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BCC Ruling No. 97-37-579

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #97-37-579

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentence 9.8.5.3.(1) 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 Ms. Elizabeth Peck, 294 Gloucester Avenue, Oakville, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Ray Hachigian, Chief Building Official, Township of the Archipelago, Ontario, concerning whether the subject stairs containing six winders provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 9.8.5.3.(1) of the Ontario Building Code at Cowper Island # B-424, 42R6075, Pt 1, Township of the Archipelago, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Ms. Elizabeth Peck
Homeowner
294 Gloucester Avenue
Oakville, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Ray Hachigian
Chief Building Official
Township of the Archipelago

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe (Chair)
Mr. Rick Florio
Mr. Cliff Youdale

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

Thursday, August 21st, 1997

APPEARANCES

Mr. Gordon Martin
President
Margro Custom Haulage Ltd.
Parry Sound, Ontario
Agent for the Applicant

Mr. Ray Hachigian
Chief Building Official
Township of the Archipelago
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Ms. Elizabeth Peck is a person to whom an order was issued under the Building Code Act, 1992 to bring the stairs in their residence into compliance with Sentence 9.8.5.3.(1) of the Ontario Building Code at Cowper Island, #B-424, 42R6075, Pt 1, Township of the Archipelago, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The Applicants recently constructed a two storey, pre-manufactured, log building. Including balcony, the structure has a total of 1,394 ft2. The building is described as a Group C - residential occupancy.

The stairs between the ground and second floor in the subject building contain a 90 degree, right angle turn turn. The stairs, as built, have a total of six winders, each covering 15 degrees.

  1. Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and Respondent is whether the subject stairs provide sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 9.8.5.3.(1) of the Ontario Building Code. This sentence requires that winders within dwelling units turn through an angle of not more than 90 degrees and that individual treads turn through an angle of 30 degrees, i.e., only three winders are allowed.

  1. Provisions of the Building Code

9.8.5.3. Winders

(1) Stairs within dwelling units may contain winders that converge to a centre point provided the winders turn through an angle of not more than 90 degrees and individual treads turn through an angle of 30 degrees.

(2) Only one set of winders described in Sentence (1) shall be permitted between floor levels.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that although the subject stairs do contain six winders, in their opinion, the differences are slight and would not mean a reduction in safety. Measured at the centre of the stairs, they noted that the width of the run on each stair, as constructed, is 228 mm. This dimension exceeds the minimum run set out in Sentence 9.8.3.1.(1).

The Applicants are also providing handrails on both sides of the subject stairs and additional stair lighting.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that Sentence 9.8.5.3.(1) of the Building Code allows three winders. The stairs as built have six.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the stair containing six winders provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 9.8.5.3.(1) of the Ontario Building Code.

  1. Reasons

i) Handrails are provided on both sides of the stair for greater safety.

ii) Increased lighting is provided within the stairwell.

iii) Stair configuration provides a greater interior stair run than might be achieved through a winder built to Sentence 9.8.5.3.(1) of the Ontario Building Code.

iv) The interior handrail forces users to travel on a wider portion of the stair.

Dated at Toronto this 21st day in the month of August in the year 1997 for application number 1997-43

Roy Philippe, Chair

Rick Florio

Cliff Youdale