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BCC Ruling No. 96-23-506

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #96-23-506

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Articles 9.10.14.1. and 9.10.14.12. 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. Robert Dunlop, Home Owner, Toronto vs. Mr. Dennis Y. Perlin, Chief Building Official, City of Toronto, concerning whether the installation of a sliding glass door in the subject exposing building face complies with Articles 9.10.14.1 and 9.10.14.12. of the Building Code at 222 Rosedale Heights Drive, Toronto, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. Robert Dunlop
Home Owner
222 Rosedale Heights Drive
Toronto, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Dennis Y. Perlin
Chief Building Official
City of Toronto

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Mr. Rick Florio
Mr. Demir Delen

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

August 1st, 1996

APPEARANCES

Mr. Robert Dunlop
Home Owner
222 Rosedale Heights Drive
Toronto, Ontario
The Applicant

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Robert Dunlop, Home Owner, 222 Rosedale Heights Drive, Toronto is an Applicant for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to renovate a kitchen in a two storey single family dwelling at 222 Rosedale Heights Drive, Toronto, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The subject building is a single family two storey brick house.

The Applicant proposed to renovate the kitchen and install a sliding glass door in the rear, solid masonry wall of the house.

The subject exposing building face is angled toward the side property line (e.g. approximately 45 degree to the line). The distance from the property line to the closest part of the glazed area is 2.1 m (6' 7"). The size of the proposed patio door is 6' 10" x 3' 6" (i.e. 2.2 m² or 23.9 ft²).

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns an interpretation of the technical requirements of Articles 9.10.14.1. and 9.10.14.12 of the Building Code. At issue is whether the glazed area of the proposed sliding glass door in the subject exposing building face complies with the Spatial Separation requirements in the Building Code.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article 9.10.14.1. Maximum Percentage of Unprotected Openings

  1. Except as provided in Sentence (2) and in Articles 9.10.14.3. to 9.10.14.11., the maximum percentage of unprotected openings in an exposing building face shall conform to Table 9.10.14.A. or to Subsection 3.2.3., whichever is the least restrictive for the occupancy being considered.

  1. An opening in an exposing building face not more than 130 cm2 (20 in²) shall not be considered an unprotected opening.

Article 9.10.14.12.

  1. For the purposes of application of this Article
    1. the exposing building face may be divided into any number of portions and the fire resistance rating, type of cladding and glazed area limitations may be determined individually for each portion based on the limiting distance for each portion so divided,
    2. the exposing building face may be taken as the projection of the exterior wall onto a vertical plane located so that no portion of the exterior wall of the building is between the vertical plane and the line to which the limiting distance is established in Clause (a), and
    3. for the purpose of determining the actual percentage of glazed areas permitted in an exterior wall, the glazed area shall be projected onto the vertical plane established in clause (b).

  1. Except as required in Article 9.10.14.3., in buildings containing only dwelling units in which there is no dwelling unit above another dwelling unit, the requirements of Article 9.10.14.11. do not apply provided that the exposing building face has a fire resistance rating of not less than 45 min where the limiting distance is less than 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in), and when the limiting distance is less than 0.6 m (23 5/8"), the exposing building face is clad with noncombustible cladding.

  1. Glazed areas in the exposing building face referred to in Sentence (1) shall be permitted if the limiting distance is less than 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) and shall be limited in conformance with the requirements for glazed areas in Table 9.10.14.A. where the limiting distance is 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) or greater.

  1. Where the spatial separation between dwelling units on adjoining properties is registered on the titles of both properties, the spatial separation may be calculated as if the dwelling units were constructed on the same property.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the dispute revolves around a building permit for a kitchen renovation which included the installation of a sliding glass door in the rear, solid masonry wall of a home built in 1927.

The Applicant submitted that:

  1. the building code is somewhat more restrictive for buildings whose walls are not parallel to the lot line, but more importantly,
  2. the lot line in question is the side lot line for the applicant however, it is the rear lot line for the house on the adjoining lots. The City of Toronto Zoning By-law prohibits a building to be constructed closer than 7.5 m to the rear lot line of the adjacent properties.

The Applicant submitted that the according to the National Research Council Commentary on Part 9 of the National Building Code, the original calculations on which the requirements for spatial separation were based were for distances between buildings. A building permit however, only regulates the property on which it was issued, and not on the adjacent properties. The calculated distances were therefore halved, and measured to the property line.

The Applicant submitted that while it is perfectly reasonable for the Building Code to be written in this manner, it is not applicable in this circumstance.

The Applicant submitted that spatial separations are required to reduce thermal radiation and radiation intensity varies inversely as the square from the distance of the source (i.e. if the distance is doubled, the radiation intensity will only be 25%) there will always be more than sufficient spatial separation in this instance. Therefore, the Applicant contends that compliance with the Building Code is being met and a fire door is not required.

Furthermore, the Applicant submitted that the house in question has a fire detection system connected to a central station. The fire department response time should be less than the National Building Code assumption of 15 to 20 minutes.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted the Applicant proposes to add a new unprotected opening in an existing wall facing a property line. Unprotected openings in the same wall already exist less than 1.2 metres to the property line.

The Respondent lacks the authority to deviate from the Building Code.

The Respondent declined to appear before the Building Code Commission at the hearing.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the installation of a sliding glass door in the subject exposing building face provides sufficiency of compliance with Articles 9.10.14.1. and 9.10.14.12. of the Building Code considering the location and angle of the property line.

  1. Reasons:

i. The building is provided with hard wired smoke alarms connected to a central monitoring station.

ii. The property line is irregular and it is the opinion of the Building Code Commission that the opening does not create an undue hazard.

iii. If only the first storey is considered the subject opening would satisfy the Building Code.

Dated at Toronto, this 1st day, in the month of August, in the year 1996, for application number 1996-36.

Roy Philippe

Rick Florio

Demir Delen