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BCC Ruling No. 16-12-1440

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Ruling No.: 16-12-1440
Application No.: B 2016-01

 

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 9.10.15.2. and Sentence 9.10.15.4.(1) of Division B of Regulation 332/12, as amended, (the “Building Code”).

AND IN THE MATTER OFan application by Zlatko Drnda, for the resolution of a dispute with Frank Bidin, Chief Building Official, to determine whether the area and location of the as constructed glazed openings, included in the exposing building face of a two storey residential building, provides sufficiency of compliance with Article 9.10.15.2. and Sentence 9.10.15.4.(1) of Division B of the Building Code at 378 Winston Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Zlatko Drnda
Homeowner
Ottawa, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Frank Bidin
Chief Building Official
City of Ottawa, Ontario

PANEL

Tony Chow, Chair
Leslie Morgan
Yaman Uzumeri

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

March 17, 2016

DATE OF RULING

March 17, 2016

APPEARANCES

Zlatko Drnda
Homeowner
Ottawa, Ontario
Applicant

Douglas Durham
Program Manager
City of Ottawa, Ontario
Designate for the Respondent

RULING

 

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has received a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992, to build a residential dwelling at 378 Winston Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario.

The subject building is a newly constructed, two storey, detached residential building with a building area of 138 m².

The construction in dispute involves the area and location of two, basement windows that have been installed in the south exposing building face of the home.

The technical dispute centers on the Building Code requirements for the location and size of unprotected openings when considering the limiting distance from the property line to the exposing building face.

Article 9.10.15.2. of the Building Code specifies how to calculate the area of an exposing building face. Article 9.10.15.4. and Table 9.10.15.4. of the Code are used to determine the maximum area of glazed openings permitted in the exposing building face when considering the limiting distance from the property line to the exposing building face.

The Commission is being asked to determine whether the area of the two basement windows, which have installed in the exposing building face where the limiting distance from the property line to the glazing of the opening is 1.2 m, sufficiently complies with the Building Code requirements.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

9.10.15.2.  Area and Location of Exposing Building Face

  1. (1) The area of an exposing building face shall be,
    1. (a) taken as the exterior wall area facing in one direction on any side of a building, and
    2. (b) calculated as,
      1. (i) the total area measured from the finished ground level to the uppermost ceiling,
      2. (ii) the area for each fire compartment where a building is divided into fire compartments by fire separations with fire-resistance ratings not less than 45 min, or
      3. (iii) where Table 9.10.15.4. is used to determine maximum area of glazed openings, the area of any number of individual vertical portions of the wall measured from the finished ground level to the uppermost ceiling.

  2. (2) For the purpose of using Table 9.10.15.4. to determine the maximum permitted area of glazed openings in an irregularly-shaped or skewed exterior wall, the location of the exposing building face shall be taken as a vertical plane located so that there are no glazed openings between the vertical plane and the line to which the limiting distance is measured.

  3. (3) In determining the required cladding-sheathing assembly and fire-resistance rating for an irregularly-shaped or skewed exterior wall, the location of the exposing building face shall be taken as a vertical plane located so that no portion of the actual exposing building face is between the vertical plane and the line to which the limiting distance is measured.

  4. (4) The required limiting distance for an exposing building face is permitted to be measured to a point beyond the property line that is not the centre line of a street, lane or public thoroughfare if,
    1. (a) the owners of the properties on which the limiting distance is measured and the municipality enter into an agreement in which such owners agree that,
      1. (i) each owner covenants that, for the benefit of land owned by the other covenantors, the owner will not construct a building on his or her property unless the limiting distance for exposing building faces in respect of the proposed construction is measured in accordance with the agreement,
      2. (ii) the covenants contained in the agreement are intended to run with the lands, and the agreement shall be binding on the parties and their respective heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns,
      3. (iii) the agreement shall not be amended or deleted from title without the consent of the municipality, and
      4. (iv) they will comply with such other conditions as the municipality considers necessary, including indemnification of the municipality by the other parties, and
    2. (b) the agreement referred to in Clause (a) is registered against the title of the properties to which it applies.

  5. (5) Where an agreement referred to in Sentence (4) is registered against the title of a property, the limiting distance for exposing building faces in respect of the construction of any buildings on the property shall be measured to the point referred to in the agreement.

9.10.15.4.  Glazed Openings in Exposing Building Face

  1. (1) Except as provided in Sentences (3) to (5), the maximum area of glazed openings in an exposing building face shall,
    1. (a) conform to Table 9.10.15.4.,
    2. (b) conform to Subsection 3.2.3. as if the glazed openings were unprotected openings, or
    3. (c) where the limiting distance is not less than 1.2 m, be equal to or less than the limiting distance squared.

