BCAB #1455 - Definition of Building, Article

December 15, 1997

BCAB #1455

Re: Definition of Building, Article

Project Description

Under appeal is a shelter used as drywall storage facility. The shelter is 200 feet long and 28 feet deep (5600 sq. ft) consisting of light steel tube arches at three foot intervals and covered with a woven polyolefin fabric. The pipe frames are anchored with 2" x 8" wood sills staked into the ground. One of the 200 foot sides is framed with 6" WF steel columns at 25 foot intervals with 8" WF steel beams to provide openings for forklift access to the stacks of drywall. These openings can be closed with fabric curtains.

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." Occupancy is defined as the use of a building for the shelter or support of persons, animals or property.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the building should be considered a temporary building under Clause as the property is leased for three years commencing June 01, 1997. Clause (f) provides examples of buildings to which the Code is not intended to apply. The list should not be considered exhaustive of all the temporary shelters that might be exempted from the code. If the shelter is considered a building not exempted from the Code the application of Part 9 is perverse to the intent of the code.

An engineer has designed the shelter to comply with the Farm Building Code which is considered an appropriate standard for a building of this type and use.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the shelter is clearly a building as defined by the Code. A very similar structure was the subject of recent appeal #1418 where the Board determined it to be a building as defined in the Code. The authority having jurisdiction (the building official) does not consider the building to qualify as temporary under Clause and the city building bylaw only permits temporary buildings for a period not exceeding 12 months. Such temporary use can only be approved where the building official is satisfied the building is safe for the stated use and duration. The building official has concerns regarding the safety of the building.

The building official further maintains the building does not meet Code requirements such as wind and snow loads, flammability of the fabric covering and spatial separation to prevent fire spread to neighbouring properties. The building falls under Part 9 which is specifically intended for small medium to low hazard buildings. It does not meet the definition of a farm building as it is neither located on farm property nor used for agricultural purposes. It also does not qualify as a tent under Subsection 3.1.6. because the fabric covering does not conform to the CAN/ULC-S109-M, Standard for Flame Tests of Flame Resistant Fabrics and Films.

Appeal Board Decision #1455

It is the determination of the Board that the structure in question is a building as defined by the code and would have to comply with the applicable requirements of Part 9.

George R. Humphrey, Chair