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BCC Ruling No. 97-23-565

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #97-23-565

AND IN THE MATTER OF Clause 3.2.2.52.(1)(b), Article 3.2.5.8., Clause 3.2.9.1.(1)(b) and Article 6.2.2.5. 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. Bill Laurysen, Vice President, Laurysen Kitchens Ltd., 2415 Carp Road, Stittsville, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Bob Moore, Chief Building Official, Township of West Carleton, concerning whether the constructed addition provides sufficiency of compliance with the requirements for a standpipe and hose system, building sprinklering, adequate water supply and sprinklering in the spray booth area in accordance with Clauses 3.2.9.1.(1)(b), 3.2.2.52.(1)(b) and Articles 3.2.5.8. and 6.2.2.5. respectively of the Ontario Building Code, at Laurysen Kitchens Ltd., 2415 Carp Road, Stittsville, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. Bill Laurysen, Vice President
Laurysen Kitchens
2415 Carp Road
Stittsville, Ontario

RESPONDENT
Mr. Bob Moore
Chief Building Official
Township of West Carleton

PANEL
Mr. Michael Lio, Chair
Mr. Douglas Clancey
Mr. Cliff Youdale

PLACE
Ottawa, Ontario

DATE OF RULING
Thursday, July 3rd, 1997

APPEARANCES
Mr. Jim Gorman
Controller
Laurysen Kitchens Ltd.
The Applicant

Mr. Tom Dunfield
Morrison Hershfield
Agent for the Applicant

Mr. Bob Moore
Chief Building Official
Township of West Carleton
The Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Bill Laurysen, Vice President, Laurysen Kitchens Ltd., is a person who has applied for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to renovate and add to an existing kitchen manufacturing and storage facility. The existing building is 1 storey, constructed of noncombustible material and faces three streets. The area of the existing structure was 3 849 m2 (41 427 ft2) before the addition. The building does not have a sprinkler system, a fire alarm system, nor a standpipe and hose system. It is classified as having a Group F, Division 2 major occupancy.

  1. Description of Construction

The building addition adds 954 m2 (10 272 ft2) of additional space to the building. Most of this area is devoted to storage. Also part of these renovations is a spray painting booth having an area of 68 m2 (729 ft2). With these additions, the total building area is 4 803 m2 (51 699 ft2).

The Applicant proposes to sprinkler the new spray booth area. As well, they would provide it with an additional dust collector piping system.

The proposal also intends to address a previous work order regarding certain fire safety deficiencies, in particular, the lack of a required standpipe and hose system and adequate water supply at the subject site. This would be accomplished by installing a fire alarm and detection system, self-closure devices on electrical room doors, and portable fire extinguishers throughout the building. The Applicants also propose to fill the on-site swimming pool and connect it to a hydrant for additional on-site water supply. They would also train their employees regarding fire safety.

  1. Dispute

The issue under dispute between the Applicant and the Respondent is whether the renovations and additions provide sufficiency of compliance with the requirements to provide adequate water supply, a standpipe and hose system, and to sprinkler the spray booth in accordance with provisions 3.2.5.8., 3.2.9.1., and 6.2.2.5. respectively of the 1990 Ontario Building Code (OBC).

  1. Provisions of the Building Code

3.2.5.8. Water Supply

(1) An adequate water supply for fire fighting shall be provided for every building.

(2) Hydrants shall be located within 90 m (295 ft 3 in) horizontally of any portion of a building perimeter which is required to face a street in Subsection 3.2.2.

3.2.9.1. (Standpipe and Hose System) Where Required

(1) Except as provided in Article 3.2.9.2., a standpipe and hose system hall (sic) be installed in every building that

(a) is more than

(i) 3 storeys in building height, or

(ii) 14 m (45 ft 11 in) in height measured between grade and the ceiling of the uppermost storey,

(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 m [sic] 11 in) high measured between grade and the ceiling of the top storey, or

(c) contains more than one storey below grade.

