Skip to content
You are here > Home > Your Ministry > Ontario Building Code > Appeals & Approvals > Building Code Commission > Rulings of the Building Code Commission > 1997 > BCC Ruling No. 97-14-556

Follow us

BCC Ruling No. 97-14-556

Email this page

BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #97-14-556

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentence 3.3.1.9.(6) and Clause 3.4.2.5.(1)(d) 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. Greg Gaudette, Property Manager, Shoppers World Company Inc., 1530 Albion Road, Suite 208, Etobicoke, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Tony Chow, Chief Building Official, City of Etobicoke, concerning whether locating occupancies not exceeding 15% of the public corridor area on the same side as new retail units in an unobstructed 6 metre public corridor, provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 3.3.1.9.(6) and Clause 3.4.2.5.(1)(d) of the Ontario Building Code, at Shoppers World Albion, Etobicoke, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. Greg Gaudette, Property Manager
Shoppers World Company Inc.
1530 Albion Road, Suite 208
Etobicoke, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Tony Chow
Chief Building Official
City of Etobicoke

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair Mr. Rick Florio Mr. Cliff Youdale

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

Thursday, May 8th, 1997

APPEARANCES

Mr. Greg Gaudette
Property Manager
Shoppers World Company Inc.
The Applicant

Mr. Demir Delen
Morrison Hershfield Ltd
Agent for the Applicant

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

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Greg Gaudette, Property Manager, Shoppers World Company Inc., is a person who has applied for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to renovate an existing shopping mall by constructing additional retail units on one side of a 12.5 m (41 ft) wide public corridor at Shoppers World Albion, Etobicoke, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The Shoppers World Albion mall is a noncombustible 1 storey building with a building area of 356,000 sq. ft. (33,073 sq. m.). The subject building has a fire alarm system, an automatic sprinkler system, and a standpipe and hose system.

The proposed interior renovation is to construct additional retail units on one side of the existing 12.5 metre wide public corridor adjacent to the K-Mart Store at the east end of the shopping centre.

  1. Dispute

The issue under dispute between the Applicant and the Respondent is whether the proposal meets the intent of Sentence 3.3.1.9. (6) of the 1990 Ontario Building Code (OBC) which requires that occupancies in a public corridor be located in such a manner that there is an unobstructed passage for pedestrian travel of specified widths adjacent and parallel to all rooms and suites that front onto the public corridor, and that the combined area of all occupancies in a public corridor shall not exceed 15% of that area. Also under dispute is whether Clause 3.4.2.5. (1)(d) of the OBC, regarding the location of exits served by a public corridor, may be applied.

  1. Provisions of the Building Code

3.3.1.9. Corridors

(6) If a public corridor conforming to Clause 3.4.2.5.(1)(d) contains an occupancy, the occupancy shall be located so that there is an unobstructed width for pedestrian travel of not less than 3 m (9 ft 10 in) adjacent and parallel to all rooms and suites that front onto the public corridor and the combined area of all occupancies in a public corridor shall not be more than 15 percent of the area of the public corridor.

3.4.2.5. Location of Exits

(1) Except as provided in Sentences (2), (3) and 3.3.2.4.(6), where more than one exit is required from a floor area, such exits shall be located so that the travel distance to not less than one exit as described in Article 3.4.2.4. shall be not more than

(d) 105 m (344 ft 6 in) in any floor area, served by a public corridor, in which rooms and suites are not separated from the remainder of the floor area by a fire separation, provided

(i) the public corridor has a width of not less than 9 m (29 ft 6 in),

(ii) the ceiling height in the public corridor is not less than 4 m (13 ft 1 in) above all floor surfaces,

(iii) the building is sprinklered, and

(iv) not more than one half of the required egress doorways from a room or suite open into the public corridor when the room or suite is required to have more than one egress doorway.

      5. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the proposed renovation would still leave the subject public corridor in compliance with OBC requirements. Their view, as expressed in the report by Morrison Hershfield consultants, is that the width of the corridor should be calculated as 9 m, since the extra 3.5 m strip immediately adjacent to the K-Mart Store's wall may, according to the Code, be used as retail without contravening any provisions. They further argue that in a corridor of this length (146 m), a 9 m wide corridor is permitted to have additional occupancies provided that these occupancies do not exceed 15% of the area and that they are placed so as to allow for a 3 m unobstructed pedestrian passageway adjacent and parallel to the fronting rooms and suites. (They calculate 15% of the subject public corridor to be 197.1 sq. m.) It is their position that the Code does not prevent them from adding this additional retail area to the area directly abutting the K-Mart wall. In essence, they believe the Code does not prevent them from placing their additional 15% occupancies adjacent to, and beyond the 9 m line, as long as the corridor remains at least 6 m wide to allow for 3 m of unobstructed pedestrian width to serve the retail rooms and suites that face each other on either side of the corridor.

The Applicant also submits that the performance level of the building will not be reduced, including the access to exits. This is because the building contains both an early warning system, and a sprinkler system, and would thereby satisfy the compliance alternatives.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the Code does not intend public corridors to be less than 9 m in width. They calculate that by adding 197.1 sq. m. as additional retail space to the 3.5 m strip directly adjacent to the K-Mart Store the public corridor would be thus reduced to 7.6 m. Their position is that the Code allows some flexibility concerning additional occupancies as long as the corridor is, among other things, at least 9 m wide and that the extra occupancies are located "within" the corridor. In their view, the proposed renovation, by joining the additional occupancies to the one side and not placing them somewhere in the middle of the public corridor, will, in effect, reduce the corridor width.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the minimum unobstructed public corridor width of 9 m must be provided as required to permit a distance of travel 105 m as noted in Clause 3.4.2.5.(1)(d) of the Building Code.

The occupancy permitted in the public corridor must be installed as per 3.3.1.9.(6) of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

i. A minimum clear width of 9 m is required to permit the 105 m travel distance to be applied.

ii. The corridor occupancy as permitted in 3.3.1.9.(6) is intended to allow displays, kiosks and other similar obstructions in the centre of a minimum 9 m wide public corridor leaving 3 m of clear space on each side of the public corridor for pedestrian movement.

iii. The 15% area limit is set to limit and control fire loads in the public corridor. This proposal does not satisfy this principle.

iv. Other design configurations are available to meet the Building Code requirements.

v. It is the opinion of the Building Code Commission that the proposal reduces the level of safety for the occupants and the property from fire.

Dated at Toronto this 8th day in the month of May in the year 1997 for application number 1997-16.

Roy Philippe, Chair

Rick Florio

Cliff Youdale