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. 95-37-457

Follow us

BCC Ruling No. 95-37-457

Email this page

BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-37-457

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article 3.1.5.1. & Clause 3.1.5.15.(1)(a) 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 Van Con General Contractors Ltd. for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Bruce Poole, Chief Building Official, City of Guelph, concerning whether the use of combustible pipe traps (i.e. ABS material) servicing basins and sinks in a 6 storey noncombustible residential building will provide sufficiency of compliance with the flame spread rating requirements of the Building Code, at Parkside Place, 72 Woodlawn Rd. East, Guelph, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Van Con General Contractors Ltd.
Guelph, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Bruce Poole
Chief Building Official
City of Guelph

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Mr. Michael Lio
Ms. Susan Friedrich

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

August 3rd, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Mike Fischer, Project Manager
Van Con General Contractors Ltd.
The Applicant

Mr. Brian McCulloch, Associate
James Fryett Architect
Elora, Ontario
For the Applicant

Mr. Robert Reynen
Senior Building Inspector
AND
Mr. Bradley S. Coutts, City Prosecutor City of Guelph
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Van Con General Contractors Ltd. is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a 6 storey noncombustible residential building containing 39 apartment units, at Parkside Place, 72 Woodlawn Rd. East, Guelph, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The structure is a six storey building of non-combustible construction and is designed under Article 3.2.2.37 of the Building Code. Each floor has a maximum of seven two bedroom suites, and is served by two exit stairs. The building has a zoned single stage fire alarm system. Fire detection devices are located in common areas and individual suites. The individual suite air handlers are interlocked to shut down upon activation of the fire detection devices. The garbage and storage areas of the building are sprinklered. The water supply booster pump and emergency/exit lights are powered by a diesel generator. Three sides of the building are accessible to fire department vehicles.

The building plumbing system has been constructed of PVC materials incorporating special fire-stop devices ("doughnuts") at fire separations, and of cast-iron or copper materials with fire stops at fire separations. Where these materials are used together, the PVC is enclosed in a fire resistant wall assembly. The construction of the plumbing system meets with the approval of the local building department. The use of "ABS" piping is limited to only the kitchen and bathroom trap assemblies in each of the 39 unit apartments.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical interpretation of Article 3.1.5.1. & Clause 3.1.5.15.(1)(a) of the Building Code. At issue is the determination of whether the use of combustible pipe traps (i.e. ABS material) servicing basins and sinks in a 6 storey noncombustible residential building will provide sufficiency of compliance with the flame spread rating requirements of the Building Code.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article 3.1.5.1. Noncombustible Materials

Except as permitted in Articles 3.1.5.2. to 3.1.5.21., 3.1.13.4. and 3.2.2.13., where a building or part of a building is required to be of noncombustible construction, the construction shall be made from noncombustible materials.

Clause 3.1.5.15.(1)(a) Combustible Piping Materials

  1. Except as permitted in Clause 3.1.5.2.(1)(e), Sentence (2) and Article 3.1.5.20., combustible totally enclosed raceways, piping and tubing and associated adhesives are permitted to be used in a building required to be of noncombustible construction provided they

    1. have a flame-spread rating of not more than 25, except when concealed in a wall or a concrete floor slab.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the "ABS" plumbing trap material be retained since:

  1. The amount of combustible "ABS" material is limited to a very small portion of the overall plumbing system.

  1. The combustible "ABS" material is minor in comparison to other materials and contents of the apartment.

  1. The traps are typically filled or partially filled with water.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that all kitchen sink, washroom basin and laundry tub traps and associated piping connecting the fixtures to the DWV system are "ABS" material.

The Respondent also submitted that in accordance with Article 3.2.2.37. of the Building Code the building must be of noncombustible construction. Subsection 3.1.5. regulates the use of combustible materials in buildings required to be noncombustible construction. Clause 3.1.5.15.(1)(a) permits combustible piping to be used in a building required to be of noncombustible construction if it has a flame spread rating not more than 25. "ABS" piping has a flame spread rating of 165-230.

The Respondent submitted that the Applicant's proposal does not comply with the Building Code.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the use of "ABS" traps in piping in a non-combustible six storey building does not provide sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

  1. No evidence was provided that the "ABS" piping provides a flame-spread of 25 as required by Clause 3.1.5.15.(1)(a) of the Building Code.

  1. The "ABS" traps are not considered as minor components as described in 3.1.5.2.(1)(h) of the Building Code.

Dated at Toronto, this 3rd day, in the month of August, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-33.

Roy Philippe

Michael Lio

Susan Friedrich