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BCC Ruling No. 94-25-403

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #94-25-403

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Clause 3.10.2.4.(2)(c) of Revised Regulation of Ontario 1990, Regulation 61, as amended by O.Regs. 400/91, 158/93 and 160/93 (the "Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Antoine Chalhoub Architect for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Norm Douglas, Chief Building Official, City of Ottawa.

APPLICANT

Antoine Chalhoub Architect

RESPONDENT

Mr. Norm Douglas
Chief Building Official
City of Ottawa

PANEL

Sarah Maman, Chair
Demir Delen
Kenneth Bacon

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

August 29, 1994

APPEARANCES

Mr. Antoine Chalhoub
Antoine Chalhoub Architect
for the applicant

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Antoine Chalhoub Architect is the applicant for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a four storey self service storage building at 2720 Queensview Drive, Ottawa, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The proposed structure is a four storey self service storage building of noncombustible construction designed in accordnace with Article 3.2.2.52. of the Building Code. The building faces two streets and has a building area of 1985 m?. It is fully sprinklered, equipped with a fire alarm system and 24 hour surveillance cameras on each floor.

The upper two floors of the building are used as an open space with 7 feet high metal partitions for self storage lockers. The corridor walls are not built continuous from the floor to the underside of the floor above, the ceiling or the roof.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with Clause 3.10.2.4.(2)(c) of the Building Code. At issue is the requirement to construct the public corridor walls continuously from the floor to the underside of the floor above, the ceiling or the roof.

The applicant contended that 7 feet high metal partitions are adequate because the building is sprinklered, equipped with a fire alarm system connected to the fire station, cameras provide 24 hour surveillance, and smoke exhaust system.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence 3.10.2.4.(2) Safety Requirements Within Floor Areas For Self-Storage Buildings

(2) A corridor need not be constructed as a public corridor where the travel distance, measured from inside the rental space to the nearest exit, is not more than 15 m provided that the corridor walls

  1. are of noncombustible construction,
  2. have no openings other than doors and the doors are of solid construction, and
  3. are continuous from the underside of the floor above, the ceiling or the roof.

  1. Applicant's Position

The applicant stated that the design of the upper two storeys showed sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

The entire building is sprinklered and there is never more than 3 - 5 persons on a floor area. The fire protection system (i.e. cameras, smoke detectors, heat detectors and sprinklers) are connected directly to the fire station and a smoke exhaust system has been provided.

This system has been used for more than 8 years in six similar buildings with excellent results and efficiency.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The respondent stated that the Building Code states that the corridor need not be constructed as a public corridor where the travel distance measured from the rental space to the nearest exit is not more than 15 m provided that the corridor walls are continuous from the floor to the underside of the floor above, the ceiling or the roof.

The respondent said he did not have the authority to accept the proposal even though the building has a low occupant load, suppression system, central fire alarm system and 24 hour surveillance.

The use of equivalents regulated by Section 2.7 of the Building Code is not applicable.

  1. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the Applicant . It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that 7 ft. high noncombustible partition walls in the public corridors in this sprinklered building shows sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

    1. The travel distance to an exit from anywhere in the floor area is 15 m or less.

    1. There are no dead end public corridors.

    1. By providing an automatic sprinkler system the size of the fire and thereby the amount of smoke produced will be controlled.

    1. The ultimate control over the building including its use and occupancy rests with the building management and not with the individual lessees.

Dated at Toronto, this 29th day, in the month of August, in the year 1994, for application number 1994-34.

Sarah Maman

Demir Delen

Kenneth Bacon