BCAB #1492 - Emergency Lighting in Portable Classrooms, Sentence 3.2.7.3.(1)

August 17, 1999

BCAB #1492

Re: Emergency Lighting in Portable Classrooms, Sentence 3.2.7.3.(1)

Project Description

The buildings in question are typical 900 to 1000 square foot portable classrooms. These buildings have few, if any partitions and are served by two exit doors.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.2.7.3.(1) requires emergency lighting in "… principle routes providing access to exit in an open floor area, … corridors serving classrooms, … floor areas or parts thereof where the public congregate in … Group A Division 2 and 3 occupancies having an occupant load of 60 or more."

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that classrooms in a regular school building do not have emergency lighting, it is located in the adjacent corridors. Although a portable classroom building could be considered to have an open floor area, it does not seem equitable that a portable classroom needs emergency lighting because it is an open floor area. With direct access to the exterior a portable classroom could be considered safer than a regular classroom with egress via corridors.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that emergency lighting is required in accordance with Sentence 3.2.7.3.(1). Classrooms are occupied after dark and/or when outside light is minimal and may be occupied by people unfamiliar with the room who would need illumination to safely reach the exit doors.

Appeal Board Decision #1492

It is the determination of the Board that none of the conditions in Clauses (a) to (h) of Sentence 3.2.7.3.(1) apply to the portable classroom buildings in question. Clause (a) refers to exit enclosures such as stair shafts which the portable classrooms do not have, the buildings are too small to have "principle routes providing access to exit …" as intended in Clause (b) and the occupant load is less than 60 as indicated in Subclause (h)(ii). None of the other Clauses have any application to the buildings in question. Therefore, emergency lighting is not required.

George R. Humphrey, Chair