BCAB #1309 - Storage Racking System

June 17, 1993

BCAB #1309   

Re: Storage Racking System

Project Description

The project in question is a combination retail store and automobile service facility with a product storage area containing a two level storage racking system consisting of metal shelves supporting a platform on which are located more shelving units and storage space.

Reason for Appeal

The reason for the appeal is to determine whether the storage racking system should be considered as a storey or mezzanine and meet all the applicable requirements for storeys or mezzanines in the 1992 B.C. Building Code or can it be treated as "equipment" and exempted from storey or mezzanine requirements?

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that sufficient precedent is available to define the storage racking system with its intermediate access level as equipment and not as a floor area or mezzanine structure. The appellant cites previous appeal #704 from 1983 which considered a similar question and determined that a shelving system which was not a structural part of the building and provided only minimal walkways strictly for access to the shelves was not a floor area or mezzanine. The Building Standards Branch Opinion #113 is also cited and this opinion was essentially the same as appeal # 704.

The appellant has also supplied a copy of an authorization by the Building Materials Evaluation Commission of Ontario to use this system, within certain limitations, in that province. The appellant has designed the system within these limitations.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the storage racking system constitutes a floor area or mezzanine and must comply with the appropriate requirements of the code for floor areas or mezzanines.

In the opinion of the building official the storage racking system is simply an unconventional method of building a second floor and is only unique in that it is structurally independent of the building and constructed from proprietary light gauge steel members. The lower floor shelving system supports a tongue and groove plywood deck which in turn supports the second level shelving. The shelving on the second level is not dependent on the shelving layout of the lower floor and the second level provides space other than strictly required for access to the shelving.

Appeal Board Decision #1309

It is the determination of the Board that the storage racking system in question in this appeal is a storey and must be constructed in accordance with the applicable requirements for storeys. Alternative measures for fire protection and life safety may be proposed to the building official under Section 2.5, Equivalents.

George R. Humphrey, Chair