BCAB #1521 - Occupancy Classification, Storage Garage, Article 3.3.5.4 (service consultation area)

October 18, 2000

BCAB #1521

Re: Occupancy Classification, Storage Garage, Article 3.3.5.4 (service consultation area)

Project Description

The building in question is occupied by an automobile dealership. Adjacent to the automobile sales showroom is a drive-thru bay (approximately 6.4 m X 14 m). This drive-thru bay functions as a customer consultation/reception area where service technicians discuss an automobile’s (mechanical) problems with the owner. No repair or service work is performed in this area.

Reason for Appeal

Article 3.3.5.4. requires storage garages to be separated from other occupancies by a fire separation with a fire resistance rating of not less than 1.5 hours.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends the use of the drive-thru bay is not a storage garage, but rather a subsidiary area to the showroom/office and customer service building, classified as Industrial, Division 3 occupancy.

Building Official's Position

The Building Official considers the drive-thru bay as a parking area and thus classified as an Industrial Occupancy (F3), storage garage. This would require the area to be separated from the adjacent automobile showroom by a fire separation of having a fire resistance rating of not less than 1.5 hours.

Appeal Board Decision #1521

The intended use of the drive-thru bay is for vehicle/customer reception. It is not intended for storage, repair, or testing of motor vehicles. It is the determination of the Board that the subject drive-thru bay area is not a storage garage. Therefore a fire separation with a fire resistance rating of 1.5 hrs. between the drive-thru bay and the customer service/showroom area is not required. The area should be classified as Group F, Division 3.

George Humphrey, Chair