BCAB #1409ghl - Openings Through Floors, Clauses 3.2.8.2.(5)(c) & 3.2.8.2.(6)(c)

November 15, 1995

BCAB #1409

Re: Openings Through Floors, Clauses 3.2.8.2.(5)(c) & 3.2.8.2.(6)(c)

Project Description

The project in question is a Part 3 multiple occupancy building containing a single storey Group F Division 2 warehouse and a three storey Group D office. The office portion contains an open stairway connecting all three storeys.

Reason for Appeal

The open stair constitutes an interconnected floor space and Subsection 3.2.8. is applicable. Sentence 3.2.8.2.(5) permits escalators and moving walkways to penetrate any number of stories but not in a building classified as Group F major occupancy. Sentence 3.2.8.2.(6) permits an opening through the floor for purposes such as a stair providing the interconnected floor space only includes the first storey and the one next above or below and it does not contain, amongst other occupancies, a Group F Division 2 major occupancy.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the intent of the exceptions in Sentences 3.2.8.2.(5) and (6) to the general requirements for interconnected floor spaces in Articles 3.2.2.3. to 3.2.2.9. is not clear and revisions in the 1995 National Building Code (NBC) are significant in this regard. The appellant considers the intent of Clause 3.2.8.2.(5)(c) is to limit the type of occupancy in the interconnected floor space rather than in the entire building and this is clearly the intent in Clause 3.2.8.2.(6)(c). Clause 3.2.8.2.(5)(c) of the 1995 NBC has been changed to read "the interconnected floor space contains only" and the appellant considers this to be a clarification of intent rather than a change of intent.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that Sentence 3.2.8.2.(5) only applies to buildings containing Group A Division 1 or 2, Group D and Group E major occupancies. As the building in question contains a Group F Division 2 major occupancy as well as a Group D major occupancy the exception to the requirements of Articles 3.2.8.3. to 3.2.8.9. cannot be applied. Although the 1995 NBC would appear to permit escalators and moving walks in the building in question, because the interconnected floor space does not contain the Group F Division 2 occupancy, there may also be other associated changes or revisions. Application of a building code requires that the design of the entire building conform to that code not just one portion.

Appeal Board Decision #1409

It is the determination of the Board that the exemptions provided by Sentence 3.2.8.2.(5) cannot be applied to this design because the building contains a Group F Division 2 major occupancy. Although the 1995 NBC has revised Sentence 3.2.8.2.(5) to address this issue and this may be used as the basis for an equivalency proposal under Section 2.5, the Board was not able to consider this revision as an indication of the intent of the current BCBC.

George R. Humphrey, Chair