BCAB #1886

April 28, 2022

Re: Location of Required Water Closets

Project description

The subject is a ground floor cafe, with an occupant load of 30 persons located in a building regulated by Part 3 of the BC Building Code. Water closets are required by provisions of Article

It is proposed a universal toilet room will be provided within the cafe space, and other required water closet(s) will be provided for in a public washroom building, owned by the local government and located on a separate property about 75 m from the cafe. There is no legal binding agreement between owners of the cafe and the public washroom building that the cafe will have unrestricted use of a water closet in the public washroom building.

Applicable Code requirements: (BCBC 2018) Water Closets

1) Except as permitted by Sentence (4), water closets shall be provided for each sex assuming that the occupant load is equally divided between males and females, unless the proportion of each sex expected in the building can be determined with reasonable accuracy.

6) Except as permitted by Sentences (4), (7) and (8), the number of water closets required for assembly occupancies shall conform to Table

Decision being appealed (local authority’s position)

The local authority has determined all required water closets must be provided for within the cafe tenant space. The local authority considers that because various Sentences under use phrases such as “in the building”, that the water closets must therefore be in the tenant space.

Appellant's position

The appellant considers that Article does not specify where water closets shall be located. Provided the location and specifications of Subsections 3.8.2. and 3.8.3 are complied with, which the universal toilet room within the cafe does, there is no restriction in utilizing the washroom building located on another property in the calculations.

Appeal Board decision #1886

It is the determination of the Board, in this circumstance, the water closets located in a public building on another property cannot be considered in the required water closet count for the cafe. 

Reason for decision

The water closets located in a public building on another property may not be available at all times to the occupants of the cafe as they under separate tenure from the cafe operation.

Lyle Kuhnert

Chair, Building Code Appeal Board