BCAB #1638 - Sentence 3.8.2.1.(2) Division B, Access for Persons with Disabilities for Second Storey

January 30, 2008

BCAB #1638

Re: Sentence 3.8.2.1.(2) Division B, Access for Persons with Disabilities for Second Storey

Project Description

The subject is a two storey building operated as a building supply store. The first storey of 1860 m2 in area, is used primarily for warehouse / sales area. Also included on the first storey are offices, washrooms and a lunch area, all which are accessible for persons with disabilities. The second storey is 305 m2 in area, and is primarily used for administration operations, which includes offices, storage and a lunchroom.

Reason for Appeal

Subclause 3.8.2.1.(2) (a) (ii) indicates that access for persons with disabilities is exempted for the storey above the accessible storey in a building not more than two storeys in building height provided the storey above the accessible storey does not contain facilities integral to the principle function of the accessible storey.

Appellant’s Position

The appellant contends the principle function of the accessible (first) storey is retail sales of building products and the administrative operations are not integral to this function. The sales operation has been functioning with the office / administrative services at an off-site location, which supports his position. The appellant has made provisions for offices, washrooms and a lunch area on the first storey for persons with disabilities.

Building Official's Position
The Building Official acknowledges it is not essential that the office / administrative functions be located in the same building as the retail space. However, if they are located in the same building they should be considered integral to the principle function of the first storey. This results that the second storey must be accessible for persons with physical disabilities.

Appeal Board Decision #1638

The Board does not consider that the administration area to be integral to the principle function of the first storey, as exempted by Subclause 3.8.2.1.(2)(a)(ii). With this exemption, the specific requirements of Article 3.8.2.3., including that for facilities for disabled employees, are not applicable. Therefore it is the determination of the Board that the second storey is not required to be accessible to persons with physical disabilities.

George Humphrey, Chair