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BCC Ruling No. 95-17-437

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-17-437

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article 3.2.2.55. or 3.2.3.20. 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. Elie Ghazel, Engineering Manager, Lear Seating Canada Ltd. for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Frank Asta, Chief Building Official, Town of Oakville, concerning whether the walkway and two trailers attached to an existing sprinklered building must be also protected by a sprinkler system or whether a noncombustible walkway separated from the building by not less than a 45 min. fire separation must be constructed in accordance with the requirements of the Building Code, at 2700 Bristol Circle, Oakville, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Lear Seating Canada Ltd.
Oakville, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Frank Asta
Chief Building Official
Town of Oakville

PANEL

Mr. Demir Delen, Panel Chair
Mr. Michael Lio
Mr. Sang Shim

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

April 25th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Elie Ghazel
Engineering Manager
Lear Seating Canada Ltd.
Oakville, Ontario
For the Applicant

Mr. Frank Asta
Chief Building Official
Town of Oakville
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Elie Ghazel, Lear Seating Canada Ltd. is an applicant for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to connect two locker and dressing room trailers to an existing sprinklered building, at 2700 Bristol Circle, Oakville, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The existing building is approximately 8450 m² (91,000 square feet) in building area. It is classified as a medium hazard industrial occupancy, and according to Article 3.2.2.55. or 3.2.3.20. of the Building Code it must be of non-combustible construction, fully sprinklered with the floor assemblies having a three hour fire resistance rating.

The applicant has connected two trailer units to the existing building by an enclosed combustible walkway 8' wide by 38' in length. The trailers are intended to be used by employees for locker storage and change rooms.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns the sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Article 3.2.2.55. or 3.2.3.20. of the Building Code. At issue is the determination of whether the walkway and two trailers attached to the existing sprinklered building must be also protected by a sprinkler system or whether a non combustible walkway separated from the building by not less than 45 min. fire separation must be constructed.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article 3.2.2.55.: Industrial Buildings, Division 2, Any Height, Any Area, Sprinklered

A building classified as Group F, Division 2 shall conform to Sentence (2) provided the building

  1. is not limited in building height,
  2. is sprinklered, and
  3. is not limited in building area.

The building shall be of noncombustible construction, and

  1. floor assemblies shall be fire separations with a fire-resistance rating of not less than 3 h,
  2. mezzanines shall have a fire-resistance rating of not less than 1.5 h,
  3. roof assemblies shall have a fire-resistance rating of not less than 1.5 h, (see Article 3.2.2.12. for supervised sprinkler systems) and (d)all loadbearing walls, columns and arches shall have a fire-resistance rating not less than that required for the supported assembly.

Article 3.2.3.20.: Walkway between Buildings

  1. Except as provided in Sentence 3.2.3.21.(2), where buildings are connected by a walkway, each building shall be separated from the walkway by a fire separation with a fire-resistance rating of not less than 45 min.

  1. Except as provided in Sentence (3), a walkway connected to a building required to be of noncombustible construction shall also be of noncombustible construction.

  1. A walkway connected to a building required to be of noncombustible construction is permitted to be of heavy timber construction provided

    1. not less than 50 per cent of the area of any enclosing perimeter walls is open to the outdoors, and
    2. the walkway is at ground level.

  1. A walkway of noncombustible construction used only as a pedestrian thoroughfare and that is not required as an exit, need not conform to the requirements of Articles 3.2.3.14. and 3.2.3.15.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the trailers are intended for temporary use and are only required until June 30, 1995. Therefore, an alteration to the existing sprinkler system should not be required.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that where an addition is proposed to an existing building,the addition shall be designed in accordance with the requirements of the entire building. Therefore, the trailer addition must be sprinklered.

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 existing temporary combustible walkway from the trailers to the main building provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

  1. The connecting walkway is temporary. A $10,000 bond has been placed with the municipality to demolish it by June 30, 1995.

  1. The area of the walkway relative to the building is very small; approximately 0.3% of the building area.

  1. There are no unprotected openings at the building's wall facing the walkway.

  1. The walkway is separated from the building by steel doors having self closing devices.

  1. The building has 24 hr security with mandatory 1 hr frequency inspections along the entire facility. The plant is also in operation 24 hrs.

Dated at Toronto, this 25th day, in the month of April, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-15.

Demir Delen

Michael Lio

Sang Shim