BCAB #1782 - Definition of mezzanine, Article of Division A

April 21, 2016

BCAB #1782

Re: Definition of mezzanine, Article of Division A

Project Description

The project is a residential suite located in a 28 storey building of residential occupancy of non combustible construction and sprinklered in conformance with Article of the BC Building Code.  A “loft bed” has been constructed in the suite that is approximately 2.4 x 2.4m with a platform approximately 2.6m above floor level.  The platform is approximately 1m from the ceiling.  The “loft bed” is of wood frame construction and is self-supporting but affixed to the wall. 

Reason for Appeal

There is a disagreement on whether the construction of a “loft bed” within the suite is within the scope of the BC Building Code.  The Local Authority has determined the “loft bed” structure to be a mezzanine and that the requirements of the code would apply.  These requirements include but are not limited to fire resistance, sprinklering, ceiling heights and guards. 

Appellant's Position

The appellant considers that the “loft bed” is not a mezzanine as defined by the code because it is not a floor assembly, nor is it an interior balcony as noted in the definition.  The “loft bed” is a piece of furniture and is freestanding – it is attached to the wall for secondary support as could be any other tall piece of furniture.  The loft bed structure is similar to a typical bunk bed in its size, construction and its proximity to typical sprinkler heads.

Local Authority’s Position

The building official maintains that the “loft bed” structure is a mezzanine as defined by the code and must meet the minimum requirements for mezzanines.  Further, the mezzanine is obstructing a sprinkler head and this obstruction must be addressed in accordance with the requirements of the NFPA 13 sprinkler standard.

Appeal Board Decision #1782

It is the determination of the Board that the “loft bed” is not a mezzanine as defined by the code.   Further, the Board determines that the requirements of NFPA 13 must be addressed. 

Reason for Decision

The “loft bed” is not an intermediate floor assembly as described in the definition of a mezzanine.

The Board considers the “loft bed” may be an obstruction to the discharge pattern of the existing sprinklers.

Lyle Kuhnert, Chair, Building Code Appeal Board