BCAB #1570 - Fire Separation of Drive-Through Reception Area at Auto Dealership, Sentence 126.96.36.199.(1)
July 18, 2002
Re: Fire Separation of Drive-Through Reception Area at Auto Dealership, Sentence 188.8.131.52.(1)
The project in question is a new auto sales and service dealership. Included in the project is an indoor "service write-up" or reception area for up to six vehicles where service technicians discuss servicing requirements with the vehicles’ owners. New vehicles may also be delivered in this area. Vehicles are not stored and no service work is performed in this area.
Reason for Appeal
Sentence 184.108.40.206.(1) requires a storage garage to be separated from other occupancies by a 1.5 hr fire separation. The code does directly address vehicle drive-through facilities.
The appellant contends that Sentence 220.127.116.11.(1) does not apply because the reception area does not conform to the definition of a storage garage. Previous appeals #1520 and #1521 support this contention.
Building Official's Position
The building official maintains that although the drive-through is not a storage garage it should not be considered ancillary to the adjacent showroom and customer lounge due to the very significant fire risk presented by vehicles in need of service or repair. A safety risk in excess of that anticipated by the Code for this occupancy could be imposed on the building and its occupants and a fire separation should be provided.
Appeal Board Decision #1570
The intended use of the drive-through reception is for vehicle/customer reception. It is not intended for storage, repair, or testing of motor vehicles. It is the determination of the Board that the subject drive-through reception is not a storage garage. Therefore, a fire separation with a fire resistance rating of 1.5 hrs between the drive-through reception and the adjacent showroom is not required.
George Humphrey, Chair