BCAB #1476 - Exit Through a Lobby, Articles 3.4.4.1. and 3.4.4.2

January 21, 1999

BCAB #1476

Re: Exit Through a Lobby, Articles 3.4.4.1. and 3.4.4.2

Project Description

The project in question is a one storey sprinklered building of Group A Division 2 major occupancy. The main floor is equally divided into a meeting room and licensed beverage establishment with office and washrooms. The basement is mostly storage as well as two offices. Two exit stairs lead up from the basement to discharge at ground level. One leads through the main entry lobby while the other discharges into a short corridor leading from the main floor meeting room to the exterior exit doors.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.4.4.1.(1) requires every exit to be separated from each adjacent floor area by a minimum 45 min. fire separation except as permitted by Sentence 3.4.4.2.(2). One exit from a floor area is permitted by Sentence 3.4.4.2.(2) to pass through a lobby provided certain conditions are met. Subclause (e)(ii) permits the fire separation between the lobby and most adjacent occupancies, including those of Group A Division 2, to be eliminated if the lobby and adjacent occupancies are sprinklered.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that both stairs from the basement can pass through lobbies that are not fire separated from the main floor. Fire rated doors are not required between the meeting room and the short corridor leading to the exterior into which stair #2 discharges.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that Stair #2 must be fire separated from the main floor by a 45 min. wall and a 20 min. door assembly. Stair #1 leads through a lobby conforming to Sentence 3.4.4.2.(2) at the front of the building and as only one exit from a floor area can lead through an exit, Stair #2 must exit directly to the exterior without passing through a lobby and must be fire separated from the main floor.

Appeal Board Decision #1476

It is the determination of the Board that exit stair #2 from the basement must be fire separated from the main floor. All the doors in this fire separation must have a 20 minute fire protection rating. Sentence 3.4.4.2.(2) permits only one exit from a floor area to pass through a lobby. The other exit from the basement (stair #1) already passes through the main lobby so Article 3.4.4.2. cannot be applied to exit stair#2.

George R. Humphrey, Chair