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BCC Ruling No. 98-40-645

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Clause and Table 3.2.9.A. of Regulation 61, as amended by O. Reg. 400/91, 158/93, 160/93, 383/94, 20/95 and 395/96 (the "Ontario Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. Don Little, Vice President, Prestressed Systems Incorporated, 4955 Walker Road, Windsor, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Shaun Fuerth, Chief Building Official, Township of Sandwich South, Ontario to determine whether the proposed measures, in lieu of a standpipe and hose system, provide sufficiency of compliance with Clause and Table 3.2.9.A. of the Ontario Building Code in the proposed addition at the Precast Concrete Manufacturing Plant, 4955 Walker Road, Windsor, Ontario.


Mr. Don Little
Vice President
Prestressed Systems Incorporated
Windsor, Ontario


Mr. Shaun Fuerth
Chief Building Official
Township of South Sandwich


Mr. Roy Philippe (Chair)
Mr. Ross Thomson
Mr. Robert De Berardis


Toronto and Windsor, Ontario


November 5, 1998


November 5, 1998


Mr. Don Little, Vice President
Prestressed Systems Incorporated
Windsor, Ontario
The Applicant

Mr. Shaun Fuerth
Chief Building Official
Twp. of Sandwich South
The Respondent


  1. The Applicant

Mr. Don Little, Vice-President, Prestressed Systems Incorporated, applied for a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to renovate an existing facility by constructing a 418.2 m2 (4,500 ft2 ) addition to the precast concrete manufacturing plant at 4955 Walker Road, Windsor, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The Applicant is proposing to construct a 418.2 m2 (4,500 ft2 ), one storey addition onto an existing 3126.6 m2 (33,642 ft2) precast concrete manufacturing plant, classified as a Group F, Division 3 (low hazard industrial) facility. The total area of the proposed renovated structure is 3544.8 m2 (38,142 ft2).

The building is considered as facing one street and is constructed of non-combustible construction. The facility does not provide a fire alarm system nor a sprinkler system. The premises are to be equipped with adequate fire extinguishers. The activity at the renovated building will continue to be the manufacture of precast/prestressed concrete products.

  1. Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and Respondent is whether the proposed addition is required to provide a standpipe and hose system in accordance with Clause of the OBC. The total area of the proposed building, at 3,544.8 m2 (38,142 ft2), exceeds the maximum allowable building area for an unsprinklered, one storey, building with an F3 occupancy as found in Table 3.2.9.A. The Applicant is proposing, however, certain measures to provide sufficiency of compliance with Clause

  1. Provisions of the 1990 Ontario Building Code

Clause and Hose Systems - Where Required

(1) Except as provided in Article, a standpipe and hose system shall be installed in every building that

(b) is greater in building area than the area shown in Table 3.2.9.A. for the applicable building height shown in the Table where the building

(i) is not sprinklered, and

(ii)is not more than 14 m (45 ft 11 in) high measured between grade and the ceiling of the top storey, or

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the proposed renovation is needed to make the working environment at the existing facility safer, cleaner and more productive. In his view, the standpipe and hose system is not necessary due to the fact that the proposed addition would increase the building area only slightly beyond the allowed maximum in Article Furthermore, the Applicant argued that the addition is to be built of noncombustible construction to match the existing facility. As well, he noted that the use of the structure will remain as a manufacturing facility for precast/prestressed concrete in which fires are unlikely.

In terms of compensation to demonstrate sufficiency of compliance, the Applicant offered two specific measures:

1)The renovated structure will be equipped with adequate fire extinguishers.

2)The Fire Safety Plan in effect at the operation, which is registered with the municipal fire department, will be revised and updated to include the proposed addition.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that with the proposed addition the building would exceed the allowable maximum of 3,000 m2 (32,300 ft2 ) for a one storey building containing this type of occupancy. Thus, in his view, OBC Clause (1) (b) requires that a standpipe and hose system be installed.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the addition to the building at Prestressed Systems Incorporated provides sufficiency of compliance with Clauses and Table 3.2.9.A. provided that:

a) Additional portable extinguishers be provided throughout the building at twice the coverage required for this occupancy.

b)The building use and fire load remain unchanged

c)The security service is extended to include regular patrols within the building during unoccupied periods.

  1. Reasons

i) The addition is served by two hydrant locations, one on Walker Road and one from Halford Street within approximately 121.9 m (400 ft) of the entrance to the addition.

ii) The fire department indicates that access from Halford St. via a fire hose bridge has been permitted by the property owner of lot 2020.

iii)Additional portable extinguishers are provided.

iv)The limited fuel load and lack of hazardous activities reduce the fire risk.

v)A fire safety plan acceptable to the fire department is in place.

Dated at Toronto this 5th day in the month of November in the year 1998 for application number 1998-49.

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair

Mr. Robert De Berardis

Mr. Ross Thomson