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BCC Ruling No. 96-37-520

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #96-37-520

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentence 3.2.8.2.(6) 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. W.E. (Ted) Wilson, Project Architect, Totten Sims Hubicki Associates, Cobourg for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Jeff Chalmers, Chief Building Official, City of Peterborough, concerning whether not sprinklering the interconnected floor space designated as student lounge due to the precedent of non-sprinklered interconnected floor space in the existing building provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 3.2.8.2.(6) of the Building Code at the Sir Sandford Fleming College, 599 Brealey Drive, Peterborough, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. W.E. (Ted) Wilson
Project Architect
Totten Sims Hubicki Associates
Cobourg, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Jeff Chalmers
Chief Building Official
The City of Peterborough
Peterborough, Ontario

PANEL

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

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

August 1st, 1996

APPEARANCES

Mr. W.E. (Ted) Wilson, Project Architect
Totten Sims Hubicki Associates
Cobourg, Ontario
AND
Mr. Frank Dalley, Physical Resources Officer
Sir Sandford Fleming College
The Applicants

Mr. Jeff Chalmers
Chief Building Official
AND
Mr. Robert J. (Bob) Waldron
Building Inspector/Plans Examiner
The City of Peterborough
The Respondents

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. W.E. (Ted) Wilson, Project Architect, Totten Sims Hubicki Associates, Cobourg, is an applicant for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to convert a former indoor swimming pool to a student lounge at the Sir Sandford Fleming College, 599 Brealey Drive, Peterborough, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The subject of the dispute is the new student centre at Sir Sandford Fleming College. The building is classified as an Assembly Occupancy, Division 2 (i.e. A-2). The college is 3 storeys in building height and includes a basement. The building area is 9982 m² (107,445 ft²). The building is of noncombustible construction, and contains a fire alarm system and a standpipe and hose system. The building is not protected by a automatic sprinkler system.

The area being renovated was formerly a indoor swimming pool which is proposed to be a student lounge. The bottom of the pool is being lowered to the level of the basement, creating a 2 storey lounge comprising the basement and lounge level. The two levels of the lounge are proposed to be connected by open stairs with no fire separation between the upper and lower floor areas. However, a 1 hour fire separation is proposed between the interconnected floor space and the remainder of the building.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns the sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Sentence 3.2.8.2.(6) of the Building Code. At issue is whether the interconnected floor space designated as student lounge need be protected by an automatic sprinkler system.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence 3.2.8.2.(6) Exceptions to Special Protection

  1. An interconnected floor space need not conform to the requirements of Articles 3.2.8.3. to 3.2.8.11. provided

    1. the interconnected floor space consists of the first storey, and the storey next above or below it, but not both,
    2. the interconnected floor space is sprinklered, and
    3. the interconnected floor space contains only Group A, Division 1 or 2, Group D, Group E, or Group F, Division 3 major occupancies.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the interconnected floor space designated as Student Lounge should be considered as not requiring sprinklering based on the precedent of non-sprinklered interconnected floor space in the existing building.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the Applicant is proposing an unsprinklered interconnected floor space consisting of the basement and the storey above, and proposes to separate the interconnected floor space from the remainder of the building by a 1 hour fire separation in lieu of sprinklers.

The Respondent submitted that the interconnected floor space must be sprinklered, for the following reasons:

i. Sentence 3.2.8.2.(6) of the Building Code requires a interconnected floor space to be sprinklered,

ii. the proposed 1 hour fire separation between the lounge and the remainder of the building does not provide relief from having to sprinkler the interconnected floor space. It provides relief from having to sprinkler the entire storey; and,

iii. although both levels of the lounge are served by adequate exits, they cannot be viewed as providing relief from the requirements for the interconnected floor spaces.

The Respondent submitted that the existing building contains what appears to be an unsprinklered interconnected floor space, consisting of the cafeteria and the floor next above it. The cafeteria is separated from the remainder of the storey by a fire separation. The Respondent further submitted that at the time this may have been viewed as one storey and one fire compartment on different levels, which would be consistent with the buildings split level design.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that not sprinklering the interconnected floor space designated as a student lounge does not provide sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 3.2.8.2.(6) of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

i. No proposed alternatives other than a 1 hour vertical fire separation were provided to allow the Commission to consider sufficiency of compliance.

ii. The construction does create an interconnected floor space and the provisions of Sentence 3.2.8.2.(6) of the Building Code apply.

Dated at Toronto, this 1st day, in the month of August, in the year 1996, for application number 1996-40.

Roy Philippe

Rick Florio

Demir Delen