BCAB #1734 - Occupancy Classification and Fire Separation Requirements of Bicycle Storage Area

August 15, 2013

BCAB #1734

Re: Occupancy Classification and Fire Separation Requirements of Bicycle Storage Area

Project Description

The project is an existing 2 storey building that contains a 4110m2 storage garage.  It is proposed to convert 1175m2 (approximately 28% of the parking garage floor area) to bicycle storage.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.3.5.6.(1) requires a storage garage to be separated from other occupancies by a fire separation with a fire-resistance rating not less than 1.5 h.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that bicycle storage is a permitted use in a storage garage and it is therefore not an “other part of the building” as intended by Sentence 3.3.5.6.(1).  No fire separation is required between the bicycle storage and the remainder of the parking garage.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the bicycle storage area is a separate occupancy and must be fire separated from the storage garage.  Bicycle parking does not fit the definition of a storage garage, which is for motor vehicles.  Further, it is not a subsidiary occupancy as the intended users are different than the users of the storage garage.

Appeal Board Decision #1734

It is the determination of the Board that based on the documentation provided, the intended use of the area in question appears to be more than bicycle storage.  The area in question does not meet the code’s definition of a “storage garage” because it is not intended for the storage of motor vehicles.  As such, the area in question is an “other occupancy” and requires a fire separation per Article 3.3.5.6.

George Humphrey, Chair