BCAB #1675 - NFPA 13R Sprinkler System, Sentence 3.2.5.13.(2)

September 23, 2010

BCAB #1675

Re: NFPA 13R Sprinkler System, Sentence 3.2.5.13.(2)

Project Description
The project in question is a four storey residential building of combustible construction designed under Article 3.2.2.45. There is a basement parking garage and parking for 8 cars on the first storey near one end of the building. The parking is intended for the building’s residents.

Reason for Appeal
Sentence 3.2.5.13.(2) permits a sprinkler system conforming to NFPA 13R to be used in building of up to four storeys in building height conforming to Article 3.2.2.42., 3.2.2.43., 3.2.2.45. or 3.2.2.48. and that is of residential occupancy “throughout.”

Appellant’s Position
The appellant contends that the building is classified as a residential major occupancy with a subsidiary storage garage occupancy making the building a residential occupancy “throughout” as intended by Sentence 3.2.5.13.(2). The appellant also points out that NFPA 13R clearly recognizes the existence of storage garages in residential buildings and provides sprinkler design criteria for these areas outside the dwelling units.

Building Official's Position
The building official maintains that the eight vehicle storage garage on the first storey is not a subsidiary occupancy because it is required to be separated from the adjacent residential use by a 1.5 hour fire separation in accordance with Article 3.3.5.6. If there were five or fewer vehicles Sentence 3.3.4.2.(4) would permit the deletion of the fire resistance rating implying the parking could be considered subsidiary to the adjacent occupancy.

Appeal Board Decision #1675
It is the determination of the Board that since all the parking serves only the building’s occupants it is considered subsidiary to the residential major occupancy. Therefore, the building is a residential occupancy throughout and is permitted to be sprinklered in conformance with NFPA 13R. In accordance with NFPA 13R the areas outside the dwelling units are sprinklered in accordance with NFPA 13.

George Humphrey, Chair