BCAB #1222 - Areas of Refuge and Institutional Corridors - Clause 3.7.2.5.(1)(e); Sentences 3.3.3.3.(2) and; (3)

October 23, 1990

BCAB #1222

Re: Areas of Refuge and Institutional Corridors - Clause 3.7.2.5.(1)(e); Sentences 3.3.3.3.(2) and; (3)

Project Description

A proposed seniors' centre and intermediate care facility classified as Group B Division 2. The building is a 4 storey noncombustible structure with one level of underground parking. The first storey contains related assembly occupancies and complementary support areas while the second through fourth storeys contain sleeping rooms, nursing stations and secondary dinning and lounge areas. Because there is a Group B Division 2 occupancy above the third storey the building is considered a high building and must conform to the requirements of Subsection 3.2.6.

Reason for Appeal

There are two disputes in this appeal. The first deals with areas of refuge for disabled persons and the second deals with the required width of corridors serving patients' bedrooms.

(1) Clause 3.7.2.5.(1)(e) requires, unless specifically noted elsewhere, areas of refuge conforming to Article 3.7.3.27. be provided on each floor to which disabled persons are required to be provided access.

(2) Sentences 3.3.3.3.(2) and (3) require 2400 mm wide corridors and 1100 mm wide doors where it may be necessary to move patients in beds.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that areas of refuge, 2400 mm wide corridors and 1100 mm wide doorways are not required.

(1) Article 3.7.2.27. requires Group B Division 2 occupancies to conform at least with the requirements of Article 3.7.2.26. which specifically exempts them from the requirement to provide areas of refuge.

(2) Intermediate Care facilities are licensed for not more than two bed-ridden patients and corridor, door and bed dimensions contained in the Community Care Facilities Act indicate there is no intention to move patients in their beds. Therefore Sentences 3.3.3.3.(2) and (3) are not applicable to this project.

Building Official's Position

The building official contends that areas of refuge are required in the stairwells and 2400 mm wide corridors and 1100 mm wide doorways are required.

(1) As noted by the appellant disabled persons will inhabit the building so Section 3.7 clearly applies. It follows then that the Specific Requirements of Article 3.7.2.5. also apply and that Article 3.7.2.5. is inclusive of Article 3.7.2.27. The term "at least" in Article 3.7.2.27. does not specifically note or imply that special design requirements are restricted to the requirements of Article 3.7.2.27. alone. Article 3.7.3.27. deals with areas of refuge and refers back to floor areas described in Clause 3.7.2.5.(1)(e). Therefore, areas of refuge are required in the stairwells.

(2) Although only two bed-ridden patients are permitted by the Community Care Facility Act the Building Code, in Sentence 3.3.3.3.(2), places no lower limit on the number of patients to be moved in beds when requiring wide corridors and doors. As up to two patients may be moved in their beds the 2400 mm wide corridors and 1100 mm wide doors are required.

Appeal Board Decision #1222

There are two questions in this Appeal and the Board will answer each separately.

(1) The Board considers that Article 3.7.2.27. requires Group B Division 2 occupancies to conform at least to the requirements for Group B Division 1 occupancies as contained in Article 3.7.2.26. Article 3.7.2.5. requires areas of refuge in all buildings unless "specifically noted otherwise." Article 3.7.2.26. specifically notes otherwise and does not require areas of refuge. Therefore, neither does Article 3.7.2.27.

The Board feels that Group B Division 2 occupancies are exempted from the area of refuge requirements because they are provided with comparable areas of refuge for disabled persons by the application of Sentences 3.3.3.5.(6) and 3.3.3.6.(2) which require each floor area to be divided into at least two fire compartments with smoke protected openings between them and access directly or indirectly to exits.

(2) The Board considers that the Code in Sentence 3.3.3.3.(2) and Article 3.3.3.9. requires 2400 mm wide corridors and 1050 mm wide doors where it may be necessary to move patients in bed. The Community Care Facility Act also governs the design of this building and it's requirements for minimum 1000 mm wide beds and 830 mm wide doors indicate there is no intention to move patients in bed in this class of facility. Therefore, Sentence 3.3.3.3.(2) and Article 3.3.3.9. do not apply and 2400 mm wide corridors and 1050 mm wide doors are not required.

George R. Humphrey, Chair