BCAB #1470 - Sprinklers Under Roofs, Article

July 15, 1998

BCAB #1470

Re: Sprinklers Under Roofs, Article

Project Description

The project in question is a new commercial complex consisting of three sections separated by covered passageways approximately 5 m wide. All three sections and the passageways are covered by a single roof/parkade of noncombustible construction. There are second storeys over part of two of the sections. The project is fully sprinklered.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence requires a sprinkler system to conform with the requirements of NFPA 13, "Installation of Sprinkler Systems." NFPA 13, in section 4-4.9, permits the omission of sprinklers under noncombustible exterior roofs or canopies where the area below is not used for the storage or handling of combustibles.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the two covered passageways should be considered as noncombustible canopies and should not require sprinklers. The area below is for pedestrian use only and will not be used for storage or handling of combustibles. This contention is supported by the opinion of a NFPA staff member.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that sprinklers are required over the covered passageways. This project was designed and classified as a single building of two storeys in building height, fully sprinklered. The second storey is an open parking area but there are also second storey tenant spaces at each end. The covered passageways are within the building area and were not considered as canopies.

Appeal Board Decision #1470

It is the determination of the Board that the roofed areas which are bounded by walls forming the two passageways separating the three sections of the building are required to be sprinklered. The Board does not consider the roof over these spaces to be an exterior roof as intended by NFPA 13.

George R. Humphrey, Chair