BCAB #1415 - Application of Fire Resistance to Second Floor Sundeck

April 10, 1996

BCAB #1415

Re: Application of Fire Resistance to Second Floor Sundeck

Project Description

The project in question is a 440 sq. ft. addition to an existing 400 sq. ft. exterior deck cantilevered from the main floor of an existing golf clubhouse. The addition will be supported on new structure which will also assist in supporting the existing deck.

Reason for Appeal

Article 3.2.2.7. states That "Exterior balconies shall be constructed with the fire resistance rating required for the floor assemblies in Articles 3.2.2.16. to 3.2.2.62."

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the structure in question is a deck and not an "exterior balcony", in code terminology and intent. Balconies are extensions of the floor of a building which project outside the perimeter of the building envelope. Access to and from a balcony is from the floor area to which it is connected with no direct access to ground. This interpretation is supported by staff from the Canadian Codes Centre at the Institute for Research in Construction. As the project in question is a deck, not a balcony, Article 3.2.2.7. does not apply.

Building Official's Position

The Building official maintains that a deck and a balcony are the same for the purposes of Article 3.2.2.7. The intent of this Article is to prevent the spread of fire from storey to storey by combustible projecting floors.

Appeal Board Decision #1415

It is the determination of the Board that regardless of whether the structure in question is called a balcony or deck it requires a fire resistance rating. Article 3.2.2.7. refers to balconies, the common definitions of which do not preclude support by columns, but the Board also considers the fire resistance requirements of the appropriate Article in Articles 3.2.2.16. to 3.2.2.62. (e.g.. 3.2.2.21. requires a 3/4hr fire resistance rating for the floor assembly in question) for floor assemblies would apply to the floor assembly/deck in question.

George R. Humphrey, Chair