Ruling No. 08-03-1177

Document technical information

Format pdf
Size 70.9 kB
First found May 22, 2018

Document content analysis

Category Also themed
Language
English
Type
not defined
Concepts
no text concepts found

Persons

Organizations

Places

Transcript

Ruling No. 08-03-1177
Application No. 2007-26
BUILDING CODE COMMISSION
IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, S.O. 1992, c. 23, as amended.
AND IN THE MATTER OF Articles 3.4.4.1., 3.4.4.3., Sentences 3.3.1.3.(8), 3.3.1.3.(9),
3.3.1.4.(1), 3.3.1.14.(1) and 3.3.4.4.(7) as amended, (the Building Code).
AND IN THE MATTER OF an application Scott Sutherland, Maple Crossing Developments Inc.,
for the resolution of a dispute with Terry Kay, Chief Building Official, Town of Milton, to
determine whether the omission of the fire rated shutter between the tenant balconies and the
exterior passageway in the design of the exit and egress system provides sufficiency of
compliance with Articles 3.4.4.1., 3.4.4.3., Sentences 3.3.1.3.(8), 3.3.1.3.(9), 3.3.1.4.(1),
3.3.1.14.(1) and 3.3.4.4.(7) of the Building Code at Buildings 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, Maple Crossing
Condominiums, 1479 Maple Avenue, Town of Milton, Ontario
APPLICANT
Scott Sutherland
Maple Crossing Developments Inc.,
Burlington, ON
RESPONDENT
Terry Kay
Chief Building Official
Town of Milton
PANEL
Tony Chow, Chair
Alison Orr
Mina Tesseris
PLACE
Toronto, Ontario
DATE OF HEARING
January 24, 2008
DATE OF RULING
January 24, 2008
APPEARANCES
Randy Brown
Randal Brown Architect Ltd.,
Toronto, ON
Agent for the Applicant
John Branant
Plans Examiner
Town of Milton
Designate for the Respondent
-2RULING
1.
Particulars of Dispute
The Applicant has received a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992, to construct 5 separate,
4 storey, Group C residential buildings at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, Maple Crossing Condominiums, 1479
Maple Avenue, Town of Milton, Ontario.
The subject buildings are of combustible construction and are equipped with a sprinkler system,
a standpipe and hose system and a fire alarm system. Each building has between 48 and 56
residential units with a total of 264 units. All suites within each building are provided with a single
exit doorway opening onto a public corridor.
Sentence 3.3.1.3.(8) of the 1997 Building Code requires each suite in a floor area that serves
more than one suite to have an exterior exit doorway or a doorway into a public corridor or in to
an exterior passageway. Sentence 3.3.1.3.(9) requires that where a doorway referred to in
Sentence (8) opens onto a public corridor or exterior passageway, it shall be possible to go in
opposite directions to each of two separate exits. “Exit”, as defined by the Code, is that part of a
means of egress that leads from the floor area it serves to an exterior open space protected from
fire exposure from the building and having access to an open public thoroughfare.
The construction in dispute involves the exit and egress system provided for each suite in each
building. More specifically, the dispute involves whether a fire rated shutter between the tenant
balconies and the exterior passageway in the design of the exit and egress system is required.
Each suite, in the subject buildings, has a doorway that exits onto a public corridor; the corridor
is served by a fully enclosed exit stair in one direction. In the opposite direction, the public
corridor ends at an unrated exterior passageway. Evacuees must travel through the unrated
exterior passageway to reach an enclosed exit stair. The exterior passageway is adjacent to
tenant occupied balconies and is separated from the balconies by an open guard. The Applicant
wishes the Commission to consider the exterior passageways as one of the two required means
of egress from the dwelling units. The Respondent is of the opinion that as the exterior
passageways include tenant occupied space containing combustible materials and content, and
as they are not separated from the rest of the building as required by Sentence 3.4.4.1.(1), the
proposed exterior passageways, without a fire rated shutter between the tenant balconies and
the exterior passageway, can not be considered equivalent to a sprinklered and fire separated
internal public corridor.
2.
Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute
3.3.1.3.
(8)
Means of Egress
Except as permitted by Sentences 3.3.4.4.(6) and (7), each suite in a floor area that
contains more than one suite shall have
(a) an exterior exit doorway, or
(b) a doorway
(i) into a public corridor, or
(ii) to an exterior passageway.
(9)
Except as permitted by this Section and by Sentence 3.4.2.1.(2), at the point where a
doorway referred to in Sentence (8) opens onto a public corridor or exterior passageway,
it shall be possible to go in opposite directions to each of 2 separate exits.
3.3.1.4.
