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BCC Ruling No. 99-42-698

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #99-42-698

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article 4.1.6.2. of Regulation 403, as amended by O. Reg. 22/98, 102/98, 122/98, 152/99 and 278/99 (the "Ontario Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. D. Hudgins, Construction Manager, Liza Homes, Richmond Hill, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. G.N. Bilous, Chief Building Official, City of Oshawa, Ontario, to determine whether the structural support system of the first floor of the temporary sales pavilion built to accommodate a live load of 2.4 kPa complies with Article 4.1.6.2. of the Ontario Building Code at the Liza Homes Sales Office, 1180 Harmony Road North, Oshawa, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. D. Hudgins, Construction Manager
Liza Homes
Richmond Hill, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. G.N. Bilous
Chief Building Official
City of Oshawa

PANEL

Mr. Kenneth Peaker, (Chair-Designate)
Mr. Robert De Berardis
Mr. John Guthrie

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

June 17, 1999

DATE OF RULING

June 17, 1999

APPEARANCES

Mr. R.W. Bruynson, President
R.W. Bruynson Inc.
Oshawa, Ontario
Agent for the Applicant

Mr. S.K. Lo
Manager, Permit Services Division
City of Oshawa
Designate for the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. D. Hudgins, Construction Manager, Liza Homes, Richmond Hill, Ontario, has applied for a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a temporary sales pavilion at 1180 Harmony Road North, Oshawa, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The Applicant is proposing to construct a two storey, 161 m2 (1,733 ft2) temporary sales pavilion to serve as a model home and office space in which new houses of a residential subdivision will be featured and promoted and where sales will be negotiated. The ground floor of the proposed building will be open to the public for the above uses. It will consist of 145 m2 (1,560 ft2) of reception, display and office areas, with a 16 m2 (172 ft2) veranda. The second floor will be accessible to employees only and will contain 29.7 m2 (320 ft2) of office space and a 8.4 m2 (90 ft2) viewing terrace. The building is classified as having a Group D- business (office) occupancy.

  1. Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and Respondent is whether the proposed structural integrity of the ground level floor assembly of the subject temporary sales pavilion built to accommodate a live load of 2.4 kPa complies with Article 4.1.6.2. of the Ontario Building Code. This Article provides the appropriate criteria for determining live loads used in the calculation of structural support for occupancies that are not specifically set out in Article 4.1.6.3. Temporary sales pavilions of this nature are not listed in Table 4.1.6.3., and therefore based on the criteria of Article 4.1.6.2. the Applicant is proposing to use 2.4 kPa as the design live load. Article 4.1.6.3., however, does include live load specifications for general office areas. The live load prescribed in Table 4.1.6.3. for the ground floor of an office area is 4.8 kPa.

  1. Provisions of the Ontario Building Code

Article 4.1.6.2. Uses Not Stipulated

(1) Where the use of an area of floor or roof is not provided for in Article 4.1.6.3., the specified live loads due to the use and occupancy of the area shall be determined from an analysis of the loads resulting from

(a) the weight of the probable assembly of persons,
(b) the weight of the probable accumulation of equipment and furnishings, and
(c) the weight of the probable storage of materials.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that by employing a design live load of 2.4 kPa the resulting structural integrity of the ground floor would be more than adequate for the proposed weight of people, furniture and material and would therefore satisfy the requirements of Article 4.1.6.2.

The Applicant argued that classifying the building as an office occupancy is onerous. In his view, the sales pavilion is a specialty use not specifically covered by the Code. He noted that the structure will not be designed nor used in a crowded or cluttered fashion. In fact, in order to achieve a spacious look to demonstrate and emphasize the full sizes of the model rooms, the ground floor will not have an abundance of furniture and materials. As far as the total occupant load, the Applicant argued that it would be relatively low. He indicated that at the most only two people work on the ground floor at any one time and that personal appointments are set up with prospective buyers. There may also be occasional drop-in customers.

Nevertheless, the Applicant proposed to use a design live load based that employs certain cautious assumptions. For example, based on the total building area, and assuming an occupant load of roughly one person per 2.8 m2 (30 ft2) the total ground floor occupant load would be 58 persons. He argued that this occupant load, assuming an average weight of 90.7 kg (200 lbs), would only result in a uniform live load of 0.3 kPa (6.7 psf). Doubling this load to account for any impact factor and doubling it again to account for the furniture would only yield a uniform load of 1.2 kPa (27 psf). As a result, with a design live load of 2.4 kPa (50 psf) an additional safety factor of 86% will be built into the proposed floor assembly to handle any non-uniform loads. This design, he asserted, will be more than sufficient to ensure that the safety of the public is adequately addressed.

Lastly, the Applicant noted that the Respondent supported his position.

  1. Respondent's Position

The Respondent submitted that since the proposed temporary sales pavilion is classified as a Group D - business (office) occupancy. Article 4.1.6.3. and specifically Table 4.1.6.3. of the OBC are the applicable provisions and not Article 4.1.6.2. As a result, he argued that the proposed live load of 2.4 kPa (50 psf) for the ground floor of the sales office does not comply with the required 4.8 kPa (100 psf) as per Article 4.1.6.3. The Respondent then added that while the Code, in his view, stipulates a 4.8 kPa (100 psf) load, he indicated that for the proposed use, 2.4 kPa (50 psf) should be more than adequate.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the structural support system of the first floor of the temporary sales pavilion designed to accommodate a live load of 2.4 kPa (50 psf) does not comply with Article 4.1.6.2. of the Ontario Building Code at the Liza Homes Sales Office, 1180 Harmony Road North, Oshawa, Ontario.

  1. Reasons

i) Application does not provide sufficiency of compliance with Subsection 4.1.6. of the Building Code.

ii) The design load for office areas, as stated in Table 4.1.6.3., has been in effect in the Ontario Building Code since 1975.

Dated at Toronto this 17th day in the month of June in the year 1999 for application number 1999-29

Mr. Kenneth Peaker, Chair-Designate

Mr. Robert De Berardis

Mr. John Guthrie