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BCC Ruling No. 96-05-488

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #96-05-488

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Articles 9.8.4.1., 9.8.5.2. and 9.8.5.3. 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. Bazz Van Willigen, Vice President, Monarch Construction for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Jim Witmer, Chief Building Official, City of Kitchener, concerning whether the interior stair conforms to Article 9.8.4.1., 9.8.5.2 and 9.8.5.3. of the Building Code, being the Rosemere Model, Lot 58, 83 Windrush Trail, Kitchener, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. Bazz Van Willigen
Monarch Construction
Kitchener, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Jim Witmer
Chief Building Official
City of Kitchener

PANEL

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

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

February 13th, 1996

APPEARANCES

Mr. Wayne Cassidy
Cassidy & Co. Architectural Technologists Inc.
AND
Mr. Jerry Vernhout, Vice President
Monarch Construction Limited
For the Applicant

Mr. Jim Whitmer
Chief Building Official
City of Kitchener
The Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Bazz Van Willigen, Vice President is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a single family dwelling (i.e. house) at Lot 58, 83 Windrush Trail, Kitchener, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The subject building is a two storey single family dwelling (i.e. house). The stairs connecting the main floor and the second storey is the subject of the dispute.

The stairs contain an intermediate portion (i.e. landing or large tread) between the floor levels where the stairs have a 45 degree change in direction. The Applicant contends that the stair is designed as a curved stair. The respondent states that the landing does not meet the requirements for landings.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Articles 9.8.4.1. 9.8.5.2. and 9.8.5.3. of the Building Code. At issue is whether the intermediate portion of the stair design is a landing or curved portion of the stair.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article 9.8.4.1. Dimensions of Landings

Landings shall be at least as wide and as long as the width of stairs in which they occur, except that the length of landing for exterior stairs serving not more than 1 dwelling unit need not exceed 900 mm (2 ft 11 in), and the length of landing for all other stairs in a straight run need not exceed 1100 mm (3ft 7 in).

Article 9.8.5.2. Curved Stairs not in Exits

kExcept as permitted in Article 9.8.5.3., a curved stair not required as an exit shall have an average run of not less than 200 mm (77/8 in) and a minimum run of 150 mm (57/8 in) and shall have risers conforming to Article 9.8.3.1.

Article 9.8.5.3. Winders

  1. Stairs within dwelling units may contain winders that converge to a centre point provided the winders turn through an angle of not more than 90§and individual treads turn through an angle of 30§.

  1. Only one set of winders described in Sentence (1) shall be permitted between floor levels.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the stairs comply with Article 9.8.5.2. of the Building Code. The Applicant submitted that the stair is designed as a curved stair and in no way compromises the intent of the Building Code or public safety. This stair has been used many times on a number of Monarch Construction sites.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the existing stair configuration does not meet the requirements for landings in Article 9.8.4.1. The landing length is not as wide as the width of the stairs, nor does it comply with the requirements of Article 9.8.2.1. for uniform treads and risers. The large intermediate portion is not uniform in its design for the entire run of the stairs.

The Respondent questioned the applicability of Article 9.8.5.2. for these stairs.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the existing stair configuration provides sufficiency of compliance with Articles 9.8.4.1., 9.8.5.2. and 9.8.5.3. of the Building Code.

  1. Reason:

Information on past performance where the design has been used in Ontario indicates no adverse effect on safety with respect to movement up and down the stairs.

Dated at Toronto, this 13th day, in the month of February, in the year 1996, for application number 1996-04.

Roy Philippe

Delen Demir

Remus Tsang