BCAB #1743 - Classification of Infant Daycare Facility, Sentence 3.1.2.1.(1)

March 20, 2014

BCAB #1743

Re: Classification of Infant Daycare Facility, Sentence 3.1.2.1.(1)

Project Description

The project in question is a renovated factory-built building intended as a day care facility for 16 children under 36 months of age. The building is 24’ x 40’ divided into two 20’ x 24’ sections with a connecting door. Each section has two doors directly to the exterior that are within 2’ of ground level. Each section contains a 16’ x 19’ classroom at the front and a washroom and small sleep room at the back. The maximum travel distance to an exit door from the far corner of the sleep room is about 28’.

Reason for Appeal

In order to determine the Building Code provisions applicable to a specific building it must first be classified based on its intended occupancy type as required by Sentence 3.1.2.1.(1). The Code does not use the term day care and as a consequence there is disagreement as to how the building should be classified.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the building should be classified as Assembly, Group A Division 2, and the architect has designed the building accordingly. As a small A2 building it is not required to be sprinklered.

Building Official's Position

The building official points out that the original proposed use of the building was for a child day care and the A2 classification was accepted. Subsequent to the building permit issuance the use changed to infant care, children under 3 years old. Given that infants are unable to self preserve and are completely reliant on care workers to evacuate them from the building, the building official believes that, with guidance from Appendix A, Sentence 3.1.2.1.(1) requires this building to be classified as a Group B Division 3 care occupancy. A building classified as B3 would require a sprinkler system conforming to NFPA 13.

Appeal Board Decision #1743

The Board considers that the Code does not specifically address the occupancy classification a day care facility falls within. Further, the Board considers infant day care fits within the definition of assembly occupancy; “. . . a gathering of persons for . . . social, educational, recreational or like purposes.” It does not provide services to residents as stipulated in the care occupancy (B3) definition. It is the determination of the Board that this infant day care facility is appropriately classified as a Group A Division 2 major occupancy.

Lyle Kuhnert, Chair