BCAB #1477 - Access to Exit Corridors in Multi-Tenant Storage Warehouses, Sentence 188.8.131.52.(1) & Article 184.108.40.206. (1992 BCBC)
March 17, 1999
Re: Access to Exit Corridors in Multi-Tenant Storage Warehouses, Sentence 220.127.116.11.(1) & Article 18.104.22.168. (1992 BCBC)
The project in question consists of three large two storey sprinklered buildings containing several hundred individually rented storage lockers. All the second storey lockers are accessed from interior corridors as are many of the ground floor lockers.
Reason for Appeal
Sentence 22.214.171.124.(8) requires each suite in a floor area with more than one suite to have an egress door to the exterior or to a public corridor or exterior passageway. Article 126.96.36.199. requires public corridors to be separated from the remainder of the floor area by a fire separation.
The appellant contends that although the storage lockers are individual tenancies they should not be considered as suites because access is controlled by the warehouse operator. Also, storage lockers in residential buildings are not considered as suites. If they are not considered as suites then a fire separated public corridor is not required. Further evidence that the code does not require the lockers to be considered as suites is found in Article 188.8.131.52. This Article only requires a fire separation between each locker and the remainder of the building if the building is not sprinklered. Article 184.108.40.206. makes no reference to Article 220.127.116.11. which implies fire rated public corridors are not required.
Building Official's Position
The building official maintains that the definition of suite describes the lockers in this project as they are individually rented and operated as single tenancies independent of each other. Article 18.104.22.168. applies in general to all multi-tenant mini-warehouse type buildings and other sections of the code may also apply depending on the design of the buildings. The buildings in question contain interior corridors providing access to exit from a number of suites. Therefore they should be considered as public corridors and designed to meet the requirements of Sentence 22.214.171.124.(1).
Appeal Board Decision #1477
It is the determination of the Board that the intent of Article 126.96.36.199. is to permit multi-tenant self-storage warehouses to be constructed without fire separations between the tenant spaces and between the tenant spaces and corridors providing the building is fully sprinklered. Sentence 188.8.131.52.(1) requires public corridors to be fire separated from the remainder of the building except as otherwise required in Part 3. The Board considers Article 184.108.40.206. to "otherwise require" sprinklers in lieu of fire separations in this specific kind of occupancy.
George R. Humphrey, Chair