BCAB #1625 - Corridors in Care Facilities, Sentences 3.3.3.5. (9), (10)

June 11, 2006

BCAB #1625

Re: Corridors in Care Facilities, Sentences 3.3.3.5. (9), (10)

Project Description

The project is a care facility, primarily for senior residents living out their final years. There is a loop corridor with resident’s rooms on the outside of the loop and nurses and support areas together with dining facilities and a lounge area in the centre. The dining and lounge areas are not separated from the corridor by walls.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.3.3.5.(10) requires walls separating corridors serving patients’ sleeping rooms from adjacent rooms shall be constructed as fire separations but are not required to have a fire resistance rating.

Appellant’s Position

The appellant contends the Code requirements are not clear. In this particular circumstance, the dining/lounge occupancies (which are not separated from the corridor) are very low hazard areas with low fuel loads and limited sources of ignition. The area is under continuous supervision from nursing staff. As openness is essential for the proper functioning of the facility, the dining/lounge are should not be required to be separated from the corridor by walls.

Building Official's Position

The Building Official questions whether the residents’ rooms are suites, and therefore should be served by a public corridor, or whether they should be considered to be patients’ sleeping rooms. Should the Board decide they are patients’ sleeping rooms, the Building Official considers minor occupancies, such as nurses’ stations, are permitted in a corridor provided they do not restrict the required width of the corridor. However, more substantial occupancies, such as the dining room/lounge area, should be considered to be the remainder of the floor area and thus be separated from the corridor with a non rated fire separation.

Appeal Board Decision #1625

The Board’s decision is based on the premise the occupancy classification is
Group B, Division 2, a care facility. The rooms in question are patient’s sleeping rooms and not individual suites.

Sentence 3.3.1.9.(5) allows occupancies in corridors serving patient’s sleeping rooms but does not specify which occupancies are permitted. It is the determination of the Board the dining/lounge area is an acceptable occupancy in this specific case.

George Humphrey, Chair