BCAB #1306 - Means of Egress from Mezzanine, Article 3.4.2.2

May 19, 1993

BCAB #1306

Re: Means of Egress from Mezzanine, Article 3.4.2.2

Combustible Components in Noncombustible Construction, Article 3.1.5.1.

Project Description

The project in question is a Group F Division 1 industrial building with associated offices. The fully sprinklered building is of noncombustible construction (Sentence 3.2.2.48.(2), is one storey in building height and has a 290 m2 open mezzanine over the offices. The mezzanine is used for mold storage and pattern making.

Reasons for Appeal

Sentence 3.4.2.2.(1) of the 1992 B.C., Building Code requires mezzanines to be provided with exits on the same basis as floor areas unless they meet a set of criteria laid out in Sentence 3.4.2.2.(2)(a) through (d).

Article 3.1.5.1. requires buildings which are required to be of noncombustible construction to be built with noncombustible materials except as permitted in Articles 3.1.5.2. to 3.1.5.18., 3.1.13.4. and 3.2.2.13. Also, Sentence 3.2.3.7.(2) requires an exposing building face to be of noncombustible construction with noncombustible cladding where that wall is limited to less than 10% unprotected openings.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that fire separated exit stairs are not required from the mezzanine to the exterior because the travel distance from the mezzanine to the exterior via the two access stairs is within code requirements.

The appellant also contends that combustible framing and sheathing should be permitted behind the metal clad facia of the building because the concrete block exterior wall to which it is attached provides adequate fire protection for the facia.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that Group F Division 1 occupancies are not included under the criteria in Sentence 3.4.2.2.(2) which would permit a non-fire separated exit from the mezzanine. Two of the criteria in Sentence 3.4.2.2.2.(2) are that the mezzanine be within size and travel distance limits related to it's occupancy classification. Group F Division 1 occupancies are not included in the list in Table 3.3.1.A. referred to in Clauses 3.4.2.2.(2)(c) & (d).

The building official maintains that combustible framing and sheathing for the facia which extends to within 1.5 metres of the property line is not permitted by Subsection 3.1.5. nor Subsection 3.2.3.

Appeal Board Decision #1306

It is the determination of the Board that as F1 occupancies are not included in the exemption provisions of Sentence 3.4.2.1.(2), the mezzanine in question would be required to be provided with exits on the same basis as required for floor areas in Section 3.4. of the Building Code.

Also, it is the determination of the Board that the combustible wood stud framing of an exterior canopy does not conform to the permitted combustible components allowed in Section 3.1.5.

George R. Humphrey, Chair