BCAB #1726 - Protection of Foamed Plastic Insulation in a Crawl Space, 9.10.17.10.(1) & 9.10.8.9.

April 18, 2013

BCAB #1726

Re: Protection of Foamed Plastic Insulation in a Crawl Space, 9.10.17.10.(1) & 9.10.8.9.

Project Description

The project in question is a single family dwelling with a 2,200 sq ft 3’-10” high crawl space. The crawl space exterior walls are insulated with glass wool batt insulation except for the bottom 10” which is insulated with spray foam insulation. The crawl space contains an electric fan-coil forced-air heating system, two hot water tanks and storage.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 9.10.17.10.(1) requires foamed plastic to be protected by interior finishes except when in an attic, roof space or crawl space. Article 9.10.8.9. requires a crawl space which meets specified conditions to be considered as a basement for the purpose of applying the requirements of Article 9.10.8.1.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the requirements of Sentence 9.10.17.10.(1) to protect the foamed plastic insulation do not apply in a crawl space and Article 9.10.8.9. requires the crawl space to be considered a basement only for the purposes of determining the fire rating of the floor above and houses don’t require any fire rated floors.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains the foamed plastic should be protected under certain conditions in a crawlspace as per Article 9.10.17.10, and BC Building Code Interpretation Committee interpretation #98-0011. Examples of such conditions include when an occupancy is created by installation of a furnace, or a use is created by the storage of goods and materials.

Appeal Board Decision #1726

It is the determination of the Board that Article 9.10.8.9. only applies for purposes of determining whether fire resistance ratings are required for floors under Article 9.10.8.1. In accordance with Article 9.10.8.10. fire resistance ratings are not required for floors in houses. Therefore, in accordance with Sentence 9.10.17.10.(1), the foamed plastic insulation in the crawl space is not required to be protected.

George Humphrey, Chair