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BCC Ruling No. 95-53-473

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-53-473

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Clause 3.2.2.52.(1)(b) of the Revised Regulation of Ontario 1990, Regulation 61, as amended by O.Regs. 400/91, 158/93, 160/93, 355/94 and 20/95 (the "Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. Jack McGee, President, Jack McGee Holdings Ltd. for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Jeff Chalmers, Chief Building Official, City of Peterborough, concerning whether increasing the allowable unsprinklered building area of 2,400 m² (25,800 ft²) by 142 m² (1529 ft²) and providing fire access routes to all four sides of the existing building and proposed addition will provide sufficiency of compliance with the sprinklering provisions in Clause 3.2.2.52.(1)(b) of the Building Code, at Jack McGee Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-Cadillac Ltd., 1053 Clonsilla Avenue, Peterborough, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. Jack McGee, President
Jack McGee Holdings Ltd.
Peterborough, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Jeff Chalmers
Chief Building Official
City of Peterborough

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Mr. Michael Lio
Mr. Kenneth Bacon

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

November 10th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Gordon W. Gilbert, Project Architect
M.B. Finney Limited
AND
Mr. Barry Whitnell
Westmont Engineering Construction Co. Ltd.
For the Applicant

Mr. Ken Guthrie
City of Peterborough
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Jack McGee, President, Jack McGee Holdings Ltd. is the applicant for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a vehicle showroom addition to the existing automobile dealership building, at Jack McGee Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-Cadillac Ltd., 1053 Clonsilla Avenue, Peterborough, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The existing building is a two storey building of combustible construction with a building area of 2235 m² (24,059 ft²). A single storey addition of 304 m² (3,270 ft²) is proposed at the south-west corner, resulting in a combined building area of 2,539 m² (27,329 ft²). The proposed new addition is of combustible construction, and fire access routes are provided to all four sides of the building. Most of the main floor is used for functions related to car servicing and body work. The showroom occupies only about 17% of the main floor. The second floor is used for parts storage and offices.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Clause 3.2.2.52.(1)(b) of the Building Code. At issue is whether increasing the allowable unsprinklered building area of 2,400 m² (25,800 ft²) by 142 m² (1,529 ft²) i.e. 6 percent and providing fire access routes to all four sides of the existing building and proposed addition will negate the need to provide an automatic sprinkler system.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Clause 3.2.2.52.(1)(b) Industrial Buildings, Division 2, up to 4 Storeys

  1. A building classified as Group F, Division 2 shall conform to Sentence (2) provided the building

    1. is not more than 4 storeys in building height,
    2. if unsprinklered, has a building area not more than the value in Table 3.2.2.T., and
    3. if sprinklered, is not more than twice the area limits of Clause (b).

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the proposed vehicle showroom addition of 3,151 ft² when added to the existing dealership building of 2235 m² (24,059 ft²), slightly exceeds the 2,400 m² (25,800 ft²) of maximum allowable building area for an unsprinklered building facing 3 streets.

The Applicant submitted that the new combustible construction conforms to the existing building construction. The proposed new showroom area when added to the existing building area exceeds the maximum allowable building area by 142 m² (1,529 ft²) for a two storey unsprinklered building facing three streets. Except for a 1.5 m (5 ft) grass perimeter strip, asphalt paving covers the entire site permitting fire access routes on all four sides of the building.

The Building Code does not give credit for buildings facing "four streets", an advantage the Applicant submitted should be considered for the proposed 27,329 ft² building.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the proposed addition results in a building area greater than permitted by the Article 3.2.2.52. of the Building Code for a building of combustible construction.

The Respondent submitted that the Building Code provides solutions such as reducing building area by constructing a firewall, or doubling allowable building area by sprinkling the building. The applicant wishes to increase allowable building area by providing fire access routes so the building can be considered to face 4 streets. The Building Code does not give credit for facing more than 3 streets.

The Respondent also submitted that only one face on the building perimeter is within 90 m of a hydrant. Therefore, the building does not meet the requirement to be considered to face 3 streets. It is the position of the Respondent that the building only faces one street.

The Respondent stated that the municipality supports the Applicant's position provided an additional hydrant is installed making the building face 3 streets.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the proposed addition provides sufficiency of compliance with Article 3.2.2.52. of the Building Code for buildings facing three streets, provided an additional fire hydrant is installed in accordance with Article 3.2.5.8. of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

  1. The proposed addition is small accounting for less than 15% of the total building area.

  1. The building has been provided with a number of fire separations between areas within the building.

  1. Approximately 40% of the existing building is of non-combustible construction
  2. Fire access routes have been provided around the entire perimeter of the building.

Dated at Toronto, this 10th day, in the month of November, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-54.

Roy Philippe

Michael Lio

Kenneth Bacon