BCAB #1452 - Step at Front Door Landing, Sentences 3.3.1.15.(12), 9.8.4.2,(4) and 9.9.6.6.(2)

December 15, 1997

BCAB #1452

Re: Step at Front Door Landing, Sentences 3.3.1.15.(12), 9.8.4.2,(4) and 9.9.6.6.(2)

Project Description

This appeal involves the design and construction of an exterior landing at the main entrance to a single dwelling unit. The exterior landing is located 190 mm below the floor level inside the dwelling. The main entrance door swings inward, away from the landing.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 9.8.4.2.(4) requires a landing at the top of all exterior stairs except at a secondary entrance to a single dwelling where the stair has not more than three risers. Clause 3.3.1.15.(12)(c) requires a landing at every door opening onto a stair except for stairs within or serving only one dwelling where they must conform to Subsection 9.8.4. Sentence 9.9.6.6.(2) permits an exit door to open onto a single step of not more than 150 mm if there is danger of blockage from ice or snow.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the code makes no requirement for an exterior landing at an entrance door to be level with threshold. Sentence 9.9.6.6.(2) permits a step of up to 150 mm at an exit door.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that Article 9.8.4.2.(4) requires a landing at the top of the stairs adjacent to the doorway and level to the underside of the threshold. The allowance of a single step in Sentence 9.9.6.6.(2) is interpreted as a tread immediately outside the door, level with the underside of the threshold, and then a riser of not more than 150 mm down to a walking surface or landing.

Appeal Board Decision #1452

It is not clear whether or not there is a stair or just one step from the landing to ground level. If there is not more than one step from the landing to ground level, or another landing or series of landings, the Board does not consider this to constitute a stair and Article 9.8.4.2. does not apply. With only one step to ground, the landing would be better described as a stoop, porch or platform because landings in the code are associated with stairs. If there is a stair then the landing must be at the same level as the floor it serves. This is based on the interpretation that the "top and bottom" of a stair, as referred to in Sentence 9.8.4.2.(2), is the floor level served by the stair.

George R. Humphrey, Chair