BCAB #1763 - Accumulation of Ice and Snow on Storage Garage Stairs, Article 3.3.5.4.

April 16, 2015

BCAB #1763

Re: Accumulation of Ice and Snow on Storage Garage Stairs, Article 3.3.5.4.

Project Description

The project is a Group C apartment building with a one level underground storage garage, that is considered a separate building per Article 3.2.1.2.  An exit stair serving the storage garage is located in an uncovered concrete well that extends below grade. The stair discharges to the street at grade and a guard at the top of the stair separates the stair from the roof of the storage garage.

Reason for Appeal

There is a disagreement on the application of Sentence 3.3.5.4.(2), which requires that an interior stair that extends to the roof of a storage garage be designed to prevent the accumulation of ice and snow.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the stair in question is not an interior stair as referenced in Sentence 3.3.5.4.(2) because there is an exterior door at the bottom of the stair, therefore the code requirement is not applicable.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the intent of Sentence 3.3.5.4.(2) is to prevent accumulation of ice and snow on stairs leading to a storage garage roof. The noted required exit stair could lead to persons tripping or falling and could cause delays in evacuation in case of an emergency.  The uncovered stair shown does not meet this intent as it is open to the elements.

Appeal Board Decision #1763

The Board considers that the stair in question leads to grade adjacent to the building and does not extend to the roof as described in Sentence 3.3.5.4.(2).  The Board notes that the Code does not address the accumulation of ice and snow on stairs in general, but only in specific circumstances.  Therefore it is the determination of the Board that the subject stair does not require protection from the accumulation of ice and snow. 

Lyle Kuhnert, Chair