Skip to content
You are here > Home > Your Ministry > Ontario Building Code > Appeals & Approvals > Building Code Commission > Rulings of the Building Code Commission > 1996 > BCC Ruling No. 96-04-487

Follow us

BCC Ruling No. 96-04-487

Email this page

BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #96-04-487

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Clause 3.7.3.4.(1)(e) & (f) 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. Peter Hryhorchuk, Plummer Memorial Public Hospital, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Joe LaRue, Chief Building Official, City of Sault Ste. Marie, concerning whether the guard and handrail on an exterior barrier free access ramp provides sufficiency of compliance with Clause 3.7.3.4.(1)(e) & (f) of the Building Code, at the Oncology Unit, Plummer Memorial Public Hospital, 969 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. Peter Hryhorchuk
Plummer Memorial Public Hospital
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Joe LaRue
Chief Building Official
City of Sault Ste. Marie

PANEL

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

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

February 13th, 1996

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Peter Hryhorchuk, Plummer Memorial Public Hospital is an applicant for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a new exterior barrier free ramp that serves a newly enclosed secondary entrance to the Oncology Unit, 969 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The Applicant proposes to construct an 1100 mm wide exterior concrete side walk where the gradient of 1:17 requires the side walk to be considered a ramp. The grade adjacent to both sides of the ramp is 100 mm below the ramp surface.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Clause 3.7.3.4.(1)(e) & (f) of the Building Code. At issue is whether the barrier free guard and handrail requirements for ramps need be applied to the access provided for patience visiting the Oncology Unit of Plummer Memorial Hospital.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Clause 3.7.3.4.(1)(e) Ramps

  1. Ramps located in a barrier-free path of travel shall

    1. have a minimum width of 870 mm (2 ft 10 in) between handrails,

    1. have a maximum gradient of 1 in 12,

    1. have a level area of at least 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) by 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) at top and bottom of a ramp and where a door is located in a ramp, so that the level area extends at least 600 mm (23 5/8 in) beyond the latch side of the door opening, except that where the door opens away from the ramp, the area extending beyond the latch side of the door opening may be reduced to 300 mm (11 3/4 in),

    1. have a level area at least 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) long and at least the same width as the ramp

i. at intervals of not more than 9 m (29 ft 6 in) along its length, and

ii. where there is an abrupt change in the direction of the ramp,

    1. except as provided in Sentence (2), be equipped with handrails and guards on both sides conforming to Articles 3.4.6.4. and 3.4.6.5., and

    1. be provided with a curb at least 50 mm (2 in) high on any side of the ramp where no solid enclosure or guard is provided.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that this is an exterior side walk in a landscaped area where the gradient 1:17 requires the ramp definition to apply. The grade adjacent to the ramp on both sides is within 100 mm of the ramp surface.

The Applicant submitted that the requirement under Clause 3.7.3.4.(1)(e) of the Building Code for a guard on an exterior barrier free ramp where no hazard exists, seems unnecessary.

The Applicant proposed to provide a 920 mm high handrail on both sides of the ramp in lieu of a 1070 mm high guard. The Applicant submitted that this arrangement meets the intent of the Barrier Free Access requirements.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that there are two Building Code issues. The first is the matter of Clause 3.7.3.4.(1)(e) which requires a guard on both sides of the barrier free ramp regardless of the difference in elevation from the ramp surface to the adjacent ground. The second issue relates to the mounting height of the handrail and the minimum height of the guard. Sentence 3.7.3.4.(1)(e) requires the handrail and guard on the Barrier Free Ramp to conform to Articles 3.4.6.4. and 3.4.6.5. which requires the minimum height of the guard to be 1070 mm while the handrail cannot be higher than 920 mm.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the handrails on both sides of the ramp located at 920 mm in height designed as a guard provides sufficiency of compliance with Clause 3.7.3.4.(1)(e) & (f) of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

i. A horizontal rail at not more than 50 mm above the ramp has been provided which would prevent the front wheels of a wheel chair from turning off the ramp.

ii. The differential elevation between the existing grade and the ramp is less than 100 mm.

iii. Providing a handrail at 920 mm is considered adequate for the intended purpose.

Dated at Toronto, this 13th day, in the month of February, in the year 1996, for application number 1996-03.

Roy Philippe

Demir Delen

Remus Tsang