BCAB #1733 - Egress from Triplex with Exterior Passageway

July 18, 2013

BCAB #1733

Re: Egress from Triplex with Exterior Passageway

Project Description

The building is a three storey residential triplex with storage units on the first storey for each suite.  The third storey suite has egress on to a balcony with a stair that leads to a shared exterior passageway on the second storey.  The exterior passageway leads to an exterior stair to grade in one direction and to a grade level exit in the other direction.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 9.9.9.3(1) requires a second means of egress where a dwelling unit opens on to a shared exterior passageway or balcony that is served by a single exit stairway (where located more than 1.5m above ground level).

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the egress balcony and the stair leading to the second floor exterior passageway are not shared with the adjacent suite, as they are intended solely for the use of the third storey suite.  Although the balcony and stair can be accessed by the adjacent suite, neither is used as a required exit for that suite.  An exterior exit must be shared before a second means of egress is required by Article 9.9.9.3.  

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the 3rd storey has egress doors from 2 dwelling units, and both are served by the same exterior passageway.  Since the exterior passageway is shared, the requirements of Sentence 9.9.9.3.(1) apply and a second means of egress is required.  Further, the requirements of Sentence 9.9.9.2.(1) apply and it must be possible to go in opposite directions to two separate exits from the egress door.

Appeal Board Decision #1733

The Board concludes that Suite 3 has a single means of egress opening onto a balcony served by a single exit stairway shared by all 3 residential units.  It is the determination of the Board that Suite 3 does not comply with Clause 9.9.9.3(1)(a) or (d) and requires a second and separate means of egress.

George Humphrey, Chair