BCAB #1654 - Vertical Service Space, Definitions, Sentence 1.4.1.2.(1) Division A

May 28, 2009

BCAB #1654

Re: Vertical Service Space, Definitions, Sentence 1.4.1.2.(1) Division A

Project Description
The subject building is a mixed occupancy, six storey, sprinklered shopping center of non combustible construction with all floor assemblies constructed as 2 hour fire separations.
In some of the floor areas, enclosures (“shafts”) will be constructed to exhaust air or provide fresh air to the floor area. The enclosures are constructed with walls having a 2 hour fire resistance rating. Some are for parking garage exhaust or fresh air intake and others are part of the HVAC system at retail floor areas. In some cases, these enclosures extend above the storey which the enclosure serves. The enclosure is open (not fire separated) to the storey it serves.

Reason for Appeal
Sentence 1.4.1.2.(1) Division A defines a vertical service space as a vertically oriented shaft in a building which facilitates the installation of building services or other facilities. Article 3.2.8.1. requires floor areas that do not terminate at an exterior wall or a vertical shaft to terminate at a vertical fire separation having a fire resistance rating not less than that required for the floor assembly. This vertical fire separation must extend from the floor assembly to the underside of the floor or roof assembly above.

 Further it states the penetration of a floor assembly by a vertical service space, shall conform to the requirements of Sections 3.4, 3.5, and 3.6. Article 3.6.3.1. would require the vertical service spaces to be separated from the remainder of the building by a fire separation with a minimum fire resistance rating of 1 hour.

Appellant’s Position
The appellant contends that the enclosures are extensions of the floor area that they serve, not vertical service spaces, and all the floor areas above comply with the requirements of Sentence 3.2.8.1.(1).

Building Official's Position
The Building Official considers these enclosures, by definition, to be vertical service spaces which would require them to be separated from the remainder of the building (including the floor area they are serving) by a fire separation, with openings protected by closures, or an equivalent level of protection be provided through the application of an alternative solution.

Appeal Board Decision #1654
It is the determination of the Board that the subject enclosures need not be considered vertical service spaces, provided Clause 3.2.8.1.(1) (a) is complied with.

George Humphrey, Chair