BCAB #1468 - Storage Facility Addition to Residential Building, Article

July 15, 1998

BCAB #1468

Re: Storage Facility Addition to Residential Building, Article

Project Description

The project in question is a storage facility addition to the side of an existing wood frame apartment building. The proposed addition is a wood frame lean-to type of structure five feet wide by the full 38 foot length of the north wall of the building. It consists of 22 storage lockers for the apartment tenants, 11 units on the bottom with 11 units above. All lockers are accessed from the remaining portion of the side yard. Each locker is approximately three feet wide, three feet high and five feet deep.

Reason for Appeal

Article requires "public storage in residential occupancies" to be separated from the remainder of the building by a 1 hour or 45 minute fire separation depending on the fire resistance rating of the floor assemblies and/or whether the storage room is sprinklered. Subsection 9.10.14., Spatial Separation, would apply and heat detectors are required in storage rooms in buildings required to have a fire alarm system, Sentence

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the storage facility cannot be considered as "rooms" because it is unheated, uninsulated, unlit and opens to the outdoors. It is basically a fenced compound with a roof. The appellant also argues that the lockers are not for "public" use, which implies accessible to anyone, but are only for the use of the building's tenants. The fire separation, spatial separation and fire alarm requirements of the code should not apply.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the addition should be considered as part of the existing building. As such it must comply with the requirements for a fire separation from the remainder of the building (45 min) and spatial separation from the neighbouring property (1 hr noncombustible wall and cladding). The fire alarm system would also have to be extended into the storage facility.

Appeal Board Decision #1468

It is the determination of the Board that the proposed storage facility is an addition to the building and must conform to the applicable requirements of the code such as fire separations, fire alarms and spatial separation.

George R. Humphrey, Chair