the foundation is not contained in the prescriptive requirements listed in Sentence 9.15.1.1.(1), Sentence 9.15.1.1.(2) requires the foundation to be designed in accordance with Section 9.4. He pointed out that Article 9.4.1.1. states that structural members and their connections shall conform to the requirements of Part 9, be designed according to good engineering practice, or be designed according to Part 4. He concluded that as the proposed foundation design does not conform to the prescriptive requirements set out in Part 9, then it must be designed in accordance with good engineering practice or according the provisions of Part 4 of the Building Code.

The Respondent stated that designing to Part 4, or in accordance with good engineering practice, requires an engineering expertise that, in his opinion, the Applicant has not demonstrated he possesses.

The Respondent maintained that the municipality has always had an issue with the foundation design. He suggested that, without the calculations to support the design and how the loads are being carried, the municipality is not convinced that the garage has been designed to the requirements of Part 4 and good engineering practice. He emphasized that the application for building permit did not include mathematical details related to the soil or calculations as to how the loads would be carried. As a result of the lack of information regarding how loads will be carried, he stated that determining compliance with the Building Code has not been possible. He indicated that he is not convinced that the loads will be carried safely.

When questioned about the storage space, the Respondent agreed that the space could be used for storage, however he added that it cannot be considered a mezzanine. Both parties agreed that there was no need for the Commission to rule on this issue.

In summation, the Respondent reiterated that he is looking for the Applicant, through the submission of appropriate documentation, plans and details, to demonstrate that his design meets the requirements of the Building Code. He stated that this design is not typical and is not one of the prescriptive requirements set out in the Building Code; therefore, it is incumbent on the Applicant to provide additional information to demonstrate compliance.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the proposal to design and construct a free standing three car garage on a pile and partial grade beam foundation does not provide sufficiency of compliance with Subsection 9.15.3. of Division B of the Building Code, at 2628 Deramore Road, Township of Selwyn (Lakefield), Ontario.

6. Reasons

  1. Section 9.4 of Division B of the Building Code states that every structure shall be designed in accordance with the prescriptive requirements of Part 9, in accordance with “good engineering practice” or in accordance with the criteria set out in Part 4.

  2. The proposed design of the garage foundation is not a prescriptive solution found in Subsection 9.15.3. of Division B of the Building Code or provided elsewhere in Part 9 of Division B.

  3. The Applicant did not provide any satisfactory evidence showing that this foundation was designed according to good engineering practice.

  4. The Applicant did not provide calculations showing sufficiency of compliance with the provisions of Part 4 of Division B of the Building Code.

Dated at the City of Toronto this 21st day in the month of February in the year 2013 for application number B  2012-32.

Tony Chow, Chair

Ed Link

Mina Tesseris