BCAB #1591 - Occupant Load, Sentence 220.127.116.11.(1)
November 7, 2003
Re: Occupant Load, Sentence 18.104.22.168.(1)
The subject is a licensed beverage establishment with a building area of 417 m2. The area of the building that patrons occupy, excluding kitchen, washrooms, storage and offices is 216 m2. Using the criteria of 1.2 m2 per person from Table 22.214.171.124., an occupant load of 218 persons would be established.
The appellant wishes to limit the occupant load of the building to 149 persons, by posting a permanent sign in conformance with Sentence 3.1.16.(2) of the BC Building Code and Article 126.96.36.199. of the BC Fire Code.
The building’s exit capacity and washroom facilities exceed the requirements for 149 persons.
Reason for Appeal
Sentence 188.8.131.52.(1) states the occupant load of a floor area shall be based on the number of persons for which the area is designed, but not less than that determined from Table 184.108.40.206. for occupancies other than that described in Clauses (a) and (b), unless it can be shown the area will be occupied by fewer persons.
The appellant contends posting a sign indicating the occupant load in conspicuous locations near the principal entrances to the floor area in conformance with the Building and Fire Codes is adequate in showing the area will be occupied by fewer persons than derived from Table 220.127.116.11.
The appellant further contends the nature of non-fixed seating and tables permits flexibility in patron group sizes, and that it would be unrealistic to expect the seats remain in a “fixed” seating plan.
Building Official's Position
The Building Official contends that the floor plans submitted do not show how the floor area will be occupied by fewer persons than that determined by Table 18.104.22.168. The building official does not consider a statement made by the designer, nor signage indicated in Sentence 22.214.171.124.(2), adequate information to indicate the proposed occupant load in question.
Appeal Board Decision #1590
It is the determination of the Board that the appellant must provide supportive information to demonstrate compliance with Clause 126.96.36.199.(1)(c) as well as providing signage as required by Sentence 188.8.131.52.(2).