BCAB #1358 - Exit From Parking Garage Using Vehicle Ramp, Article 3.4.6.6.

June 14, 1994

BCAB #1358

Re: Exit From Parking Garage Using Vehicle Ramp, Article 3.4.6.6.

Project Description

The building in question is an existing strata title apartment building with a basement storage garage. Originally, one exit lead to the exterior via a door and stairway to grade and the other was via an interior stair and the main lobby. The door to the interior stair is now locked and the second exit is via a door leading to the exterior vehicle ramp which has a gradient of 1 in 8.7.

Reason for Appeal

The floor area in question must have two exits. The new exit uses a ramp and exit ramps must comply with Article 3.4.6.6. Clause 3.4.6.6.(1)(d) requires every exterior ramp to have a gradient not exceeding 1 in 10.

Appellant's Position

The exit door into the interior exit stair leading the main floor lobby has been locked to prevent trespass, theft and vandalism. The appellant contends that the vehicle ramp provides safer egress than the alternative of a new door leading into the fenced and partially walled landscape area adjacent to the neighbouring building.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the ramp is part of the exit and must comply with the gradient limits set out in Sentence 3.4.6.6.(1). The suggestion is made that the next edition of the code should address the problem of security in parking garages but the current code does not permit the situation in this appeal.

Appeal Board Decision #1358

It is the determination of the Board that Sentence 3.4.6.6.(1)(d) requires the slope of an exterior exit ramp not exceed 1:10. The ramp in question exceeds this slope and therefore does not meet the requirements for an exit ramp.

While the Board does not have the power to relax the requirements of the Code, the Board would refer both the appellant and the building official to the explanatory material in Appendix A-1.1.2.1. on the application of the Code to existing buildings.

George R. Humphrey, Chair