BCAB #1709 - Fire Separation of Suites, Sentence 9.10.9.13.(1)

March 27, 2012

BCAB #1709

Re: Fire Separation of Suites, Sentence 9.10.9.13.(1)

Project Description

The appeal concerns an existing unsprinklered five unit Part 9 building containing a motorcycle shop, hair salon, video game store, coin and gold dealer and union office.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 9.10.9.13.(1) requires each suite of other than business and personal services (Group D) occupancies to be separated from adjoining suites by a fire separation with a fire resistance rating not less than 45 minutes.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends the hair salon, video game store, coin and gold dealer and union office are all business and personal services occupancies and don’t need to be separated from each other by fire separations.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the coin and gold dealer and the video game store are mercantile (Group E) occupancies and  are not exempted from the need for a fire separation between them and the adjoining hair salon and union office. Moreover, the tenants change over time and may or may not be Group D occupancies so the building should conform to the more restrictive provision of a 45 minute fire resistance rating for fire separations between suites.

Appeal Board Decision #1709

It is the determination of the Board that the coin and gold dealer is a suite of Group D business and personal services occupancy and the video game store is a suite of Group E mercantile occupancy.

A fire separation with a 45 minute fire resistance rating is required between adjoining Group D and Group E suites.

Further, the building code requirements are not based on future anticipated use, and must be applied based on the current occupancy of the suites.

Ed MacKinnon, Vice Chair