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BCC Ruling No. 97-08-550

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #97-08-550

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Section 11.3. and Article 3.2.3.15. 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. Al Carbone, Owner, Kit Kat Bar & Grill, 297 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Ms Pamela Coburn, Chief Building Official, City of Toronto, Ontario concerning whether i) there is a change in performance level and, ii) a skylight set in a wood frame, prov ides sufficiency of compliance with Section 11.3 and Article 3.2.3.15. of the Ontario Building Code at Kit Kat Bar & Grill, 297 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. Al Carbone
Kit Kat Bar & Grill
297 King Street West
Toronto, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Ms Pamela Coburn
Chief Building Official
City of Toronto

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe (Chair)
Ms. Susan Friedrich
Mr. Ross Thomson

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

Thursday, April 10th, 1997

APPEARANCES

Mr. Jonathan Rubes
Leber Rubes Inc.
Toronto, Ontario
Agent for the Applicant

Mr. Al Coburn
Kit Kat Bar & Grill
Toronto, Ontario
The Applicant

Mr. Prabhakar Mahant
Building Engineer
City of Toronto
For the Respondent

Mr. Dennis Guerard
City of Toronto
For Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Al Carbone applied for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to renovate a restaurant at the Kit Kat Bar and Grill, 297 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The subject building is 3 stories with restaurant uses on the ground floor and in the basement, and a single dwelling unit on the partial second and third floors. The building is approximately 96 square metres of combustible construction with no fire alarm or sprinkler systems.

  1. Dispute

The issues under dispute are whether:

1- a change in major occupancy has occurred which may among other things, require the provision of a fire alarm and sprinkler system and,

2- wired glass skylights set in wood frames within 5 metres of an exterior wall, are permitted under Section 11.3. and Article 3.2.3.15. of the Building Code.

  1. Provisions of the Building Code

11.3 Performance Level

3.2.3.15. Wall Exposed to Adjoining Roof

Except as permitted in Sentence 3.2.3.20.(4), where a wall in a building is exposed to a fire hazard from an adjoining roof of a separate unsprinklered fire compartment in the same building, and the exposed wall contains windows within 3 storeys verticall y and 5 m (16 ft 5 in) horizontally of such roof, the roof shall contain no skylights within 5 m (16 ft 5 in) of the exposed wall.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the ground floor renovation to the restaurant was not a change in major occupancy and the hazard index need not be evaluated. The sprinkler protection and added fire separations required from a change in major occupancy are n ot necessary because:

- the occupants on the ground floor will be aware of the fire on the ground floor and have a choice of direction to 2 exists within 15 metres;

- occupants on the ground floor will be notified of a fire in the basement through a fire alarm and heat detection system;

- though not required, occupants of the second and third floor will also be notified of a fire on the ground floor through a fire alarm and detection system; and,

- if the ground floor was much larger and capable of accommodating a much higher occupant load, the building could be classified under a Group E major occupancy and not be required to have sprinkler protection.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that based on a 1988 building permit and information from the Applicant in 1996 regarding the use of the building, the front of the building underwent a change in major occupancy from E to A2 and the rear of the building from an F3 to an A2. The Respondent indicated that such changes in major occupancy require the evaluation of the hazard index and the construction index. Based on such an evaluation the building would have a hazard index of 6. The Respondent further submitted that this hazard index would require the building to be of non-combustible construction, with 1 hour fire rated floors, 45 minute rated roofs, and a fire alarm system. Combustible construction is permitted with a 1 hour fire rating where the area is sprinklered. As well, fire resistance rating is not required on the roof and the skylight would only be permitted where the area below is sprinklered.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the existing wood roof assembly with skylights of wired glazing in wood frame provides sufficiency of compliance with Section 11.3 and Article 3.2.3.15. of the Building Code provided that:

i) The exposed openings on the 2nd floor are protected with wired glass in fixed steel frames and;

ii) The fire alarm system is installed in accordance with Subsection 3.2.4. throughout the Building and;

iii) The means of egress from the 2nd and 3rd floor are protected from the first floor restaurant by a 3/4 hour fire separation.

8. Reasons:

i) The travel distance to exits on the ground floor is less than 15 m although the code permits 30 m.

ii) The fire alarm system is being extended throughout the building and other life safety systems are being provided.

iii) The building although 3 storeys in height is small in floor area (ie. 42 sq.m. on the 3rd floor).

iv) In the opinion of the Building Code Commission, the wood frame roof assembly with wired glazed skylights does not affect the performance level of the building.

Dated at Toronto this 10th day in the month of April in the year 1997 for application number 1997-06.

Roy Philippe, Chair

Ms. Susan Friedrich

Mr. Ross Thomson