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BCC Ruling No. 94-10-388

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #94-10-388

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentence 3.1.5.11.(5) of Revised Regulations of Ontario 1990, Regulation 61, as amended by O.Reg. 400/91 (the"Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Stoney Creek Non-Profit Housing Corporation for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Henry Dekker, Chief Building Official, City of Stoney Creek.

APPLICANT

Stoney Creek Non-Profit Housing Corporation

RESPONDENT

Mr. Henry Dekker
Chief Building Official
City of Stoney Creek

PANEL

Sarah Maman, Chair
Michael Lio
David Lam

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

APPEARANCES

Ms. Cynthia Zahoruk
Lorne Haverty Ltd. Architect for applicant

Mr. Robert Milligan, Supervisor of Inspections
and Mr. Collin Potter, Plans Examiner, City of Stoney Creek for respondent

DATE OF RULING

May 24th, 1994

RULING

  1. The Applicant

The Applicant, Stoney Creek Non-Profit Housing Corporation is the holder of a permit under s.5(1) of the Building Code Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chap. B13 to construct a residential apartment building at 971 Queenston Road, Stoney Creek, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

A building permit was issued on November 2, 1992 to constructed a 7 storey noncombustible residential apartment building containing 93 suites. 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 the interpretation of Sentence 3.1.5.11.(5) of the Building Code. The portion of the building that is subject to the dispute is a sloping roof top enclosure which contains a mechanical room and a sheltered attic space which contains anchors for the window cleaning system.

At issue is the 4 inch thick foamed plastic insulation having a flame spread rating of 100 applied to the floor of this enclosure, excluding the floor of the mechanical room, to insulate the ceiling of the heated space below the floor.

An order to comply was issued on January 13, 1994 requiring the removal of the foamed plastic insulation.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence 3.1.5.11.(5) Combustible Insulation and its Protection (5) Combustible insulation, including foamed plastics, installed above roof decks, outside of foundation walls below ground level and beneath concrete slabs-on-ground is permitted to be used in a building required to be of noncombustible construction.

  1. Applicant's Position

The applicant stated that the combustible insulation should be allowed to remain in place without the protection outlined in any other part of Article 3.1.5.11. since Sentence 3.1.5.11.(5) allows combustible insulation above the roof deck.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The respondent stated that Sentence 3.1.5.11.(5) of the Building Code is only intended to apply to a flat roof surface which is exposed to the elements. In this building, the attic or roof space includes an enclosed mechanical room. Anyone attempting access to exit could be exposed to excessive smoke development if a fire occurred in the mechanical room area. The appropriate Building Code references are Sentence 3.1.5.11.(2) and 3.1.13.8.(1)(b).

  1. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the Respondent. It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the present construction does not comply with the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

1. The surface on which the foam plastic is resting on should be considered a floor assembly, since the space in question is enclosed and provides access to the mechanical room. The sloping metal deck should be considered the roof assembly.

2. The present code does not address the use of combustible insulation having a flame spread rating greater than 25, but not more than 500 on the top of a floor of an assembly. It is our opinion that the use of foam plastic having a flame spread rating of 100 on the top of a floor assembly protected in accordance with 3.1.5.11.(3) provides a comparable level of risk as when the foam plastic is used on an exterior wall.

Dated at Toronto this 24th day in the month of May in the year 1994 for application number 1994-10.