BCAB #1802 - Re: Required Guards

November 16, 2017

BCAB #1802

Re: Required Guards

Project Description

The project is a house (single family dwelling unit) with no secondary suite. The subject window is located on the second storey of the building and is an operable upsliding or ‘single hung’ window with an opening of 870 mm by 1140 mm. The sill of the window is 290 mm above the interior finished floor and the interior finished floor is 3 220 mm above the exterior adjacent ground level.

Applicable Code Requirement

Sentences 9.8.8.1.(5) and (6) of Division B of the 2012 British Columbia Building Code

9.8.8.1.(5) Except as provided in Sentence (6), openable windows in buildings of residential occupancy shall be protected by

a) a guard, or

b) a mechanism capable of controlling the free swinging or sliding of the openable part of the window so as to limit any clear unobstructed opening to not more than 100 mm measured either vertically or horizontally where the other dimension is greater than 380 mm.

(See Appendix A.)

9.8.8.1.(6) Windows need not be protected in accordance with Sentence (5), where

a) the window serves a dwelling unit that is not located above another suite,

b) Reserved.

c) the only opening greater than 100 mm by 380 mm is a horizontal opening at the top of the window,

d) the window sill is located more than 450 mm above the finished floor on one side of the window, or

e) the window is located in a room or space with finished floor described in Clause 9.8.8.1.(6)(d) located less than 1 800 mm above the floor or ground on the other side of the window.

(See A-9.8.8.1.(5) in Appendix A.)

Article 1.4.1.2. of Division A

Suite means a single room or series of rooms of complementary use, operated under a single tenancy, and includes dwelling units, individual guest rooms in motels, hotels, boarding houses, rooming houses and dormitories as well as individual stores and individual or complementary rooms for business and personal services occupancies.

Decision being Appealed (Local Authority’s Position)

The local authority has determined that the subject window’s opening requires a guard or restricting device to limit the size of the opening area.  The local authority’s position is that any room or series of rooms can be classified as a suite and that the first storey of the dwelling unit is another suite relative to the second storey, and that the sill of the subject window is less than 450 mm above an adjacent floor and the exterior dimension to ground exceeds 1 800 mm.

Appellant's Position

The appellant maintains that the subject second storey window opening need not be protected with a guard or restricting device as it complies with Clause 9.8.8.1.(6)(a).

Appeal Board Decision #1802

It is the determination of the Board that the subject second storey window opening need not be protected with a guard or restricting device as it complies with Clause 9.8.8.1.(6)(a).

Reason for Decision

The Board considers the house to be a single suite as both levels of the house are operated as a single tenancy. Therefore the applicable Clause is 9.8.8.1.(6)(a) which exempts the requirement for guards or opening restriction.

Lyle Kuhnert
Chair, Building Code Appeal Board