BCAB #1632 - Sprinkler Standards, Sentence 3.2.5.13.(2)

May 30, 2007

BCAB #1632

Re: Sprinkler Standards, Sentence 3.2.5.13.(2)

Project Description
The subjects are two mixed use buildings, three and four storeys in building height. The buildings consist of one level of below grade parking, the first storey of retail or office space, and the remainder of floors above exclusively for residential occupancy. The storage garage is considered to be a separate building as per Article 3.2.1.2.

Reason for Appeal
Sentence 3.2.5.13.(2) indicates: Instead of the requirements of Sentence (1), NFPA 13R, “installation of Sprinkler Systems in Residential Occupancies up to and Including Four Stories in Height,” is permitted to be used for the design, construction, installation and testing of an automatic sprinkler system installed in a building of residential occupancy throughout, not more than 4 storeys in building height conforming to Article 3.2.2.42., Article 3.2.2.43., Article 3.2.23.45. or Article 3.2.2.48.

Appellant’s Position
The appellant contends the requirements for sprinklers are made through the construction requirements of Articles 3.2.2.20. through 3.2.2.83. and can be made on a floor by floor basis (provided the storeys below a required sprinklered floor are also sprinkled). This would allow the upper residential floors to sprinklered to the NFPA 13R standard, with the lower levels of commercial/office to be sprinklered to the NFPA 13 standard.

Building Official's Position
The Building Official contends Sentence 3.2.5.13.(2) permits the use of the NFPA 13R system only in a building of residential occupancy throughout. As there are other major occupancies within the buildings, these buildings cannot be considered to be residential throughout and all storeys requiring fire sprinklers must have a system conforming to NFPA13.

Appeal Board Decision #1632
It is the determination of the Board that a NFPA 13R sprinkler system is intended only for use in a residential (Group C) building that does not incorporate any other major occupancy. The applicable sprinkler standard for the subject building is NFPA 13 “Installation of Sprinkler Systems”.

George Humphrey, Chair