BCAB #1238 - Firewalls & Spatial Separation Subsections 3.1.8. & 3.2.3.

February 22, 1991

BCAB #1238

Re: Firewalls & Spatial Separation Subsections 3.1.8. & 3.2.3.

Project Description

A new Safeway store addition to an existing shopping centre. A new lot has been created for the Safeway building. One side of the new building will be 1" from the new property line and the other side will be 28' from the property line.

Reason for Appeal

Subsection 3.1.8. details the requirements for firewalls between buildings. Subsection 3.2.3. details the requirements for spatial separation between buildings. The building official has applied Subsection 3.1.8. to the exterior wall adjacent to the property line but the appellant feels that only Subsection 3.2.3. should be applied.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that Subsection 3.1.8., Firewalls, does not apply to this building because the wall in question is not a party wall but simply an exterior wall required to have fire resistance rating. Due to a limiting distance of 1" the wall must be of noncombustible construction with a 2 hour fire resistance rating and noncombustible exterior cladding. This would permit the wall to be of steel stud and gypsum board construction with stucco cladding. As the wall is not a firewall no parapet is required.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that a firewall is required adjacent to the property line and must have a 4 hour fire resistance rating. Because it is required to be a firewall it must be of noncombustible masonry or concrete construction, not steel studs and gypsum board and must have a 900 mm parapet.

Appeal Board Decision #1238

This subject has been dealt with previously by Appeal #668 and a copy is attached. The Board considers Subsection 3.2.3. applies to this case, not Subsection 3.1.8. Subsection 3.2.3. requires the exterior wall of the Group E buildings with limiting distances of 1" to be of noncombustible construction with 2 hour fire resistance ratings . No parapets are required. The Board considers a steel stud and gypsum board wall to be acceptable providing the required fire resistance rating is achieved from the interior side and the walls are constructed to the appropriate requirements for exterior walls.

George R. Humphrey, Chair