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BCC Ruling No. 16-13-1441

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Ruling No.: 16-13-1441
Application No.: B 2016-03

 

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 9.8.4.3. and Sentence 9.8.2.1.(2) of Division B of Regulation 332/12, as amended, (the “Building Code”).

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mike Purdon, for the resolution of a dispute with Edward Freeborn, Chief Building Official, to determine whether the dimensions of the angle treads of the as-constructed spiral stairs, serving the deck of a residential dwelling, provides sufficiency of compliance with Article 9.8.4.3. and Sentence 9.8.2.1.(2) at 289 Pine Lane, Tay Valley Township, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mike Purdon
Ennis General Carpentry Ltd.
Perth, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Edward Freeborn
Chief Building Official
Tay Valley Township, 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

Mike Purdon
Ennis General Carpentry Ltd.
Perth, Ontario
Applicant

Edward Freeborn
Chief Building Official
Tay Valley Township, Ontario
Respondent

RULING

 

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has received a permit to demolish a ground level deck and replace it with a new deck of the same size which will be attached to the second storey of a residential dwelling.

The construction in dispute pertains to the spiral stair that has been constructed to connect the ground level to the second storey elevated deck.

Sentence 9.8.2.1.(2) of Division B of the Building Code requires at least one stair between each floor level within a dwelling unit, and exterior stairs and required exit stairs serving a single dwelling unit, to have a width not less than 860 mm.

Article 9.8.4.3. of Division B of the Building Code requires angled treads to have an average run of not less than 200 mm and a minimum run of 150 mm. The average run is measured as the horizontal nosing-to-nosing distance. This Article also specifies that the depth of an angled tread must not be less than its run at any point, and not more than its run at any point plus 25 mm. The Building Code sets out the specifics of where one needs to measure the run and the tread depths in order to comply with these provisions.

The dispute for the Commission to determine is whether the dimension of the as-constructed stair provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 9.8.2.1.(2) and Article 9.8.4.3. of the Building Code.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

9.8.2.1.  Stair Width

  1. (2) At least one stair between each floor level within a dwelling unit, and exterior stairs and required exit stairs serving a single dwelling unit, shall have a width of not less than 860 mm.

9.8.4.3.  Dimensions for Angled Treads

  1. (1) Angled treads in required exit stairs shall conform to the requirements in Article 3.4.6.9.
  2. (2) Except as provided in Article 9.8.4.5., angled treads in other than required exit stairs shall have an average run, which is measured as the horizontal nosing-to-nosing distance, of not less than 200 mm and a minimum run of 150 mm.
  3. (3) The depth of an angled tread shall be not less than its run, measured as the horizontal nosing-to-nosing distance, at any point and not more than its run at any point plus 25 mm.

3. Applicant’s Position

The Applicant submitted that the dispute arose as a result of the construction of a spiral stair providing access to the deck. He advised that the spiral stair is a secondary stair and is not the primary means of egress.

The Applicant advised that the subject spiral stair has a 1 500 mm (60 in) diameter. He stated that, based on his measurements, the stair has an average run of approximately 220 mm (8¾ in) and he believed that the stair complied with the Code requirements. He indicated that upon final inspection he became aware that the nosing-to-nosing measurements were not in line with the requirements specified in the Building Code. He stated that the tread size meets the requirements of the Code but meeting the nosing-to-nosing requirement is not possible when constructing spiral stairs.

The Applicant stressed that this stair is not a primary stair and that it would rarely be used. He informed the panel that the deck also has another stair that provides access directly to the ground. He contended that, since there is one stair that meets the requirements of the Building Code, he could have another stair that does not meet the requirements of the Building Code.

In response to questions, the Applicant stated that the treads of the subject stair are 755 mm (30 in) wide and the tread depth is 150 mm (6 in) at the centre post, 220 mm (8¾ in) at the midpoint and 290 mm (11½ in) at the outer edge. The Applicant concurred that these measurements do not take into account the requirement to measure from nosing-to-nosing; these measurements are simply the measurements of the tread itself.

In summary, the Applicant reiterated that the subject stair is a secondary stair that will rarely be used. He stated that spiral stairs are not the same as angled treads and this difference makes it difficult to achieve the nosing-to-nosing measurements, especially at the centre of the spiral.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Respondent submitted that the as-constructed stair does not meet the requirements of the Building Code. He noted that the nosing-to-nosing run of the stair at the short end of the angled tread, i.e. near the centre post, is 40 mm which does not meet the minimum run of 150 mm required by Sentence 9.8.4.3.(2). Further, he submitted that the short end tread length of 150 mm (not measured nosing-to-nosing) has a tread depth of 110 mm which is not compliant with Sentence 9.8.4.3.(3) which specifies a maximum tread depth of 25 mm. The Respondent stated that Sentence 9.8.2.1.(2) requires exterior stairs to have a minimum width of 860 mm, he advised that the width of the as-constructed stair is 755 mm.

The Respondent clarified that the subject stair is not considered an exit stair. In response to questions regarding other stairs, the Respondent acknowledged that there are other stairs and that the other stairs do meet the requirements of the Building Code.

In conclusion, the Respondent restated that the as-constructed stair does not meet the minimum construction requirements specified in Sentences 9.8.2.1.(2), 9.8.4.3.(2) and 9.8.4.3.(3).

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the dimensions of the angled treads of the as-constructed spiral stairs, serving the deck of a residential dwelling, do not provide sufficiency of compliance with Article 9.8.4.3. and Sentence 9.8.2.1.(2) of Division B of the Building Code at 289 Pine Lane, Tay Valley Township, Ontario.

6. Reasons

  1. Sentence 9.8.4.3.(2) of the Building Code requires that angled treads in other than required exit stairs have an average run, which is measured as the horizontal minimum nosing-to-nosing distance, of not less than 200 mm and a minimum run of 150 mm. The Commission heard evidence and testimony that the minimum nosing-to-nosing run of the spiral stair is 40 mm.

    Sentence 9.8.4.3.(3) of the Building Code requires the depth of an angled tread to be not less than its run, measured as the horizontal nosing-to-nosing distance, at any point and not more than its run at any point plus 25 mm. The Commission heard evidence and testimony that the depth of the angled tread is 110 mm.

    Sentence 9.8.2.1.(2) of the Building Code requires exterior stairs serving a single dwelling unit, to have a width of not less than 860 mm. The Commission heard evidence and testimony that the stair width of the spiral stair is 755 mm.

    The Building Code sets out the minimum construction requirements. It is the Commission’s opinion that even though the subject stair is not the only stair serving the deck, the deviation, from these three dimensional requirements, is substantial.

  2. No compensating measures were offered.

Dated at the City of Toronto this 17th day in the month of March in the year 2016 for application number P 2016-03.

Tony Chow, Chair

Leslie Morgan

Yaman Uzumeri