BCAB #1277 - Basement Storage Garage Sentence and "Building Area"

April 21, 1992

BCAB #1277

Re: Basement Storage Garage Sentence and "Building Area"

Project Description

The project in question is a three storey wood frame apartment/condominium of 1784 m2 in building area with a basement storage garage of 3520 m2 in floor area. The project is on a sloping site and part of the storage garage is above grade but is not considered as a storey in building height.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence permits a basement storage garage to be considered as a separate building for the purposes of Subsection 3.2.2. provided the floor above the basement and its exterior walls are constructed as 2 hour fire separations. The definition of "building area" is the "greatest horizontal area of a building above grade within the outside surface of exterior walls or within the outside surface of exterior walls and the centre line of firewalls." If the separate building option of Sentence is not applied should the building area be determined by using the outside perimeter of the basement garage?

Appellant's Position

The appellant has chosen not to consider the basement garage as a separate building and has calculated the building area of the apartment without considering the basement garage. He considers the project to have a building area of 1784 m2 and be a multiple occupancy building conforming with Sentence

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the size of the storage garage, even though it is partly below grade, should have an effect on the building's classification under Subsection 3.2.2. He feels that the second part of the building area definition, "or within the outside surface of exterior walls", should be applied and the building area for the purposes of Subsection 3.2.2. should be 3520 m2.

Appeal Board Decision #1277

It is the determination of the Board that "building area" as defined in the Code only relates to the greatest horizontal area of the building above grade and does not include portions below grade. In this case the building area would not be the 3520 m2 area of the basement but would be more than the 1784 m2 of the apartment building above the basement because a portion of the basement projects above grade.

George R. Humphrey, Chair