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BCC Ruling No. 98-15-620

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #98-15-620

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentence 3.3.1.12.(3) 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. Cyril Mayo, Project Coordinator, The Board of Education for the City of London, 951 Leathorne Street, London, Ontario and Mr. Clive Matthews, Manager of Building Services, City of London, 300 Dufferin Avenue, London, Ontario for the resolution of a dispute with Rocky Cerminara, Chief Building Official, City of London, Ontario to determine whether the proposed installation of electromagnetic locking devices on one leaf only of a pair of double egress doors separating two occupancies, a pool and a school, provide sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 3.3.1.12.(3) of the Ontario Building Code at the South London Community Centre and White Oaks/Bradley Public School, 565 Bradley Ave., London, Ontario.

APPLICANTS

Mr. Cyril Mayo, Project Coordinator
The Board of Education for the City of London, and
Mr. Clive Matthews, Manager of Building Services
City of London
London, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Rocky Cerminara
Chief Building Official
City of London

PANEL

Mr. Ross Thomson (Chair)
Ms. Lesia Beznaczuk
Mr. Cliff Youdale

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

March 25, 1998

DATE OF RULING

March 25, 1998

APPEARANCES

Mr. Ron Milne, Architect
Tillman Ruth Mocellin Architects
London, Ontario
For the Respondent

Mr. Gary Edwards
Manager, Plans Examination
City of London
Agent for the Applicant

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Cyril Mayo, Project Coordinator, The Board of Education for the City of London and Mr. Clive Matthews, Manager of Building Services, City of London have applied for a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to renovate an existing school by adding a pool facility and adding a new school facility to the entire structure at the South London Community and Leisure Centre and the White Oaks/Bradley Avenue Public School, 565 Bradley Ave., London, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The Applicants propose to renovate an existing, two storey school building by adding a two storey addition containing a school and a pool. The pool is also intended to be used as a community pool. The pool addition will add 1,438 m2 to the building respectively. Together both portions of the addition will add 6,702 m2 of new building area to the structure. Including the existing building, the proposed structure will have a total building area of 9,412 m2.The protructure is classified as a Group A - Division 2 building containing two occupancies, a non-residential school and a community centre which includes a pool.

Between the two occupancies, the Applicants are proposing to have free circulation during school hours. After school hours, however, the Applicants wish to separate the school and pool occupancies through the installation of electro-magnetic locking devices on one leaf only of a pair of double egress doors on both the ground and second floors. The subject double egress doors, proposed for the central east-west corridors on both floors, are considered to be in an access to exit.

  1. Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and Respondent is whether the proposed separation of the pool and school occupancies by an electromagnetic locking device provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 3.3.1.12.(3) of the Ontario Building Code. This provision specifically prohibits a door in an access to exit in a school from being equipped with an electromagnetic locking device.

  1. Provisions of the Ontario Building Code

Sentence 3.3.1.12.(3)Doors

(3) Except for a door in an elementary or secondary school or a door leading directly from a Group F, Division 1 occupancy, a door in an access to exit is permitted to be equipped with an electromagnetic locking device conforming to Sentence 3.4.6.15.(4).

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicants submitted that the subject double egress doors are neither exit doors, nor do they provide access to exit. They contended that the proposed doors could be replaced by a solid wall. They argued, in other words, that the doors should be considered as convenience doors, providing better internal circulation in the building only. To prove this point, the Applicants pointed to the fact that there are no exit signs, nor way-finding signs to indicate that the subject doors are in fact exit related doors. Further, they argued that unlike exit doors, these doors will remain open most of the time.

The Applicants insisted that the double egress doors are for security purposes, hence the electromagnetic locking device on one door only of the two pairs. The intention of this design is to keep users of the community centre out of the school area after hours.

For these reasons, the Applicants submitted that Sentence 3.3.1.12.(3) does not apply and therefore the proposed installation of the electromagnetic locking device on the subject doors should be allowed.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent agreed that the doors in dispute, although technically considered access to exit doors, are intended mostly to allow students access to the pool area without going outside. They submitted that their opposition to the installation of electromagnetic locking devices is due mostly to the fact that Sentence 3.3.1.12.(3) of the OBC clearly does not permit such devices on access to exit doors. As a result, they noted that they do not have the authority to deviate from these requirements of the Code.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the proposed installation of an electromagnetic locking device on one leaf of two pairs of the double egress doors provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code provided that:

i)Magnetic locks are installed only on access to exit doors from the pool into the school.

ii)A manual over-ride for magnetic locks is provided at the control desk for the pool.

iii)The magnetic locks are connected to, and released by activation of, the fire alarm system.

  1. Reasons

i)The magnetic locks will only be activated by the school security systems when the school is vacant.

ii)The facility has a centrally monitored fire alarm system.

iii)The facility is protected by an automatic sprinkler system with alarms connected to a central station monitoring system.Dated at Toronto this 25th day in the month of March in the year 1998 for application number 1998-13.

Mr. Ross Thomson, Chair

Ms. Lesia Beznaczuk

Mr. Cliff Youdale