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BCC Ruling No. 95-31-451

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-31-451

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article 3.2.5.13. 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. Mander Gardiner, Plant Manager, Leeds & Grenville County Board of Education, Brockville for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Randall Wilkinson, Chief Building Official, Town of Kemptville, concerning whether not providing sprinkler protection in the attic space of a new four classroom addition to an existing elementary school provides sufficiency of compliance with Article 3.2.5.13. of the Building Code, at Abbott Road, Kemptville, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Leeds & Grenville County
Board of Education
Brockville, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Randall Wilkinson
Chief Building Official
Town of Kemptville
Kemptville, Ontario

PANEL

Mr. Michael Lio, Chair
Mr. Rick Florio
Mr. Kenneth Bacon

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

June 20th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Robert Woodman, Architect
Robert J. Woodman Architect Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario
For the Applicant

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Mander Gardiner, Plant Manager, Leeds & Grenville County Board of Education is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a new four classroom addition to an existing elementary school without providing a sprinkler system.

  1. Description of Constrution

The subject one storey building is an addition of four classrooms (450 m²) to the existing (3400 m²) South Branch Elementary School located at Part Lot 26, Concession 3, Oxford-on-Rideau Township, Town of Kemptville. The proposed new addition is required to be fully sprinklered in accordance with NFPA-13, including the newly added attic space. The proposed addition does not change the fire safety requirements determined for the original building in accordance with Subsection 3.2.2. of the Building Code.

In May of 1992, the Leeds Grenville County Board of Education constructed a 3,400 m² elementary school. The school was designed to be fully sprinklered and included a horizontal 3/4 hour fire separation at the ceiling level throughout the school. The attic space was compartmentized and not sprinklered. This matter was considered by the Building Code Commission on August 20th, 1992 and subject to specific conditions was deemed to provide sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Article 3.2.5.13. of the Building Code. At issue is whether not providing sprinkler protection in the attic space of a new four classroom addition to an existing elementary school provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code, at Abbott Road, Kemptville, Ontario.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article 3.2.5.13. Automatic Sprinkler Systems

  1. Except as provided in Sentences (2) and (3), where a sprinkler system is required, it shall be designed, constructed, installed and tested in conformance with NFPA 13, "Installation of Sprinkler Systems".

  1. Where a building contains fewer than 9 sprinklers, the water supply for such sprinklers is permitted to be supplied from the domestic water system for the building provided the required flow and pressure for the sprinklers can be met by the domestic system.

  1. Where a water supply serves both a sprinkler system and a system serving other equipment, control valves shall be provided so that either system can be shut off independently.

  1. Open grid and translucent ceilings located below sprinkler systems shall be installed in conformance with NFPA 13, "Installation of Sprinkler Systems", paragraphs 4-4.14 and 4-4.15.

  1. Where a sprinkler system has one or more electrically supervised control valves in order to meet the requirements of this Article, each valve shall be equipped with an electrically supervised switch for transmitting a signal for individual annunciation in the event of movement of the valve handle and the same annunciator panel may be utilized for supervision of valves in both the sprinkler and the standpipe systems.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the Building Code Commission has ruled that the construction methods used in the existing elementary school provide sufficiency of compliance with respect to the requirement to sprinkler the attic spaces.

The Board of Education is constructing a four classroom addition to the school. The addition represents 11% of total area. The Applicant stated that he is seeking an extension of the previous Building Code Commission decision.

The addition does not affect the size, occupancy nor the fire safety requirements determined under Section 3.2 of the Building Code respecting this building.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that Article 3.2.5.13. requires the sprinkler system to be installed in conformance with NFPA-13. Article 4.4.4.1. of NFPA-13 requires concealed spaces such as attics to be sprinklered.

The Respondent also submitted that the previous Building Code Commission ruling does not apply to the new addition.

The respondent does not have the authority to permit a condition that deviates 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 the school addition shows sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code provided;

  1. The attic for the addition is unheated and contains no mechanical or electrical services;

  1. A continuous fire separation is provided with a minimum 45 minute fire resistance rating separating the building from the attic space;

  1. The building's fire alarm system extends into the attic of the building addition;

  1. The building's sprinkler system serves the floor area and extends into mechanical spaces;

  1. A fire separation with a two hour fire resistance rating is provided between the attic of the addition and the attic of the existing building; and,

  1. All aspects of the Building Code Commission decision #92-10-344 apply to the building addition.

  1. Reasons:

  1. The floor area of the entire building is fully sprinklered and is less than 4800 m².

  1. Adequate exiting and travel distances are provided.

  1. The addition does not compromise existing life safety or property protection.

Dated at Toronto, this 20th day, in the month of June, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-27.

Michael Lio

Rick Florio

Kenneth Bacon