BCAB #1425 - Fire separation of corridor used by the public, Group B Division 2 occupancy 3.3.3.7.(8)

September 18, 1996

BCAB #1425

Re: Fire separation of corridor used by the public, Group B Division 2 occupancy 3.3.3.7.(8)

Project Description

The project in question is an addition to a nursing home. The addition is triangular in plan and connects to the existing building at one of the triangle's corners. Patient sleeping rooms are located around the perimeter of the addition with service and activity areas in the centre. An eight foot wide corridor separates the patient rooms from the centre core. The majority of the centre core is occupied by the dining and an activity areas and these are separated from the corridor by four foot high walls. The building is sprinklered.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.3.3.7.(8) requires "...walls between patients' sleeping rooms and adjacent rooms and walls between corridors serving patients' sleeping rooms and adjacent rooms..." to be constructed as fire separations.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the dining and activity areas and the adjacent "corridor" or passageway are one fire compartment. The low walls have been provided only to physically define these areas and prevent obstruction of the passageway by furniture and the like. There is no "corridor" serving patients' sleeping rooms as intended by the code. The patients' sleeping rooms are adjacent to the dining and activity areas and are fire separated from them by walls constructed as fire separations.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that a fire separation is required between the corridor and the adjacent dining and activity areas. Webster's Dictionary defines a corridor as "a passage way into which compartments or rooms open." The partial height walls create a corridor which directs or confines the path of travel to the exits. A-3.1.8.1.(1) referenced in Sentence 3.3.3.7.(8) deals with smoke control where the fire separation is not required to have a fire resistance rating. Occupants using the corridors should be protected from smoke generated in the dining and activity areas.

Appeal Board Decision #1425

It is the determination of the Board that walls, as intended by Sentence 3.3.3.7.(8), are floor to ceiling partitions which separate a space from an adjacent space. The Board considers the dining and activity areas to be defined by the walls separating the patient sleeping rooms from the adjacent corridor. The four foot high walls simply define the required corridors within the dining and activity areas.

George R. Humphrey, Chair