BCAB #1331 - Sprinkler System for 4 Storey Condominium, 184.108.40.206. & 220.127.116.11.(2)
December 15, 1993
Re: Sprinkler System for 4 Storey Condominium, 18.104.22.168. & 22.214.171.124.(2)
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 126.96.36.199. of the 1992 B.C. Building Code.
Reason for Appeal
Article 188.8.131.52. requires the building to be sprinklered and have a roof assembly with a 1 hour fire resistance rating. Sentence 184.108.40.206.(2) 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.
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 220.127.116.11. a sprinkler system designed and installed in conformance with NFPA 13R and Sentence 18.104.22.168.(2) 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 22.214.171.124.(2) because the fire resistance rating of the roof assembly has been deleted in conformance Sentence 126.96.36.199.(1).
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 188.8.131.52.(2) 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 184.108.40.206.(2)(b). This requirement takes precedence over the roof rating exemption in Sentence 220.127.116.11.(1).
George R. Humphrey, Chair