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BCC Ruling No. 16-20-1448

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Ruling No.: 16-20-1448
Application No.: B 2016-09

 

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 Article 9.10.9.6. of Division B of Regulation 332/12, as amended, (the “Building Code”).

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by William Curran, Architect, for the resolution of a dispute with Ed VanderWindt, Chief Building Official for the City of Hamilton, to determine whether the non-rated roof and framing, including members that penetrate the new demising walls that have been constructed as fire separations between units, provides sufficiency of compliance with Article 9.10.9.6. of Division B of the Building Code at 7-11 Brock Street, City of Hamilton, Ontario.

APPLICANT

William J.E. Curran
Architect
Thier + Curran Architects Inc.

RESPONDENT

Ed VanderWindt
Chief Building Official
City of Hamilton, Ontario

PANEL

Leslie Morgan, Vice-Chair
Alison Orr
Ed Link

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

June 16, 2016

DATE OF RULING

June 16, 2016

APPEARANCES

William J.E. Curran
Architect
Thier + Curran Architects Inc.
Applicant

George Wong
Manager of Building Engineering
City of Hamilton, Ontario
Designate for the Respondent

Frank Peter
Supervisor, Plans Examination
City of Hamilton, Ontario
Designate for the Respondent

RULING

 

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has applied for a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992, proposing to convert an existing building into three townhouse type dwelling units.

The subject one storey, Group C residential occupancy building is comprised of combustible construction and has a building area of 420 m². The building is not equipped with fire alarm, sprinkler or standpipe systems.

The Applicant is converting the existing building into three townhouse type dwelling units. In order for this conversion to take place, new vertical fire separations located between each of the units, extending from the floor slab to the underside of the roof deck, are being constructed.

The construction in dispute relates to the roof framing members, which form part of the unrated roof assembly, and which penetrate the fire separations.

Article 9.10.9.6. of Division B of the Building Code provides technical requirements related to penetration of fire separations.

The dispute that Commission is being asked to resolve is whether the roof framing members, which penetrate the fire separation, are required to be provided with a fire resistance rating equivalent to that of the vertical fire separation.

At the outset of the proceedings, the Respondent requested that the Commission consider whether it had jurisdiction to make a determination in the matter.

The Commission informed the parties that the panel would need to address the jurisdictional matter before hearing any technical matter. The Commission requested that the parties speak to the issue of jurisdiction.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

9.10.9.6. Penetration of Fire Separations
  1. (1) Piping, tubing, ducts, chimneys, wiring, conduit, electrical outlet boxes and other similar service equipment that penetrate a required fire separation shall be tightly fitted or fire stopped to maintain the integrity of the separation.

  2. (2) Penetrations of a firewall shall be sealed at the penetration by a fire stop that, when subjected to the fire test method in CAN/ULC-S115, “Fire Tests of Firestop Systems”, has an FT rating not less than the fire-resistance rating for the fire separation.

  3. (3) Except as provided in Sentences (4) to (12) and Article 9.10.9.7., pipes, ducts, electrical outlet boxes, totally enclosed raceways or other similar service equipment that partly or wholly penetrate an assembly required to have a fire-resistance rating shall be noncombustible unless the assembly has been tested incorporating such equipment.

  4. (4) Electrical wires or other similar wiring enclosed in noncombustible totally enclosed raceways are permitted to partly or wholly penetrate an assembly required to have a fire-resistance rating without being incorporated in the assembly at the time of testing as required in Sentence (3).

  5. (5) Single conductor metal-sheathed cables with combustible jacketing that are more than 25 mm in overall diameter are permitted to penetrate a fire separation required to have a fire-resistance rating without being incorporated in the assembly at the time of testing as required in Sentence (3), provided the cables are not grouped and are spaced a minimum of 300 mm apart.

  6. (6) Electrical wires or cables, single or grouped, with combustible insulation or jacketing that is not totally enclosed in raceways of noncombustible material, are permitted to partly or wholly penetrate an assembly required to have a fire-resistance rating without being incorporated in the assembly at the time of testing as required in Sentence (3), provided the overall diameter of the wiring is not more than 25 mm.

