BCAB #1382 - Egress for Persons with Disabilities, Sentence and Subclause

February 16, 1995

BCAB #1382

Re: Egress for Persons with Disabilities, Sentence and Subclause

Project Description

The project in question is a new junior secondary school designed under Article as a Group A Division 2 major occupancy. The building is two storeys high and is fully sprinklered. All the exits conform to Article either because they lead directly to accessible exterior open spaces or to areas of refuge in the form of designated spaces on the stair landings within the exit stair shafts.

The second storey contains a large multi-purpose room which is at an elevation lower than the rest of the storey. Access to and egress from this room is via several stairs and a single ramp.

Reason for Appeal

The multi-purpose room requires two means of egress due to its size and occupant load. Are both means of egress required to be accessible to persons with disabilities?

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that access to the multi-purpose room has been provided in conformance with Subclause and egress from the floor area has been provided in conformance with Article There is no requirement to provide two accessible means of egress from the multi-purpose room.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that two accessible means of egress are required from the multi-purpose room to the main floor area in order to comply with Sentence A second ramp conforming to Article would provide the needed second means of egress.

Appeal Board Decision #1382

It is the determination of the Board that access to exit for persons with disabilities is intended to be provided on the same basis as for ambulatory occupants. Article requires the multi-purpose room to have two egress doorways located such that the "occupants" can vacate the room if either of the doorways is blocked by a fire. Access for persons with disabilities is required to this room. Therefore all "occupants", which includes those with disabilities, must be able to leave the room by either door. The Board interpreted the term "doorway" used in Article in the broadest sense of points of egress from the room and could be doors, archways or openings and could involve stairs or ramps to get to and from these points of egress.

George R. Humphrey, Chair