6.2.2.5. Hazardous Gases, Dusts or Liquids

Systems serving spaces that contain hazardous gases, dusts or liquids shall be designed, constructed and installed in conformance with the provisions of the Ontario Fire Code made under the Fire Marshals Act, or in the absence of requirements pertinent to such systems in the Ontario Fire Code, to good engineering practice such as is described in the publications of the National Fire Protection Association and in the National Fire Code of Canada 1990.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that since there is no municipal water service to the site, the requirements to provide adequate on-site water supply and a standpipe and hose system are onerous and costly. They estimate that it would cost $187 200 to provide a standpipe system based on 68 000 L of water supply. The Applicant further argues that the alternative measures that they are offering would provide a higher level of fire safety than a standpipe and hose system.

It is the view of the Applicant, as represented by their agents, Morrison Hershfield, that they are improving the fire safety of the plant in several ways. They are proposing that a single-stage, supervised and monitored fire alarm and detection system be installed. This system, they argue, would provide immediate notification to the Township's fire department and early warning to the occupants. As the Applicant points out, for a building of this kind with an occupancy of only 50 people, such an alarm and detection system is not required.

They also propose to sprinkler the spray booth area in accordance with requirements of Ontario's Building and Fire Codes. This area would be provided with suppression protection by 8 sprinkler heads. A dust collector piping system would also be installed in the spray booth area as required by Section 5.10 of the Ontario Fire Code. This would provide spark detection and water spray fire suppression for the spray booth.

Dry chemical, portable fire extinguishers that can be used in multipurpose situations would also be installed throughout the plant's workshop areas.

In order to provide greater on-site water supply, the Applicant proposes to refurbish an unused indoor 200 000 L capacity swimming pool located elsewhere (approximately 47 m from the plant in the office building) on the Laurysen property. A wall hydrant would be connected to this water supply reservoir, and using a flow rate of 3 000 L/min, the Applicant believes this would provide a 1 h water supply.

Automatic closers on electrical service room doors and latches are also proposed by the Applicant to ensure that the room is fire separated from the rest of the plant.

As well, the Applicant intends to upgrade their fire safety plan. The employees at the plant will be given fire emergency training and will also be trained to effectively operate fire extinguishers. This too, they note, is also not required for a building with 100 occupants or less.

The Applicant believes the above measures would provide sufficiency of compliance with the OBC requirements for adequate water supply and a standpipe and hose system.

The Applicants also point out that the subject building is only one storey, with high ceilings, open structure, and it has good unobstructed access to exterior exits. They note that the building has good fire fighting access from three sides and would not be a hazard to other properties in the event of a fire. Furthermore, it is their view that the municipality provides more than sufficient fire fighting service.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the proposed renovations, while providing greater fire safety, still do not bring the building into compliance with Code requirements, especially concerning a standpipe and hose system. The building, they argue, is 2.4 times the maximum area at which a standpipe and hose system is required. Even without an expansion of the building, the original structure (Blocks 1 and 2 at 3 849 m2 [41 427 ft2]) is in need of a standpipe and hose system according to OBC Article 3.2.9.1. In their view, the proposed renovation creates even greater demand for such a system. Indeed, the proposed renovation would bring the building to the maximum size (4 800 m2 [51 700 ft2]) allowed for an unsprinklered structure of this nature. This unsprinklered limit assumes, however, that the building is equipped with adequate water pressure and a standpipe and hose system.

Whether the mezzanine has the appropriate fire resistance rating is also a concern for the Respondent.

Regarding the spray booth, the Respondent demonstrates that it is required to be sprinklered under the OBC and the OFC. Sprinklering this area, therefore, does not create additional fire safety

The Respondent further points out that the fire alarm and detection system would not be as useful as suggested by the Applicant since the municipality does not have the technical and administrative capacity to immediately notify its volunteer fire department.

Finally, the Respondent states that it is beyond the powers afforded to a CBO to judge whether the proposed measures provide sufficiency of compliance with the above referenced Code provisions.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the building addition does not provide sufficiency of compliance with the requirements of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

1. It is the opinion of the Building Code Commission that the proposals that were presented do not provide equivalent levels of life safety or property protection to those provided by the Building Code.

Dated at Ottawa this 3rd day in the month of July in the year 1997 for application number 1997-20.

Michael Lio, Chair

Douglas Clancey

Cliff Youdale