BCAB #1629 - Climbability of Balcony Guards, Sentences 9.8.8.6.(1) and (2), Division B, 2006 BCBC

May 3, 2007

BCAB #1629

Re: Climbability of Balcony Guards, Sentences 9.8.8.6.(1) and (2), Division B, 2006 BCBC

Project Description
The subject is a required guard for a residential balcony. The guard as installed has a continuous horizontal element at 533 mm above the deck, which is the base for the vertical members with continuous 50mm spacing between them. The area below the horizontal member is solid with no openings or protrusions, excepting some mounting elements for the spaced/open guard above.

Reason for Appeal
Sentence 9.8.8.6.(1) requires that a guard be designed so that no member, attachment or opening will facilitate climbing. Further, Sentence 9.8.8.6.(2) specifies criteria for elements protruding from the vertical, and where these are met the guard is deemed to comply with Sentence (1). The list of conditions in Sentence (2) are independent of each other, (not cumulative where all conditions must be met).

Appellant’s Position
The appellant contends the design of the guard complies with the independent conditions of Sentence 9.8.8.6.(2). (The only horizontal member between the deck and the top of the guard is located at 533 mm.)

Building Official's Position
The Building Official considers the guard to be climbable and does not comply with the requirements of Sentence 9.8.8.6.(1)

Appeal Board Decision #1629
It is the determination of the Board that the design of the guard is climbable and does not comply with Sentence 9.8.8.6.(1).

George Humphrey, Chair