BCAB #1313 - Exterior Walkways Used as Exits, Sentence 3.4.4.3.(1)

July 14, 1993

BCAB #1313

Re: Exterior Walkways Used as Exits, Sentence 3.4.4.3.(1)

Project Description

The project in question is an existing eight storey condominium. The suites on each storey are served by an exterior walkway with an exit stair shaft at each end. This walkway is approximately U shaped but the open end of the U is joined by a walkway which provides access to the free-standing elevator tower centered between the two ends of the U. The owners propose to close in the open end of the U with a glazed wind break wall from the third storey to the eighth storey. This will create an enclosed courtyard ringed by the walkway and open at the top.

Reason for Appeal

Article 3.4.4.3. states that the exterior wall of the building adjacent to the exterior exit walkway need not be constructed as a fire separation as required by Sentence 3.4.4.1.(1) provided "...not less than 50% of the exterior side is open to the outdoors..."

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the proposed glazed wind break wall does not constitute enclosure of the exterior walkway because it would not alter the conditions that Article 3.4.4.3. is intended to maintain. Heat and smoke from a fire in the building can vent freely to the exterior and will not contaminate the walkway and make it impassable to persons exiting the building.

Building Official's Position

The building official is relying on previous Appeal #1046 which seemed to consider that the glazed wind break wall constituted an enclosure such that "...the open walkways would not qualify as exterior passageways."

Appeal Board Decision #1313

It is the determination of the Board that previous appeal decision #1046 is still valid and the proposed wind break wall would constitute enclosure of the walkways such that they would not qualify as "exterior" walkways. The board wishes to emphasize that this appeal decision is specific to this building and should not be considered a generic interpretation of Article 3.4.4.3.

George R. Humphrey, Chair