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BCC Ruling No. 94-13-391

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #94-13-391

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

MATTER OF Clause 9.9.9.3.(1)(a) 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 Douglas Hardie Architect Inc. for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Norman Douglas, Chief Building Official, City of Ottawa.

APPLICANT

Douglas Hardie Architect Inc.

RESPONDENT

Mr. Norman Douglas
Chief Building Official
City of Ottawa

PANEL

Sarah Maman, Chair
Demir Delen
Kenneth Bacon

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

APPEARANCES

Mr. Franco Marino, President
Dimar Construction for applicant

DATE OF RULING

May 31st, 1994

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Douglas Hardie Architect Inc. is the Applicant for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct an addition to an existing apartment building, located at 450 MacLaren Street and 334 Kent Street, Ottawa, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The applicant is proposing to construct a two storey dwelling unit on top of an existing one storey portion of a renovated three storey apartment building. The only means of egress from the proposed dwelling unit is an exterior stair leading to ground. The stair is connected to existing decks serving other dwelling units. There are 6 unprotected openings that are exposed to the exterior stair.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with Clause 9.9.9.3.(1)(a) of the Building Code. At issue is the proposed use of a second storey balcony as a second and separate means of egress for the proposed single dwelling unit addition to the existing building.

The existing building was recently renovated into a 10 unit apartment building under the provisions of Part 11 of the Building Code. The second exit for four of these apartments is provided by using their balcony as an area of refuge. The Applicant is requesting that this principle be extended to the addition for the new proposed 2 storey dwelling unit.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence 9.9.9.3.(1) Shared Egress Facilities

(1) A dwelling unit shall be provided with a second and separate means of egress where an egress door from the dwelling unit opens onto (a) an exit stairway serving more than 1 suite, (b) a public corridor serving more than one suite served by a single exit stairway, (c) an exterior passageway serving more than one suite and served by a single exit stairway, or (d) a balcony serving more than one suite and served by a single exit stairway.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant stated that proposed dwelling unit addition is to a building with considerable heritage character which was recently renovated into an apartment building under the provisions of Part 11 of the Building Code. The renovation left the exterior virtually untouched preserving the character of the building. As part of the renovation the second exit for 4 apartments was provided by the use of their balcony as an area of refuge.

The Applicant requested that this principle be extended to the proposed 2 storey dwelling unit addition which is designed to maintain the character of the building. The second exit from the unit would be provided by using a balcony as an area of refuge.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The respondent stated that the applicant has applied for a building permit to construct a dwelling unit addition served by a shared exterior exit stair and second floor balcony as an area of refuge.

Sentence 2.1.1.6.(2) of the Building Code allows for the application of Part 11 provisions to additions that have been in existence less than 5 years where the building has existed for at least 5 years. If the addition qualified under this provision the egress facilities proposed for the dwelling unit would satisfy the requirements of Part 11.

Furthermore, the respondent stated that although they were sympathetic to heritage concerns they do not have the authority to accept the proposal given that the addition is not existing and is thereby regulated by Part 9 in accordance with Article 2.1.1.3. of the Building Code.

  1. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the Respondent. It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the existing arrangement for the proposed two storey dwelling addition does not show sufficiency of compliance.

  1. Reason:

The exterior stair is exposed by unprotected openings.

Dated at Toronto this 31st day in the month of May in the year 1994 for application number 1994-18.

Sarah Maman

Demir Delen

Kenneth Bacon