BCAB #1377 - Egress from Residential Suite, Sentences 3.3.4.4.(5), 3.4.2.1.(1) & 3.5.3.1.(2).

January 18, 1994

BCAB #1377

Re: Egress from Residential Suite, Sentences 3.3.4.4.(5), 3.4.2.1.(1) & 3.5.3.1.(2).

Project Description

The project in question is a high rise residential condominium required to comply with Subsection 3.2.6. There are two suites per floor except on the sixth storey which has only one suite. As there is only one suite on the sixth floor there is no public corridor and both the exit stairs and the elevator open directly into the suite.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.3.4.4.(5) states that in residential buildings not more than 3 storeys in building height a dwelling unit is permitted to open directly into an exit stairway provided it has a second and separate means of egress. Sentence 3.4.2.1.(1) requires every floor area to at least two exits. Sentence 3.5.3.1.(2) requires elevator shafts containing fire fighter's elevators to be separated from the adjacent floor area by a fire separation with a fire resistance rating equal to that of the floor assemblies through which it passes.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that Article 3.3.4.4. focuses on egress requirements for multi-storey dwelling units and Sentence 3.3.4.4.(5) does not apply to this single storey dwelling. The floor area containing the single dwelling unit is provided with two exits in conformance with Sentence 3.4.2.1.(1). The fire fighter's elevator complies with the fire separation requirements of Sentence 3.5.3.1.(2) and with Sentence 3.2.6.9.(3) regarding the operation of the elevator door and is not required to be protected by a vestibule.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that Sentence 3.3.4.4.(5) is not limited to multi-storey dwelling units and allows a suite to open directly into an exit stair only in buildings of 3 storeys or less in building height. By placing a vestibule between the dwelling and the exit stair the dwelling no longer opens "directly" into the exit.

Appeal Board Decision #1377

It is the determination of the Board that the design in question is acceptable. A firefighter's elevator is not required to open into a vestibule provided the opening is protected by a closure conforming to Clause 3.2.6.9.(3)(a). The Board interprets Sentence 3.3.4.4.(5) as an exception to Sentence 3.3.1.3.(8) which is only applicable where there is more than one suite in a floor area. There is only one suite on the floor area in question. Therefore, it is permissible to open the suite directly into an exit stair as is common in other occupancies.

George R. Humphrey, Chair