Skip to content
You are here > Home > Your Ministry > Ontario Building Code > Appeals & Approvals > Building Code Commission > Rulings of the Building Code Commission > 1995 > BCC Ruling No. 95-45-465

Follow us

BCC Ruling No. 95-45-465

Email this page

BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-45-465

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Clause 3.3.2.5.(1)(a) 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. Ken Mann, Superintendent of Business and Finance, Bruce County Board of Education for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Dan Finlay, Chief Building Official, Township of Amabel, concerning whether a central open area of the corridor system that includes a recessed hexagon pit with fixed benches is required to be separated from the aisle space that surrounds all 6 sides by a 45 minute fire separation, at the Amabel-Sauble Community School, 555 Sauble Falls Pkwy, Sauble Beach, Ontario.

APPLICANT

The Bruce County Board of Education
Chesley, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Dan Finlay
Chief Building Official
Township of Amabel

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Mr. Sang Shim
Ms. Lesia Beznaczuk

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

October 5th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Donald White, Architect
Erdmann W. Knaack, Architect
For the Applicant

Mr. Dan Finlay
Chief Building Official
Township of Amabel
The Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

The Bruce County Board of Education is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a new school (i.e. Amabel-Sauble Community School) at 555 Sauble Falls Parkway, Sauble Beach, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The Amabel-Sauble Community School is a one storey assembly occupancy (i.e. Group A, Division 2) that is provided with a fire alarm system.

The building contains a two hour fire wall that divides the school into building areas of 1764 m? and 1994 m? respectively.

The school has a central open pit area in the corridor system. This area consists of a recessed hexagon pit with three risers from the top to the bottom. At the edge of the pit on the level of the corridor fixed benches are to be installed.

The fixed benches do not reduce the required unobstructed width of the corridor. The fixed benches are intended to provide seating for short periods of time for the students or staff congregating between classes, at recess or lunch hour.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Clause 3.3.2.5.(1)(a) of the Building Code. At issue is whether a central open area of the corridor system that includes a recessed hexagon pit with fixed benches is required to be separated from the aisle space that surrounds all 6 sides by a 45 minute fire separation.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Clause 3.3.2.5.(1)(a) Corridors

  1. Corridors used by the public in assembly occupancies as access to exits shall be separated from the remainder of the building by a fire separation having a fire-resistance rating of not less than 1 h, except that
    1. the fire-resistance rating need not be more than 45 min if the fire-resistance rating of the floor assembly is not required to be more than 45 min

  1. Applicant's Position

There is a central open area of the corridor system that has a recessed hexagon pit surrounded by fixed benches with access aisles spaces on all six sides.

The Applicant submitted that the fixed benches in this central pit area provide seating for short periods of time for students and/or staff congregating between classes, at recess or lunch hour. These benches do not reduce the required unobstructed width of the corridor (i.e. 10 feet wide corridor is maintained around all six sides of the pit benches). The Respondent also submitted that the benches act as a safety barrier to the three steps into the pit which would be a potential hazard if the benches were removed.

The Applicant submitted that the Bruce County Board of Education wishes to have the fixed benches included in the construction of the pit area without a 45 minute fire separation between the pit area and the corridor.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that the pit area is being designed as an assembly area with the provision of fixed benches. As this is part of the corridor system of the school, no other occupancy is allowed. The pit area shall be enclosed by a 45 minute fire separation, with doors having self-closing devices.

The Respondent submitted that an alternative would be to remove the fixed benches from this area.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the central open area of the corridor system that includes a recessed hexagon pit with fixed benches provides sufficiency of compliance with the requirements of the Building Code as this space is not considered an assembly occupancy, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The open pit area is used as a temporary overflow space only (i.e. students and/or staff congregating between classes, at recess or lunch hour).

  1. No furniture or furnishings are permitted to be used in this area.

  1. Reasons:

  1. The required exit width is not reduced by the open pit area.

  1. The travel distance from the open pit to the exits meets the Building Code requirements.

  1. The design intent is that this open area forms part of the corridor system, and is not intended for use as an assembly occupancy.

Dated at Toronto, this 5th day, in the month of October, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-43.

Roy Philippe

Sang Shim

Lesia Beznaczuk