BCAB #1715 - Width of Access to Exit Stairs, Article 188.8.131.52.
July 10, 2012
Re: Width of Access to Exit Stairs, Article 184.108.40.206.
The project in question is a suite for 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. Rather than the typical public corridor called for by Sentence 220.127.116.11.(8) egress from the suites is via interior exit stairs from every suite leading to ground level. One exit stair is only for the use of the day care while a second exit stair is shared with the adjoining suite. The occupant load of the day care is 104.
Reason for Appeal
Sentence 18.104.22.168.(1) requires the day care suite to have two egress doors located such that if one is blocked by a fire in the suite the other door remains accessible. Sentence 22.214.171.124.(5) requires the capacity of the egress stairs to be determined in accordance with Sentences 126.96.36.199.(1) to (3). Sentence 188.8.131.52.(2) requires the aggregate width of exits serving care occupancies to be determined by multiplying the occupant load by 18.4 mm per person. Sentence 184.108.40.206.(7) requires that where more than one exit is required no exit shall be considered to provide more than half the required exit width. The appeal concerns the relative width of the two egress stairs.
The appellant contends that the two stairs as designed will accommodate the occupant load of the day care centre including a portion of the adjacent suite’s occupant load in the shared stair. The stairs provide egress directly from the suite and should not be required to conform to Sentence 220.127.116.11.(7) because they function the same as access to exit from a suite where there is no restriction on the percentage of occupants per egress facility. The design is adequate to take 42 people from the day care centre in the shared stair and 62 people in the stair serving only the day care centre.
Building Official's Position
The building official maintains that Sentence 18.104.22.168.(7) applies because the stairs are exits, not access to exits. As both stairs are already constructed, an occupant load of 104 will require the existing exit capacity to be supplemented in order to conform to Sentence 22.214.171.124.(7).
Appeal Board Decision #1715
The Board notes the building does not conform with the access to exit requirements of Sentence 126.96.36.199.(8) and the suites rely on direct exits from their floor spaces. This being the case the Board considers that the principles for exits in Section 3.4 must be applied and the exits from the suite in question must conform with Sentence 188.8.131.52.(7).
George Humphrey, Chair