BCAB #1714 - Calculation of Exit Width, Sentence

July 10, 2012

BCAB #1714

Re: Calculation of Exit Width, Sentence

Project Description

The project in question is a child and infant day care centre on the second floor of a new multi-tenant commercial building. The day care centre has been classified as a Group B Division 2 Care occupancy because it is licensed for up to 36 infants who are too young to understand directions for evacuation or physically unable to walk out on their own. The occupant load, including infants, is 104.

Reason for Appeal

Occupant load is defined as the number of persons for which a building or part thereof is designed.  The day care facility is designed for the occupant load permitted by the license. Sentence requires the minimum width of an exit serving a floor area intended for a care occupancy to be determined by multiplying the occupant load by 18.4 mm per person.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the exit width calculation should not include the infants who would be carried out because they don’t take up any more space than the person carrying them. The inclusion of the infants in the exit width calculation results in an onerous exit width.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that infants are persons as intended by the definition of occupant load and is unaware of any Code-permitted opportunity to reduce the width requirements based on a perception of the abilities, limitations, fitness, expected assistance or other occupant-related factors which might affect the efficiency and speed of evacuation.

Appeal Board Decision #1714

It is the determination of the Board that infants are persons as intended in the definition of occupant load. The Board agrees that the infants do affect the efficiency and speed of evacuation and the calculation of minimum required exit width must conform with Sentence

George Humphrey, Chair