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BCC Ruling No. 97-48-590

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #97-48-590

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentence 3.2.9.3.(6) of "the Building Code" (Ontario Regulation 419/89 as amended by Ont. Reg. 183/88, 581/88, 11/89 and 115/89).

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. Randy Spiegel, Coordinator, Capital Projects, Associated Hebrew School, North York, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Yaman Uzumeri, Chief Building Official, City of North York, Ontario, concerning whether the standpipe and hose system provides adequate water pressure to comply with Sentence 3.2.9.3.(6) of the Ontario Building Code at the Associated Hebrew School, Neptune Campus, 18 Neptune Drive, North York, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. Randy Spiegel
Coordinator, Capital Projects
Associated Hebrew School
6100 Leslie Street
North York, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Yaman Uzumeri
Chief Building Official
City of North York

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe (Chair)
Ms. Susan Friedrich
Mr. Cliff Youdale

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

Wednesday, October 29th, 1997

APPEARANCES

Mr. Dave Kaminker
Leipciger, Kaminker,
Mitelman & Partners Inc.
Agent for the Applicant

Mr. Randy Spiegel
Coordinator, Capital Projects
Associated Hebrew School
The Applicant

Mr. J.T. Cleary
Fire Protection Engineer
City of North York
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Randy Spiegel, Coordinator of Capital Projects, Associated Hebrew School was issued a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a two storey school in the City of North York, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The Applicant presents a two storey, institutional building (with two basement levels), constructed of noncombustible construction. The structure has a total building area of 3,242 m2 (34,900 ft2) and is equipped with a sprinkler system and a standpipe and hose system. The building is classified as a Group A, Division 2 occupancy. It is to be used as a school.

The Applicant proposes that the standpipe and hose system be designed and constructed so that the residual pressure at the topmost fire hose outlet is at least 310 kPa (45 psi) and at the upper basement level at least 413 kPa (60 psi).

  1. Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and the Respondent is whether the proposed standpipe and hose system provides adequate water pressure to comply with Sentence 3.2.9.3.(6) of the Ontario Building Code. This provision permits the residual water pressure at the design flow rate at the topmost outlet of a required standpipe and hose system to be less than 450 kPa (65.3 psi) if several conditions are met. (The conditions are noted below.) The Code, however, does not stipulate how much less than 450 kPa the said pressure is allowed to be.

  1. Provisions of the Building Code

3.2.9.3. Standpipe and Hose System Design

(6) The residual water pressure at the design flow rate at the topmost outlet of a standpipe and hose system that is required to be installed in a building is permitted to be less than 450 kPa (65.3 psi) provided that

(a) the building is sprinklered in conformance the requirements of Sentence 3.2.5.13.(1),

(b) the water supply at the base of the sprinkler riser is capable of meeting the design flow rate and pressure demand of the sprinkler system, including the inside and outside hose allowance, and

(c) fire protection equipment is available to deliver, by means of the fire department connection, the full demand flow rate at a residual water pressure of 450 kPa (65.3 psi) at the topmost outlet of the standpipe and hose system.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the standpipe and hose design fully complies with OBC Sentence 3.2.9.3.(6). As they note, the building is fully sprinklered, even though this is not required under the Code. Moreover, the standpipe and hose system is only required, they argue, because of the two storey basement.

In their view, the designed residual pressure of at least 310 kPa (45 psi) at the topmost cabinet on the second floor and 413 kPa (60 psi) at the basement level is satisfactory. The Applicant presented hydraulic calculations to support their claims.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the proposed design for the standpipe and hose system does not comply with the Code. While they recognize that Sentence 3.2.9.3.(6) does not stipulate a minimum water pressure of 450 kPa (psi), they feel that a pressure of 310 kPa (psi) is too low. The standpipe and hose system is intended for occupants to fight incipient fires, but the Respondents believe that the inadequate pressure makes the system potentially hazardous to individuals who attempt to use it.

They also feel that the sprinkler system is not a mitigating factor since it would not be activated at the time of incipient firefighting by occupants.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that standpipe and hose system complies with Sentence 3.2.9.3.(6) of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons

i) The building is sprinklered in conformance with the requirements of Sentence 3.2.5.13.(1).

ii) The water supply at the base of the sprinkler riser is capable of meeting the design flow rate and pressure demand of the sprinkler system, including the inside and outside hose allowance, and

iii) Fire protection equipment is available to deliver, by means of the fire department connection, the full demand flow rate at a residual water pressure of 450 kPa (65.3 psi) at the topmost outlet of the standpipe and hose system.

iv) The building requires only standpipe and hose in the basements under 3.2.9.1.(b) of the Building Code.

v) The fire safety plan should not contemplate the use of standpipe and hose system by occupants.

Dated at Toronto this 29th day in the month of October in the year 1997 for application number 1997-55.

Roy Philippe, Chair

Susan Friedrich

Cliff Youdale