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BCC Ruling No. 15-39-1428

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Ruling No.: 15-39-1428
Application No.: B 2015-41

 

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Daryl Forrest, Mattamy Homes, for the resolution of a dispute with John Tutert, Chief Building Official to determine whether the proposal to not consider a trellised roof structure as a storey, when calculating building height, provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code when considering Sentence 3.2.1.1.(1) of Division B and the definition of “building height” and “storey” in Article 1.4.1.2. of Division A of the Building Code at Creekshore Common, Dundas Urban Core, 27E and 27W, Town of Oakville, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Daryl Forrest
Mattamy Homes
Milton, Ontario

RESPONDENT

John Tutert
Chief Building Official
Town of Oakville, Ontario

PANEL

Tony Chow, Chair
Ed Link
Leslie Morgan

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

December 9, 2015

DATE OF RULING

December 9, 2015

APPEARANCES

Daryl Forrest
Mattamy Homes
Milton, Ontario
Applicant

Leszek Muniak
Jensen Hughes Consulting Canada Ltd.
Toronto, Ontario
Agent for the Applicant

John Tutert
Chief Building Official
Town of Oakville, Ontario
Respondent

Frank Zabukovec
Manager Plans Review
Town of Oakville, Ontario
Designate for the Respondent

RULING

 

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has applied for a building permit under the Building Code Act to construct a four storey residential building at Creekshore Common, Dundas Urban Core, 27E and 27W, Town of Oakville, Ontario.

The proposed building is a four storey, Group C occupancy building of combustible construction with a building area of 967 m².

The construction in dispute centers on whether or not the construction of a trellised roof structure to be located on top of the fourth storey of the building, which will cover a portion of the seating area of the rooftop terrace, should be considered an additional storey for the purpose of calculating building height.

The dispute for the Commission to determine is whether the proposal to not consider the trellised roof structure as a storey when calculating building height, sufficiently complies with the Code when considering Sentence 3.2.1.1.(1) of Division B and the definition of “building height” and “storey” in Article 1.4.1.2. of Division A of the Building Code.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

Division B, Article 3.2.1.1. Exceptions in Determining Building Height
  1. (1)  A rooftop enclosure provided for elevator machinery, a stairway or a service room used for no purpose other than for service to the building, shall not be considered as a storey in calculating the building height.

Division A, Article 1.4.1.2. Defined Terms

Building height means the number of storeys contained between the roof and the floor of the first storey.

Storey means, except for the purposes of Part 7 of Division B, the portion of a building,
  1. (a) that is situated between the top of any floor and the top of the floor next above it, or
  2. (b) that is situated between the top of the floor and the ceiling above the floor, if there is no floor above it.

3. Applicant’s Position

The Agent for the Applicant submitted that the subject building is a new Group C, four storey, residential major occupancy building of 967 m². The Agent explained that the building has been designed in compliance with Article 3.2.2.45. of Division B of the Building Code, and as a result, will be fully sprinklered and will be comprised of both combustible and noncombustible construction.

The Agent reported that the building will contain a common room on the fourth floor intended for use of building occupants. The common room, he described, will have a small mezzanine of approximately 32 m² that will provide access to the roof of the building and further, that the mezzanine will be accessible by an open stair, as well as an elevator. The Agent clarified that the mezzanine is deemed to be in compliance with the Building Code provisions for mezzanines and does not form part of the dispute.

The Agent advised that the rooftop terrace will provide the building occupants a view of the adjacent water course and green space. He submitted that the roof area of the building will contain a small patio designated for resident access and will contain a gas-fired barbeque, as well as, a few tables and benches for seating, but that the number of occupants on the rooftop patio would not be more than 60.

In response to questions, the Agent submitted that the trellised roof structure would take up approximately 5% of the entire building's roof area and the rooftop patio would be approximately 10% of the entire roof area.

The Agent explained that the rooftop would be provided with access to an enclosed and fire-separated exit stair, along with a secondary means of egress provided to the mezzanine by an open stair to the fourth floor common room. He also advised that two means of egress will be provided from the common room space through the fourth floor corridor, and therefore, exiting from the roof is not an issue.

In addition to providing two means of egress from the rooftop, the Agent advised that the building’s fire alarm system will be extended to the roof top patio and that manual pull stations will be located at both of the egress points.

The Agent submitted that it was the Respondent's position that the trellised roof structure will constitute a rooftop enclosure and further, since the rooftop enclosure is not intended for elevator machinery, a stairway or servicing of the building, the exemption provided in the Building Code under Sentence 3.2.1.1.(1) is not applicable. As a result, it is the Respondent's opinion that the trellised roof structure is considered to be an additional storey, thereby rendering the proposed four storey building a five storey building.

The Agent advised that if the subject building was to be considered a 5 storey building then it would need to be constructed in accordance with the requirements of Article 3.2.2.43A., which in part, requires the exit stair enclosures to be of noncombustible construction and to have 2 hour fire-resistance ratings.

