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BCC Ruling No. 95-04-424

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-04-424

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Subclause 3.2.9.1.(1)(b)(i) 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 the Corporation of the City of Ottawa for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Norman A. Douglas, Chief Building Official, City of Ottawa, concerning whether a stand pipe and hose system is required in an addition comprising a library, community rooms and gymnasium at St. Laurent Park, at 714-716 Morin Street, Ottawa, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Corporation of the City of Ottawa

RESPONDENT

Mr. Norman A. Douglas
Chief Building Official
City of Ottawa

PANEL

Mr. Michael Lio, Panel Chair
Mr. Remus Tsang
Mr. Sang Shim

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

January 26th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. Steven M. Tomlin
Fire Protection Consultant
Morrison Hershfield Limited
North York, Ontario
For the Applicant

RULING

  1. The Applicant

The Corporation of the City of Ottawa is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct an addition comprising a library, community rooms and gymnasium at St. Laurent Park, at 714-716 Morin Street, Ottawa, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The project includes two existing buildings; a swimming pool building and an arena building which have building areas of 1,195 m? and 2,260 m? respectively. Both buildings have a major occupancy of Group A Division 3 and have been in existence for more than five years. These buildings are not equipped with a sprinkler or standpipe system.

The proposed construction would incorporate the two existing structures into a new facility which will include a library, community rooms and gymnasium. The addition will be separated from the existing buildings by a 1 hour fire separation. The area of the proposed addition is 3,874 m². Therefore, the new facility will have a total building area of 7,329 m².

In lieu of providing a fire resistance rating for the roof an automatic sprinkler system is to be installed in the addition.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Subclause 3.2.9.1.(1)(b)(i) of the Building Code. At issue is whether or not a standpipe and hose system is required in the addition to the pool and arena buildings.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Subclause 3.2.9.1.(1)(b)(i): Standpipe and Hose Systems

(1) Except as provided in Article 3.2.9.2., a standpipe and hose system hall 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, or

  1. Applicant's Position

The applicant submitted that the literal intent of the Building Code had been achieved with regard to the requirements for a standpipe and hose system at the subject property.

Sentence 11.3.5.1.(1) of the Building Code indicates that renovations (i.e. extended buildings) which result in an increase in occupant load of more than 15% reduce the performance level of the existing building. Since the addition will increase the occupant load of the existing building by more than 15% the performance level of the existing building is reduced. Part 11 recognizes the hazard posed by the extension and proposes specific remedies to offset this hazard which does not include a stand pipe and hose system.

Article 11.3.3.22. of the Building Code provides a specific means for restoring the performance level of the existing buildings which includes evaluating and upgrading the ealy warning evacuation system for the whole building including:

  • access to exit widths
  • exit widths
  • exit signs
  • lighting of exits, lighting of access to exits and emergency lighting
  • fire alarm systems
  • travel distance and number of exits

These upgrades are intended to ensure that the performance level of the existing buildings is maintained and therefore compliance with the literal intent of Part 11 is achieved.

The applicant submitted that the new addition is required to comply with the other parts of the Building Code as indicated in Article 11.3.5.1. Part 3 of the Building Code requires that the roof of the whole building have a fire resistance rating. However, based on Sentence 2.1.1.7.(1), this requirement only applies to the addition. In lieu of a fire resistance rating, an automatic sprinkler system will be installed in the addition as permitted by Article 3.2.2.12.

Under the provisions of Part 3 a standpipe and hose system is required in the whole building on the basis that the whole building is not sprinklered. However, based on Sentence 2.1.1.7.(1), Part 3 only applies to the addition. Therefore, since the addition is sprinklered a standpipe and hose system is not required in the addition as per Sentence 3.2.9.1.(1).

The applicant submitted that a fire originating in the addition will be controlled or extinguished by the sprinkler system in the addition. This coupled with the proposed 1 hour fire separation located between the old and new construction, and fire department accessibility leads us to believe that there would be no additional benefits by installing a standpipe and hose system in the addition.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The respondent submitted that Subclause 3.2.9.1.(1)(b)(i) clearly sets out the basis for exemption for the installation of a standpipe and hose system; that is the entire building must be sprinklered.

The respondent does not dispute the application of Part 11 to the construction undertaken in the existing building and that Part 11 does not require the installation of a standpipe and hose system.

The respondent submitted that the addition must comply with Part 3 requirements. Therefore, either the new construction shall have both a sprinkler and standpipe system or the sprinkler system must be extended into the existing buildings. Alternatively, firewalls could be constructed in order to down size one building into several separate ones.

However, in this case, since the addition is fire separated from the existing building the partial sprinkler system could be considered as providing sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code as determined by the Building Code Commission in accordance with s.24(1)(b) of the Building Code Act, 1993.

  1. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the Applicant. It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that not providing a standpipe and hose system in the addition comprising a library, community rooms and gymnasium conforms to the requirements of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

    1. Since the new building will be sprinklered a standpipe and hose system is not required by Part 3 of the Building Code.

    1. The existing building has been upgraded to comply with the early warning and evacuation requirements of Part 11 of the Building Code.

    1. The new building does not reduce the level of safety of the existing building.

Dated at Toronto, this 26th day, in the month of January, in the year 1995, for application number 1994-57.

Michael Lio

Remus Tsang

Sang Shim