Skip to content
You are here > Home > Your Ministry > Ontario Building Code > Appeals & Approvals > Building Code Commission > Rulings of the Building Code Commission > 2016 > BCC Ruling No. 16-24-1452

Follow us

BCC Ruling No. 16-24-1452

Email this page

 BCC Logo 

Ruling No.: 16-24-1452
Application No.: B 2016-12

 

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 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) and Clause 3.8.3.3.(6)(a) of Division B of the Building Code of Regulation 332/12, as amended, (the “Building Code”).

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Hilary Murphy, for the resolution of a dispute with Ted Marecak, Chief Building Official, to determine whether the proposal to not provide a power door operator for a door that is not equipped with a self-closing device and which serves a universal washroom, provides sufficiency of compliance with Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) and Clause 3.8.3.3.(6)(a) of Division B of the Building Code at Plainfield Firehall, 26 Hoskin Road, Plainfield, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Hilary Murphy
Taskforce Engineering Inc.
City of Belleville, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Ted Marecak
Chief Building Official
City of Belleville

PANEL

Tony Chow, Chair
Leslie Morgan
Ed Link

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

August 25, 2016

DATE OF RULING

August 25, 2016

APPEARANCES

Hilary Murphy
Taskforce Engineering Inc.
City of Belleville, Ontario
Applicant

Ted Marecak
Chief Building Official
City of Belleville
Respondent

RULING

 

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has received a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992, to construct a building at Plainfield Firehall, 26 Hoskin Road, Plainfield, Ontario.

The subject building is one storey in building height and 230 m² in area. The building is classified as a Group F, Division 2 occupancy and is comprised of combustible and noncombustible construction.

The dispute relates to the construction of a universal washroom and in particular, whether the door that serves the universal washroom is required to be equipped with a power door operator. Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) of Division B of the Building Code requires that a power door operator be installed if the door serving a universal washroom is equipped with a self-closing device. Clause 3.8.3.3.(6)(a) of Division B of the Building Code requires a door to be equipped with a power door operator where the door serves a washroom for public use required to be barrier-free.

Therefore, the dispute the Commission is being asked to resolve relates to the proposal not to provide a power door operator for the door serving a universal washroom, which is not equipped with a self-closing device. In addition to whether a power door operator is required to be installed, the Commission is also being asked to consider whether the washroom is for public use.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

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

3.8.3.12. Universal Washrooms
  1. (1) A universal washroom shall,
    1. (i) be provided with a door equipped with a power door operator if the door is equipped with a self-closing device

3. Applicant’s Position

The Applicant submitted that the dispute concerns the requirement for the installation of a power door operator that serves a universal washroom in the subject building. The Applicant argued that Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) requires that a universal washroom be provided with a power door operator only if the door is equipped with a self-closing device. The Applicant maintained that since the door serving the universal washroom is not equipped with a self-closing device, a power door operator is not required.

Further, the Applicant submitted that Clause 3.8.3.3.(6)(a) of the Building Code states, "A door shall be equipped with a power door operator where the door serves a washroom for public use required to be barrier-free". The Applicant argued that in this case the universal washroom is intended for individual use and is restricted to the use of the employees of the building, and therefore, falls under the definition of 'private use' rather than 'public use'.

The Applicant maintained that it was her opinion that Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) is applicable to a universal barrier-free washroom and further, would supersede the requirements of Clause 3.8.3.3.(6)(a).

The Applicant concluded that when taking into consideration that the washroom in question will not be equipped with a self-closing device, and further, is meant for 'private use', a power door operator is not required in this instance.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Respondent submitted that Section 3.7 of the Building Code requires the new building to be provided with washroom facilities and further Article 3.7.4.9. of the Building Code requires the building to be provided with a universal washroom.

The Respondent submitted that Clause 3.8.3.3.(6)(a) of the Building Code requires a door to be equipped with a power door operator where the door serves a washroom for public use required to be barrier-free. The Respondent explained that the applicability of this Clause depends on whether the washroom is considered ‘public use' or 'private use' as defined by the Code and further, whether the washroom is required to be barrier-free. The Respondent maintained that the subject universal washroom is required to be barrier-free as it is the only washroom in the building.

The Respondent stated that 'public use' as defined by Article 1.4.1.2. of Division A of the Building Code 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". Further, the Respondent stated that 'private use' as defined by the Building Code 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".

The Respondent maintained that the universal washroom for the new fire hall would be accessible to all occupants of the building when it is occupied. The Respondent argued that since the use of the washroom is not restricted to a single individual in this case, it does not meet the definition of 'private use', as defined by the Building Code.

The Respondent concluded that, in his opinion, the proposal to not provide a power door operator on the only washroom in the building, does not comply with the provision of 3.8.8.3.(6)(a) of the Building Code.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the proposal to not provide a power door operator for a door that is not equipped with a self-closing device, which serves a universal washroom, provides sufficiency of compliance with Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) and Clause 3.8.3.3.(6)(a) of Division B of the Building Code at Plainfield Firehall, 26 Hoskin Rd., Plainfield, Ontario.

6. Reasons

  1. Section 3.8. of Division B of the Building Code provides the construction requirements for barrier-free design in a building.

    Article 3.8.2.3. specifies the requirements for washrooms that are required to be barrier-free.

    Sentence 3.8.2.3.(2) and Table 3.8.2.3.A. further specifies the minimum number of universal washrooms a building is required to have. The Commission heard, based on the size and occupancy, the subject building is required to have a minimum of one universal washroom.

    Article 3.8.3.12. provides the design requirements for a universal washroom, including specific design requirements for the door serving a universal washroom.

    Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) states, “A universal washroom shall be provided with a door equipped with a power door operator if the door is equipped with a self-closing device”.

    The Commission heard that the door to the universal washroom is not equipped with a self-closing device. Therefore, it is the Commission’s opinion that Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i) is applicable and a power door operator is not required.

  2. Article 3.8.3.3. of Division B of the Building Code provides the design requirements for barrier-free doorways and doors.

    Sentence 3.8.3.3.(6) states, “A door shall be equipped with a power door operator where the door serves, (a) a washroom for public use required to be barrier-free”.

    The Commission notes that a universal washroom is required to be barrier-free, however, not all barrier-free washrooms are required to be universal. It is the Commission’s opinion that the provisions specific to a universal washroom are applicable to the design of the subject washroom, including Clause 3.8.3.12.(1)(i), which permits a door without a self-closing device to not require a power door operator.

Dated at the City of Toronto this 25th day in the month of August in the year 2016 for application number B 2016-12.

Tony Chow, Chair

Leslie Morgan

Ed Link