The Agent reported that it is intended that the trellised roof structure be constructed over part of the rooftop patio area where greenery can grow around the trellis' components. He explained that neither the trellis nor the patio would be enclosed and that the trellis would instead be constructed of with 38 mm deep members spaced at 600 mm on centre, measured horizontally and supported by wood columns.

In response to questions, the Agent submitted that the proposed materials that will be used to construct the trellis will have a flame-spread rating of not more than 150.

The Agent submitted that it was the Applicant's position that the trellised roof structure does not constitute a rooftop enclosure. The Agent pointed out that the term 'enclosure' is not a defined term in the Building Code, however, the Cambridge on-line dictionary, defines 'enclosure' as, "an area surrounded by a fence or other structure in order to be kept separate from other areas". The Agent argued that in accordance with the dictionary's meaning of the term 'enclosure', the proposed rooftop amenity area does not fall under the meaning of 'enclosure' since it is not an area which is intended to be kept separate from other areas.

The Agent maintained that the Building Code contemplates and permits rooftops to be used as amenity space, and further are permitted to contain an occupancy. The Agent argued that as the trellised roof structure does not constitute an enclosure, the rooftop patio need not be considered as an additional storey to the proposed 4 storey building.

In conclusion, the Agent reiterated that the proposed trellised rooftop structure is not considered a storey and therefore, the rooftop amenity space provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Respondent advised that the portion of the project in dispute relates to the proposal to construct a trellised roof over a portion of a seating area to be located on the rooftop terrace of the subject four storey building.

The Respondent explained that it was the City of Oakville's opinion that the trellised roof meets the definition of a 'building', as defined by the Building Code Act. He submitted that as the trellis is proposed to be constructed on top of the fourth storey of the building, it is the City's position that the construction of a trellised roof on the rooftop terrace, would constitute an additional storey when calculating building height.

The Respondent advised that Article 3.2.1.1. of Division B of the Building Code exempts rooftop enclosures if they are provided for a stairway or a service room that is to be used for no purpose other than for service to the building. In this case, he pointed out that the trellised roof is intended to cover a seating area to be located on the rooftop terrace, therefore, it does not meet the exemption. As a result, he maintained that the trellised roof would need to be considered as an additional storey.

The Respondent explained that if the trellised roof structure was proposed to be built on grade, the City would consider the structure to be a one storey building. Therefore, adding a one storey building (the trellised roof structure) to a four storey building, would result in a five storey building.

The Respondent submitted that the subject building has been designed with a building classification in accordance with Article 3.2.2.45. of the Building Code, which is Group C buildings up to 4 storeys, sprinklered, whereas a 5 storey building would be required to comply with Article 3.2.2.43A., which would require the building design to comply with more stringent requirements.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that, for the purposes of determining building height, the proposal to not consider a roof top trellis as a fifth storey provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code when considering Sentence 3.2.1.1.(1) of Division B and the definition of “building height” and “storey” in Article 1.4.1.2. of Division A of the Building Code at Creekshore Common, Dundas Urban Core, 27E and 27W, Town of Oakville, Ontario.

6. Reasons

  1. Sentence 3.2.1.1.(1) states that a rooftop enclosure provided for elevator machinery, a stairway or a service room used for no purpose other than for service to the building, shall not be considered as a storey in calculating the building height.

    It is the Commission’s opinion that based on the evidence and testimony provided by both parties, the proposed roof top trellis is not considered to be a rooftop enclosure as described above. Consequently, Sentence 3.2.1.1.(1) is not applicable in this case.

  2. Article 1.4.1.2. of Division A of the Building Code defines building height as, “the number of storeys contained between the roof and the floor of the first storey”.

    The Commission heard that a patio area has been constructed on the roof of the subject building. A portion of this patio area will include a trellis, with 38 mm deep members spaced at 600 mm on centre, measured horizontally and supported by wood columns. The Commission also heard that neither the patio area nor the trellis will be enclosed with walls.

    Based on the described construction of the trellis, it is the Commission’s opinion that trellis is not considered to be a “roof”. Therefore, the roof of the subject building is not the top of the rooftop trellis but rather the roof of the fourth storey.

  3. Further, Article 1.4.1.2. of Division A, in part defines storey as follows “…the portion of a building, (a) that is situated between the top of any floor and the top of the floor next above it, or (b) that is situated between the top of the floor and the ceiling above the floor, if there is no floor above it”.

    Based on the evidence and testimony provided, it is the Commission’s opinion that the trellis is not a ceiling, and therefore, is not considered to be a “storey” as defined by the Building Code.

  4. The Commission heard that the area occupied by the trellis is relatively small in comparison to the area of the building’s roof.

  5. The Commission also heard that the proposed materials that will be used to construct the trellis will have a flame-spread rating of not more than 150.

  6. The Commission heard that the building’s life safety features have been satisfied and that the building’s fire alarm system will be extended to the roof top patio. Further, the Commission heard that two means of egress will be provided on the roof top, and manual pull stations will be located at both of the egress points.

Dated at the City of Toronto this 9th day in the month of December in the year 2013 for application number B 2015-41.

Tony Chow, Chair

Ed Link

Leslie Morgan