BCAB #1286 - Fire Access Roadway Surface Treatment, Clause 3.2.5.2.(6)(e)

July 29, 1992

BCAB #1286

Re: Fire Access Roadway Surface Treatment, Clause 3.2.5.2.(6)(e)

Project Description

This appeal concerns the type of paving or surface treatment for fire truck access roadways.

Reason for Appeal

Clause 3.2.5.2.(6)(e) requires an access roadway for fire trucks to be "surfaced with concrete, asphalt or other material designed to permit accessibility under all climatic conditions."

Appellant's Position

The appellant wishes to use a concrete paving block which is designed to allow grass to grow through it and still provide a surface capable of surviving vehicular traffic. Considerable technical data indicating the product's suitability for the intended purpose has been provided.

Building Official's Position

The building official has not accepted the product because he contends that after several years the location of the access route becomes very difficult to determine as it blends with the surrounding grass. He is also concerned with snow removal in the winter and points out that it is their experience that these type of access routes are not cleared of snow at least in part because of the difficulty of doing so.

Appeal Board Decision #1286

It is the determination of the Board that the Code does not prohibit the use of this type of paving block for fire truck access routes. They must be designed for the expected loads and be installed in accordance with an approved access route design.

The Board considers "accessible under all climatic conditions" as required by Clause 3.2.5.2.(6)(e) to refer to the design and installation of the access route, primarily the surface treatment, and does not imply that the access route must be free of snow or ice at all times. The Building Code is a design document, not a maintenance document, and only requires the access route be designed to permit all climate access.

The authority having jurisdiction should be satisfied that the location of the access route will be readily discernible at all times which may require signage or markers to define the route.

George R. Humphrey, Chair