BCAB #1609 - Maximum Mezzanine Area, Sentence 3.2.1.1.(3) and 3.2.1.1.(4)

July 19, 2005

BCAB #1609

Re: Maximum Mezzanine Area, Sentence 3.2.1.1.(3) and 3.2.1.1.(4)

Project Description

The subject building is a large public secondary school divided by a firewall. The building area on one side of the firewall is 3780 m2, where a mezzanine is constructed. The mezzanine is located in an L shaped room of the building and consists of a mezzanine area at each end of the room with a walkway connecting them. The L shaped room will be used for a climbing wall facility. The area of the L shaped room in which the mezzanine is located is 280 m2, inclusive of the upper leg of 37.4 m2. The proposed design will result in an open area of the horizontal plane separating the mezzanine from the space in which it is located being 60 % when the upper leg of the L is included in the area of the room(s), or 54% open if the upper leg of the L is not included in the area. The upper leg of the L is about 3.35 m wide; with an opening width of about 2.0 m at the mezzanine level.

The cumulative area of all mezzanines in the building is less than 10% of the floor area.

A statement was provided by the school district that when the climbing facility is used after school hours by a climbing society, the climbing facility and its operations will continue to be under the control and authority of the School District.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.2.1.1.(3) states a mezzanine shall not be considered to be a storey in calculating the building height provided not less than 60% of the horizontal plane separating the floor space which in it is located is open.

Sentence 3.2.1.1.(4) states a mezzanine shall not be considered a storey in calculating building height and may be totally enclosed provided the total area of the mezzanine or mezzanines are not more than 10% of the suite they are located.

Appellant’s Position

Sentence 3.2.1.1.(3): 60% of the floor area will be open and thus the requirements of the Code are satisfied. Alternatively, the elevated floor area could be considered two separate mezzanines within the same room with one mezzanine overlooking one opening and the other overlooking the other opening and an imaginary line separating the mezzanines and dividing the room.

Sentence 3.2.1.1.(4): A suite is a single room or series of rooms of complementary use, operated under a single tenancy. This school is a suite since it fits within the definition of a series of rooms under complementary use (education) with a single tenant (the School). The School Board owns and operates the entire school and the School is the only tenant of the entire structure. This section of the School is strictly education related and does not have a multipurpose facility such as a theatre which in some schools may have a dual operation and control (such as public events, promotional shows, or community theatre groups).

Building Official's Position

The Building Official is aware the climbing wall area (subject mezzanine area) will be rented out to a climbing society after school hours and on weekends. The remainder of the school will be locked off from the climbing room area and not open after hours. For the purpose of the application of Sentence 3.2.1.1.(4), the Building Official does not consider the school to be a single suite, as suggested in A-1.1.3.2., particularly when the subject area under appeal is used independently after school hours. Calculation for the maximum permitted enclosed area of a mezzanine(s) would not be for the entire floor area, but the 10% should be only based on the room(s) that the enclosed mezzanine is located in.

The Building Official does not consider the upper leg of the L shaped room(s) should be included in the area calculation for the floor space in which the mezzanine is located. The Building Official considers the upper leg to be remote from the most distant mezzanine which does not contribute to the safety aspects for mezzanine requirements.

Appeal Board Decision #1609

It is the determination of the Board that the proposed design complies with Sentence 3.2.1.1.(3) and (4).

This determination is based on the inclusion of the 37.4 m2 being included in the calculation of the space in which the mezzanine is located. In this specific appeal, the Board considers the opening at the mezzanine level to the 37.4 m2 upper portion of the L to comply with the intent of the visual requirements of Clause 3.2.1.1.(3)(b).

Further, relative to the application of Sentence 3.2.1.1.(4), based on the information provided by the school district, the Board considers the entire school floor area, including the climbing facility, to be one suite. Therefore a cumulative enclosed mezzanine area(s) of 378 m2 would be permitted.

George Humphrey, Chair