BCAB #1373 - Ground Cover in a Crawl Space, Subsection 9.18.6.

December 16, 1994

BCAB #1373

Re: Ground Cover in a Crawl Space, Subsection 9.18.6.

Project Description

The project in question is a single family house built over a crawl space. The crawl space is divided by open stud bearing walls into three areas. The ground cover in two of these areas is polyethylene sheet while the third area has a two inch concrete skim coat ground cover.

Reason for Appeal

Article 9.18.6.1. requires a ground cover in every crawl space. The ground cover shall consist of 50 mm of asphalt or 10 MPa Portland cement concrete, Type S roll roofing or 0.10 mm polyethylene.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that a combination of ground covers conforming to Sentence 9.18.6.1.(1) and installed in conformance with (2), (3) and (4) should be acceptable. The reasonably durable concrete skim was installed in the portion of the crawl space that is directly accessible for storage and, to reduce costs, polyethylene was used in the remainder of the crawl space where it is less likely to be disturbed.

Building Official's Position

The building official contends that ground cover other than concrete has proven to be inadequate in use. In order to reduce problems for owners due to the inevitable failure of polyethylene ground covers they have maintained a policy of only accepting a concrete skim coat.

Appeal Board Decision #1373

It is the determination of the Board that polyethylene ground cover is acceptable in a crawl space. The choice of which of the ground cover materials permitted by the Code is that of the owner or builder, not the building official.

George R. Humphrey, Chair