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BCC Ruling No. 94-15-393

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

MATTER OF Article 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 Reimer Construction Limited for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Daniel Mousseau, Chief Building Official, City of Burlington.


Reimer Construction Ltd.


Mr. Daniel Mousseau
Chief Building Official
City of Burlington


Sarah Maman, Chair
Remus Tsang
Sang Shim


Toronto, Ontario


Mr. Rudy K. Reimer
Reimer Construction Limited for applicant

Mr. Dave Robinson, Building Inspector,
City of Burlington for respondent

Mr. Joe Wintar, Building Engineer,
City of Burlington for respondent


July 7th, 1994


  1. The Applicant

Reimer Construction Limited is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct alterations to a fifth floor office space at Reimer Corporate Tower, 5420 North Service Road, Burlington, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The applicant constructed alterations to approximately half of the fifth level (i.e. 13,000 square feet) to accommodate a Data Centre operation for Commcorp Financial Group (Division of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce). The Data Centre computer room occupies approximately 3,100 square feet. It was designed to have a 14 inch high raised computer floor however, during construction a 12 inch raised floor was installed. The result was a two step riser for the flight of stairs serving the printer room.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with Article of the Building Code. At issue is an interior flight of stairs with only two risers serving a 12 inch raised floor in the printer room.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article Minimum Number of Risers

Every flight of interior stairs shall have at least 3 risers.

  1. Applicant's Position

The applicant provided the following reasons for requesting the two riser stairs be permitted in lieu of constructing a ramp:

(a) The printer room has been strategically designed with equipment laid out in the most feasible, workable configuration for the customer, taking into consideration the floor loading requirements. If a ramp was installed it would be completely blocked by a printer machine making the ramp inaccessible and non-functional.

(b) The printer room has 75 foot candle lighting level. The room and stairs are visible and quite lit up. There is controlled access to the computer facility and it is manned by two full time operators per eight hour shift. Due to security reasons no public nor other employees are permitted in this area.

(c) The two riser stair does not serve a designated primary or secondary exit. It provides access to a convenience entrance for the office.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The respondent stated that the Building Code clearing requires at least three risers for every flight of interior stairs. The stairs serving the printer room have only two risers.

  1. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the APPLICANT. It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the two riser stair to the printer room shows sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code provided that:

(a) Illuminating nosing is installed on each step, and

(b) A conspicuous sign stating "WATCH YOUR STEP" with an arrow and having not less than 60 mm high lettering is mounted permanently on the wall 1500 mm above the raised floor.

  1. Reasons:

(a) The entire Data Centre has controlled access and only a few employees will have access to the printer room,

(b) Adequate warning will be provided to alert occupants to the presence of this stair.

(c) This stair is not a required means of egress.

Dated at Toronto this 7th day in the month of July in the year 1994 for application number 1994-23.

Sarah Maman

Remus Tsang

Sang Shim