BCAB #1331 - Sprinkler System for 4 Storey Condominium, &

December 15, 1993

BCAB #1331

Re: Sprinkler System for 4 Storey Condominium, &

Project Description

The project in question is a four storey wood frame strata-title apartment building intended for seniors. The building is designed in conformance with Article of the 1992 B.C. Building Code.

Reason for Appeal

Article requires the building to be sprinklered and have a roof assembly with a 1 hour fire resistance rating. Sentence permits such a building to be sprinklered with a system conforming to NFPA 13R, "Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Residential Occupancies up to Four Storeys in Height", provided the roof space is fire separated from the suites below or the suite separations extend to the underside of the roof deck.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that although the building is intended for seniors, it is not a care facility and has no special design features that are not found in other residential occupancies. Based on it being a residential occupancy in conformance with Article a sprinkler system designed and installed in conformance with NFPA 13R and Sentence should be acceptable.

Building Official's Position

The building officials maintain that NFPA 13R is not the appropriate standard for the sprinkler system in this building because they believe it is to be a "care facility with slow evacuation type of occupants". NFPA 13R is for residential occupancies only which is defined, in part, as including "Board and care facilities (slow evacuation type with 16 or less occupants and prompt evacuation type)". The building officials are convinced this building will house considerably more than 16 "slow evacuation type occupants", therefore, they are only willing to accept a full NFPA 13 or modified 13R sprinkler system.

The building officials also point out that the top floor suites are not fire separated from the roof space above as required by Sentence because the fire resistance rating of the roof assembly has been deleted in conformance Sentence

Appeal Board Decision #1331

It is the determination of the Board that the project is appropriately classified as a Group C residential occupancy and being four storeys in building height is permitted by Sentence to be sprinklered in conformance with NFPA 13R. The use of NFPA 13R is contingent upon the top storey being separated from the roof space above by a fire separation with a fire resistance rating of 1 hour as required by Clause This requirement takes precedence over the roof rating exemption in Sentence

George R. Humphrey, Chair