BCAB #1607 - Occupancy Classification and Egress from a Mezzanine, Article 3.4.2.2.

February 16, 2005

BCAB #1607

Re: Occupancy Classification and Egress from a Mezzanine, Article 3.4.2.2.

Project Description

The subject is a mezzanine located in a 4000 m2 suite, classified as Group E major occupancy. The mezzanine is enclosed, with an area of approximately 175m2. The enclosed mezzanine includes a number of individual rooms; a general office,  washrooms, a staff /meeting /lunch room, and a corridor with lockers. The mezzanine is served by two means of egress, one a door directly into an exit stair shaft, the other an open stairway leading into the floor area/room below. The area below is served by at least 2 egress doors. The maximum travel distance within the mezzanine measured to the closest stairway does not exceed 15m. The mezzanine is not intended for a occupant load of more than 60 persons and the building the mezzanine is located is sprinklered and three storeys in building height.

There are other mezzanines within the floor area and the aggregate area of the mezzanine(s) and their enclosed area(s) complies with Article 3.2.1.1. , and are not required to be considered a storey in building height.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.4.2.2.(1)  states that a mezzanine shall be provided with exits on the same basis as required for floor areas unless it complies with Sentence 3.4.2.2.(2). In order for the exemption to apply, Clauses 3.4.2.2.(2)(c) and (d) state the area of the mezzanine and its travel distance can not exceed the area and distance limits stated in Table 3.3.1.5.A..   

Appellant’s Position

The appellant considers the appropriate classification of the mezzanine area to be Group D, Business and Personal Services. Table 3.3.1.5.A indicates a maximum area of 200 m2 and a travel distance limit of 25 meters. Subclause 3.4.2.2.(2)(d)(ii) permits the distance limit to be measured from any point on the mezzanine to an egress stair. As the mezzanine in question complies with all the requirements stated in Sentence 3.4.2.2.(2), the appellant contends the design complies with the Code.

Building Official's Position

The Building Official contends the occupancy of the mezzanine area should be classified as Group A, Assembly. In applying Table 3.3.1.5.A for an Assembly occupancy, the maximum permitted area is 150m2, and with the subject mezzanine exceeding this area, the exemption of Sentence 3.4.2.2.(2) is not applicable. Therefore, the mezzanine is required to be provided with exits on the same basis as required for floor areas.

Appeal Board Decision #1600

It is the determination of the Board that for the purpose of application of Table 3.3.1.5.A, the occupancy of the mezzanine area is Group A, Division 2. Therefore the maximum area of the mezzanine cannot exceed 150 m2 .

George Humphrey, Chair