Public Corridor Separations
-3-
(1)
Except as otherwise required by this Part or permitted by Sentences (2) to (7), a public
corridor shall be separated from the remainder of the building by a fire separation having
a fire-resistance rating not less than 1 h. (See Appendix A.)
(2)
The fire-resistance rating of a fire separation between a public corridor and the remainder
of a floor area is permitted to be less than 1 h but not less than 45 min provided the fireresistance rating required by Subsection 3.2.2. is permitted to be less than 1 h for
(a)
(b)
(3)
the floor assembly above the floor area, or
the floor assembly below the floor area, if there is no floor assembly above.
If a floor area is sprinklered, no fire-resistance rating is required for a fire separation
between a public
3.3.1.14.
(1)
3.4.4.1.
Exterior Passageways
An exterior passageway leading to a required exit shall conform to the
requirements of Section 3.4. for exterior exit passageways.
Fire-Resistance Rating of Exit Separations
(1)
Except as permitted by Sentences (2), (4), 3.3.5.4.(3), 3.4.4.2.(2) and 3.4.4.3.(1), every
exit shall be separated from the remainder of the building by a fire separation having a
fire-resistance rating not less than that required by Subsection 3.2.2., but not less than
45 min, for
(a)
the floor assembly above the storey, or
(b)
the floor assembly below the storey, if there is no floor assembly above.
(2)
The fire-resistance rating of the fire separation referred to in Sentence (1) need not be
more than 2 h.
(3)
If an exit stair in an assembly hall or theatre serves more than one balcony level, the exit
stair shall be separated from the remainder of the building in conformance with
Sentence(1).
(4)
The path of exit travel may lead from an exit door or exit enclosure through open air
parking that is located below a roof or floor assembly that is part of the building served by
the exit door or exit enclosure where
(a)
the portion of the path of exit travel that leads through the open air parking
is not more than 9 m (29 ft 6 in) in length measured from the exit door to a
point at ground level at the perimeter of the building,
(b)
measures are taken to prevent vehicles intended to park in spaces
adjacent to the path of exit travel from encroaching on the path of exit
travel, and
(c)
an alternate means of egress not leading through the open air parking is
available from the interior side of the door opening onto the path of exit
travel through the open air parking area.
3.4.4.3.
(1)
Exterior Passageway Exceptions
The requirements of Sentences 3.4.4.1.(1) and 3.2.3.12.(1) and (3) do not apply to an
exterior exit passageway provided
(a)
not less than 50% of the exterior side is open to the outdoors, and
-4(b)
3.4.4.4.
an exit stair is provided at each end of the passageway.
Integrity of Exits
(1)
A fire separation that separates an exit from the remainder of the building shall have no
openings except for
(a)
standpipe and sprinkler piping,
(b)
electrical wires and cables, totally enclosed noncombustible raceways and
noncombustible piping that serve only the exit,
(c)
openings required by the provisions of Subsection 3.2.6.,
(d)
exit doorways, and
(e)
wired glass and glass block permitted by Article 3.1.8.14.
(2)
Exits within scissors stairs and other contiguous exit stairways shall be separated from
each other by a smoke-tight fire separation having a fire-resistance rating not less than
that required for the floor assembly through which they pass.
(3)
Fire separations separating contiguous stairs described in Sentence (2) shall not be
pierced by doorways, ductwork, piping or any other openings that affect the continuity of
the separation.
(4)
A fuel-fired appliance shall not be installed in an exit.
(5)
An exit shall not be used as a plenum for a heating, ventilating or air-conditioning system.
(6)
An exit shall be designed for no purpose other than for exiting, except that an exit is
permitted also to be designed to serve as an access to a floor area.
(7)
A service room shall not open directly into an exit.
(8)
Storage rooms, washrooms, toilet rooms, laundry rooms and similar ancillary rooms shall
not open directly into an exit.
(9)
Service spaces referred to in Sentence 3.2.1.1.(7) shall not open directly into an exit.
(10)
In elementary and secondary schools, an exit shall be designed so that it does not serve
as an access from one portion of a floor area to another portion of the same floor area.
3.
Applicant’s Position
The Agent submitted that the design concept for the exiting of occupants from each suite of the
subject buildings is in dispute. The Agent explained that each suite accesses a public corridor
that in one direction leads to an enclosed exit stair and in the other direction leads to an exterior
passageway, which is more than 50% open to the exterior on one side and which then leads to
an enclosed exit stair.
