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BCC Ruling No. 00-44-776

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IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 24 (1) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentence of the Regulation 403, as amended by O. Reg. 22/98, 102/98 and 122/98 (the "Ontario Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. Francis Lepine, Developer, El-Pine Homes, 160 Chapel Street, Ottawa, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Kaz Mosielski, Chief Building Official, City of Kanata, Ontario to determine whether the proposed ground floor elevator lobby, constructed without enclosure, provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence of the Ontario Building Code at Robson Court condominium buildings, Blocks 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 19, Robson Court, Kanata, Ontario.


Mr. Francis Lepine, Developer
El-Pine Homes
Ottawa, Ontario

Mr. Kaz Mosielski
Chief Building Official
City of Kanata

Mr. Roy Philippe (Chair)
Mr. Ross Thomson
Mr. Larry Glazer

Toronto, Ontario

January 19, 1999

January 19, 1999


Ms. Karen Schad, Director
Carp Ridge Community School
Carp, Ontario


1. The Applicant

Mr. Francis Lepine, Developer, El-Pine Homes, Ottawa, Ontario, has received a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct multiple three storey residential condominium buildings at Robson Court, Kanata, Ontario.

2. Description of Construction

The Applicant is currently constructing multiple three storey (not including the basement level) condominiums buildings, classified as having a Group - C occupancy, each with a building area of 578 m2 (6,222 ft2). The subject building blocks each contain residential units, some of which are split level. The basement level for each block is a common underground parking area for the units above. The basements are constructed of noncombustible construction, whereas the three storeys above are combustible construction. The buildings are equipped with a fire alarm system.

Each building block will be equipped with an elevator serving the basement and the first and second storeys. On the basement and ground floor levels the proposed elevator shaft would open into an enclosed vestibule. On the second floor the elevator would open into a public corridor. The Applicant, however, is proposing to construct the ground floor elevator lobby without an enclosure so that the lift would open into a dead-end public corridor. This is not an issue on the second floor corridor because with exit stairs at the rear it is not a dead-end corridor.


3. Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and Respondent is whether the proposed ground floor elevator vestibules, constructed without enclosure, that opens into a dead-end public corridors provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence of the Ontario Building Code. This provision permits a dead-end corridor in a residential occupancy with conditions that only suite doors can open into the public corridor and that no more than two doors must be passed to access the nearest exit. In the subject building blocks the Applicant is proposing that the elevator shaft open directly into the dead-end public corridor.

4. Provisions of the Ontario Building Code

Sentence Dead End Corridors

(2) Dead-end public corridors in residential occupancies and business and personal services occupancies shall contain only suite door openings arranged so that not more than 2 such doors have to be passed to reach the nearest exit. The area of wired glass in such doors shall not exceed 645 cm2 (100 in2).

5. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the proposed elevator vestibule design opening into the dead-end public corridor provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence He argued that such a configuration would be permissible if the building had been reviewed under Part 3 of the OBC. In Part 9, under which the building was reviewed, a dead-end corridor must contain only residential suite doors arranged in such a fashion that no more than two doors can be passed while exiting. Part 3, on the other hand, the Applicant noted, permits dead-end corridors as long as six metres as long as they do not pass rooms that contain fuel fired appliances or are considered hazardous for other reasons.

The Applicant also noted that there are only two residential suite doors on the ground floor, thereby not exceeding the allowed maximum of suite doors to pass in Sentence

As well, the Applicant argued that the elimination of the vestibule enclosure on the ground floor would make the access to the elevator and the corridor itself more consistent with the second floor corridor.

6. Respondent's Position

The Respondent submitted that Sentence permits only residential suite doors to open into a dead-end public corridor. An unenclosed elevator vestibule is not permitted according to this provision of the OBC. As such, they do not feel the proposal provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence

7. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the proposed design to open the elevator at the ground floor directly into a dead end corridor provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence of the Building Code.

8. Reasons

i. The proposed design improves the integrity of the stairwell enclosure by removing the elevator from the enclosure at the first floor level.

ii. The building has only two suites at the first floor served by the dead end corridor, and each suite is served by a second and separate exit as permitted in Sentence

iii. This building is equipped with a fire alarm system.

iv. In the opinion of the Building Code Commission the proposal does not reduce the level of safety from fire in this building.

Dated at Toronto this 19th, day in the month of January in the year 1999 for application number 1998-65.


Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair


Mr. Ross Thomson


Mr. Larry Glazer