BCAB #1293 - Limiting Distance for Fabric Covered Steel Frame Building, Article 3.1.4.6. & Subsection 3.2.3.

September 22, 1992

BCAB #1293

Re: Limiting Distance for Fabric Covered Steel Frame Building, Article 3.1.4.6. & Subsection 3.2.3.

Project Description

The project in question is a fabric covered light steel structure with an arched roof and no end walls. The structure is located between two existing buildings, one of which is on an adjacent property. There is virtually no space between this structure and the adjacent buildings and there is no fabric cover on the side walls. The structure covers a boat display area that was previously just an open parking area.

Reason for Appeal

Subsection 3.2.3. contains provisions that limit the area of unprotected openings in a building wall adjacent to property lines or other buildings and dictates fire resistance ratings for these same walls. Article 3.1.4.6. requires tents to meet the requirements of Subsection 3.2.3. with some exceptions.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the structure is portable and temporary so the requirements for spatial separation should not apply. He also contends the structure is not a tent because it is not supported by poles and guy wires. He does not consider it to present any more fire hazard than the previous open display area because the fabric cover melts rather than burns and would simply fall to the ground and congeal.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the structure should be considered as a tent because there is no other classification for this type of structure. As a tent it must comply with spatial separation requirements. The official is not prepared to accept that the building is temporary because he has been given no indication that it will be removed within six months as required by there bylaw.

Appeal Board Decision #1293

It is the determination of the Board that the structure in question qualifies as a building under the definition of building in Subsection 1.3.2. Therefore, the requirements of the Building Code apply, including the spatial separation requirements of Subsection 3.2.3. To be considered as a temporary building it's temporary status would have to be authorized by the building official

George R. Humphrey, Chair