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BCC Ruling No. 95-21-441

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-21-441

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentences 3.11.3.1.(4) & 3.11.5.1.(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. Steve Ruffini, Design Technician, City of Cambridge for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Larry Simonato, Chief Building Official, City of Cambridge, concerning whether the proposed ramp to be installed in the George Hancock Memorial Pool with a slope of 1 in 12 and a width of 8.83 m, sufficiently complies with the technical requirements of the Building Code.

APPLICANT

City of Cambridge
Cambridge, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Larry Simonato
Chief Building Official
City of Cambridge

PANEL

Mr. Michael Lio, Panel Chair
Mr. Sang Shim
Mr. Rick Florio

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

May 4th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Bernhard G. Gall, President
Acapulco
Kitchener, Ontario
For the Applicant

Mr. David Carroll
Supervisor of Building Inspectors
City of Cambridge
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

The City of Cambridge is an applicant for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to renovate an existing outdoor public swimming pool at First (1st) Avenue and Glen Morris Street, Cambridge, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The project is a renovation of an existing outdoor public swimming pool which includes the installation of a barrier free ramp and a "beach entry" ramp. The pool is 15.2 m by 30.5 m (50' by 100') and it has a maximum depth of 3.25 m (10' 8"). The proposed ramp has a slope of 1 in 12 and a width of 8.83 m. The ramp entry into the pool is separated from the lap pool by a 0.3 m (1') wide concrete wall 16.5 m (54') long. The wide entry ramp into the pool is provided with:

  1. a trench skimmer along the shallow end, facilitating proper recirculation and disinfection of the pool water;
  2. water depth marking on the deck; and,
  3. delineation markings showing changes in slopes on the pool bottom.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns the sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Sentences 3.11.3.1.(4) & 3.11.5.1.(1) of the Building Code. At issue is a request to install a "beach entry" ramp with a slope of 1 in 12 and a width of 8.83 m in the George Hancock Memorial Pool.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence 3.11.3.1.(4): Construction Requirements

4. Except for a modified pool, wave action pool, a pool for therapeutic use and a pool described in Sentence 3.11.5.1.(1), a public pool shall be constructed to have a water depth of not less than 750 mm (2 ft 6 in).

Sentence 3.11.5.1.(1): Ramps into Pools

  1. Notwithstanding Sentences 3.11.3.1.(4) and (7) and Clause 3.11.3.1.(8)(a), where a public pool is constructed in a building containing a Group B, Division 2, major occupancy, and has a water depth not exceeding 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) and a water surface area not exceeding 100 m² (1080 ft²), the pool deck contiguous to not more than 50 per cent of the total perimeter of the pool may be replaced by one or more ramps that will permit a bather seated in a wheelchair to enter the water with or without the wheelchair.

5. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the allowable maximum ramp width is not defined in the Building Code, therefore the proposed ramp with a slope of 1 in 12 and a width of 8.83 m provides adequate compliance with the intent of the Building Code. The applicant submitted that the wide ramp entry into the pool is valid for the following reasons:

  1. the ramp entry into the pool is separated from the lap pool by a 0.3 m (1') wide concrete wall 16.5 m (54') long;
  2. a trench skimmer along the shallow end, facilitating proper recirculation and disinfection of the pool water;
  3. water depth marking on the deck; and
  4. delineation markings showing changes in slopes on the pool bottom.

6. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that the project is a renovation of an existing outdoor public swimming pool which includes the installation of a barrier free ramp and a "beach entry" ramp.

The Respondent submitted that it appears the design contravenes Sentence 3.11.3.1.(4) and 3.11.5.1.(1) of the Building Code.

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.

7. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the Applicant. It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the proposed installation of a barrier free ramp and "beach entry" ramp in the existing public pool shows sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code provided a guard is installed as per the Building Code height requirement along the unprotected pool deck extending from the 0 to 750 mm water depth.

8. Reason:

The minimum pool depth requirement of 750 mm is intended to prevent injury to pool users when jumping into the pool. Installing a guard on the pool deck meets this intent.

The Housing Development and Buildings Branch of the Ministry of Housing is considering an amendment to the Building Code to address this issue.

Dated at Toronto, this 4th day, in the month of May, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-19.

Michael Lio

Sang Shim

Rick Florio