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BCC Ruling No. 97-21-563

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentence and 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. Angelo Villardo, Evan Mercury Sales Ltd., Etobicoke, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Anthony Chow, Chief Building Official, Etobicoke, Ontario concerning whether the proposed extension of the mezzanine onto the parking area of the existing roof should be considered as part of the mezzanine at 5500 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke, Ontario.

Mr. Angelo Villardo
Evan Mercury Sales Ltd.
Etobicoke, Ontario


Mr. Anthoy Chow
Chief Building Official
City of Etobicoke

Mr. Roy Philippe (Chair)
Mr. Rick Florio
Mr. Ross Thomson

Toronto, Ontario

Thursday, June 19th, 1997

Mr. Don Kerr
Don Kerr, Architect Inc.
Oakville, Ontario
For The Applicant

Mr. Angelo Villardo

Mr. Sait Toprak
Chief Building Code Engineer
City of Etobicoke
The Respondent

Mr. Philip Ho
Senior Building Engineer
City of Etobicoke


  1. The Applicant

Mr. Angelo Villardo, Vice-President, Evan Mercury Sales Ltd., Etobicoke was issued a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to extend and add an office to the existing mezzanine at 5500 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The existing building is one storey made of non-combustible construction with a building area of 23,000 square feet (2,137 square metres) under a Group F, Division 2 major occupancy. The proposed construction is to add 867 square feet (81 square metres) to the 2,007 square feet (184 square metres) existing mezzanine by extending onto the existing roof of the building.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns whether the proposed extension may be considered as part of a mezzanine under the Building Code.

  1. Provisions of the Building Code

Sentence - Mezzanine with Open Floor Area

(3) Except as provided in Sentences (4), (5) and (8), a mezzanine shall not be considered as a storey in calculating the building height provided

(a) the aggregate area of the mezzanine floor is not more than 40 percent of the area of the room or storey in which it is located,

(b) it is used as an open floor area except as provided in Sentence, and

(c) the space above the mezzanine floor has no visual obstructions more than 1 070mm (3 ft 6 in) above such floors.

Sentence - Mezzanine with Visual Obstructions

(4) Except as provided in Sentence (5), a mezzanine shall not be required to be considered as a storey in calculating building height and need not conform to Sentence (3) where the aggregate area of the mezzanine floor does not exceed 10 per cent of the area of

(a) the suite in which it is located, where there is more than one suite in the storey, or

(b) the storey in which it is located, in all other cases.

  1. Applicant's Position

In the proposed addition, the Applicant based the design on Clause of the Building Code where the aggregate area of a mezzanine can be up to 40% of the storey in which it is located. The Applicant deemed that the aggregate area of the existing and new mezzanine area amounts to 2,871 sq. ft. or 12.5% of the total storey.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent indicated that the mezzanine has a visual obstruction that does not satisfy the requirements of Sentence of the Building Code and therefore Sentence applies. With the addition, the total floor area exceeds 10% of the area of the main floor, thus exceeding the allowable limit under Sentence of the Building Code. Therefore, the addition cannot be considered as part of the mezzanine and must be designed as a second floor.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the approximate 450 sq. ft. addition over the roof provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code provided that a fire separation with wired glazing having a 3/4 hour fire resistance rating separates the new corridor from the existing mezzanine area.

  1. Reasons:

i) The mezzanine area addition of 450 sq. ft. has direct access to the roof and then to grade.

ii) The mezzanine area addition will have access to the existing mezzanine area and the two exits from that area.

iii) The increased area of 450 sq. ft. represents approximately 2% of the total 1st floor area.

iv) The Commission is of the opinion that this addition does not present an undue risk to life safety from fire due to the additional exit and fire separation.

Dated at Toronto this 19th day in the month of June in the year 1997 for application number 1997-24

Roy Philippe, Chair

Mr. Rick Florio

Mr. Ross Thomson