The Agent contended that the Building Code equates an open exterior passageway that is 50%
open to the exterior, not fire separated from the remainder of the floor area, and has an exit stair
at each end, to a 1 h fire separated public corridor. In other words, the Agent maintained that
under the Building Code, an exterior passageway which opens to the exterior with an exit stair at
each end and which is not fire separated from the remainder of the floor as per Article 3.4.4.3.,
can be viewed as equivalent to a 1 h fire separated corridor.
-5The Agent argued that Sentence 3.3.4.4.(7) of the Code permits a dwelling unit which has a
second and separate means of egress to have one means of egress from the dwelling unit
passing through an exterior balcony or exterior passageway served by a single exit stairway.
The Agent advised that individual balconies or terraces are not intended to be considered a
means of egress from the suites to the open passageway. He submitted that Sentence
3.3.1.5.(1) of the Code requires a minimum of two egress doorways from a room or suite
however, this Sentence provides dwelling units with an exception to this requirement. Therefore,
he stated that only one egress doorway is required for dwelling units. The means of egress
being proposed is via the egress door of the suite, which in one direction leads to an enclosed
public corridor and then to an enclosed exit stair and in the other direction leads to the enclosed
public corridor, which then leads to an exterior passageway, and finally to an enclosed exit stair.
The Agent stated that Sentence 3.3.1.8.(8) of the Building Code requires suites in a floor area
containing more than one suite (such as this building) to have either an exterior exit doorway or
a doorway which opens into a public corridor or to an exterior passageway and that Sentence
3.3.1.14.(1) states that an exterior passageway leading to a required exit shall conform to the
requirements of Section 3.4 for exterior exit passageways. The Agent submitted that although
the term “exterior passageway” is not defined in the Code, Article 1.1.3.2. defines a “public
corridor” as a corridor that provides access to more than one suite. Therefore, as the corridors at
Maple Crossing provide access to more than one suit, it is his belief that they are considered
public corridors. Further, the Agent advised that it was his opinion that a portion of a public
corridor can contain an exterior passageway.
The Agent maintained that the subject exit design meets the requirements of Sentence
3.3.1.3.(9) of the Code which requires that where a doorway opens onto a public corridor or
exterior passageway, it shall be possible for an individual to travel in opposite directions to each
of two separate exits. The Agent argued that the subject egress design from the suites at Maple
Crossing allows an individual to travel in opposite directions to two separate exits i.e. one can
enter the public corridor and from there can travel to an enclosed exit stair or one can choose to
travel via the exterior passageway, which leads to an enclosed exit stair.
The Agent submitted that the enclosed portions of the public corridor have a fire separation with
a fire resistance rating of 1 hour with the doors having a 20 minute fire protection rating and selfclosing devices in accordance with Sentence 3.3.1.4.(1) of the Building Code. The Agent
acknowledged that although the exterior passageway is 50% open to the exterior, the
passageway does not have an exit stair at each end as required by Article 3.4.4.3. of the Code.
However, in the Agent’s opinion, the subject design, which includes an enclosed exit stair in the
centre of the exterior passageway and access to an enclosed 1 hour fire rated public corridor
leading to an enclosed exit stair, meets the intent of the Code for this portion of the means of
egress. In fact, he argued, the subject design exceeds the Code requirement as the Code
permits open stairs at either end of an exterior exit passageway, which could cause the stairs to
be potentially exposed to fire from adjacent storeys or suites. Further, the Agent argued that
smoke containment considerations are mitigated by the provision of a portion of the corridor
being exterior and a portion being interior since the exterior passageway is open to the outside,
smoke accumulation would be reduced.
The Agent acknowledged the Respondent’s concerns regarding the potential for combustibles
and/or ignition sources to accumulate on the balconies adjacent to the exterior passageway,
which could then potentially present a hazard to the occupants using the exterior passageway
for exiting during a fire. To address this concern, the omission of the fire rated shutter between
the tenant balconies and the exterior passageway in the design of the exit and egress system
the Agent offered the following compensating measures:
-6


