BUILDING CODE COMMISSION

Ruling No. 04-34-989 Application No. 2004-30 BUILDING CODE COMMISSION IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 1.-(1) and Subsection 24.-(1) of the Building Code ...
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Ruling No. 04-34-989 Application No. 2004-30

BUILDING CODE COMMISSION IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 1.-(1) and Subsection 24.-(1) of the Building Code Act, S.O. 1992, c. 23, as amended. AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentence 1.1.3.2.(1) of Regulation 403/97, as amended by O. Reg. 22/98, 102/98, 122/98, 152/99, 278/99, 593/99, 597/99, 205/00, 283/01 and 220/02 (the “Ontario Building Code”). AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Paul Madracki in Trust, Sutton Self Storage, for the resolution of a dispute with Deborah Buck, Chief Building Official, Town of Georgina, to determine whether the existing outdoor portable metal containers that are used for public storage are considered to be “buildings” under Section 1.-(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992 at Sutton Self Storage, 4428 Baseline Rd., Sutton, Ontario. APPLICANT

Paul Madracki in Trust Sutton Self Storage Sutton, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Deborah Buck Chief Building Official Town of Georgina

PANEL

Len King, Vice-Chair Fred Barkhouse Gary Burtch

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

August 5, 2004

DATE OF RULING

August 5, 2004

APPEARANCES

Robert Madracki Sutton Self Storage Sutton, Ontario Agent for the Applicant Glenn Middlebrook Senior Building Inspector Town of Georgina Designate for the Respondent

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RULING 1.

The Applicant

Paul Madracki in Trust has received an Order to Comply, under the Building Code Act, S.O. 1992, c. 23, as amended, to apply for and obtain building permits for public storage buildings at Sutton Self Storage, 4428 Baseline Road, Sutton, Ontario. 2.

Description of Construction

The Applicant is using metal shipping containers as self-storage units at a public self-storage facility in Sutton, Ontario. The shipping containers were manufactured at another location and then transported to this site and placed on concrete footings. The units measure 2.440 m (8 ft) wide and 2.440 m (8 ft) high. They vary in length from 3.048 m (10 ft) to 12.192 m (40 ft). The building area of the subject containers ranges in size from 14.86 m2 (160 ft2) to 29.73 m2 (320 ft2). The Applicant has modified some of the storage units by installing roll up type doors to provide access to the units. The self-storage units are arranged in rows and are accessible to the public for the storage of goods. 3.

Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and the Respondent is whether the existing portable metal containers, which are used for public storage, are considered “buildings” under the Building Code Act, 1992. Pertinent to this dispute are various defined terms set out in the Building Code Act, 1992 and the Building Code. In particular, the definition of “building” in Subsection 1.(1) of the Act includes “a structure occupying an area greater than 10 m2 consisting of a wall, roof and floor”. Further, the term “construct”, as defined by the Act, “means to do anything in the erection, installation, extension or material alteration of a building unit fabricated or moved from elsewhere”. Another concept germane to this dispute is the term “occupancy” which is defined in the Building Code as “the use or intended use of a building or part thereof for the shelter or support of persons, animals or property”. As noted above, the subject dispute involves the use of portable metal storage containers as units at a public self-storage facility. 4.

Provisions in Dispute

The Building Code Act, 1992 Subsection 1.-1 Definitions 1.-(1) In this Act, “building” means, (a) a structure occupying an area greater than ten square metres consisting of

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(b) (c) (c.1) (d)

a wall, roof and floor or any of them or a structural system serving the function thereof including all plumbing, works, fixtures and service systems appurtenant thereto, a structure occupying an area of ten square metres or less that contains plumbing, including the plumbing appurtenant thereto, plumbing not located in a structure, a sewage system structures designated in the building code;

“construct” means to do anything in the erection, installation, extension or material alteration or repair of a building and includes the installation of a building unit fabricated or moved from elsewhere and “construction” has a corresponding meaning; The Building Code 1.1.3.2. Defined Terms (1)

The words and terms in italics in this Code have the following meaning for the purposes of this Code, and where indicated, the following meaning for the purposes of the Act as well. Occupancy means the use or intended use of a building or part thereof for the shelter or support of persons, animals or property.

5.

Applicant’s Position

The Agent for the Applicant explained that the project was begun with the knowledge of the Town of Georgina. In 2001, the Applicant and the owner of an adjacent property submitted applications to the Committee of Adjustment for consent to sever their respective properties. The Applicant planned to use his property as a public self-storage facility and intended on converting shipping containers into self-storage units. In 2002, shipping containers were placed on the property. In April 2003, the Town of Georgina directed that the Applicant remove the shipping containers in order to comply with the Town of Georgina Zoning By-law #500, which prohibits the use of shipping containers for storage. The Agent submitted a copy of the Order to Comply with the Building Code that was issued by the Town of Georgina on August 20, 2003. This Order required the Applicant to apply for building permits to erect public storage buildings, prohibited the use of the public storage buildings until permits were obtained and required the removal of the public storage buildings if permits could not be issued for any reason. The Agent submitted that, in his opinion, the storage units retained the character of shipping containers because they were portable and, therefore, a building permit is not required. The Agent described how a shipping container is placed on concrete footings. The container could then be moved to another location on the property or placed on a transport trailer for delivery to another property. In response to questioning, the Agent advised that only a few containers have been moved to and from other properties since the business began operating.

-4The Agent referred to a site visit made by the Chief Fire Official. He noted that the Chief Fire Official was of the opinion that the self-storage units were not buildings, however the Agent admitted that he did not get that opinion in writing. The Agent submitted additional exhibits at the hearing. The exhibits included copies of photographs that showed the use of shipping containers as self-storage units. 6.

Respondent’s Position

The Designate for the Respondent maintained that the Applicant constructed “buildings” when he placed shipping containers, occupying an area greater than 10 m2, on the property for use as selfstorage units. The Designate stated that the definition of occupancy in the Building Code would include public self-storage. He further submitted that the definition for building in the Building Code Act, 1992 is fairly general for a reason. The Designate explained that a “building” is defined as “a structure occupying an area greater than ten square metres consisting of a wall, roof and floor or any of them or a structural system serving the function thereof”. This definition, he stated, is broad enough so that many of the subject structures can be considered buildings. The Designate further stated that there are some self-storage units that are only 7.43 m2 (80 ft2) in size and that the Building Division of the Town of Georgina does not have an issue with those units. The Designate said that an Order to Comply was issued because the Applicant did not obtain building permits for the subject shipping containers, which occupy an area greater than ten square meters. These shipping containers, he reiterated, are buildings being used as self-storage units. 7.

Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the existing outdoor portable metal containers that are used for public storage are considered to be “buildings” under Section 1.-(1) of the Building Code Act, S.O. 1992, c. 23, as amended, at Sutton Self Storage, 4428 Baseline Rd., Sutton, Ontario. 8.

Reasons

i)

These containers consist of a wall, a floor and a ceiling or roof.

ii)

Those containers that are occupying an area greater than ten square metres are buildings. The containers that are eight feet by twenty feet or eight feet by forty feet occupy areas greater than ten square metres.

iii)

The applicants suggest that they are temporary although the first of which was installed in February 2002. Permanent or temporary, they are buildings.

iv)

The containers are used for an occupancy, as defined in Part 1 of the Ontario Building Code. In this case they are intended to be used for the storage of property.

-5Dated at Toronto this 5th day in the month of August in the year 2004 for application number 2004-30.

________________________ Len King, Vice-Chair

________ Fred Barkhouse

_________ Gary Burtch