BCAB #1418 - Definition of "Building", Covered Storage Bins, Article

July 17, 1996

BCAB #1418

Re: Definition of "Building", Covered Storage Bins, Article

Project Description

The structure in question is a series of three bins for the storage of sawdust used for agricultural purposes. The bins are constructed of large concrete "lock-blocks" and are covered with a woven polyolefin fabric tarpaulin attached to an arched metal tube support structure. The three covered bins total an area 25 m long x 15 m deep. The bins are large enough to allow a large front-end loader to drive inside.

Reason for Appeal

The building official considers the structure to be a building as defined in Article "Building means any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy." Therefore, a building permit is required and the structure must comply with all applicable requirements of the building code.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the covered storage bins are not a building as intended by the code. The structure is a set of open ended storage bins with a temporary cover in the form of a tarpaulin supported by a light tubular metal frame. This type of structure is commonly used throughout the province, is not considered a building and does not require building permits.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the structure falls within the definition of the term building in Article The required building permit allows the building official to verify the adequacy of the structure to withstand loads normally imposed on it to protect the safety of persons using the building and those on adjacent properties and rights of way.

Appeal Board Decision #1418

It is the determination of the Board that the structure in question is a building as defined in Article because it is "...used for...sheltering a use or occupancy." However, the Board feels that both parties should review A-3, Limitation on Application, on page 482 of the code, particularly the last sentence on that page which reads: "It is expected that judgment will be exercised in evaluating the application of a requirement in those cases when extenuating circumstances appear to require special consideration, provided the occupants' safety is not endangered." The Board would also like to clarify that building permits are not a requirement of the code and this issue must be resolved with the building official.

George R. Humphrey, Chair