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. 98-22-627

Follow us

BCC Ruling No. 98-22-627

Email this page


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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article 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. Thomas Phillips, property owner, Part Lot 18, Concession 1, Township of Carden, Victoria County, Ontario for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Paul McCubbing, Chief Building Official, Township of Car den, Ontario to determine whether the as built floor joists provide sufficiency of compliance with Article of the Ontario Building Code at Part Lot 18, Concession 1, Township of Carden, Victoria County, Ontario.


Mr. Thomas Phillips, property owner
Part Lot 18, Concession 1
Township of Carden, Ontario


Mr. Paul McCubbing
Chief Building Official
Township of Carden


Mr. Michael Lio (Chair)
Mr. Kenneth Peaker
Mr. Cliff Youdale


Toronto, Ontario


May 21, 1998


May 21, 1998


Mr. Thomas Phillips
Property owner
Township of Carden
The Applicant

Mr. Paul McCubbing
Chief Building Official
Township of Carden
The Respondent


  1. The Applicant

Mr. Thomas Phillips, Owner, Part Lot 18, Concession 1, has been issued an order to comply under the Building Code Act, 1992 to bring a floor joist system of a farm building into conformity with Article of the Ontario Building Code at Part Lot 18, Concession 1, Carden Township, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The Applicant's property contains several buildings, including a two storey, 12.2 by 24.4 m (40 by 80 ft) steel arch quonset hut structure that has a building area of 297.4 m2 (3,200 ft2). The structure is constructed of combustible construction on the interior with a noncombustible exterior shell. It is classified as a Farm Building under the OBC.

The quonset hut is divided into two portions, with the front, or southern, half containing a 118.9 m2 (1,280 ft2) second storey. The lower floor contains laundry, kitchen and washroom facilities. The upper level is used as an open storage area. The rear portion of the quonset hut is used as a garage.

The second storey floor assembly of the west portion of the quonset hut is constructed of 38 by 235 mm (2 by 10 in) spruce joists at 300 mm (12 in) on centre and includes both strapping and bridging. The east portion of this floor assembly is construc ted of engineered 235 mm (10 in) TJI joists at 300 mm (12 in) on centre. The spans of these two floor assemblies are 4.52 m (14 ft, 10 in) and 5.74 m (18 ft, 10 in) respectively. The latter floor assembly is not in dispute.

  1. Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and Respondent is whether the as built floor joists in the western portion of the second storey provides sufficiency of compliance with Article of the Ontario Building Code. This provision stipulates that the building in question may be designed according to Tables 9.40.3.K. to 9.40.3.T. In particular, Tables 9.40.3.M. and 9.40.3.N. set out the standards for floor joist construction for intermittent and continuous loads respectively.

For intermittent loads, applying Table 9.40.3.M. to the building at hand, 38 by 235 mm (2 by 10 in) joists are required, however, Table 9.40.3.N. stipulates that continuous loads in this situation are required to be supported by 38 by 286 mm (2 by 12 in) joists. Further, as a farm building, the Canadian Farm Building Code also applies to this structure. Article of the CFBC requires that floors supporting stored products, as is the case in this building, bedesigned for their loads according to their intended use, but must not be less than 5.0 kPa. If the joists are found to be over spanned additional supports would be required.

The Applicant previously adjusted the spacing of the subject joists from 400 mm (16 in) on centre to their current 300 mm (12 in) on centre. He also added strapping between the joists to improve their stability. This did not resolve the over spanning issue as far as the municipality was concerned. There also seems to be a discrepancy regarding the actual length of span in question. The Applicant contended the spans is 4.52 m (14 ft, 10 in), whereas the Respondent measured it at 4.65 m (15 ft, 3 in) .

  1. Provisions of the Ontario Building Code

Article Structural Requirements - Spans

In a farm building of low human occupancy, the spans of wood joists, rafters, lintels and beams may conform to the spans shown in Tables 9.40.3.K. to 9.40.3.T. for the live loads shown in the Tables.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the 38 by 235 mm spruce joists with strapping and bridging provides sufficient structural support for the intended load to span 4.52 m. He argued that due to the limited nature of floor to ceiling space on the second floor of the arched quonset hut the floor assembly in question would never be required to support 5.0 kPa of live load. Simply put, there is not enough space above the floor to create 5.0 kPa worth of loading. In fact, the Applicant indicated that the western portion of the second floor would not be used for the storage of farm or agricultural materials. Instead, he indicated that it would be used more as an accessible attic similar to how one might use an attic in a house. Or if his pending rezoning to change the southern half of the subject building to residential gets approved, this area could be used as living quarters.

As a result, the Applicant pointed to Article, specifically Tables A-1 and A-2 which show that 38 by 235 mm spruce joists at 300 mm on centre are permitted to span to a maximum of 4.60 m. At 4.52 m, as measured by the Applicant, the span in question is acceptable. The Applicant asserted therefore that no additional support was needed for the floor joists.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the as built floor joist framing does not comply with Article of the Ontario Building Code, specifically Tables 9.40.3.M. or 9.40.3.N. The Respondent rejected the Applicant's proposed use of the second floor space as an attic orfuture living quarters. In fact, the Respondent indicated that the municipality had previously ordered the removal of residential furnishings and appliances from the space. He noted that the current zoning of the building was agricultural not residential, and that the appropriate OBC standards for the current occupancy of the building should be applied.

Allowing that the storage of materials in this space could be considered intermittent and not continuous, the Respondent indicated that the joists must comply with Table 9.40.3.M. Further, he stressed that as a farm building Article of the Canadian Farm Building Code applies, meaning that the minimum design load for this storage area must be at least 5.0 kPa.

When considering the 5.0 kPa loading minimum and applying Table 9.40.3.M., the Respondent determined that 38 by 286 mm (2 by 12 in) joists are required in the subject floor assembly. Since the floor was constructed with only 38 by 235 mm joists, the Respondent was of the view that additional support of the floor assembly was necessary.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the floor system demonstrates sufficiency of compliance with the requirements of the Building Code provided:

i)a kneewall is constructed along the exterior perimeter of the quonset hut between the roof and floor of the second storey; and

ii)floor sheathing is not installed on the floor system between the kneewall and building perimeter; and

iii)an engineer's report, acceptable to the municipality, is carried out verifying the floor system is capable of supporting at least 5 kPa load over the revised storage area.

  1. Reasons

i)The kneewall will limit the floor area available for storage.

ii)Omitting floor sheathing on the floor area beyond the kneewall will further restrict the ability to store material on the floor system.

iii)Calculations will be produced to verify the floor system is able to support the required minimum loads.

Dated at Toronto this 21st day in the month of May in the year 1998 for application number 1998-21.

Mr. Michael Lio, Chair

Mr. Kenneth Peaker

Mr. Cliff Youdale