BCAB #1481 - Occupancy Classification & Accessible Washroom for Ambulance Station, Sentence 3.1.2.1.(1) ('98 BCBC)

April 21, 1999

BCAB #1481

Re: Occupancy Classification & Accessible Washroom for Ambulance Station, Sentence 3.1.2.1.(1) ('98 BCBC)

Project Description

The project in question is a 244.5 square metre ambulance station. Approximately 150 square metres are dedicated to a garage for two ambulances while the remainder of the building consists of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a locker room, a kitchen, a multi-purpose room and an office. The building is occupied only by ambulance personnel 24 hours a day and is not open to the public.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.1.2.1.(1) requires every building to be classified according to its major occupancy as belonging to one of the Groups or Divisions in Table 3.1.2.1. The list of major occupancy examples in A-3.1.2.1.(1) does not include ambulance stations.
Clause 3.8.2.3.(1)(c) requires "… access to all areas where work functions could reasonably be expected to be performed by persons with disabilities, …"

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that this two bay/two bedroom ambulance station should be classified as Group C, or alternatively Group D, major occupancy. The principle use of the building is to accommodate paramedics in a temporary residence and therefore it has all the accouterments required to support living around the clock; lounge, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms with showers, lockers and exercise area. No repair or maintenance is done on the ambulances and, due to the presence of drugs on the premises, the building is locked and not open to the public. The appellant believes the ambulance station is a suite of rooms operated as a housekeeping unit for the paramedics and conforms to the definition of a dwelling unit.
The appellant contends an accessible washroom should not be required. Paramedic ambulance attendants must be able bodied. Therefore it is not reasonable to expect persons with disabilities to work in this building. The public is not admitted to the building and if it is classified as a dwelling it would be exempted from the requirements for access for persons with disabilities.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains the building should be classified as a Group F Division 3 major occupancy with D and C occupancies as per Table 9.10.2.1.
This is a Part 9 building and Sentence 9.5.2.1.(1) requires every building to comply with Section 3.8. There is no exemption in Article 3.8.2.1. for Group F Division 3 or Group D occupancies so the requirements of Article 3.8.2.3. apply.

Appeal Board Decision #1481

It is the determination of the Board that this ambulance station is classified as a Group C residential major occupancy and the other occupancies are subsidiary to this principle use. Access for persons with disabilities is not required to dwellings so an accessible washroom is not required in this building.

George R. Humphrey, Chair