BCAB #1461r - Exit from Interconnected Floor Space, Sentences 3.4.2.4.(1) & 3.4.2.5.(1)

April 14, 1998

BCAB #1461R

Re: Exit from Interconnected Floor Space, Sentences 3.4.2.4.(1) & 3.4.2.5.(1)

Project Description

The project in question is a two storey sprinklered office building of slightly more than 2800 square metres. The first and second floor are interconnected in conformance with Sentence 3.2.8.2.(6). Both floors are open floor areas and one corner of the second floor is in excess of 45 metres from the nearest exit but is adjacent to an open stair leading to the first floor. This open stair is in turn adjacent to an exit from the first floor.

Reason for Appeal

An exit is defined as "... that part of a means of egress, ... that leads from the floor area it serves...." Article 3.4.1.1. says exits "... shall be provided from every floor area ..." and Article 3.4.1.2. says each one must be separate from every other exit "... leading from the floor area." Article 3.4.2.5. says exits shall be located so that "... the travel distance to not less than one exit ... shall be not more than ... 45 m in any sprinklered floor area ....."

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that within an interconnected floor space it is permissible to egress down an open stair to an exit at the floor below for the purpose of complying with the travel distance requirements. The code does not stipulate that the exits must be on the same floor nor does it require them to be in the same floor area.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that, based on the definition of exit and the wording of the various articles relating to exit requirements, exits must be provided within the floor area served. Article 3.4.4.1. requires exits to be fire separated from each adjacent floor area. If the open stair to the first floor is to be used as an exit it must be fire separated from the first floor.

Appeal Board Decision #1461R

It is the determination of the Board that the open stair to the lower floor cannot be used as an access to exit or exit from the second floor, including for the purposes of measuring travel distances. The Board considers the definitions of access to exit and exit preclude persons from passing through another floor area to reach an exit unless the path of travel is fire separated from other floor areas.

George R. Humphrey, Chair