BCAB #1505 - Unobstructed Width of Corridors, Sentence 3.3.1.9.(2) (1992 BCBC)

May 17, 2000

BCAB #1505

Re: Unobstructed Width of Corridors, Sentence 3.3.1.9.(2) (1992 BCBC)

Project Description

The building in question is a secondary school built under Article 3.2.2.22. (up to 5 storeys, any area) of the 1992 BC Building Code. A corridor servicing an orchestra pit, drama stage, band room, and a choral room has two doors that swing into the corridor. The swing of these doors creates an unobstructed width of the corridor of 1000 mm, measured from the edge of the door to the opposite wall of the corridor. Both doors can swing 180 degrees in their open position.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.3.1.9.(2) requires the unobstructed width of every corridor used by the public, or serving classrooms to be a minimum of 1100 mm.

Appellant's Position

Sentence 3.3.1.22.(1) of the current 1998 BC Building Code permits an obstruction provided it would not restrict the width of the normal means of egress to less than 750 mm. With the doors in question being able to swing 180 degrees in their open position, their maximum encroachment into the corridor still provides a clearance of 1000 mm, which is sufficient width for an exit capacity of 164 persons. The area served by this corridor has been calculated to be occupied by 139 persons. The appellant contends the life safety of the occupants is not jeopardized by the swing of the subject doors.

Building Official's Position

The permit issued for this building was under the 1992 BC Building Code and therefore Sentence 3.3.1.9.(2) of the 1998 BC Building Code is not applicable. Furthermore, even with application of the 1998 Code, Article 3.3.1.9. does not reference Sentence 3.3.1.22.(1) as an exception, and the Appendix to the Code indicates this sentence is intended to apply to obstructions such as posts, counters and turnstiles. The doors are required to be equipped with self closing devices, returning the door to the closed position after each use. The corridor is considered to be one used by the public, and not a "secondary service corridor."

Appeal Board Decision #1505

It is the determination of the Board that the door in it’s swing causes an unacceptable obstruction in the required width of the corridor and does not meet the minimum requirements of Sentence 3.3.1.9.(2).

George R. Humphrey, Chair