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BCC Ruling No. 94-12-390

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #94-12-390

IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992. AND IN THE MATTER OF Clause 3.3.4.2.(2)(c) of Revised Regulation of Ontario 1990, Regulation 61, as amended by O.Reg. 400/91 (the "Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by 819636 Ontario Inc. for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Ray Newman, Chief Building Official, Town of Ajax.

APPLICANT

819636 Ontario Inc.

RESPONDENT

Mr. Ray Newman
Chief Building Official
Town of Ajax

PANEL

Sarah Maman, Chair
Demir Delen
Kenneth Bacon

PLACE Toronto, Ontario

APPEARANCES

Mr. Stephen Bernatt, President
Stephen Bernatt Architect Inc. for applicant

DATE OF RULING

May 31st, 1994

RULING

  1. The Applicant

The applicant, 819636 Ontario Inc. is the holder of a permit issued under s.5(1) of the Building Code Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chap. B13 to construct a residential apartment building at 132 Kingston Road West, Ajax, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The applicant constructed a 10 storey residential apartment building containing 86 suites. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the building contain 2 storey suites, with entrances on 1st and 3rd levels. The building was designed under Article 3.2.2.38. of the Building Code and is not sprinklered.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with Clause 3.3.4.2.(2)(c) the Building Code. At issue is the fire resistance rating of the corridor/suite wall of the two storey units.

The fire separation between the public corridors and the adjacent 2 storey suites was constructed to have a 1 hour fire resistance rating. According to Clause 3.3.4.2.(2)(c), a 2 hour fire resistance rating is required for unsprinklered buildings more than 6 storeys in building height.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence 3.3.4.2.(2) Fire Separations

Floor assemblies within a dwelling unit need not be constructed as fire separations provided the distance between the lowest floor level and the uppermost floor level within the dwelling unit is not more than 6 m and provided that the dwelling unit is separated from the remainder of the building by a fire separation having a fire resistance rating of not less than
(a) 45 min where the building is sprinklered and is not more than 3 storeys in building height,
(b) 1 h where the building is sprinklered or is not more than 6 storeys in building height, and
(c) 2 h where the building is not sprinklered and is more than 6 storeys in building height.

  1. Applicant's Position

A total of 9 two storey suites exist on levels 1 to 4 of the 10 storey building. The corridor/suite wall of the two storey units is constructed as a 1 h fire separation and a building permit was issued on that basis and is now occupied.

The fire separation between the 2 storey units and the corridor consists of 2 layers of 16 mm type X gypsum board on one side of 92 mm metal studs at 600 mm o.c., with one layer of 16 mm type X gypsum board on the other side. The cavity is filled with fibreglass insulation.

The Chief Building Official is now requiring a 2 h fire separation for the corridor/suite wall in question.

The Applicant feels there is no increase in hazard by having 2 storey dwelling units on floors 1 to 4 of a 10 storey building compared to having the same situation in a 6 storey building, since floors above the 4th floor are 2 h rated fire separations.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

A building permit and occupancy permit were issued by the Town of Ajax based on plans that showed a 1 h fire separation for the corridor/suite wall separating the two storey units on levels 1 to 4.

It was later brought to the attention of the Chief Building Official that a 2 h fire separation was required by the Building Code. An order to comply was issued under s.12(2) of the Building Code Act requiring a 2 hour fire separation between the public corridor and suite.

The Chief Building Official agrees with the Applicant's submission.

  1. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the Applicant. It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the 1 hour rated fire separation between the corridor and 2 storey suites on levels 1 to 4 provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code provisions in this particular situation.

  1. Reasons:

i) There is no increased hazard by compartmentalizing the 2 storey units on floors 1 to 4 by a 1 h separation in a 10 storey building, provided the floors above the 4th storey are 2 h rated fire separations. ii) Building complies with all other provisions of the Ontario Building Code.

Dated at Toronto this 31st day in the month of May in the year 1994 for application number 1994-14.

Sarah Maman

Demir Delen

Kenneth Bacon