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BCC Ruling No. 94-40-419

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #94-40-419

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article 9.23.17.3. 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 a reference to the Building Code Commission pursuant to an order of the Honourable Madame Justice Eberhard of the Ontario Court (General Division), dated November 24, 1994 concerning whether sheathing paper is required behind masonry veneer on a garage attached to a house at 80 Smallman Drive, Town of Wasaga Beach.

APPLICANT

Mr. Brian James Dyce
Mr. James E. Dyce
Wasaga Beach, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Corporation of the
Town of Wasaga Beach

PANEL

Sarah Maman, Chair
Michael Lio
Rick Florio

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

December 2, 1994

APPEARANCES

Mr. James E. Dyce
Wasaga Beach, Ontario
For the Applicant

Mr. Thomas P. Merrifield, Solicitor
Bellamy, Besse, Augaitis & Merrifield
Collingwood, Ontario
For the Respondent

REPORT

  1. Order of Ontario Court (General Division)

Brian James Dyce (the "Applicant") applied to the Ontario Court (General Division) under s.25(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992 requesting certain relief, including an order setting aside three orders of the Town of Wasaga Beach (the "Respondent") issued under the Building Code Act, 1992 against 80 Smallman Drive, Wasaga Beach. In that application, the Honourable Madam Justice Eberhard of the Ontario Court (General Division), on consent of the parties, on November 24, 1994 made the following order:

i. This court orders that the question respecting the interpretation of the technical requirements of the Building Code or the sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code as raised in this application, namely whether sheathing paper is required on the garage walls beneath the masonry veneer on the dwelling being erected at 80 Smallman Drive, in the Town of Wasaga Beach, be referred to the Building Code Commission for a hearing pursuant to subsection 25(5) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

ii. This court orders that the Building Code Commission, following the hearing, shall report back to the parties and this Court.

iii. This Court orders that this application be adjourned sine die, returnable on 7 days notice by either party.

  1. Background

Mr. Brian James Dyce and Mr. James E. Dyce are the holders of a building permit to construct a single family dwelling (i.e. house) with an attached garage under the Building Code Act, 1992 at 80 Smallman Drive, Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The building under construction is a single family dwelling (i.e. house) with an attached garage. The building is frame construction consisting of wood studs which are sheathed on the outside face with waferboard. The exterior finished cladding consists of masonry veneer. The wall studs of the unheated attached garage are exposed to the inside garage space.

  1. Issue on Reference

The reference from the Ontario Court (General Division) directed that the Building Code Commission interpret the technical requirements of the Building Code or the sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code that were raised in the application before the Ontario Court (General Division) pursuant to which the reference was ordered, and in particular to determine whether sheathing paper is required on the garage walls beneath the masonry veneer on the dwelling erected at 80 Smallman Drive in the Town of Wasaga Beach.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article 9.23.17.3. Sheathing Paper

  1. Except as provided in Sentences (3) and (6), not less than 1 layer of sheathing paper shall be applied beneath siding, stucco or masonry veneer.

  1. Sheathing paper required in Sentence (1) shall be applied so that joints are lapped at least 100 mm (4 in), and if applied horizontally, the upper sheets shall overlap the lower sheets.

  1. Sheathing paper required in Sentence (1) shall be applied so that joints are lapped at least 100 mm (4 in), and if applied horizontally, the upper sheets shall overlap the lower sheets.

  1. Except as provided in Sentence (6), where no sheathing is used with masonry veneer or other siding, not less than 2 layers of sheathing paper shall be applied beneath the veneer or siding.

  1. All joints in the sheathing paper required in Sentence (3) shall occur over framing, and the paper shall be fastened to the framing with roofing nails or staples spaced not more than 150 mm (5? in) along the edges of the outer layer of sheathing paper.

  1. Wall sheathing may be used in lieu of 1 layer of sheathing paper required in Sentence (3), and the thickness need not conform to Table 9.23.16.A.

  1. Sheathing paper may be omitted beneath siding when the joints in the siding are formed to effectively prevent the passage of wind and rain in conformance with Sentence (7) or (9) as applicable.

  1. Siding consisting of sheets of plywood, hardboard, waferboard or asbestos cement is considered to meet the requirements Sentence (6) provided the siding is applied so that all edges are directly supported by framing and the vertical joints between adjacent sheets covered with battens or shiplapped or otherwise matched to provide weather tight joints.

