BCAB #1531 - Access for Persons with Disabilities, Sentence

March 22, 2001

BCAB #1531

Re: Access for Persons with Disabilities, Sentence

Project Description

The subject building is a two storey multiple suite, multiple occupancy building falling within the scope of Part 3 (due to inclusion of Division A occupancies). The building comprises of a combination of single storey suites located either on the first or second storey, and two level suites which incorporate both storeys. The total area of the structure 1400 m2, but is multiple buildings created by firewalls, with each building having an area of less than 600 m2. There are no openings in the firewalls that would permit the movement of persons through them.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence exempts accessibility requirements for the storey above or below the accessible storey in buildings that are two storeys or less in building height and less than 600 m2 in floor area, provided the storey does not contain facilities integral to the principle function of the accessible storey and does not contain an assembly occupancy more than 100 m2. This exemption also applies to two storey suites with the same conditions.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that facilities for persons with disabilities are not required for the second storey because:

  • The second storey floor area is less than 600 m2,
  • There will be no assembly occupancies on the second storey, and
  • The first storey is accessible and provided with required accessible facilities, with none of the required facilities located on the second floor in those suites that are two storeys.

Building Official's Position

The Building Official considers it was not the intent of the Code to use firewalls to facilitate avoiding accessibility requirements for the second storey of two storey buildings. Further, the exemption was not intended to apply to individual suites, but applicable only when the second storey is not integral to the principle function of the first storey. The building official is requesting accessibility be provided to the second storey.

Appeal Board Decision #1531

For the purpose of application of Article, it is the determination of the Board that firewalls may be used to create separate buildings of less than 600 m2 in building area provided the opening limitations in Sentence are complied with.

For this building individual suites on the second floor are exempt from accessibility requirements by Clause The second storey of two storey suites are exempt from accessibility requirements by Clause provided all required accessible facilities are located on the first (accessible) storey.

George Humphrey, Chair