BCAB #1336 - Protection of Openings in Exterior Wall of Exit Enclosure, Sentence 188.8.131.52.(1)
February 16, 1994
Re: Protection of Openings in Exterior Wall of Exit Enclosure, Sentence 184.108.40.206.(1)
The project in question is a four storey, wood frame, fully sprinklered apartment building. The exit stair shaft has one exterior wall which contains a window at each landing level. This exterior wall, and the included windows, is recessed a minimum of three feet back from the exterior walls of the suites on either side of the exit stair shaft.
Reason for Appeal
Sentence 220.127.116.11.(1) requires openings in the exterior walls of an exit enclosure that "may be exposed to fire from openings in the exterior walls of the building it serves" to be protected by using wired glass in steel frames in either the exit enclosure openings or the openings in the building's exterior walls. This requirement applies to openings in the exterior wall of the building that are within 3 m horizontally of the openings in the exit or less than 2 m above or 10 m below the openings in the exit.
The appellant contends that Sentence 18.104.22.168.(1) only applies "when the openings of the exit are exposed to fire from other openings." The exterior wall of the exit enclosure was recessed to remove the exposure hazard that would have existed if the wall had remained flush with the neighboring suite walls.
Building Official's Position
The building official maintains that despite the exit enclosure openings being recessed three feet, the windows in the suites are within 3 m horizontally and less than 2 m above and 10 m below these openings in the exit enclosure. The building official considers the Code to be silent on situations where openings are recessed or projected from the building face but still within the distances specified in Sentence 22.214.171.124.(1). The official considers the openings in the exit enclosure are exposed to fire from the suite windows less than 10 m below them and must be protected.
Appeal Board Decision #1336
The Board considers that the existence of a fire exposure must be determined before Sentence 126.96.36.199.(1) can be applied. This sentence could apply to the design in question because the setback of the exit windows, by itself, may not eliminate the fire exposure potential to these windows from other nearby openings. However, other fire protection measures, such as sprinklers, must be considered in this analyses. If it is then determined that the exit enclosure windows are exposed to fire from other openings the requirements of Sentence 188.8.131.52.(1) must be applied.
George R. Humphrey, Chair