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BCC Ruling No. 15-32-1421

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Ruling No.: 15-32-1421
Application No.: B 2015-30

 

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 Sentence 3.8.3.3.(6) when considering Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) and Subclause 3.8.3.12.(1)(b)(iii) of Regulation 332/12, as amended, (the “Building Code”).

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Martin Sommer for the resolution of a dispute with Dennis Purcell, Chief Building Official, to determine whether the inward swinging door, serving a universal washroom, that is not equipped with a power door operator provides sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Sentence 3.8.3.3.(6) when considering Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) and Subclause 3.8.3.12.(1)(b)(iii) of Division B of the Building Code at Units 18-19, 55 Fleming Drive, City of Cambridge, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Martin Sommer
Karanda Properties Ltd.
City of Cambridge, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Dennis Purcell
Chief Building Official
City of Cambridge, Ontario

PANEL

Tony Chow, Chair
Susan Friedrich
Ed Link

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

October 22, 2015

DATE OF RULING

October 22, 2015

APPEARANCES

Martin Sommer
Karanda Properties Ltd.
City of Cambridge, Ontario
Applicant

Dennis Purcell
Chief Building Official
City of Cambridge, Ontario
Respondent

RULING

 

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant applied for a building permit to renovate an industrial unit in the building located at Units 18-19, 55 Fleming Drive, City of Cambridge, Ontario.

The one storey multi-tenanted building was built in 2002 and has a building area of 7,103.92 m2. The building is comprised of combustible construction and is equipped with a sprinkler system. The dispute arose when the Applicant proposed to renovate a unit within the building, which is classified as an F2, major occupancy.

The construction in dispute relates to the doors provided to the universal washroom. As part of the renovations, a universal washroom was built for the use of the unit’s tenants and employees. The door to the washroom swings inward and has not been equipped with a power door operator. Sentence 3.8.3.3.(6) of the Building Code requires, in part, a door to be equipped with a power door operator when the door serves a washroom for “public use” required to be barrier free. Article 1.4.1.2. defines the term “public use” as follows, “when applied to plumbing fixtures, fixtures in general washrooms of schools, gymnasiums, hotels, bars, public comfort stations and other installations in which fixtures are installed so that their use is unrestricted”.

The dispute for the Commission to determine is whether or not the door that serves the universal washroom is required to be equipped with a power door operator.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

Article 3.8.3.3. Doorways and Doors

  1. (6) A door shall be equipped with a power door operator where the door serves,
    1. (a) a washroom for public use required to be barrier-free, or
    2. (b) a Group A occupancy within a Group C major occupancy apartment building.

 

3.8.3.12. Universal Washrooms

  1. (1) A universal washroom shall,
    1. (a) be served by a barrier-free path of travel,
    2. (b) have a door that is capable of being locked from the inside and released from the outside in case of emergency and that has,
      1. (i) a graspable latch-operating mechanism located not less than 900 mm and not more than 1 000 mm above the finished floor,
      2. (ii) if it is an outward swinging door, a door pull not less than 140 mm long located on the inside so that its midpoint is not less than 200 mm and not more than 300 mm from the latch side of the door and not less than 900 mm and not more than 1 100 mm above the finished floor, and
      3. (iii) if it is an outward swinging door, a door closer, spring hinges or gravity hinges, so that the door closes automatically,

 

Article 1.4.1.2. Defined Terms

Public use means, when applied to plumbing fixtures, fixtures in general washrooms of schools, gymnasiums, hotels, bars, public comfort stations and other installations in which fixtures are installed so that their use is unrestricted.

Private use means, when applied to plumbing fixtures, fixtures in residences and apartments, in private bathrooms of hotels, and in similar installations in other buildings for a single household or an individual.

3. Applicant’s Position

The Applicant submitted that there were two issues at dispute, one concerning whether or not the subject universal washroom was meant for "public use" as defined by the Building Code, and two, whether 3.8.3.12.(1)(b)(iii) is applicable if door is not equipped with an automatic closer.

The Applicant submitted that the washroom in the subject building has been built to meet the universal washroom design requirements. The Applicant explained that the universal washroom is meant to serve the 8 employees working in the 706 m2 unit of the multi-tenanted building. The Applicant explained that the unit was being used for light manufacturing and is not open to members of the public. He further explained that the universal washroom is intended solely for the employees' private use.

The Applicant submitted that as the universal washroom has an inward swinging door, which in his opinion is not required to have a self-closing device as per Article 3.8.3.12. and further, it is not required by the Code to have a power door operator.

The Applicant argued that the premises are not open to the public and do not contain any portions where members of the public are entitled to access the unit during the normal course of business or where they might reasonably be entitled to have access to a washroom. The Applicant maintained that the intended private use of the universal washroom by the employees of the unit does not, in his opinion, meet the definition of "public use" as defined in the Building Code and therefore, a power door operator is not required in this case.

In response to questions, the Applicant informed the Commission that the building was built in 2002 and that there has been no change in occupancy.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Respondent submitted that where a door serves a washroom for public use, the washroom is required to be barrier-free. The Respondent highlighted that as per Article 1.4.1.2. of Division A, public use "means, when applied to plumbing fixtures, fixtures in general washrooms of schools, gymnasiums, hotels, bars ....and other installations in which fixtures are installed so that their use is unrestricted" (emphasis added), whereas, private use "means, when applied to plumbing fixtures in residences and apartments, in private bathrooms of hotels, and in similar installations in other buildings for a single household or an individual" (emphasis added). The Respondent maintained that based on the Building Code's definitions of public use and private use, the subject building's universal washroom falls under public use, which in his opinion includes employees who have access to a washroom at their place of work.

Further, the Respondent submitted that Clause 3.8.3.3.(6)(a), which states that a door shall be equipped with a power door operator “where the door serves a washroom for public use required to be barrier-free”, is applicable in this case, and thus a power door operator on the subject door of the new universal washroom is required.

In conclusion, it is the Respondent's position that the proposal not to provide a power door operator does not provide sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

In response to questions, the Respondent advised the Commission that in his opinion, Part 11 was not applicable, as he did not view the proposed construction as a renovation but rather as a new building system.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the inward swinging door, serving a universal washroom, that is not equipped with a power door operator provides sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Sentence 3.8.3.3.(6) when considering Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) and Subclause 3.8.3.12.(1)(b)(iii) of Division B of the Building Code at Units 18-19, 55 Fleming Drive, City of Cambridge, Ontario.

6. Reasons

  1. Sentence 1.1.2.6.(1) of Division A states, “Except as provided in Sentence (2), Part 11 of Division B applies to the design and construction of existing buildings, or parts of existing buildings, that have been in existence for at least five years”. The Commission heard that the building was built in 2002. As the existing building has been in existence for more than 5 years, the Commission is of the opinion that Part 11 of the Code is applicable to the proposed renovations.

  2. Part 11 of the Building Code regulates existing buildings that are undergoing renovation, material alteration or repair. The Commission heard that the scope of work proposed consists of the construction of two washrooms, a closet and the extension of one wall.

    In the opinion of the Commission, the scope of work proposed is considered a basic renovation as provided for under Article 11.3.3.1. As such, the Commission is of the opinion that Sentence 3.8.3.3.(6), Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) and Subclause 3.8.3.12.(1)(b)(iii) of Division B are not applicable to the proposed construction, as Article 11.3.3.1. does not reference these requirements.

Dated at the City of Toronto this 22nd day in the month of October in the year 2015 for application number B 2015-30.

Tony Chow, Chair

Susan Friedrich

Ed Link