BCAB #1499 - Multiple Major Occupancies on First Storey of Apartment Building, Sentences 1.1.3.2.(1), 3.1.2.1.(2) & 3.2.2.6.(1)

November 17, 1999

BCAB #1499

Re: Multiple Major Occupancies on First Storey of Apartment Building, Sentences 1.1.3.2.(1), 3.1.2.1.(2) & 3.2.2.6.(1)

Project Description

The project in question is a three storey apartment building intended for seniors and also known as a congregate care facility. Approximately half of the first storey contains ten residential suites with sleeping and bathroom space but no cooking facilities. The remainder of the first storey contains recreation and dining space, kitchen, personal services, staff offices and the entry lobby. The second and third storey contain residential suites similar to those on the first storey.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.1.2.1.(1) requires every building to be classified according to it’s major occupancy and where more than one major occupancy is present the building must be classified in accordance with all the major occupancies it contains. A major occupancy is defined as "the principle occupancy for which a building or part thereof is used ... and shall ... include the subsidiary occupancies which are an integral part of the principle occupancy." Sentence 3.2.2.6.(1) requires that in a building containing more than one major occupancy the requirements of Subsection 3.2.2. for the most restricted major occupancy shall apply to the whole building.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the building is a Group C major occupancy and all the uses on the first storey are subsidiary occupancies which are integral with the principle residential use. All the facilities on the first storey are solely for the use of the residents. The building is a three storey residential building and has been designed to conform to Article 3.2.2.45. which permits combustible wood frame construction.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the dinning and recreation areas are Group A Division 2 occupancies and since they occupy more than 10% of the floor area are considered a major occupancy. Therefore, the building contains two major occupancies and must conform with Sentence 3.2.2.6.(1). The first storey would be required to comply with Article 3.2.2.23. which requires noncombustible construction.

Appeal Board Decision #1499

It is the determination of the Board that the various non-residential uses on the first storey are subsidiary to the Group C residential major occupancy of the building and are not a separate major occupancy.

George R. Humphrey, Chair