March 1, 2019
Re: Open Mezzanines (BCBC 2006)
The project was a mezzanine in a warehouse suite in a one storey industrial building that was proposed to be constructed under the 2006 British Columbia Building Code. Whether Clause 188.8.131.52.(3)(b) in the 2006 British Columbia Building Code permitted the space 1 070 mm above the mezzanine to have glazing or if that space was required to be completely open is the subject of this appeal.
Applicable Code Requirements
Clause 184.108.40.206.(3)(b) of Division B of the 2006 British Columbia Building Code.
220.127.116.11.(3) Except as required by Sentence (5), a mezzanine need not be considered as a storey in calculating building height provided
a) not less than 60% of the horizontal plane separating the mezzanine from the room or floor space in which it is located is open, and
b) except as permitted in Sentences (7) and 18.104.22.168.(3), the space above the mezzanine is used as an open area without partitions or subdividing walls higher than 1 070 mm above the mezzanine floor. (See Appendix A.)
Decision being Appealed (Local Authority’s Position)
In 2010 the local authority permitted construction of a mezzanine required to comply with Sentence 22.214.171.124.(3) in order for the mezzanine to be exempt from counting towards building height, with a condition reading “Mezzanine must not be enclosed as per BCBC 2006.”
Based on the wording in the 2006 British Columbia Building Code, the local authority has determined that glazing above 1 070 mm does not comply with Clause 126.96.36.199.(3)(b).
The appellant maintains that glazing along the edge of the mezzanine overlooking the space below is permitted above 1 070 mm which does not constitute a visual obstruction.
Appeal Board Decision # 1823
It is the determination of the Board that the 2006 edition of the British Columbia Building Code required the space 1 070 mm above the mezzanine to be open and would have precluded enclosure with any material including glazing.
Reason for Decision
Prior to the 2006 edition of the British Columbia Building Code, Sentence 188.8.131.52.(3) described the space 1 070 mm above the mezzanine to be visually open. After the 2006 edition, Sentence 184.108.40.206.(3) described the space 1 070 mm above the mezzanine to be visually open.
Although there was significant discussion following the publication of the 2006 edition regarding whether open meant visually or literally open, there was no revision, that the Board is aware of, issued while the 2006 edition was in effect.
Acting Chair, Building Code Appeal Board