BCAB #1234 - Unprotected Openings in Exposing Building Face of Storage Garage, Sentence 3.2.3.6.(1)

February 22, 1991

BCAB #1234

Re: Unprotected Openings in Exposing Building Face of Storage Garage, Sentence 3.2.3.6.(1)

Project Description

An existing two storey office building to which additions and alterations are proposed. The work includes more area to the second storey with parking at grade below this addition and the addition of a third storey.

Reason for Appeal

The additions come to within one inch of the property line of the neighbouring property. The second and third storey addition over the parking area is supported on concrete columns at the property line. Table 3.2.3.A does not allow unprotected openings in an exposing building face less than 1.2 m from a property line.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the parking area should not be considered as a Group F Division 3 storage garage but rather as a grade level parking lot with a building over. Therefore, the space between the columns should not be considered as unprotected openings and Article 3.2.3.1. and Sentence 3.2.3.6.(1) do not apply. He maintains that only Sentence 3.2.3.5.(5) applies and that the columns meet this requirement.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the parking area is by definition a storage garage and the space between the columns must be treated as unprotected openings. As the exposing building face has a limiting distance of less than 3 metres Sentence 3.2.3.6.(1) does not apply and Table 3.2.3.B. must be used which permits no unprotected openings where the limiting distance is less than 1.2 metres. He also points out that the appellant has provided a 11/2 hour fire separation between the parking area and the existing building and addition as if to separate this occupancy from the remainder of the building as required by Sentence 3.3.7.6.(11).

Appeal Board Decision #1234

Exposing building face is defined, in part, as an "exterior wall". Table 3.2.3.A of the Code recognizes exterior walls with up to 100% unprotected openings. The Board considers that a wall, even with 100% openings, exists at the perimeter of the area containing an occupancy under the horizontal projection of the roof or floor above.

Where the exposing building face is less than 1.2 metres from a property line, as with the building in question, no unprotected openings are permitted. Therefore, the openings between the columns at the first storey parking garage must be protected.

George R. Humphrey, Chair