BCAB #1487 - Sliding Door Exit from Secondary Suite, Sentence 9.9.6.5.(3) ('92 BCBC)

June 28, 1999

BCAB #1487

Re: Sliding Door Exit from Secondary Suite, Sentence 9.9.6.5.(3) ('92 BCBC)

Project Description

The project in question is a new secondary suite in an existing house. An existing sliding glass patio door provides the only exit from the suite.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 9.9.6.5.(2) requires every required exit door to swing on a vertical axis in the direction of exit travel. Sentence 9.9.6.5.(3) is an exception to the above and permits an exit door serving a dwelling unit to swing inward.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the code does not prohibit a sliding door as an exit from a dwelling unit. Sentence (2) requires the door to swing outward and on a vertical axis "except as permitted in Sentence (3)" which "permits" the door to swing inward. The appellant contends dwelling unit exits are permitted to swing inward but could also slide because they are exempted from Sentence (2).

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains exit doors from dwelling units are only exempt by Sentence (3) from the requirement to swing in the direction of exit travel and must still swing on a vertical axis.

Appeal Board Decision #1487

It is the determination of the Board that the exit door from the secondary suite must swing on a vertical axis in accordance with Sentence 9.9.6.5.(2). Sentence 9.9.6.5.(3) only exempts doors to dwelling units from the requirement to swing outward, it does not exempt the requirement for swinging on a vertical axis. The Board noted that editorial changes have been made to the wording in the 1998 BC Building Code that has made this intent very clear.

George R. Humphrey, Chair