 

Table 9.10.15.4.
Maximum Area of Glazed Openings in Exterior Walls of Houses

Forming Part of Sentences 9.10.15.4.(1) and (2)

Maximum Total Area of Exposing Building Face, m²

Maximum Aggregate Area of Glazed Openings, % of Exposing Building Face Area

Limiting Distance, m

Less than 1.2

1.2

1.5

2

2.5

3

4

6

8

10

12

16

20

25

10

0

8

12

21

33

55

96

100

15

0

8

10

17

25

37

67

100

20

0

8

10

15

21

30

53

100

25

0

8

9

13

19

26

45

100

30

0

7

9

12

17

23

39

88

100

40

0

7

8

11

15

20

32

69

100

50

0

7

8

10

14

18

28

57

100

100

0

7

8

9

11

13

18

34

56

84

100

Over 100

0

7

7

8

9

10

12

19

28

40

55

92

100

Column 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

 

 

 

3. Applicant’s Position

The Applicant submitted that the City of Ottawa issued a building permit to construct a 2 storey detached dwelling.

The Applicant explained that a survey conducted on September 24, 2015, indicated that the location of the house was not in accordance to the approved plan. The survey showed that the distance from the house to the property line had changed from 1.2 m at the rear of the house to 1.05 m. As a result, the Applicant advised that the Respondent questioned the location of the windows on that side of the house.

In order to address this error, the Applicant submitted that he applied for a building permit revision and a request to the Committee of Adjustment for a minor variance during the first week of October 2015.

The Applicant indicated that, even though there is a small decrease in the distance to the property line from the dimensions on the building permit plan, all windows are set into the brick wall by 100 mm to 190 mm. He stated that when measuring from the property line to the window glazing all of the windows meet the 1.2 m limiting distance requirement of the Building Code.

Following instructions from the Respondent, the Applicant explained that he had provided photographs showing the windows set into the brick, and on October 23, 2015 received correspondence from the Respondent that the municipality had approved the building permit revision subject to Committee of Adjustment approval. The Applicant submitted that on December 7, 2015 received a letter from the City of Ottawa stating that as there had been no appeal filed against the Decision of the Committee of Adjustment and that the committee of Adjustment approval was considered final and binding.

The Applicant advised that on December 21, 2015 he received another letter from the City’s Central West Inspection District, indicating that the previous approval from the City’s Building Code Services Branch was no longer in effect.

The Applicant described the building’s south exposing building face containing five above foundation windows, and three basement windows. It was the Applicant’s understanding that the revised building permit was issued based on the rationale that the basement windows were inset 190 mm into the ICF foundation wall and the above foundation windows were inset 100 mm in the brick, resulting in a minimum 1.2 m distance between the glazing of the windows and the property line. The Applicant was advised that the above rationale was rejected because the limiting distance must be measured from the property line to the exposing building face and not the glazing.

The Applicant indicated he was confused as to the change in approval as he believed he had tried to comply with all of the City’s requirements and approval processes. The Applicant maintained that the limiting distance measured from the property line to the glazing of the two basement windows, which is 1.2 m, does provide sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Designate for the Respondent submitted that a building permit was issued for the construction of a single family dwelling at 378 Winston Avenue, Ottawa.

The Designate explained that the building plans showed an insulated concrete foundation (ICF) and a brick exterior. However, once the foundation was installed, a survey was conducted and it indicated that the building was not located as per the building plans. The Designate stated that this resulted in the foundation being skewed and located closer the property line. As a result, two basement windows located in the south exposing building face, are less than 1.2 m from the property line.

The Designate submitted that the spatial separation requirements of the Building Code take into consideration the exposing building face, limiting distance, percentage of glazing permitted and type of construction permitted.

The Designate stated that the exposing building face is defined by the Building Code as that portion of the exterior wall facing one direction and located between ground level and the ceiling of the top storey and that limiting distance is defined as the distance from an exposing building face to a property line. The Designate maintained that it is the building department's opinion that the limiting distance must be measured from the property line to the wall and not the glazing, regardless of how far back the windows are inset into the wall.

In response to questions, the Designate agreed that the measurement from the property line to the glazing of the unprotected openings was 1.2 m and stated that the glazed openings in dispute comprise 0.46% of the entire exposing building face.

The Designate concluded that, as the basement windows measured from the property line to the glazing is less than 1.2 m, compliance with the Building Code has not been achieved.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the area and location of two as- constructed basement glazed openings included in the exposing building face of a two storey residential building, where the limiting distance is less than 1.2 m., provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 9.10.15.4.(1) of Division B of the Building Code at 378 Winston Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario.

6. Reasons

  1. Article 9.10.15.2. of the Building Code outlines how to calculate the area of an exposing building face. Once the area of the exposing building face is calculated, Article 9.10.15.4. and Table 9.10.15.4. are used to determine the maximum area of glazed openings permitted in the exposing building face. This determination is dependent on the area of the exposing building face and the limiting distance to the property line.

    The Commission heard evidence and testimony that there are two basement windows in dispute, which are located in the south exposing building face. The Commission heard that the measurement from the property line to the glazing of the unprotected opening is 1.2 m. It is the Commission’s opinion, that when measuring from the property line to the exposing building face, the limiting distance is only marginally less than 1.2 m.
  2. Based on the evidence and testimony provided, the glazed openings in dispute comprise 0.46% of the entire exposing building face in question, which in the opinion of the Commission is quite small.

Dated at the City of Toronto this 17th day in the month of March in the year 2016 for application number B 2016-01.

Tony Chow, Chair

Leslie Morgan

Yaman Uzumeri