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BCC Ruling No. 95-49-469

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-49-469

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentences 3.4.2.1.(1) & 3.4.7.1.(1) 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 Celanese Canada Inc., Kingston for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Dave Thompson, Chief Building Official, Township of Ernestown, concerning whether the one rated exit and a caged ladder will provide sufficiency of compliance with Sentences 3.4.2.1.(1) & 3.4.7.1.(1) of the Building Code, at Solid State Polymerization Structure for PET Resin Expansion Project, Millhaven Plant, Highway # 33, Kingston, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Celanese Canada Inc.
Kingston, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Dave Thompson
Chief Building Official
Township of Ernestown

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Ms. Susan Friedrich
Mr. Remus Tsang

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

October 19th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Marc J. Simpson
AND
Mr. Mickey Hazard
Celanese Canada Inc.

AND

Mr. John Weylie
AND
Mr. Joe Rose
Kilborn Inc.
For the Applicant

Mr. Andre R. Gravelle
Building Inspector
Township of Ernestown
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Marc J. Simpson, Packaging Resins Manufacturing Manager, Celanese Canada Inc. is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct an eight storey Solid State Polymerization Structure, Millhaven, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The subject building is an 8 storey building classified as a Medium Hazard Industrial Occupancy (Group F, Division 2) having a building area of 278.7 m² (3,000 ft²).

The applicant proposes to install one rated (code complying exit from each floor area) and a second exit by means of a caged ladder for emergency purposes, since the building will not normally be occupied.

The building will be used for a gravity type flow process, with periodic monitoring and maintenance.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Sentences 3.4.2.1.(1) & 3.4.7.1.(1) of the Building Code. At issue is whether the one rated exit and a caged ladder will provide sufficiency of compliance with the exiting requirements of the Building Code.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence 3.4.2.1.(1) Minimum Number of Exits

  1. Except as provided in Sentences (2) to (4), and (6), every floor area as regulated in Article 3.4.1.1. shall be served by not less than 2 exits.

Sentence 3.4.7.1.(1) Scope

  1. Except as provided in Sentence (2), fire escapes shall not be erected on buildings.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the Building Code would require 2 rated exits per floor in an occupied structure. One rated exit is provided adjacent to the elevator shaft on northwest corner. Since the structure is an unoccupied process area, the second exit is provided by means of a caged ladder for emergency exit.

The Applicant also submitted that sufficiency of compliance for two exits per floor is achieved in this unoccupied structure by providing a fully rated exit in the northwest corner and an emergency exit in the form of a caged ladder on the south end of the west wall.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that each floor area is required to be served by two exits. One exit stair is located beside the elevator on the north side of the building. The other in dispute is an exterior fire escape located on the southwest corner of the building which does not constitute as a proper exit for a new building.

The Respondent also submitted that the reasons for non- acceptance of the Applicant's proposal are as follows:

  1. A fire escape on a new buildings is not permitted and therefore can not be considered a required exit.

  1. This ladder type fire escape extends up to 8 floors and is exposed to all weather conditions, thus putting any person who is forced to use it in a life threatening situation.

  1. This is a multi-million dollar construction project. Constructing a required separate second exit would not be expensive to the overall project when this company's policy is "safety first".

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the provision of a ladder does not comply with the Building Code for exit requirements.

  1. Reason:

The structure is considered a building; each level is a storey for exit purposes. A ladder is not deemed an acceptable second means of egress.

Dated at Toronto, this 19th day, in the month of October, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-41.

Roy Philippe

Susan Friedrich

Remus Tsang