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BCC Ruling No. 95-41-461

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-41-461

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article 9.32.3.1. of Revised Regulation of Ontario 1990, Regulation 61, as amended by O.Regs. 400/91, 158/93, 160/93 and 383/94 and 20/95 (the "Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Orchardview Village Inc., Grimsby for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. John Schonewille, Chief Building Official, Town of Grimsby concerning whether the dwelling units should be categorized as "Type III" which requires the mechanical ventilation system to be designed under Part 6 of the Building Code, at Orchardview Townhomes, 165 Mainstreet East, Grimsby, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Orchardview Village Inc.

RESPONDENT

Mr. John Schonewille
Chief Building Official
Town of Grimsby

PANEL

Roy Philippe, Chair
Michael Lio
Sang Shim

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

August 22, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Gerry Brogan, President
Rescom Air Systems
For the Applicant

Mr. John Schonewille
Chief Building Official
Town of Grimsby
The Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Orchardview Village Inc. is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a 16 unit residential townhouse condominium, at Orchardview Townhomes, 165 Main Street East, Grimsby, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The building under dispute is a 16 unit townhouse condominium with self-contained heating and mechanical ventilation systems. Each unit has a fan assisted combustion gas furnace utilizing a Type "B" vent assembly and a direct vent water heater.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical interpretation of Article 9.32.3.1. of the Building Code. At issue is whether the dwelling units should be categorized as "Type III" which requires the mechanical ventilation system to be designed under Part 6 of the Building Code.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article 9.32.3.1. General

  1. For the purposes of this Subsection a non-solid fuel-fired appliance shall be classified as

    1. direct vented whereby the combustion air is supplied directly from the outdoors to the combustion chamber via a sealed passageway, and the products of combustion are exhausted directly outdoors through an independent sealed vent,
    2. mechanically vented induced draft whereby combustion air is supplied from within the building envelope and the products of combustion are positively conveyed to the outdoors by means of a dedicated sealed vent, or
    3. atural draft whereby combustion air is supplied from within the building envelope and the products of combustion are conveyed to the outdoors through a chimney or Type B vent.

  1. For the purposes of this Subsection a dwelling unit shall be categorized as

  1. Type I when

i. all fuel-fired combustion appliances located in the dwelling unit are direct vented or except for fireplaces, are mechanically vented induced draft, and

ii. the dwelling unit does not contain a solid fuel- fired combustion appliance,

  1. Type II when a solid fuel-fired combustion appliance is installed in a Type I dwelling unit,
  2. Type III when a mechanically vented induced draft non- solid fuel-fired fire-place or a natural draft appliance is present, or
  3. Type IV when electric space heating is present.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the initial submission for a permit was for a mid efficient furnace with sidewall venting and a direct vent water heater. During 1994 the use of sidewall vent material was discontinued because of problems. At additional expense the builder elected to use a Type "B" vent system for the furnace and still keep the direct vent water heater. The Applicant submitted that this falls within the category of a Type I house since the furnace is a positive venting induced draft type, and the hot water tank is direct vented.

The Applicant submitted that none of these appliances are classified as natural draft. The Applicant also submitted that connecting a mechanically vented induced draft furnace to a Type "B" vent does not change the furnace to a natural draft. It does not have a draft diverter which negates the possibility of spillage.

The Applicant submitted that the furnace is listed by the manufacturer with Canadian Gas Association (CGA) as Type I category using a Type "B" vent. The Applicant also submitted that the gas utilities have verified the equipment, installation, listing, manufacturers and Code requirements.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that Building Code classifies a non-solid fuel-fired furnace utilizing a Type "B" vent for conveying products of combustion as a natural draft appliance and therefore, the dwelling is categorized as Type III. The mechanical ventilation system of a Type III dwelling must be designed and installed in accordance with Part 6 of the Building Code.

The Respondent submitted that in order to determine the design criteria for a residential mechanical ventilation system the fuel-fired appliances must be classified as either direct vented, mechanically vented induced draft or natural draft as defined in Sentence 9.32.3.1.(1) of the Building Code. Once all the appliances are classified, the dwelling unit type must be categorized as per Sentence 9.32.3.1.(2). (i.e. Type I, II, III or IV).

The mechanical ventilation system shall be designed under Part 6 of the Building Code, however, in a Type I, II and IV dwelling unit, Subsection 9.32.3. may be used.

The Respondent also submitted that the furnace installation in all units at the subject property utilizes a Type "B" vent to convey the products of combustion to the outdoors. This installation classifies the furnace as a natural draft appliance based on Sentence 9.32.3.1.(1)(c). The presence of a natural draft appliance categorizes the dwelling units as Type III as per Sentence 9.32.3.1.(2)(c), therefore, the mechanical ventilation system shall be designed under Part 6 of the Building Code.

The Respondent submitted that the initial submission for a building permit was based on a mechanically vented induced draft furnace with sidewall venting and a direct vent water heater. These appliance classes would categorize the dwelling units as Type I and permit a Part 9 mechanical ventilation design. The contractor took the liberty of changing this installation to one incorporating a Type "B" vent without prior written authorization of the Chief Building Official.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the dwelling units are categorized as Type III dwellings as defined in Article 9.32.3.1. of the Building Code which requires the mechanical ventilation system to be designed under Part 6 of the Building Code.

  1. Reason:

The installed Type "B" vent is not considered a dedicated sealed vent that positively conveys products of combustion to the outdoors.

Dated at Toronto, this 22th day, in the month of August, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-37.

Roy Philippe

Michael Lio

Sang Shim