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BCC Ruling No. 96-19-502

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #96-19-502

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentences 3.3.1.2.(1), 3.3.1.10.(1) and 3.4.2.5.(2) of the Revised Regulation of Ontario 1990, Regulation 61, as amended by O.Regs. 400/91, 158/93, 160/93, 383/94 and 20/95 (the "Building Code")..

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. William Pacey, Vice- President, National Store Planning, Shoppers Drug Mart, Willowdale vs. Mr. Agris Robeznieks, Chief Building Official, City of Mississauga, concerning whether the aerosol storage cage in Shoppers Drug Mart's Mississauga Distribution Centre should comply with the provisions of Sentence 3.3.1.2.(1) or be considered a Group F, Division 1 Occupancy having to meet the fire separation, travel distance and door swing requirements in Sentences 3.3.1.10.(1) and 3.4.2.5.(2) of the Building Code at 6941 Kennedy Road, Mississauga, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. William Pacey, Vice-President
National Store Planning
Shoppers Drug Mart
Willowdale, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Agris Robeznieks
Chief Building Official
City of Mississauga

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Mr. Rick Florio
Ms. Lesia Beznaczuk

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

May 30th, 1996

APPEARANCES

Mr. David Hine
Morrison Hershfield Limited
For the Applicant

Mr. Frank Spagnolo, Manager
Building and Inspection
City of Mississauga
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. William Pacey, Vice-President, National Store Planning, Shoppers Drug Mart, Mississauga is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a Distribution Centre for Shoppers Drug Mart at 6941 Kennedy Road, Mississauga, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The Shoppers Drug Mart's Distribution Centre is a single storey noncombustible building having a building area of approximately 48,724 m² (524,467 ft²) which is classified as a Group F Division 2 major occupancy. The building is used as a warehouse storing the typical products sold in Shopper Drug Mart retail outlets.

A corner of the warehouse comprising approximately 1.1% of the floor area is allocated for the storage of Level 2 and Level 3 aerosol products such as deodorants, hair sprays, antiperspirants, etc. This area is separated from the remainder of the floor area by a chain link fence.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Sentences 3.3.1.2.(1), 3.3.1.10.(1) and 3.4.2.5.(2) of the Building Code. At issue is whether the aerosol storage cage in Shoppers Drug Mart's Mississauga Distribution Centre should comply with the provisions of Sentence 3.3.1.2.(1) or be considered a Group F, Division 1 Occupancy having to meet the fire separation, travel distance and door swing requirements of Sentences 3.3.1.10.(1) and 3.4.2.5.(2) of the Building Code.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence 3.3.1.2.(1) Definitions of Words and Phrases

  1. Where hazardous substances are used in connection with the activities of any occupancy other than as provided in Subsection 3.3.5. for a Group F, Division 1 occupancy, the storage, handling and use of such substances shall be in conformance with the provisions of the Ontario Fire Code made under the Fire Marshals Act, or in the absence of requirements pertinent to specific substances in the Ontario Fire Code, to good engineering practice such as is described in the publications of the National Fire Code of Canada 1990. (See Appendix A.) (See also Articles 3.1.1.19. and 6.2.2.5.)

Sentence 3.3.1.10.(1) Door Swing

  1. Except as provided in Article 3.3.1.11., every door that opens into a corridor or other facility providing access to exit from a suite or room not located within a suite shall swing on a vertical axis and in the direction of exit travel where the room or suite is used or intended for

    1. an occupant load of more than 60 persons,
    2. a Group F, Division 1 occupancy, or
    3. a hazardous classroom in an elementary or secondary school.

Sentence 3.4.2.5.(2) Location of Exits

  1. Except for a Group F, Division 1 occupancy, Sentence (1) need not apply if exits are placed along the perimeter of the floor area and are not more than 60 m (196 ft 10 in) apart, measured along the perimeter, provided each main aisle in the floor area leads directly to an exit.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the building was designed and constructed to comply with the provisions of Article 3.2.2.55. of the Building Code for construction requirements and Sentence 3.4.2.5.(2) for the location of exits. This sentence is an exemption from complying with the travel distance requirements of the Code if the exits are placed along the perimeter of the floor and are not more than 60 m apart, measured along the perimeter, provided each main aisle in the floor area leads directly to an exit. This exemption applies to all occupancy classifications except for a Group F Division 1 occupancy.

