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BCC Ruling No. 96-58-541

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article 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. Mohammed Mohebbi, Project Architect, Plaston Architect Ltd., Scarborough, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Mani Navabi, Chief Building Official, Ontario, concerning whether the ventilation requirements for an automobile showroom and new car delivery area are subject to Article of the Ontario Building Code at the Volvo Villa Flagship, 212 Steeles Avenue West, Vaughan, Ontario.


Mr. Mohammed Mohebbi
Project Architect
Plaston Architect Ltd.
Scarborough, Ontario


Mr. Mani Navabi
Chief Building Official
City of Vaughan


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


Toronto, Ontario


February 13th, 1997


Mr. Mohammed Mohebbi
Project Architect
Plaston Architect Ltd
The Applicant

Mr. Steve Penna
Technical Supervisor
City of Vaughan
The Respondent


  1. The Applicant

Mr. Mohammed Mohebbi, Plaston Architect Ltd., is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct at the "Volvo Villa Flagship" new car dealership at 212 Steeles Avenue West, Vaughan, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The subject building is a 2 storey commercial building with an F2 major occupancy of non-combustible construction and a building area of 1,892 square metres. The car dealership is proposing a showroom area in the basement and on the main floor, and a car delivery area.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and the Respondent concerns whether the ventilation requirements of a showroom and car delivery area are to be considered upon the requirements of Section and Sentence, or, are to be considered as a storage garage and comply with the ventilation requirements of Section of the Building Code.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence Required Ventilation

3. "Except for Group C and Group F occupancies, mechanical ventilation throughout the occupied zone shall be not less than 7.5 L/s (15.9 cfm) per person of outdoor air."

Article Ventilation of Storage and Repair Garages

  1. " enclosed storage garage shall have a mechanical ventilation system designed to ...(b) provide, during operating hours, a continuous supply of fresh air at a rate equal to not less than 3.9 L/s (8.3 cfm) for each square metre of floor area..."

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the mechanical ventilation for the showroom and new car delivery area should be designed based upon the area being a Group E mercantile occupancy. The Applicant further submitted that the areas have air handling units which exceed the requirements for Group E major occupancies

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the automobile showrooms and new car delivery area are to be considered as storage garages and required to comply with Article In addition, the Respondent indicated that the Building Code requires a mechanical ventilation system even when vehicles are parked by mechanical means, because of the concern that when vehicles are being parked or stored in a building there is a potential for carbon monoxide contamination within the occupied space.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the ventilation requirements for the automobile showrooms and the new car delivery areas are not subject to the requirements of Article of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

i. The showrooms are not considered storage garages and are subject to of the Building Code.

ii. The show rooms are intended for display of motor vehicles.

iii. The ventilation air handling systems are provided with CO detectors.

iv. A branch opinion is being prepared to clarify the definition of storage garage and storage of vehicles for display purposes.

Dated at Toronto, this 13th day, in the month of February, in the year 1997, for application number 1997-01.

Roy Philippe

Michael Steele

Demir Delen