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. 97-06-548

Follow us

BCC Ruling No. 97-06-548

Email this page


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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 3.1.6. 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. William Isbell, President, Golf Way Developments, Thunder Bay Incorporated, Thunder Bay, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Ms Jennifer Favron, Chief Building Official, City of Thunder Bay, Ontario, concerning whether an air supported structure with a mezzanines and interior partitions, provides sufficiency of compliance with Subsection 3.1.6. of the Ontario Building Code at 141 Northern Avenue, Thunder Bay, Ontario.


Mr. William Isbell, President
Golf Way Developments Thunder Bay Incorporated
Thunder Bay, Ontario


Ms Jennifer Favron
Chief Building Official
City of Thunder Bay


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


Toronto, Ontario


March 26, 1997


Mr. Fred Wood, Architect
Leonard Alfred Wood Architect
The Agent for the Applicant


  1. The Applicant

Mr. William Isbell, President of Golf Way Developments has applied for a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct an air-supported structure at 141 Northern Avenue, Thunder Bay, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The subject building is a new 1 storey building with a building area of 8,361 square metres. The air-supported structure with a fabric roof has a mezzanine running the full length of the building. Interior partitions are made of noncombustible construction and an ancillary space which houses washrooms and the entrance lobby are separated from the areas under the roof by a 1 hour fire separation.

  1. Dispute

The issue in dispute is whether the building as designed with interior partitions and with an attached ancillary structure meets the requirements for air-supported structures in Subsection 3.1.6. with regards to the mezzanine area, partitions, and spatial separations to the adjacent property.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

3.1.6. Tents, Air-supported structures and temporary structures Application

  1. Air-supported structures shall be designed primarily as open floor space without interior walls, mezzanines, intermediate floors or similar construction. Clearance to Other Structures

1. Except for tents used for camping and other personal uses and except as provided in Sentences (2), (3) and (4), every tent, air-supported structure and temporary structure shall conform to Subsection 3.2.3.

  1. Tents and air-supported structures shall not be erected closer than 3 m (9 ft 10 in) to other structures on the same property except as provided in Sentences (3) and (4), and shall be sufficiently distant from one another to provide an area to be used as a means of emergency egress.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that many of these air-supported structures have been constructed successfully in Ontario and Manitoba and proposes to construct the building in accordance with Article and the proposed revisions to Subsection 3.1.6. of the Ontario Building Code.

Fire alarm system and exits are provided in parts of both the air supported structure and ancillary building.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Chief Building Official submitted that Sentence of the Building Code states that air-supported structures shall be designed primarily as an open floor space without interior walls, mezzanines, or intermediate floors. In addition, the Chief Building Official submitted that the Building Code does not allow the Chief Building Official to accept interior partitions or apply standards to those partitions or mezzanines.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the air supported structure provides sufficiency of compliance with Subsection 3.1.6. of the Building Code provided:

i. The storage garage is separated from the air supported structure by a 1.5 h fire separation;

ii. No additional interior walls or mezzanines be constructed, over and above those presently proposed;

iii. Existing mezzanines not be enclosed;

iv. The attached lobby building is sprinklered;

v. The occupant load is limited to no more than 150; and

vi. The travel distance from the mezzanines to an exit is no more than 30 m.

  1. Reasons:

i. The Building Code does not prohibit interior walls or mezzanines in air supported structures but requires that they be designed primarily as open spaces. The proposed structure contains limited interior walls with approximately 5% of its floor area as open mezzanines.

ii. The building meets the requirements of Sections 3.3 and 3.4 of the Building Code.

Dated at Toronto, this 26th day, in the month of March, in the year 1997, for application number 1997-11.

Roy Philippe

Demir Delen

Michael Lio