BCAB #1449 - Depth of Foundations for Garage, Articles 9.35.3.1. and 9.12.2.2.

November 19, 1997

BCAB #1449

Re: Depth of Foundations for Garage, Articles 9.35.3.1. and 9.12.2.2.

Project Description

The project in question is a garage addition to an existing house.

Reason for Appeal

Section 9.35, Garages and Carports, applies and Article 9.35.3.1. references Sections 9.12. and 9.15 for the design and construction of foundations. The minimum depth of foundations below finished ground level is regulated by Article 9.12.2.2. and associated Table 9.12.2.A.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the site consists of coarse grained soils with good drainage and in conformance with Table 9.12.2.A. there is no minimum depth limit for the foundations. They must simply extend down to undisturbed soil. The appellant also contends it should not be necessary to provide a foundation beneath the overhead garage door.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that experience throughout the regional district and its municipalities has shown the need for 30 inches of frost protection. The majority of the soils are clay/coarse grained with poor drainage. To deal with past moisture problems a district resolution was passed requiring perimeter drains around all basements and crawl spaces. This is an indication of the ground moisture in the area.

A 1989 letter from the director of the Building Standards Branch provided the opinion that the intent of Article 9.35.3.1. was to provide a foundation across the garage door opening.

Appeal Board Decision #1449

General conditions within the region may not apply in every case and the authority having jurisdiction must be prepared to review information relating to the soil conditions of individual sites. It is up to the owner to determine, to the satisfaction of the authority having jurisdiction, what the soil conditions are and design the foundations accordingly. Without a site specific geotechnical report the Board cannot determine the depth requirements for the foundations of this garage.

Regarding a foundation under the garage door it is the determination of the Board that Article 9.35.3.1. requires the foundation.

George R. Humphrey, Chair