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BCC Ruling No. 99-38-694

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #99-38-694

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Clause 3.11.3.1.(9)(a) of 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. Peter Lesdow, Principal, Peter Lesdow Architect, Niagara Falls, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Mel Brown, Chief Building Official, City of Niagara Falls, to determine whether the proposed pool deck width of 1,675 mm (5 ft 6 in) provides sufficiency of compliance with Clause 3.11.3.1.(9)(a) of the Ontario Building Code at the Renaissance Fallsview Hotel, 6455 Buchanan Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. Peter Lesdow, Principal
Peter Lesdow Architect
Niagara Falls, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Mel Brown
Chief Building Official
City of Niagara Falls

PANEL

Mr. Kenneth Peaker, (Chair-Designate)
Mr. James Lischkoff
Mr. Fred Barkhouse

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

June 3, 1999

DATE OF RULING

June 3, 1999

APPEARANCES

Mr. Gunter Sommerfeldt, Associate
Peter Lesdow Architect
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Agent for the Applicant

Mr. Robert Romanuk
Building and Inspections Coordinator
City of Niagara Falls
Designate for the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Peter Lesdow, Principal, Peter Lesdow Architect, Niagara Falls, Ontario, has received a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to renovate an existing hotel known as the Renaissance Fallsview Hotel, 6455 Buchanan Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The Applicant is currently renovating an existing 17 storey hotel, with a building area of 1,647 m2, and classified as having a Group C (hotel) residential occupancy. The building is of noncombustible construction and is equipped with a sprinkler, fire alarm and standpipe and hose system.

As part of the work, the Applicant is renovating the existing indoor Class B swimming pool area. In particular, three vertical water supply pipes at the south-east corner of the pool were recently covered with a drywall and steel stud wall. The water pipes were installed to supply water to a decorative fountain that flows into the pool and is mounted on the north wall of the pool room.

The construction in dispute relates to the reduced width of the pool deck that would result from the addition of the furred in covering wall. Where the new wall is to be installed, for a total of 4.5 m (14 ft) of the total 42 m (137.8 ft) perimeter of the pool, the pool deck would be reduced. At its narrowest point the pool deck would be reduced to 1,675 mm.

  1. Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and Respondent is whether the as constructed pool deck width of 1,675 mm (5 ft 6 in) provides sufficiency of compliance with Clause 3.11.3.1.(9)(a) of the Ontario Building Code. This provision requires that for this type of pool decks must be a minimum of at least 1,800 mm (5 ft 11 in) in width. The pool deck is currently 125 mm narrower than the minimum allowed width.

  1. Provisions of the Ontario Building Code

Clause 3.11.3.1.(9)(a) Construction Requirements

(9) Except for a modified pool and wave action pool and except as provided in Sentence (11), a public pool shall be surrounded by a hard-surfaced pool deck that shall

(a) except for a pool described in Sentence 3.11.5.1.(1), be not less than 1 800 mm (5 ft 11 in) wide and provide at least 900 mm (2 ft 11 in) width of clear passage,

(i) behind any diving board and its supporting structure, and
(ii) between any column piercing the deck and the edge of the pool or between the column and outer perimeter of the pool deck,

  1. Applicant's Position

While conceding that the pool deck does not meet the minimum deck width requirements, the Applicant submitted that it does provide sufficiency of compliance with Clause 3.11.3.1.(9)(a). He argued that because the worst of the infraction occurs at the corner of the pool where the diagonal measurement is much greater than 1,800 mm (5 ft in) there is adequate space for rescue operations. As a result, he submitted that the pool deck met the intent of the Ontario Building Code.

Moreover, the Applicant argued that the Code allows columns to exist within 4 ft of the pool edge. These, he noted, reduce deck width to a greater extent than the present situation.

Finally, the Applicant indicated that short of removing the disputed wall little can be done to increase the deck width. He did, however, offer to post a sign at the location noting the narrower deck and to install an addition rescue pole.

  1. Respondent's Position

The Respondent submitted that the Clause 3.11.3.1.(9)(a) of the OBC requires that pool decks have a minimum width of 1,800 mm (5 ft 11 in). The existing situation, he noted, reduces the clear width of the deck by 125 mm (4 1/2 in). The Respondent argued that the 1,800 mm width was necessary to prevent accidental falling into the pool as users pass each other on the deck surface and it also provides adequate space for rescue operations. As a result, he viewed the 1,800 mm pool deck width as a required minimum. For this reason, the Respondent indicated that he could not accept the reduced the pool deck width.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the pool deck width of 1,675 mm (5 ft 6 in) provide sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 3.11.3.1.(9)(a) of the Ontario Building Code at the Renaissance Fallsview Hotel, 6455 Buchanan Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario.

  1. Reasons

i) The applicant has agreed to provide an additional rescue pole.

ii) Adequate ceiling height, is available for manipulation of the rescue pole.

Dated at Toronto this 3rd day in the month of June in the year 1999 for application number 1999-24

Mr. Kenneth Peaker, Chair-Designate

Mr. James Lischkoff

Mr. Fred Barkhouse