The Applicant submitted that in the design of the Shoppers Drug Mart Distribution Centre, because it was impossible to comply with the travel distance requirements due to the very large size of the building, exits were placed along the perimeter of the floor area at 60 m intervals since the building was classified as a Group F, Division 2 warehouse.

The Applicant submitted that Table 3.1.2.A. of the Code refers to Appendix A for examples of major occupancy classifications. There is nothing in the Appendix under Group F Division 1 which indicates that an aerosol products storage area would constitute an F1 occupancy.

The Applicant submitted that the three aisles inside the aerosol storage cage each have sliding gates at both ends. The occupant load of the cage is only 1 or 2 employees, at certain times. The City of Mississauga indicated that "the doors leading from the area do not meet 3.3.1.10.(1) of the OBC".

Since there is no Group F Division 1 occupancy or an elementary or a secondary school involved and the occupant load is less than 60 persons the Applicant does not think that this Article is applicable. The Applicant, however, submitted that they agreed to install doors in the sliding gates, which will swing on a vertical axis in the direction of exit travel when pressure is applied. This complies with the requirements of Sentence 3.3.1.11.(1).

For structural rigidity of the sliding chain link fence gates, there will be a 2 inch high horizontal bar at the threshold of the swinging doors that will be located within the sliding gate. The Respondent has objected to this 2 inch bar at the threshold of the egress doors from the aerosol storage cage.

The Applicant submitted that he is not aware of any Regulation or Standard that prohibits such a horizontal member at the threshold of a swinging door located inside a sliding partition other than barrier-free requirements, if applicable.

The Applicant summarized it's position, as follows:

i. The aerosol storage cage in Shoppers Drug Mart's Distribution Centre is not a Group F, Division 1 occupancy. The indoor aerosol storage cage complies with the requirements of Sentence 3.3.1.2.(1) of the Building Code.

ii. The 25 m travel distance indicated in Clause 3.4.2.5.(1)(a) does not apply. The exits comply with Sentence 3.4.2.5.(2) of the Building Code.

iii. The door that swings on the vertical axis when a pressure is applied, which contains a horizontal member at the threshold and is installed on the sliding chain link gate for the aerosol storage cage, complies with Sentence 3.3.1.11.(1) of the Building Code.

Alternatively, considering the very limited number of employees that are in the cage temporarily and the familiarity with the surroundings, the Applicant requested the Building Code Commission consider the sufficiency of compliance of the aerosol storage cage with respect to the technical requirements of Sections 3.3. and 3.4 of the Building Code.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the subject of the dispute was with respect to the travel distance and door swing requirements of the aerosol storage area in the warehouse building.

The Respondent submitted that due to the quality and type of material products being stored in this warehouse building, this area should be classified as a Group F, Division 1 occupancy. Therefore, the travel distance and door swing should comply with the requirements of the Building Code for Group F, Division 1 occupancy from this chain link fenced area, in the case of an emergency situation.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the aerosol storage area provides sufficiency of compliance with the provisions of Sentences 3.3.1.2.(1), 3.3.1.10.(1) and 3.4.2.5.(2) of the Building Code provided the area meets all of the requirements of N.F.P.A. 30B for such use.

  1. Reasons:

i. The storage height is limited to 15 feet.

ii. Additional sprinkler protection is provided in accordance with N.F.P.A. 231 and is extended 20 feet beyond the segregated area.

iii. The proposed doors within the gates provided from the caged area allow for safe egress from the room.

iv. All openings in the fencing will be provided with self closing or automatic closing gates.

v. The occupant load of the storage area is limited.

Dated at Toronto, this 30th day, in the month of May, in the year 1996, for application number 1996-23.

Roy Philippe

Rick Florio

Lesia Beznaczuk