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BCC Ruling No. 95-15-435

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-15-435

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Clause 3.3.1.4.(1)(b), Articles 3.1.8.11. & 3.1.8.13. 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. David Markowitz, Markio Designs Inc. for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Michael Nixon, Chief Building Official, City of Toronto, concerning whether proper door closure hardware is required for the fire separation between Unit #267 and the adjacent public corridor at CAPEZIO, Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Rd., Toronto, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Markio Designs Inc.
Toronto, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Michael Nixon
Chief Building Official
City of Toronto

PANEL

Mr. Demir Delen, Panel Chair
Mr. Remus Tsang
Mr. Rick Florio

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

April 11th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. A. Jasinevicius
Area Manager of Inspections
City of Toronto
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. David Markowitz, Markio Designs Inc. is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to complete renovations to the CAPEZIO retail store at Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Road, Toronto, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The CAPEZIO retail store (i.e. unit #267) was renovated by the owner. The unit is located in a six storey mixed use commercial building. The unit is situated at the corner of three major cross aisles on the upper level of a two storey interconnected floor space, which is separated from the residential floors by a fire separation with a 2 hour fire resistance rating.

Over 90% of the subject storefront faces the interconnected floor space. Entrance to the store is designed to remain open during the day. A glass bi-focal door is used to secure the entrance when the store is closed.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns the technical interpretation of Clause 3.3.1.4.(1)(b), Articles 3.1.8.11. & 3.1.8.13. of the Building Code. At issue is whether proper door closure hardware is required for the fire separation between Unit #267 and the adjacent public corridor.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Clause 3.3.1.4.(1)(b): Public Corridor Separations

  1. Except as otherwise required in this Part, public corridors shall be separated from the remainder of the building by a fire separation having a fire-resistance rating of not less than 1 h except that

(b> no fire-resistance rating is required when the floor area is sprinklered and the corridor does not serve an institutional occupancy or a residential occupancy,

Article 3.1.8.11.: Self-Closing Devices

1. Except as provided in Sentences (2) to (5), every door in a fire separation shall be equipped with a self-closing device designed to return the door to the closed position after each use.

  1. Self-closing devices need not be provided on doors to freight elevators and dumbwaiters.
  2. In a building that is not more than 3 storeys in building height, except for doors from hazardous classrooms in elementary and secondary schools, self-closing devices need not be provided on doors that are located between a corridor providing access to exit from classrooms and the adjacent classrooms.

  1. In a building that is not more than 3 storeys in building height, except for doors located in a dead-end portion of a corridor or in a corridor which serves a hotel, self-closing devices need not be provided on doors that are located between a public corridor and adjacent rooms or suites of Group D occupancy.

  1. Self-closing devices need not be provided on doors that are located between sleeping rooms or a corridor and adjacent sleeping rooms where the doors are within a fire-compartment described in Sentence 3.3.3.7.(2).

Article 3.1.8.13.: Door Latches

Except as permitted in Subsection 3.3.3., every swing-type door in a fire separation shall be equipped with a positive latching mechanism designed to hold the door in the closed position after each use.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the CAPEZIO unit represents a grey area with respect to the requirement to install proper door closure hardware for the fire separation between the unit and adjacent public corridor. There is only a 0.3 metre intrusion of the store front into the 5 metre wide public corridor. Over 90% of the store front falls outside of the 5 metre width.

The applicant submitted that the following points make Unit #267 consistent with the life safety standards intended in the Building Code:

i. The unit is on the corner and faces out towards a large 2 storey atrium;

ii. There are three cross aisles in front of the store and an approved sprinkler system with a public corridor adjacent to the store; and,

iii. The large atrium next to the store would act as a reservoir of space for smoke to gather and exhaust through its special exhaust system.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that proper door closure hardware is required for the fire separation between Unit #267 and the adjacent public corridor.

The Respondent submitted that public corridors are required to be constructed as fire separations when the floor area is sprinklered and the public corridor is less than 5 metres wide. Since the public corridor walls are required to be fire separations, the doors must be equipped with self closing and latching devices. The Respondent submitted that hold open devices are an option that would permit the doors to be maintained in the open position during business hours.

  1. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the Applicant. It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that not providing self closing devices for the storefront door serving unit # 267 provides sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

    1. Over 90% of the storefront faces a large atrium space with a dedicated exhaust system. The remaining portion of the storefront is only 0.3 m less than the required 5 m corridor width.

    1. The municipality has permitted the stores facing the atrium to have doors without self closing devices.

Dated at Toronto, this 11th day, in the month of April, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-09.

Demir Delen

Remus Tsang

Rick Florio