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BCC Ruling No. 95-35-455

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-35-455

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Clause 3.2.9.1.(1)(b) and Article 1.1.3.2. for the definition of Building Area 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 Mr. Mark Twardowski, Project Coordinator, Simcoe County Board of Education for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Gord Allison, Chief Building Official, City of Barrie, concerning whether not providing a standpipe and hose system to serve three new Junior Kindergarten additions provides sufficiency of compliance with the standpipe and hose system requirements in Clause 3.2.9.1.(1)(b) of the Building Code, at Andrew Hunter Public School, Lampman Lane, Assikinack Public School, 226 Little Ave. and Cundles Heights Public School, Cundles St., Barrie, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Simcoe County Board of Education
Midhurst, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Gord Allison
Chief Building Official
City of Barrie

PANEL

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Mr. Rick Florio
Ms. Lesia Beznaczuk

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

July 18th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Michael McKnight, Architect
Michael W. McKnight Architect Inc.
AND
Mr. Allen Larden
Larden Muniak Consulting Inc.
For the Applicant

Mr. Doug Durham, Plans Examiner
City of Barrie
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Mark Twardowski is an applicant for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a Junior Kindergarten addition to three separate public schools, being Andrew Hunter Public School, Assikinack Public School and Cundles Heights Public School.

  1. Description of Constrution

he three existing public schools are non-combustible buildings, one storey in building height, unsprinklered and do not contain a standpipe and hose system. Documentation provided by the Applicant indicated the following "building areas":

Andrew Hunter

Existing Building 37,339.6 ft²

New Addition 3,938.7 ft²

Total 41,278.3 ft²

New Addition as Percentage of Old: 10.5%

Assikinack

Existing Building 25,960.7 ft²

Existing Attached Portables 3,943.4 ft²

29,904.1 ft²

New Addition 2,907.3 ft²

Total 32,811.4 ft²

New Addition as Percentage of Old: 9.7%

Cundles Heights

Existing Building 38,338.8 ft²

New Addition 2,505.7 ft²

Total 40,844.5 ft²

New Addition as Percentage of Old: 6.5%

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns the technical interpretation of Article 1.1.3.2. for the definition of "building area" and sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Clause 3.2.9.1.(1)(b) of the Building Code. At issue is the requirement to provide a standpipe and hose system for the proposed Junior Kindergarten additions to three separate Public Schools. Table 3.2.9.A. which forms part of Sentence 3.2.9.1.(1) of the Building Code requires a standpipe and hose system for one storey assembly "A" occupancies over 2500 m² (26,900 ft²) in "building area".

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article 1.1.3.2. Definitions of Words and Phrases "Building area" means the greatest horizontal area of a building above grade within the outside surface of exterior walls or within the outside surface of exterior walls and the centre line of firewalls.

Clause 3.2.9.1.(1)(b) Standpipe and Hose Systems

Except as provided in Article 3.2.9.2., a standpipe and hose system shall be installed in every building that

(b) is greater in building area than the area shown in Table 3.2.9.A. for the
applicable building height shown in the Table where the building

i. is not sprinklered, and

ii. is not more than 14 m (45 m 11 in) high measured between grade and the ceiling of the top storey.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the Respondent is requiring a standpipe and hose system to be provided only for the new Junior Kindergarten additions in each of the affected schools. This is based on the Respondent's interpretation of Subsection 3.2.9. of the Building Code that "building area" is the sum of the existing school and the addition.

The Applicant submitted that in accordance with Article 2.1.1.7. (existing buildings), the "building area" described in Subsection 3.2.9. should be the addition area, not the combined area.

The Applicant also submitted that even if "building area" is determined to be the combined area, the inclusion of a standpipe and hose system that serves only the addition does not improve the fire fighting or life safety standards of the building. The Applicant submitted that it would represent a possible danger to fire fighting and for fire fighters. A fire crew attending an alarm at the school may be lulled into a false sense of security seeing a siamese connection for a standpipe, and believing the entire school is protected.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that the "building area" for each of the schools, once extended, exceeds the maximum "building area" limits shown in Table 3.2.9.A. for a Group A building. This requires a standpipe and hose system to be installed in the addition. The Respondent submitted that the options for construction are as follows:

  1. construct a firewall;
  2. sprinkler the addition; or,
  3. install a standpipe and hose system in the addition.

The Respondent further submitted that increasing the "building area" without providing a standpipe and hose system may decrease the performance level of the existing building and is contrary to Article 11.3.1.1. of the Building Code. Also, Article 2.1.1.7. permits the Applicant to restrict the installation of the standpipe and hose system to the addition only, but does not allow the applicant to consider only the floor area of the addition in determining the application of Subsection 3.2.9. of the Building Code.

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that not providing standpipe and hose systems in the Junior Kindergarten additions shows sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

1. The additions are easily accessible by the fire department.

2. Fire fighting would be conducted by the fire department using their own equipment.

3. The additions are less than 15% of the gross floor area.

4. Evacuation time is minimal since exiting directly to the exterior is provided from each of the additions.

5. The buildings are of noncombustible construction.

Dated at Toronto, this 18th day, in the month of July, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-32.

Roy Philippe

Rick Florio

Lesia Beznaczuk