BCAB #1342 - Determination of "Uppermost Floor Level," Article 3.2.2.36

March 16, 1994

BCAB #1342

Re: Determination of "Uppermost Floor Level," Article 3.2.2.36

Project Description

The project in question is an apartment building designed to the basic construction requirements of Article 3.2.2.36. A mezzanine has been incorporated in the top storey and this mezzanine is more than 9 metres above grade.

Reason for Appeal

Article 3.2.2.36. limits a building to 4 storeys in building height and not more than 9 metres from grade to the "uppermost floor level".

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that a mezzanine should not be considered as a "floor level" for the purposes of Article 3.2.2.36. The appellant argues that the Code intends to limit combustible residential buildings to 4 storeys in building height and 9 metres to the top floor but the ceiling height of the top storey is not limited.

Based on a typical storey to storey height of 3 metres a typical 4 storey building would be 12 metres high. However, as there is no limit on the height of the top storey, a 15 metre high building could be built incorporating a 6 metre high top storey. The appellant considers that if the height limits are based on fire fighting limitations and the Code does not attempt to control the total height of such a building the addition of a mezzanine to the top storey should not infringe on the intent of the Code with regards to fire protection and life safety. Total building height could be the same with or without a mezzanine.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the Code is very clear in limiting the uppermost floor level to not more than 9 metres above grade. A mezzanine is definitely a floor level and as this mezzanine is more than 9 metres above grade the building does not comply with Article 3.2.2.36.

Appeal Board Decision #1342

It is the determination of the Board that the mezzanine in the top storey is a floor level as intended by the Code and would be considered the uppermost floor level of this building. As the mezzanine is more than 9 metres above grade the building would not comply with Article 3.2.2.36.

George R. Humphrey, Chair