  7. (7) Combustible totally enclosed raceways that are embedded in a concrete floor slab are permitted in an assembly required to have a fire-resistance rating without being incorporated in the assembly at the time of testing as required in Sentence (3), where the concrete provides at least 50 mm of cover between the raceway and the bottom of the slab.

  8. (8) Combustible outlet boxes are permitted in an assembly required to have a fire-resistance rating without being incorporated in the assembly at the time of testing as required in Sentence (3), provided the opening through the membrane into the box does not exceed 160 cm².

  9. (9) Combustible water distribution piping is permitted to partly or wholly penetrate a fire separation that is required to have a fire-resistance rating without being incorporated in the assembly at the time of testing as required in Sentence (3), provided the piping is protected with a fire stop in conformance with Sentence 3.1.9.4.(4).

  10. (10) Combustible sprinkler piping is permitted to penetrate a fire separation provided the fire compartments on each side of the fire separation are sprinklered.

  11. (11) Sprinklers are permitted to penetrate a fire separation or a membrane forming part of an assembly required to have a fire-resistance rating without having to meet the fire stop requirements of Sentence (1), provided the annular space created by the penetration of a fire sprinkler is covered by a metal escutcheon plate in accordance with NFPA 13, “Installation of Sprinklers”.

  12. (12) Combustible piping for central vacuum systems is permitted to penetrate a fire separation provided the installation conforms to the requirements that apply to combustible piping in Sentences 9.10.9.7.(2) to (6).

  13. (13) Fire dampers are permitted to penetrate a fire separation or a membrane forming part of an assembly required to have a fire-resistance rating without having to meet the fire stop requirements of Sentence (1), provided the fire damper is,
    1. (a) installed in conformance with NFPA 80, “Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives,” or
    2. (b) designed specifically with a fire stop.

3. Applicant’s Position

With respect to jurisdiction, the Applicant stated that he believes that it would be of public benefit for the Commission to make a ruling on this issue.

The Applicant submitted that the Respondent had required that every roof and framing member that penetrates the fire separation be provided with a fire resistance rating equivalent to that of the fire separation. The Applicant suggested that as the building permit for this property has not been issued, the Commission should make a ruling on this matter. The Applicant further submitted that a written interpretation from the Commission could be used as a precedent for other cases involving the same issue and would be of great benefit to the public.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Designate for the Respondent stated that the dispute that related to the penetration through the fire separation by the existing non-rated roof and framing members has been resolved. The Designate advised that the Chief Building Official received an engineer’s letter dated February 4, 2016 from the Applicant and that based upon that letter the construction as proposed was accepted.

The Designate submitted that it is the opinion of the Chief Building Official that the matter has been resolved and therefore there is no dispute for the Commission to rule on.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that, under subsection 24(1) 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 7-11 Brock Street, City of Hamilton, Ontario.

6. Reasons

  1. The Building Code Commission is a quasi-judicial tribunal whose mandate is set out in subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

    Clause 24(1)(a) of the Building Code Act, 1992, states, “This section applies if there is a dispute between an applicant for a permit, a holder of a permit or a person to whom an order is given and the chief building official, a registered code agency or an inspector concerning sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code”.

  2. The Commission heard that there had been a dispute between the permit applicant and the chief building official concerning compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code. The Commission then heard from the municipality that the dispute that was before the Commission has been resolved. The Commission recognizes that there may have been a dispute that could have been ruled on by the Commission; however, since the municipality has now accepted the proposed construction, there is no longer a technical dispute that falls within the jurisdiction of the Commission.

  3. The Commission understands that there may still be a fundamental disagreement between the parties related to the interpretation of Building Code requirements; however, the Commission’s mandate does not extend to providing interpretations of the Building Code and/or its requirements. The Commission did not hear that there were any other technical requirements that were at issue.

  4. The Commission notes that any ruling made by the Building Code Commission is site specific only and not precedent setting.

Dated at the City of Toronto this 18th day in the month of June in the year 2016 for application number B 2016-09.

Leslie Morgan, Vice-Chair

Alison Orr

Ed Link