BCAB #1557 - Shower Receptors, Sentence 7.2.2.3.(1)

December 19, 2001

BCAB #1557

Re: Shower Receptors, Sentence 7.2.2.3.(1)

Project Description

The subject building is an extended health care facility where residents are provided with continuous care by staff caregivers. An integral part of each resident's room is an ensuite/toilet room incorporating a hand held shower. The control valves for the handheld shower device is specifically located under the vanity so it is not easily accessible to the resident. The proposed flooring for the ensuite area is a slip resistant sheet vinyl with epoxy adhesive to seal it to the concrete floor slab substrate and has an integral coved base 150 mm up onto the substrate of the walls. The floor slopes to a floor drain located near a corner of the ensuite area. There is level access (no floor "curb") at the entry to the area.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 7.2.2.3.(1) requires that every shower receptor be constructed and arranged so that water cannot leak through the walls or floor.

Appellant’s Position

The primary purpose of the handheld shower is for use of staff assisted incontinence cleaning and for related cleaning of the resident in the privacy of their own room. It is not intended that the handheld shower be used for regular bathing of the resident, as the care facility has specific provisions for this located on each floor. The location of the control valves was specifically located in a position so that it is not easily accessible to residents thus avoiding unintentional use. The non-abrasive slip-resistant sheet vinyl flooring material is a product specifically intended for the proposed type of application. No floor "curb" was provided at the entrance to the area, as this would be a tripping hazard/impediment for the resident when trying to enter the area, particularly when not assisted by staff.

Building Official’s Position

Previous editions of the BC Plumbing Code included specific prescriptive requirements for on site constructed shower receptors. BCAB # P-257 stated "We cannot accept your proposal that PVC non-slip flooring equates to the code requirement of a finish floor and an acceptable waterproof liner." A Plumbing Officials of BC interpretation recommends site built showers comply with previous Plumbing Code design details and acceptable products. The Building Official contends there has been no test data submitted to validate that a single product can be used for a shower membrane and the finish flooring.

Appeal Board Decision #1557

It is the determination of the Board that the Building Code does not preclude the proposed design. The designer must provide sufficient evidence to the Building Official to demonstrate the performance criteria of Sentences 7.2.2.3.(1) and 7.2.1.1.(1) will be met.

George Humphrey, Chair