Skip to content
You are here > Home > Your Ministry > Ontario Building Code > Appeals & Approvals > Building Code Commission > Rulings of the Building Code Commission > 1998 > BCC Ruling No. 98-47-652

Follow us

BCC Ruling No. 98-47-652

Email this page

BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #98-47-652

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Articles 3.1.9.1. and 3.1.9.4. 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. John Rasenberg, President, J. M. R. Mechanical and Electrical Contractors, Exeter, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Rocky Cerminara, Chief Building Official, City of London, Ontario to determine whether the proposed installation of combustible piping penetrations through fire separations, with a modified system of fire stopping, in a sprinklered building complies with Articles 3.1.9.1. and 3.1.9.4. of the Ontario Building Code at the Student Residence, Fanshawe College, London, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. John Rasenberg
President
J. M. R. Mechanical and Electrical Contractors
Exeter, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Rocky Cerminara
Chief Building Official
City of London

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe (Chair)
Mr. Doug Clancey
Mr. Lawrence Glazer

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

December 3, 1998

DATE OF RULING

December 3, 1998

APPEARANCES

Mr. Mike Speziale
Market Manager
IPEX Inc.
For the Applicant

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. John Rasenberg, President, J. M. R. Mechanical and Electrical Contractors, has applied for a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 for a portion of the construction of a new, six storey student residence building at Fanshawe Coll ege, London, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The Applicant is involved in the construction of a new, Group C - residential (student residence) building. The structure is described as six stories, 13,020 m2 (140,095.2 ft2) in area. The building is of noncombustible construction. It is equipped with a sprinkler system, a fire alarm system and a standpipe and hose system.

As part of the plumbing system, the Applicant is proposing to install combustible pipe throughout the subject sprinklered building, that penetrates fire separations with required fire-resistance ratings, with a modified fire stopping system. Specifically, the Applicant proposes to fill the annular space surrounding the combustible piping with a sealant.

  1. Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and Respondent is whether the proposed installation of combustible piping through fire separations, with only the use of a sealant, in the subject building complies with Articles 3.1.9.1. and 3.1.9.4. of the Ontario Building Code. In particular, the dispute centres on the use of fire stop systems as a protective device for combustible pipe and what standards apply to the installation of the proposed fire stopping mechanism.

  1. Provisions of the 1997 Ontario Building Code

Article 3.1.9.1. Article 3.1.9.4.Combustible Piping Penetrations

(1) Combustible sprinkler piping is permitted to penetrate a fire separation provided the fire compartments on each side of the fire separation are sprinklered.

(2) Reserved

(3) Except as permitted by Sentences (4) to (8), combustible piping shall not be used if any part of that system penetrates

(a) a fire separation required to have a fire-resistance rating, or

(b) a membrane that forms part of an assembly required to have a fire-resistance rating.

(4) Combustible piping is permitted to penetrate a fire separation required to have a fire-resistance rating or a membrane that forms part of an assembly required to have a fire-resistance rating, provided

(a) the piping is sealed at the penetration by a fire stop system that has an F rating not less than the fire-resistance rating required for the fire separation when subjected to the fire test method in CAN4-S115-M, "Standard method of Fire Tests of Firestop Systems", with a pressure differential of 50 Pa (0.007 psi) between the exposed and unexposed sides, with the higher pressure on the exposed side, and

(b) the piping is not located in a vertical shaft.

(5) Combustible drain piping is permitted to penetrate a horizontal fire separation provided it leads directly from a noncombustible water closet through a concrete floor slab.

(6) Combustible piping is permitted on one side of a vertical fire separation provided it is not located in a vertical shaft.

(7) Combustible piping is permitted to penetrate a vertical or horizontal fire separation provided the fire compartments on each side of the fire separation are sprinklered.

(8) Combustible piping not more 25 mm (1 in) in diameter containing chlorine gas is permitted to penetrate a fire separation between a chlorine gas service room built in conjunction with a public pool, and the remainder of the building.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that Sentences (5), (6), (7) and (8) of Article 3.1.9.4. provide specific exceptions that permit combustible piping to penetrate a fire separation, but these provisions do not indicate the appropriate standards for fire stopping . In particular, the Applicant noted that Sentence (7) allows combustible piping to penetrate a fire separation with the provision that the fire compartments on both sides of the separation are sprinklered. There is no mention in this Sentence of a requirement to fire stop the combustible pipe penetrations at the separation. It could be argued, he stated, that since the fire compartments were required to be sprinklered, and because sprinklers are engineered systems that are designed to control the propagation of fire either by extinguishment or containment, fire stopping systems, which also act to contain fire, may therefore not be necessary.

The Applicant further stressed this point by discussing Sentences (5), (6) and (8) that also, in his view, seem to allow exceptions to the use of fire stopping systems by way of conforming with other provisions (e.g., penetration of a horizontal separation that directly connects a noncombustible water closet through a concrete floor slab).

Nevertheless, the Applicant agreed that when using combustible piping that penetrates a fire separation, a fire stopping system was required because of other requirements in the OBC. He felt that the Code however was not clear on which standards apply to the necessary fire stopping systems. He noted that no where in Article 3.1.9.4. does it refer to the fire stopping of service penetrations requirements found in Article 3.1.9.1. of the OBC. While Sentence (1) of Article 3.1.9.1. does refer to 3.1.9.4 ., the relationship between the two provisions, seems to be only one way. The Applicant indicated that it would be useful if the Building Code Commission (BCC) provided them with some direction on this point.

The Applicant indicated that it was not their intention to ask the BCC to rule on the sufficiency of compliance of the proposed sealant and whether it would meet the fire stop test requirements found in Clause 3.1.9.1.(1)(b) or Sentence 3.1.9.4.(4), since they were not presenting that evidence to the Commission.

  1. Respondent's Position

The Respondent party did not attend the hearing, and therefore their written submission, the Building Code Commission's Confirmation of Dispute form, was taken as their only response to this dispute.

On the Confirmation of Dispute form the Respondent submitted that the proposed installation of combustible piping, with the fire stopping system proposed, does not comply with Articles 3.1.9.1. and 3.1.9.4. of the OBC. Their position was that the penetrations of the fire separations by combustible piping should be protected with an approved fire stopping system. While they indicated that they had sympathy for the Applicant's views on the issue, they felt obliged to adhere to the conventional interpretation on the matter, specifically that combustible piping installed under Article 3.1.9.4. must also meet the fire stopping requirements of Article 3.1.9.1.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that combustible piping penetrating fire separations as permitted in 3.1.9.4.(7) are required to be fire stopped in accordance with 3.1.9.1. of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons

i) The combustible piping may penetrate fire separations where compartments on each side of the fire separation are sprinklered, but fire stopping of openings is necessary.

ii) The fire stopping requirements of 3.1.9.1. apply to maintain the integrity of the fire separation.

Dated at Toronto this 3rd day in the month of December in the year 1998 for application number 1998-63.

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair

Mr. Douglas Clancey

Mr. Lawrence Glazer