BCAB #1451 - Smoke Developed Rating of Acrylic/Fibreglass Bathtubs, Article 3.1.5.18.

December 15, 1997

BCAB #1451

Re: Smoke Developed Rating of Acrylic/Fibreglass Bathtubs, Article 3.1.5.18.

Project Description

The project in question is a sprinklered high-rise residential building of noncombustible construction. Fibreglass reinforced acrylic bathtubs with a flame spread rating of 130 and a smoke developed rating of 590 are proposed to be used.

Reason for Appeal

Article 3.1.5.18. requires the flame spread and smoke developed classifications of combustible plumbing fixtures not to exceed the limits for the walls of the room in which they are located. Subsection 3.1.13. sets out the limits for flame spread and smoke developed ratings with specific requirements for high buildings in Article 3.1.13.7.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that Sentence 3.1.13.7.(2) exempts sprinklered high buildings from the flame spread limits of Table 3.1.13.B. If there is no flame spread or smoke developed limits for the walls then there should not be a limit on the bathtubs.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that Sentence 3.1.13.7.(2) only exempts walls, floors and ceilings from the flame spread and smoke developed limits of Table 3.1.3.B. and does not, by extension, apply to combustible plumbing fixtures. Such fixtures contain considerably more combustible content than most wall and ceiling finishes and can produce significant quantities of toxic smoke prior to the activation of a sprinkler system.

Appeal Board Decision #1451

It is the determination of the Board that Article 3.1.13.3. applies to all residential buildings, including high buildings, and limits the flame spread rating to not more than 200 in bathrooms. Sentence 3.1.13.7.(2) exempts sprinklered high buildings from the need to comply with the flame spread and smoke developed ratings for wall, floor and ceiling finishes in Table 3.1.13.B. Table 3.1.13.B. does not alter the flame spread limit set in Article 3.1.13.3. but does set smoke developed limits. However, as the smoke developed limits are exempted by Sentence 3.1.13.(2), only a flame spread limit of 200 applies to the bathroom and, by virtue of Article 3.1.5.18., to the bathtub. As the bathtub's flame spread rating is only 130 and smoke developed limits do not apply it is considered acceptable.

George R. Humphrey, Chair