March 15, 2018
Re: Safety Within Floor Areas
The project is a two storey non-combustible sprinklered building that incorporates a suite on the first storey being used as a carwash and a suite on the second storey being used as an indoor cycling facility.
Applicable Code Requirement
Sentence 22.214.171.124.(1) of Division B of the 2012 British Columbia Building Code
126.96.36.199.(1) Except as permitted by Sentences (2) to Sentences (4), a suite shall be separated from adjoining suites by a fire separation having a fire-resistance rating not less than 1 h. (See also Subsection 3.3.3. for care, treatment or detention occupancies, Article 188.8.131.52. for residential occupancies, and Article 184.108.40.206. for fire dampers.)
Decision being Appealed (Local Authority’s Position)
The local authority has determined that the suite separation requirements of Sentence 220.127.116.11.(1) apply to the horizontal fire separation between the two adjoining suites.
The appellant maintains that Article 18.104.22.168. applies only to vertical fire separations of adjoining suites within a floor area and not to horizontal fire separations between storeys.
Appeal Board Decision # 1806
It is the determination of the Board that the fire separation required by Sentence 22.214.171.124. applies to the horizontal separation between the two adjoining suites.
Reason for Decision
The Board considers the term “adjoining suites” in Sentence 126.96.36.199.(1) to include both those adjoining suites vertically as well as horizontally. This is confirmed by minutes from the Revision Subcommittee B for amendments to the 1980 National Building Code where the term “adjacent suites” was changed to the present “adjoining suites” in order to “clarify that the separation requirements for tenancies in Article 188.8.131.52. apply to vertical as well as horizontal situations”.
Further, the Board has identified the definition of floor area relates to the defined term ‘storey’ which states “situated between the top of any floor and the top of the floor next above it”. Thus the floor area includes the horizontal floor/ceiling assembly.
Chair, Building Code Appeal Board