BCAB #1246 - Classrooms in Trade School; Separation of Major Occupancies - Sentence 3.1.3.2.(1)

April 22, 1991

BCAB #1246

Re: Classrooms in Trade School; Separation of Major Occupancies - Sentence 3.1.3.2.(1)

Project Description

A carpentry and recreational vehicle repair shop addition to an existing trade school. The addition is separated from the existing building by a four hour firewall. The addition contains a mezzanine for two classrooms and two teachers' offices. The mezzanine is approximately 23% of the room in which it is located.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.1.3.2.(1) requires a fire separation between different major occupancies.

Appellant's Position

The definition of major occupancy includes "subsidiary occupancies which are an integral part of the principle occupancy". The appellant considers the classrooms to be subsidiary to the carpentry / R.V. shop because they are directly related to the shop. As such they are not a major occupancy and no fire separation is required between them and the shop.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the classrooms should be considered as a Group A Division 2 major occupancy and be separated from the Group F Division 2 carpentry /R.V. repair shop. He considers Sentence 3.3.7.6.(10), which requires a two hour fire separation between a repair garage and other occupancies, also applies. He considers the R.V. repair function to constitute a repair garage and is concerned about the potential for propane leaks. There is a also a concern that the classrooms will be used by students not associated with the carpentry/R.V. shop so they should not be considered as subsidiary to the shop.

Appeal Board Decision #1246

It is the determination of the Board that the building in question is a Group F Division 2 major occupancy because the principle use is a carpentry and recreational vehicle repair shop. The designer indicates that the classrooms "exist solely for the benefit of the carpentry / R.V. repair shop". The board considers this use to be subsidiary to and an integral part of the principle occupancy. Therefore, Sentence 3.1.3.2.(1) does not apply and a fire separation is not required.

With regard to Sentence 3.3.7.6.(10) the Board considers that if the carpentry/R.V. repair shop were classified as a repair garage then the shop including subsidiary classrooms would have to be separated from other adjacent occupancies such as a welding instruction shop by at least a 2 hour fire separation.

George R. Humphrey, Chair