BCAB #1620 - Venting to Aid Firefighting, Sentence

April 20, 2006

BCAB #1620

Re: Venting to Aid Firefighting, Sentence

Project Description

The project is five multiple suite residential buildings of 36 storeys in height which are built of non combustible construction and sprinklered throughout. The physical conditions for windows or wall openings as indicated in Appendix B- are met by incorporating opening windows and doors within individual suites. These suites egress through a windowless public corridor.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence states means of venting each floor area to the outdoors shall be provided for by windows, wall panels, smoke shafts or building exhaust systems. Appendix B- states conditions when window or wall panels are used for smoke venting purposes.

Appellant’s Position

The appellant contends the requirements of Sentence apply generally to the floor area, (a defined term in the Code), and does not specifically reference public corridors or individual fire compartments. The appellant considers it is not intended by the Code that each room or compartment portion within a floor area is required to be individually vented.

Building Official's Position

The Building Official contends an independent venting system for smoke removal from the windowless public corridors is required. The Official considers that the breaking of potentially locked entry doors by fire fighters to access the openable window within a suite is not acceptable, and that mechanical smoke ventilation from the corridor is necessary.

Appeal Board Decision #1620

It is the determination of the Board that independent ventilation for smoke removal for the public corridor is not required by the Code.

George Humphrey, Chair