  1. Vertical joints between sheets described in Sentence (7) shall be caulked.

  1. Metal siding consisting of sheets of metal is considered to meet the requirements of Sentence (7) where the joints between sheets are of the locked seam type.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the purpose of the sheathing paper is to prevent drafts and the entry of wind driven rain into the wall cavity. Building Code development history shows that the sheathing paper requirement in the Building Code was a response to the practice of using board lumber sheathing with horizontal joints every 6 to 8 inches. This type of construction was particularly vulnerable to the passage of wind and rain.

The Applicant said that with the advent of panel type sheathing the situation is quite different. Sheathing paper is not required at all if particle board or plywood sheets are used as siding and installed with all edges supported and joints between adjoining panels caulked.

Concerning the 21" wide wall located to the left of the garage door opening, the caulking requirement would be irrelevant since there are no adjoining panels. Sheathing paper would not make any difference since the waferboard covers this area in one continuous sheet.

As the wall separating the alcove and the garage is comprised of more than one sheet of waferboard and is not protected by sheathing paper, it does not present a problem concerning the intent of the Building Code. Both sides of the wall are unconditioned spaces. The possibility of drafts from the alcove to the unheated garage should not be a concern nor is there a likelihood of rain entry from either side since both have a roof enclosure. The Applicant questioned what purpose sheathing paper serves in this location.

  1. Respondent's Position

The Respondent stated that the dispute centres around whether sheathing paper is required on garage walls, beneath the masonry veneer on this structure. The provisions of the Building Code, and in particular Article 9.23.17.3. specifically requires sheathing paper.

The Respondent stated that by not providing the sheathing paper any wind driven rain on the waferboard will not be redirected over the flashing to the weep holes. Further accumulation of moisture at the base of the wall could adversely affect the structural integrity of the wall system.

The Applicant was advised of this before he proceeded with the bricking of exterior walls in the garage, he has refused to comply with the request of the Building Department.

Findings and Conclusions

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that not installing sheathing paper beneath the brick veneer on the garage attached to a house at 80 Smallman Drive does not comply with the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

The intent of the sheathing paper beneath brick veneer as part of wood frame wall assemblies is to:

1. provide protection of the wall assembly from weather, primarily wind and wind-driven rain, and

2. provide means for directing water that penetrates the brick veneer rain screen over the flashing which is required at the base of the wall to direct water to the outside.

Two layers of sheathing paper are deemed to fulfil these requirements.

The Building Code requires two layers of sheathing paper beneath brick veneer. One layer of sheathing can substitute for one layer of sheathing paper (as illustrated). Given the requirement that sheathing paper directs wind-driven rain over installed flashing, sheathing paper is normally installed over the sheathing.

In some instances, where no rain screen is part of the wall system, that is, where the exterior wall finish functions as a weather barrier, sheathing paper is not required. Acceptable exterior finishes in this case include siding where joints in the siding are formed to effectively prevent the passage of wind and rain. This may include sheets of plywood, hardboard, waferboard, or asbestos board provided the siding is applied so that all edges are directly supported by framing and the vertical joints are caulked and covered with battens or they are ship lapped or matched to provide weather tight joints. Metal siding with locked seam joints can also be used without sheathing paper.

Brick veneer is not considered a weather tight exterior finish. Therefore, the wall must be protected from weather with two layers of sheathing paper or a layer of sheathing paper and a layer of sheathing.

The Applicant made two proposals which are examined below:

  1. The proposal to caulk and /or seal the joints in the sheathing in lieu of installing a layer of sheathing paper may provide protection from weather. However, the bottom of wall flashing as installed fails to meet the intent of the Code with respect to water transmission to weep holes installed in the brick veneer. Further, flashing must be installed as per article 9.20.13.7. beneath brick veneer. This is not acceptable.

  1. Installing sheathing paper on the inside of the face of the wall sheathing may provide additional protection from the weather. However, adequate water transmission to the flashing is not assured in this circumstance. This is not acceptable.

Dated at Toronto, this 9th day, in the month of December, in the year 1994, for application number 1994-42.

Sarah Maman

Michael Lio

Rick Florio