BCAB #1564 - Mezzanine Exiting, Article 3.4.2.5.

April 18, 2002

BCAB #1564

Re: Mezzanine Exiting, Article 3.4.2.5.

Project Description

This appeal deals with egress from an open mezzanine of approximately 67 square metres. An open stair leading from the front corner of the mezzanine to the floor below is the only egress from the mezzanine. There are three exit doors leading from the main floor directly to the exterior.

Reason for Appeal

Article 3.4.2.2. requires mezzanines to have exits on the same basis as floor areas unless they fall within area and travel distance limits which would then allow a single egress stair leading to the floor below. Article 3.4.2.5. specifies maximum travel distances to exits for different types of occupancies.

Appellant’s Position

The appellant contends that the travel distance to an exit in this industrial occupancy is governed by Clause 3.4.2.5.(1)(f) and the maximum distance would be 30 metres. Based on this interpretation the design conforms. The appellant has also asked for a clarification of how travel distance should be measured, along the shortest path or along the walls.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that exiting from the mezzanine is regulated by Article 3.4.2.2. and the areas and travel distances in referenced Table 3.3.1.5.A. Based on this article a single egress stair is only permitted if the area of the mezzanine does not exceed 150 square metres and the travel distance to the top of the single stair is not more than 10 metres. Although the area of the mezzanine is within the imposed limit the travel distance, which should be measured along the perimeter, exceeds 10 metres.

Appeal Board Decision #1564

It is the determination of the Board that egress from the mezzanine in question is regulated by Article 3.4.2.2. The design in question would require the top of the stair to be within 10 metres of any point on the mezzanine. In accordance with Sentence 3.4.2.4.(1) travel distance is measured along the path of travel. Even the unlikely straight line path from the most remote corner of the mezzanine to the top of the stair exceeds 10 metres so the design does not comply with code requirements.

In the absence of a detailed floor layout the Board would suggest that for code compliance purposes a reasonable simulation of the path of travel in an open floor space could be to measure along the perimeter.

George Humphrey, Chair