BCAB #1835

December 19, 2019

Re: Application of Table for Required Number of Water Closets

Project Description

The project is an existing assembly area in a brewery, part of a multi-use commercial building, that is changing the type of use to a space with non-fixed seating. An occupant load of 70 persons has been established. Currently, there are two washrooms with one water closet in each.

Applicable Code Requirements

Sentence and Table of Division B of the British Columbia Building Code 2012. Except as permitted by Sentences (4), (7) and (8), the number of water closets required for assembly occupancies shall conform to Table

[Excerpt from Table]


Water Closets for an Assembly Occupancy

Forming part of Sentence

Number of Persons of Each Sex

Minimum Number of Water Closets



1 – 25



26 - 50



Decision being Appealed (Local Authority’s Position)

The local authority has determined that the number of water closets required by Table is cumulative for male and female. This would result in the total number of water closets required by Table to serve the established occupant load (based on an equal number of persons of each sex) is three, one for males and two for females.

Appellant's Position

The appellant maintains that the two water closets serving 70 persons (based on an equal number of persons of each sex), each available to each sex, is compliant. Table requires one water closet for 35 males; there are two provided. Table requires two water closets for 35 females; there are two provided.

Appeal Board Decision #1835

It is the determination of the Board that the required number of water closets from Table is cumulative, resulting in a total of three.

Reason for Decision

Sentence indicates that the occupant load is equally divided between males and females unless the portion of each sex can be reasonably determined. In this circumstance, it has been determined to be 35 males and 35 females.

In the application of Table, a total of three water closets is required.

The Code uses the total number of occupants to determine the total adequate number of water closets.

Lyle Kuhnert

Chair, Building Code Appeal Board