BCAB #1605 - Spatial Separation Analysis for Houses, Sentence

February 2, 2005

BCAB #1605

Re: Spatial Separation Analysis for Houses, Sentence

Project Description

The subject building is an existing two level house with a proposed addition. The proposed addition/renovation includes additional glazed openings on the building face in question. This exposing building face has multiple planes parallel to the property line. The majority of the exposed building face has a limiting distance of 2.4 metres, there is a small (2 metre wide) bump out on the upper level with a limiting distance of  1.98 metres, and recessed areas (about 15% of the building face) with a limiting distance of 4.3 metres or greater.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence states an exposing building face may be considered to be made up of any number of separate portions and the requirements for the limits of glazed openings for each portion may be determined based on the limiting distance for that portion.

Appellant’s Position

The appellant considers the designer’s methodology to be in compliance with the Code. This methodology involves dividing the exposing building face into portions such that each portion complies with the permitted unprotected openings for each portion, based on a limiting distance of the closest building face of that portion. The boundaries of the portions do not necessarily coincide with the physical offsets of the building face and divide the exposing building face both vertically and horizontally.

Building Official's Position

The Building Official considers that Sentence is limited to the applications described in the Appendix, that being for staggered building faces or where the building face is not parallel to a property line. Further, the Building Official considers the separated portions of an exposed building face must be consistent with the actual staggers of the exposing building face (the portions of the exposing building face cannot be divided such that there is the same limiting distance on an adjacent portion).

Appeal Board Decision #1605

Sentence does not establish how separate portions of the exposing building face are to be determined. It is therefore the determination of the Board that this method of analysis for the spatial separation for this building is not contrary to the Code’s requirements. The Board is however concerned that this method could compromise the principles of fire safety inherent in the Code, and the Province should reevaluate the current wording.

George Humphrey, Chair