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. 97-05-547

Follow us

BCC Ruling No. 97-05-547

Email this page

BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #97-05-547

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentences 3.2.3.13.(2) 3.3.1.10.(3) and 3.3.3.3.(3) 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. Mitchell Hall, Associate, Montgomery & Sisan / Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Toronto, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Bernie Roth, Chief Building Official, City of Scarborough, concerning whether i) not providing wired glass in fixed steel frames adjacent to an unenclosed exterior stair, provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 3.2.3.13.(2) and, ii) providing doors crossing a corridor with the left hand door swinging in direction of exit travel, provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentences 3.3.1.10.(3) and 3.3.3.3.(3) of the Ontario Building Code at Providence Centre, 3274 St. Clair Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. Mitchell Hall, Associate
Montgomery & Sisan Architects
Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
Toronto, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Bernie Roth
Chief Building Official
City of Scarborough

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Mr. Michael Lio
Mr. Demir Delen

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

March 26, 1997

APPEARANCES

Mr. Mitchell Hall
Associate
Montgomery & Sisan / Kuwabara
Payne McKenna Blumberg
The Applicant

Mr. Jonathan M. Rubes, President
Leber/Rubes Inc.
The Agent

Mr.Vishram Bhapkar
Chief Building Official
City of Scarborough
The Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Mitchell Hall, Associate, Montgomery & Sisan / Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects in joint venture, is the holder of a permit issued under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a new 4 storey home for the aged at the Providence Centre, Scarborough, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The proposed construction is a new 4 storey home for the aged made of combustible construction and a basement and building area of 4,825 square metres. The building is fully sprinklered, with a fire alarm system and standpipe and hose system, and is connected to the existing facility by means of a tunnel. The exits from the basement is through two unenclosed exterior stairways. Paired doors are provided across the corridors to define the zones as required by the Building Code.

  1. Dispute

The issues in dispute are whether: 1) the requirement of Sentence 3.2.3.13.(2) to protect ground floor windows located beside the unenclosed exterior exit stairs should be applied to this situation; and 2) the swing of the paired doors dividing the corridors may be the reverse of that required by 3.3.1.10.(3) of the Building Code.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

3.2.3.13. Protection of Exit Facilities

  1. Where an unenclosed exterior exit stair or ramp may be exposed to fire from openings in the exterior walls of the building it serves, the openings in the exterior walls of the building shall be protected with wired glass in fixed steel frames or glass block conforming to Article 3.1.8.14. where the openings in the exterior walls of the building are within 3 m (9 ft 10 in) horizontally and

    1. less than 10 m (32 ft 10 in) below the exit stair or ramp, or
    2. less than 5 m (16 ft 5 in) above the exit stair or ramp.

3.3.1.10. Door Swing

  1. Where the corridor in Sentence (2) is divided by paired doors which provide access to exit in opposite directions,
  1. the doors shall swing on a vertical axis,
  2. the doors shall swing in opposite directions, and
  3. the right hand door shall swing in the direction of exit travel.

5. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that glazing exists within 3 metres of the exterior stair serving the basement but that the basement area will have a low occupant load used by staff only. The Applicant went on to state that the basement has a limited travel distance to the exterior doors, and that if the exterior stairs were enclosed in a lobby area they could have an additional travel distance of up to 15 metres.

Regarding the pair of doors across the corridor, the Applicant submitted that due to the layout of the corridor and the adjacent suites, the more practical design would be to have the left hand door swing in the direction of travel incorporating proper signage and door hardware. The Applicant further submitted that the occupants would be assisted by staff familiar with the door operation when moving occupants from one zone to another.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Chief Building Official submitted that the glazing on the ground floor is within 3 meters of the exterior exit stair serving the basement and that the Applicant does not want to provide wire glass and steel frames or an equivalent design to the very specific requirements of Sentence 3.3.3.13.(2).

Regarding the issue of the doors swinging across the corridor, the Chief Building Official submitted that the condition occurs on 2 sets of doors per each of the 4 floors for a total of 8 sets, and that the Applicant does not want to revise the design to comply with Sentences 3.3.1.10.(3) and 3.3.3.3.(3) of the Building Code which is very specific in requiring the right hand door to swing in the direction of travel.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that:

i. The swing on the corridor doors provides sufficiency of compliance with the requirements of the Building Code and;

ii. Not providing wired glass in fixed frames adjacent to the unenclosed exterior stair does not provide sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

i. The double corridor door system with left hand swing in the direction of travel provides a similar level of performance to that of a pair of doors with the right hand door swinging in the direction of travel.

ii. The corridor doors will be suitably marked to facilitate proper operation.

iii. The doors will be equipped with push bars to facilitate operation.

iv. The building is required to have a fire safety plan with designated supervisory staff to assist in the movement of occupants.

v. Users of the unenclosed exterior stairs may be exposed to fire from the adjacent window without wired glass in fixed frames.

Dated at Toronto, this 26th day, in the month of March, in the year 1997, for application number 1997-04.

Roy Philippe

Michael Lio

Demir Delen