BCAB #1423 - Egress from Bedrooms 22.214.171.124.(1) & (2)
August 20, 1996
Re: Egress from Bedrooms 126.96.36.199.(1) & (2)
The project in question is a single family dwelling and the appeal concerns the size of the opening provided by a vertical sliding (double hung) window.
Reason for Appeal
Sentence 188.8.131.52.(1) requires each bedroom to have an outside window which can be opened from the inside without the need of tools or special knowledge. These windows must have an unobstructed opening of not less than 380 mm in height and width and 0.35 m2 in area.
The appellant contends that even though the unobstructed area of the opening with the sash raised is only .309 m2 both the upper and lower sash can easily be removed to provide an opening of .62 m2. All these windows have diagrammed instructions for sash removal.
Building Official's Position
The building official maintains that special knowledge is required to open the windows to an area that complies with the code and no explicit instructions are permanently affixed to the windows. Without this special knowledge the unobstructed area is less than the minimum required .35 m2.
Appeal Board Decision #1423
It is the determination of the Board that specialized knowledge is required to remove these windows in order for the opening size to meet the requirement of the code. The code requirement is for the window to be openable, not removable, without specialized knowledge. Although the window opening that is provided without removing the sash is only marginally undersized it does not meet the already minimum size required by the code.
George R. Humphrey, Chair