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BCC Ruling No. 96-12-495

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentences and 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. Bob Brown, Supervisor of Corporate Development, City of Brampton for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Percy Hornblow, Chief Building Official, City of Brampton, concerning whether a building containing four hockey rinks is to be classified as a single storey building with a mezzanine or whether it should be classified as a two storey building in accordance with Sentence and of the Ontario Building Code, at Brampton Southwest Recreation Centre - Phase 1, 500 Ray Lawson Boulevard, Brampton, Ontario.


Mr. Bob Brown
Supervisor of Corporate Development & Capital
City of Brampton


Mr. Percy Hornblow
Chief Building Official
City of Brampton


Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Mr. Demir Delen
Mr. Remus Tsang


Toronto, Ontario


April 16th, 1996


Mr. Leszek Muniak
Larden Muniak Consulting Inc.
For the Applicant

Ms. Brenda Campbell
Manager of Plans and Permits
City of Brampton
For the Respondent


  1. The Applicant

Mr. Bob Brown, Supervisor of Corporate Development is an applicant for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a building containing four hockey rinks at 500 Ray Lawson Boulevard, Brampton, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The subject building is intended to be a Group A, Division 3 major occupancy (i.e. arena) with a variety of subsidiary occupancies.

The buildings will contain four hockey rinks, each of which will be provided with change rooms for the players, referee rooms, public washrooms and snack bars on the main level. The second level will contain a restaurant and a viewing gallery for Rink 1 and 2. Rink 3 and 4 will not have viewing galleries associated within the rinks but will have a viewing area from the restaurant on the second level. Rinks 1 and 2 will also have viewing areas from the restaurant.

The area of the open viewing galleries for Rinks 1 and 2 is approximately 530 m². The area of the upper lobby, restaurant, associated kitchen and administrative offices is approximately 780 m?. The area to the west of the viewing galleries, including a corridor which functions as an access to exit to the systems rooms and a mechanical room, is approximately 315 m².

The total building area of the structure is approximately 9239 m². The total of the second level, excluding the viewing galleries, is approximately 1050 m². The building will be fully sprinklered.

In addition to the second level, there are two roof top mechanical spaces which do not contribute to the overall height of the building in storeys. A third mechanical room is located on the west side of the building. This mechanical room has an area of 107 m?. This mechanical room is included in the 1050 m? second level area.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent an interprettation of the technical requirements of Sentence and of the Building Code. At issue is whether a building containing four hockey rinks is to be classified as a single storey building with a mezzanine or whether it should be classified as a two storey building.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence Exceptions to Building Height in Storeys

  1. Space under tiers of seats in buildings of the arena type shall not be considered as adding to the building height provided such space is used only for a purpose incidental to the major occupancy of the building, such as for dressing rooms or concession stands.


4. Except as provided in Sentence (5), a mezzanine shall not be required to be considered as a storey in calculating building height and need not conform to Sentence (3) where the aggregate area of the mezzanine floor does not exceed 10 per cent of the area of

  1. the suite in which it is located, where there is more than one suite in the storey, or

  1. the storey in which it is located, in all other cases.

  1. Applicant's Position

The following information was submitted by the Applicant:

The original design of the building included a mezzanine which was approximately 9.9% of the first floor area. This second level discounted the viewing gallery seating and access to seating areas serving Rinks 1 and 2. In addition, in the original design, three roof top mechanical rooms were included. Two of the roof top mechanical rooms had areas of approximately 317 m². The third floor roof top mechanical room, because of its equipment, had a much larger area. During the course of design, the third or westernmost roof top mechanical room configuration was changed to permit the equipment to be installed vertically instead of horizontally. This required the mechanical room to extend above the roof for air intake purposes and below the roof for equipment installation. Initially, this equipment room was installed partially below the roof level but approximately 2 m above the floor surface of the second level. Further revisions to the equipment resulted in the mechanical room being dropped to the same level of the building with a large portion of the mechanical room extending through the roof in order to provide equipment height and air intake openings. Its area finalized at 107 m².

This change in the mechanical room resulted in the building being classified as a two storey building because the area contributed by the mechanical room as an additional area to the second level rendered the total second level area at approximately 11.4%. Without the mechanical room, the area of the second level is 10.2% of the first storey.

In addition, the building department was unwilling to allow the deduction of the walking surface which serve the viewing gallery seating in accordance with Sentence The position of the building department was that only the seating areas may be deducted, whereas the horizontal walking surfaces must be considered as contributing to the overall height of the building. This change brought the total area of the second floor to approximately 11.7% of the overall area of the first storey.

Conclusion: This type of building contains a second level of which less than 10% will be used as public access in order to watch events occurring on the hockey rinks below. The spaces which will only periodically be occupied by, at most, two or three individuals in a service capacity do not constitute any detriment to life safety of the overall building occupants or to fire fighters should a fire occur.

It is the opinion of the Applicant that the design as proposed, including full sprinklering of all arena spaces and all public amenity spaces throughout the entire building, along with the 2 h fire resistance rated enclosure for the mechanical room from the second floor where the Building Code only requires a 1 h fire resistance rated enclosure, and the full sprinklering of the mechanical room, provides sufficiency of compliance with the life safety intent to the Building Code.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the aggregate area of the mezzanine is 1752.9 m? or 18.97% of the storey in which it is located.

The Respondent submitted that the definition of the floor area in the building code excludes exits, vertical service spaces and their enclosing assemblies. The exclusion of these spaces results in a mezzanine area of 1619.6 m? or 17.5% of the floor area.

The Respondent submitted that the exclusion of the service room and corridors still results in a mezzanine area slightly greater that the minimum 10% permitted.

The Respondent further submitted that the municipality's decision not to support the Applicant's proposal was based on the following factors:

  • The building will be under three separate tenancies making a coordinated fire safety plan difficult.

  • Provision for exiting. The minimum of two exits is provided from the restaurant/arcade area, one of which leads through a lobby. The occupant load of the restaurant/arcade is 300. The exit through the lobby also serves as on of the two exits provided for the viewing galleries of the 2 arenas (combined occupant load of 500).

  1. Commission Ruling:

t is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the building provides sufficiency of compliance with Article of the Building Code as a single storey with mezzanine.

  1. Reasons:

i. The sprinkler densities exceed those required by the building hazard classification.

ii. In addition the 1 hour fire separation provides sufficient structural integrity from fire for evacuation purposes.

iii. The mezzanine area does not significantly exceed 10% of the total floor area.

Dated at Toronto, this 16th day, in the month of April, in the year 1996, for application number 1996-07.

Roy Philippe

Demir Delen

Remus Tsang