The condominium documents would prohibit any sources of ignition including barbeques
and type of vegetation from being present on balconies
The balconies would be protected by automatic sprinklers, and
Ventilation ductwork from the suite would be extended to the exterior of the passageway
using fire rated ductwork
In summary, the Agent maintained that the subject egress system can be considered a
combination of a public corridor and exterior passageway with those portions of the enclosed
public corridor meeting the requirements of a 1hour fire separated public corridor and those
portions exterior being considered equivalent to an exterior exit passageway. In both cases, he
maintained, the enclosed exit stairs are provided within the required travel distances such that
no dead end conditions exist and an occupant is always provided with the choice of two
directions of travel. For all these reasons, the Agent contended the proposed design without a
fire rated shutter between the tenant balconies and the exterior passageway, provides
sufficiency of compliance with the egress and exiting requirements of the Building Code.
4.
Respondent’s Position
The Respondent submitted that the Building Code requires a public corridor to be served by exit
stairs at each end and that Clause 3.3.1.3.(8)(b) of the Code requires one to choose either a
doorway into a public corridor or a doorway into an exterior passageway (emphasis added) not a
combination of both.
The Respondent advised that each suite at Maple Crossing has a door opening into a public
corridor; however, the corridor is only served by a fully enclosed exit stair in one direction and
not in the opposite direction as required by the Code. The Respondent argued that in the other
direction, the public corridor ends at an unrated exterior passageway where evacuees must
travel thorough the unrated exterior passageway then through an elevator lobby to reach an
enclosed exit stair. Further the Respondent argued that the exterior passageway is shared by
tenant occupied patios that could contain combustibles and ignition sources, which is a concern
as the tenant patios are only separated from the exterior passageway by an open railing.
The Respondent maintained that as the exterior passageways are not separated from the
remainder of the building as required by Sentence 3.4.4.1.(1) of the Building Code, they cannot
be considered equivalent to the sprinklered and fire separated internal public corridor. The
Respondent indicated that he believed the level of life safety for an occupant would be reduced
by the proposed egress system. The Respondent stated that is was his view the proposed
egress design requires the occupants to pass through an area of relatively greater hazard before
they could reach the exit.
The Respondent advised that to resolve this issue, it was the Municipality’s position that the
exterior passageways be sprinklered and fire rated shutters be installed from the floor to the
underside of the slab immediately adjacent to the open guards/handrails so that if activated in a
fire event, the shutters would fire separate the suites and the patios from the exterior
passageways. In combination with sprinklering the passageway and ducting the HVAC and
vent/exhaust system systems in fire separated duct shafts, it was the Respondent’s opinion that
these measures would provide sufficiency of compliance with the Code. Further, the Respondent
maintained that the applicant had agreed to these measures and that the building permits were
issued on this basis.
In summary, the Respondent submitted that it was his position that the proposed exterior
passageways, which include tenant occupied space that would likely contain combustible
materials, if not separated from the rest of the building as required by Sentence 3.4.4.1.(1) of the
Code, could not be considered equivalent to a sprinklered and fire separated internal public
-7corridor.
5.
Commission Ruling
It is the Decision of the Building Code Commission that the omission of the fire rated shutter
between the tenant balconies and the exterior passageway in the design of the exit and egress
system provides sufficiency of compliance with Articles 3.4.4.1., 3.4.4.3., Sentences 3.3.1.3.(8),
3.3.1.3.(9), 3.3.1.4.(1), 3.3.1.14.(1) and 3.3.4.4.(7) of the Building Code at Buildings 1, 2, 3, 4,
and 5, Maple Crossing Condominiums, 1479 Maple Avenue, Town of Milton, Ontario on
condition that:
a) Automatic sprinklers shall be installed on the side wall of each balcony, in the recycling
rooms, garbage rooms and resident storage rooms as well as, the exterior passageway
in accordance with the standards set out by the National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA) 13R-1999, Standards for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Residential
Occupancies up to and Including Four Stories in Height,
b) The recycling rooms, garbage rooms and the resident storage rooms shall be equipped
with doors, having self-closing devices and latches, which provide a minimum fire
protection rating of 45 minutes. Further, the recycling rooms, garbage rooms and the
resident storage rooms will be separated by a minimum 1 hour fire separation,
c) The bathroom exhaust fans, which discharge onto the exterior passageway, shall be
equipped with a listed fire damper,
d) Exit signs shall be placed throughout the public corridor and exterior passageway in the
proposed exit and egress system, clearly showing the direction of exit travel, and
e) The doors at each end of each exterior passageway shall have a minimum fire protection
rating of 45 minutes.
6.
Reasons
i)
In the opinion of the Commission, the omission of the fire rated shutter with the
implementation of the above-mentioned compensating measures, provides
sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code requirements.
ii)
The enclosed exit stairs are within the required travel distances such that no dead
end conditions exist and occupants are always provided with the choice of two
directions of travel.
iii)
The exterior passageway, as it is more than 50% open, would reduce smoke
accumulation in the means of egress.
-8Dated at Toronto this 24th day in the month of January in the year 2008 for application number
2007-26.
________________
Tony Chow, Chair
________________
Alison Orr
________________
Mina Tesseris

Similar documents

×

Report this document