BCAB #1049 - Fabric Storefront Awnings

March 3, 1989

BCAB #1049

Re: Fabric Storefront Awnings

With reference to your letter of December 20, 1988 regarding fabric awnings, usually located on storefronts.

To avoid any misunderstandings, we are only dealing with the fairly common, metal-framed decorative canopies, usually installed on the face of a store-front, projecting to a limited degree over a sidewalk. These fixed canopies have generally replaced the older retractable fabric canopies once employed for the same purpose.

Sentences 3.1.8.1.(15), 3.2.3.4.(3), and Article 9.10.14.9., all deal with the question of combustible projections, and refer to projecting canopies. The information supplied with the appeal includes test confirmation that the fabric in the canopy, while combustible, complies with ULC-S109, "Standard for Flame Tests of Flame-Resistant Fabrics and Films", and the support framing for the fabric is of metal. This type of situation is not specifically addressed in the Code, and it is questionable whether the Code references indicated were intended to encompass such construction; we could not consider the material as a permanent finish forming part of the building, although not retractable it tends to fall in the same category as the old fabric awnings.

Under the circumstances, taking into account the extremely limited hazard involved, we would consider the fabric component of the canopy more on the basis of Article 3.1.4.5., and regard it as an acceptable component in noncombustible construction for this particular purpose. The restrictions in Sentences 3.1.8.1.(15), 3.2.3.4.(3) and Article 9.10.14.9., would not therefore apply.

J.C. Currie, Chair