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BCC Ruling No. 96-03-486

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #96-03-486

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article 3.2.2.44. and Sentence 3.2.2.12.(1) 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. David Rechtsman, Wild Oak Bay Home Corporation, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Harold Bratten, Chief Building Official, Borough of East York, concerning whether a sprinkler system is required in a greenhouse addition to an existing mercantile occupancy in accordance with Article 3.2.2.44. and Sentence 3.2.2.12.(1) of the Building Code, at 1400 O'Connor Drive, East York, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. David Rechtsman
Concord, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Harold Bratten
Chief Building Official
Borough of East York

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Mr. Michael Lio
Ms. Susan Friedrich

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

January 24th, 1996

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. David Rechtsman, Wild Oak Bay Home Corporation is the is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a greenhouse addition to an existing mercantile occupancy at 1400 O'Connor Drive, East York, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The subject building is a 562 m greenhouse addition to an existing mercantile building.

The existing building consists of a 1,161 m one storey masonry building with an unrated wood roof assembly supported on fire proofed structural steel. The existing building has undergone alterations and three additions were added to it totalling 929 m, t hus making the total building area (new and existing) 2090 m. Both the existing building and additions are protected by a supervised sprinkler system.

The greenhouse is separated from the existing building by a 250 mm (10 inch) thick masonry wall. Access is provided from the existing building into the greenhouse. The construction of the greenhouse provides complete ease of egress from the greenhouse in the event of a fire. The greenhouse structure consists of steel non-fireproofed framing, 4 mm tempered glass roof and sides. The sides, when not used, will be closed by a rolled down canvas. The greenhouse is separated from the main building by a 250 m m (10 inch) thick concrete block wall. There are no permanent exterior nor interior walls in the greenhouse.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Article 3.2.2.44. and Sentence 3.2.2.12.(1) of the Building Code. At issue is whether a sprinkler system is required in a greenhouse addition to an existing mercantile occupancy.

  1. Provisions of the Building Code

Sentence 3.2.2.12.(1) Sprinklers in Lieu of Roof Rating

(1) The requirements in Articles 3.2.2.16. to 3.2.2.62. for roof assemblies to have a fire-resistance rating are permitted to be waived provided

  1. the building is sprinklered,

  1. the sprinkler system in Clause (a) is electrically supervised in conformance with sentence 3.2.4.16.(5), and

  1. the operation of the sprinkler system in Clause (a) will cause a signal to be transmitted to the fire department in conformance with Sentence 3.2.4.7.(3).

Article 3.2.2.44. Mercantile Buildings, up to 3 Storeys

(1) A building classified as Group E shall conform to Sentence (2) provided the building

  1. is not more than 3 storeys in building height, and

  1. has a building area not more than the value in Table 3.2.2.M.

(2) The building shall be of combustible or non-combustible construction used either singly or in combination, and

  1. floor assemblies shall be fire separations with a fire-resistance rating of not less than 45 min,

  1. mezzanines shall have, if of combustible construction, a fire-resistance rating of not less than 45 min,

  1. roof assemblies shall have a fire-resistance rating of not less than 45 min, except that in buildings not more than 1 storey in building height, the fire-resistance rating is permitted to be waived provided the roof assembly is of non-combustible cons truction or is constructed as a fire-retardant treated wood roof system conforming to Article 3.1.14.1., and

i) if unsprinklered, the building area is not more than 1 500 m2 (16,100 ft2), and


(ii) if sprinklered, the building area is not more than;


2 400 m2 (25,800 ft2) if facing 1 street, 3 000 m2 (32,300 ft2) if facing 2 streets, or
3 600 m2 (38,800 ft2) if facing 3 streets,

TABLE 3.2.2.M.

Forming Part of Sentence 3.2.2.44.(1)

No. of
Storeys

Unsprinklered Maximum Area, m² (ft²)

Facing 1 Street

Facing 2 Streets

Facing 3 Streets

1

1 500 (16,100)

1 500 (16,100)

1 500 (16,000)

2

1 200 (12,900)

1 500 (16,100)

1 500 (16,100)

3

800 (8,610)

1000 (10,800)

1 200 (12, 900)

Sprinklered Maximum Area,m² (ft²)

1

4 800 (51,700)

6 000 (64,600)

7 200 (77,500)

2

2 400 (25,800)

3 000 (32,300)

3 600 (38,800)

3

1 600 (17,200)

2 000 (21,500)

2 400 (25,800)

Column 1

2

3

4

(d) all loadbearing walls, columns and arches supporting an assembly required to have a fire-resistance rating shall have a fire resistance rating of not less than 45 min or shall be of non-combustible construction, except that such members and assemblies supporting a fire separation shall have a fire-resistance rating not less than that required for the supported assembly.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the requirement to sprinkler the greenhouse is excessive and should not be required in this instance for the following reasons:

    1. The main building is of concrete block and steel construction and is fully sprinklered in compliance with the Building Code.

    1. The greenhouse is accessory and subordinate to the Occupant's main use and the volume of people will be far less than in the main building.

    1. The building/greenhouse arrangement was not contemplated when the subject Building Code regulation was being developed.

    1. The purpose of the greenhouse is to provide an area of protective covering for plants and therefore the goods offered for sale to the public are non-combustible.

    1. The greenhouse is separated from the building by a 10" concrete block wall.

    1. The nature of the greenhouse construction allows complete ease of access/egress to the public in the event the need to exit the greenhouse should ever arise.

    1. There is such a degree of sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code that sprinklering the greenhouse should not be a requirement in this instance.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that Article 3.2.2.44. and Sentence 3.2.2.12.(1) require mercantile buildings in excess of 1500 m (16,100 ft) to be sprinklered and that the sprinkler system may be substituted in lieu of a fire rated roof assembly.

The Respondent submitted that the existing 1,161 m (12,500 ft) one storey, masonry building has an unrated wood roof assembly supported on structural steel fire proofed by sprayed-on fire proofing. The existing building has undergone alterations and three new additions were added to it totalling 929 m (10,000 ft)and making the total building area (new and existing) 2090 m (22,500 ft). Both the existing building and the additions are prot ected by a supervised sprinkler system.

The Respondent submitted that a permit was issued for a sprinklered 562 m (6,048 ft) greenhouse structure to be placed immediately to the west of the main building with its gables flashed against the main building.

The Respondent submitted that the Applicant does not wish to sprinkler the greenhouse structure.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that not providing sprinklering for the greenhouse provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code provided

  1. an annual permit be obtained as required if the structure was temporary in nature, reconfirming its use for the display and sale of horticultural products; and

  1. combustible storage be limited and considered as outdoor public storage under the Fire Code for exposure hazard.

It is also the decision of the Building Code Commission that the tempered glass used on the sloping roof does not provide sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

    1. The unheated structure is used seasonally.

    1. The structure is non-combustible construction.

    1. The unenclosed greenhouse provides unlimited means of egress.

    1. The existing building is sprinklered and is separated from the greenhouse by masonry walls.

    1. Fire-spread through unprotected openings is addressed through the combustible storage provisions of the Fire Code.

    1. The proposed structure of mercantile use is not a low human occupancy building as described in CAN/CGSB-12.20-M89 Structural Design of Glass for Buildings as referenced in Part 4 of the Building Code.

    1. CAN/CGSB-12.20-M89 does not permit the use of tempered glass alone for sloped glazing and skylights since no restraining system is provided to prevent glass particles from falling in the event of glass breakage.

Dated at Toronto this 24th day in the month of January in the year 1996 for application number 1995-67

Roy Philippe

Michael Lio

Susan Friedrich