BCAB #1580 - Travel Distance to Single Exit, Clause 3.4.2.1.(2)(b)

March 20, 2003

BCAB #1580

Re: Travel Distance to Single Exit, Clause 3.4.2.1.(2)(b)

Project Description

The building in question is two storeys in building height. The second floor is classified as Group D and is sprinklered throughout. The second floor is a rectangular shape measuring 24.38 m X 6.10 m. with a floor area of 148.64 m2. A single exit is provided from the second floor and is located about 1.5 m to one side of the center of one of the longer walls.

Reason for Appeal

Clause 3.4.2.1.(2)(b) permits a single exit from a sprinklered floor area where the travel distance is not more than 25 m and the maximum floor area is 300 m2 (Group D). Sentence 3.4.2.4.(1) indicates that "travel distance means the distance from any point in the floor area to an exit measured along the path of travel to the exit."

Appellant’s Position

The appellant contends the travel distance should be determined by measuring to the exit along the perimeter walls from the furthest point of the floor area from the exit.

Building Official's Position

In those cases where a floor area is served by a single exit, the Building Official measures the total distance around perimeter of the floor area and then divides this by two to determine the travel distance. The premise used for this method is that over the life of the building there is a possibility that the center of the floor area may be blocked with equipment, furniture etc. leaving a route around the perimeter walls as the only available route to the exit door. Measuring along the perimeter walls is a compromise between the shortest possible diagonal route and a potentially convoluted and lengthy path created by obstacles located in the center of the floor area.

Appeal Board Decision #1580

For the purpose of Subsection 3.4.2. "travel distance means the distance from any point in the floor area to an exit measured along the path of travel to the exit". The path of travel is unknown where the interior layout of the floor area has not yet been established. It is therefore necessary to adopt an approach that will result in a reasonable application of the intent of the Code.

It is the determination of the Board that the method of measurement proposed by the appellant is reasonable and meets the intent of the Code.

George Humphrey, Chair