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BCC Ruling No. 95-33-453

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-33-453

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article 3.1.3.3. and Sentence 2.1.3.1.(1) of the Revised Regulation of Ontario 1990, Regulation 61, as amended by O.Regs. 400/91, 158/93, 160/93 and 355/94 (the "Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. Bryce Eldridge, Superintendent of Plant & Planning, York Region Roman Catholic Separate School Board, Aurora for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Stephen Willdig, Chief Building Official, Region of York, Town of Georgina, concerning whether the provision of a sprinkler system and a 1 hour fire separation between the public pool and the remainder of the facility will provide sufficiency of compliance with the provision of a two hour firewall and thereby permit the remainder of the facility (i.e. all other portions than the leisure pool) to be developed under the classification of an A-2 occupancy, at Sutton Multi-Use Facility, Black River Road, Sutton, Ontario.

APPLICANT

York Region Roman Catholic
Separate School Board
Aurora, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Michael Lio, Chair
Chief Building Official
Town of Georgina

PANEL

Mr. Michael Lio, Chair
Mr. Demir Delen
Ms. Susan Friedrich

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

June 28th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Laird Robertson
Project Architect
C.A. Ventin Architect Ltd.
Simcoe, Ontario
For the Applicant

Mr. Scott Simpson
Building Inspector
Town of Georgina
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Bryce Eldridge, Superintendent of Plant & Planning, York Region Roman Catholic Separate School Board, Aurora is an applicant for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a two storey multi-use building comprising two elementary schools, public library resource centre, child care facility and public pool.

  1. Description of Constrution

The public pool portion of the facility is classified as a Group A, Division 3, A-3 major occupancy and the remainder of the facility ( i.e. two elementary schools, public library resource centre and child care facility) is classified as a Group A, Division 2, A-2 major occupancy. The leisure pool's building area consists of more than 10% of the entire ground floor building area.

Article 3.2.2.27. (i.e. A-3, any height, any area) of the Building Code requires the public pool floor assembly to be constructed as a fire separation with a two hour fire resistance rating.

The remainder of the building has been designed to meet Article 3.2.2.22. (i.e. A-2, up to 5 storeys, any area) of the Building Code. The floor assemblies are required to be constructed as a fire separation with not less than a one hour fire resistance rating.

Article 3.1.3.3. of the Building Code states that where there are two major occupancies the requirements of the most restrictive (i.e. Article 3.2.2.27.) apply to the entire building. This would require the floor assemblies to be constructed as fire separations with a two hour fire resistance rating.

If a firewall with a two hour fire resistance rating was constructed between the public pool and the remainder of the building, a one hour fire resistance rating would be permitted for the floor assemblies in the entire two storey school.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Article 3.1.3.3. and Sentence 2.1.3.1.(1) of the Building Code. At issue is whether the provision of a sprinkler system and a 1 hour fire separation between the public pool and the remainder of the facility will provide sufficiency of compliance with the provision of a two hour firewall and thereby permit the remainder of the facility (i.e. all other portions than the leisure pool) to be developed under the classification of an A-2 occupancy.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article 3.1.3.3. Construction Requirements

Except as provided in Articles 3.1.3.4. and 3.1.3.5., in any building containing more than 1 major occupancy, the requirements of Subsection 3.2.2. for the most restricted major occupancy contained shall apply to the whole building.

Sentence 2.1.3.1.(1) Building Divided by Firewalls

  1. Where a firewall divides a building, each portion of the building so divided shall be considered as a separate building, except for the purpose of

    1. gross area determination in Section 2.3,
    2. a fire alarm and detection system in Sentence 3.2.4.2.(1) or Article 9.10.17.1., or
    3. a plumbing system interconnected through a firewall.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that in order to construct the floor assemblies as one hour fire separations a 2 hour firewall must be provided between the public pool (A-3 occupancy) and the remainder of the facility (A-2 occupancy).

The respondent submitted that the Chief Building Official was requested to permit a 1 hour fire separation between the public pool and the remainder of the facility and the inclusion of sprinkler system within the entire multi-use facility, (including the public pool) as an equivalent to the provision of a 2 hour firewall.

The Respondent submitted that the chlorination system for the public pool is a liquid type and not the traditional gaseous chlorine under pressure.

The Applicant submitted that providing a 1 hour fire separation between the two occupancies and sprinklering both sides of the fire separation is equivalent to providing a 2 hour firewall. Therefore, the remainder of the facility (i.e. all other portions than the public pool) should be permitted to be developed under the classification of an A-2 occupancy.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that the public pool portion of the facility is an A-3 type occupancy and the remainder of the facility (two elementary schools, public library and a child care facility) is classified as an A-2 type occupancy. The public pool's building area constituted more than 10% of the entire ground floor building area.

The Respondent submitted that the proposal does not comply with the Building Code. Article 3.1.3.3. states that except as provided in Articles 3.1.3.4. and 3.1.3.5. in any building containing more than 1 major occupancy, the requirements of Subsection 3.2.2. for the most restricted major occupancy contained shall apply to the whole building.

The Respondent submitted that Articles 3.1.3.4. and 3.1.3.5. describe the requirements for major occupancies with relation to the entire building. Article 3.1.3.5. gives relief from the requirements of Subsection 3.2.2. provided the occupancy is less than 10% of the aggregate area of the building.

The Respondent also submitted that the area in question (i.e. containing the public pool) is more than 10% of the aggregate area and therefore must be considered a major occupancy and must be taken into consideration with regards to Subsection 3.2.2., building size and construction relative to occupancy.

The Respondent does not have the authority to permit a deviation from the Building Code and the use of equivalents regulated by Section 2.7 is not applicable.

  1. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the Applicant. It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that providing a fire separation with a 1 hour fire resistance rating with a sprinkler system provided on both sides of the separation between the A-2 and A-3 occupancies provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

  1. A liquid-type chlorination system to be used in the pool poses less of a fire hazard than the traditional pressurized chlorination system used in pools classified as A-3 occupancy.

  1. A sprinkler system has been provided on both sides of the 1 hour fire separation between the A-2 and A-3 occupancies.

  1. With respect to the pool area, the maximum allowable floor area percentage limit used to establish a major occupancy is exceeded by 5%.

Dated at Toronto, this 28th day, in the month of June, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-29.

Michael Lio

Demir Delen

Susan Friedrich