Division B
Acceptable Solutions

Part 10Existing Buildings

Section 10.3. Building Conversions

10.3.1. Alternative Requirements to Convert an Existing One-Family Dwelling into Two or More Residential Suites or into a Special Needs Residential Facility Application

1) This Subsection shall apply when an existing one-family dwelling

a)is sprinklered in conformance with NFPA-13R, and

b)is altered to create

i)2 or more suites of residential occupancy, or

ii)a Special Needs Residential Facility as defined in the Zoning and Development By-law, provided the facility contains no more than 10 occupants in addition to staff. Building Height

1) For the purposes of this Subsection an existing one-family dwelling constructed pursuant to a building permit issued prior to October 31, 1999 may be considered as if it were 3 storeys in building height. Exterior Wall Construction

1) Existing exterior wood-frame walls may be permitted to remain instead of required noncombustible construction, provided

a)a minimum 45 min fire-resistance rating is provided, and

b)all voids are filled with an acceptable insulation, which may include fibreglass batts. Combustible Cladding

1) The following combustible cladding materials may be used instead of required noncombustible cladding provided the materials have a flame-spread rating of not more than 25 and are underlaid with 1 layer of a minimum 12.7 mm thick exterior gypsum board sheathing:

a)aluminum panelling,

b)fire-retardant treated wood panelling,

c)fire-retardant treated cedar shakes or shingles, or

d)vinyl siding. Exterior Wall Openings

1) Where exterior walls and openings are required by Subsections 3.2.3. or 9.10.14. to have exposure protection, existing openings need only conform to Article Fire Separations

1) Where a fire separation with a 45 min fire-resistance rating is required

a)existing lath and plaster may be permitted when properly restored to original condition, and

b)fibreglass batts may be permitted instead of mineral fibre batts. Exit Stair Width

1) Where one interior exit stair is not less than 900 mm in width, a second interior exit stair may be not less than 750 mm in width. Sliding Doors

1) A sliding door may be permitted in an access to exit provided it leads to an exterior exit stair or fire escape either directly or by means of a deck or balcony. Suite Doors

1) An existing suite door assembly need not meet the requirements for a 20 min fire-protection rating provided the door

a)if unglazed, is in good condition, or

b)if glazed, contains only wired or tempered glass. Glass Transoms

1) Fixed wired glass or tempered glass transoms or side-lights in a public corridor need not meet the requirements for a fire-protection rating. Existing Interior Finish

1) An existing interior finish in a means of egress need not meet other requirements of this By-law provided the flame-spread rating of the finish does not exceed 150. Fire Dampers

1) Ducts passing through fire separations need not be equipped with fire dampers provided

a)the duct opening is less than 150 cm2 in cross-sectional area, or

b)the duct work is constructed entirely of sheet steel, in which case the duct opening may be a maximum 1 000 cm2 in cross-sectional area. Pull Stations

1) Where a fire alarm system is required by Subsection 3.2.4., pull stations may be omitted where both the fire alarm system and the sprinkler water flow alarm are designed to notify the fire department in accordance with Sentence Exterior Wall Openings

1) An existing exterior wall opening adjacent to an exterior exit stair or fire escape need not conform to Sentence where the opening is glazed with wired or tempered glass in an aluminum or wood sash. Single Exit

1) A single exit from a dwelling unit need not conform to Sentence where the exit serves only one dwelling unit and where the vertical travel distance from the uppermost floor level to the adjacent ground level does not exceed 6m.

10.3.2. Alternative Requirements to Convert an Existing One-Family Dwelling into a Small Special Needs Residential Facility or a Small Child Day Care Facility General

1) This Subsection provides alternative requirements to facilitate conversion or alteration of an existing one-family dwelling into

a)a Child Day Care Facility, as defined in the Zoning and Development By-law, provided it contains no more than 8 children, or

b)a Special Needs Residential Facility, as defined in the Zoning and Development By-law, provided it contains no more than 6 occupants in addition to staff. Application

1) Where a one-family dwelling is altered to include a Child Day Care Facility or a Special Needs Residential Facility referred to in Article, the following requirements may be substituted for the otherwise applicable provisions of this By-law, provided the building otherwise complies with this By-law for one-family dwellings:

a)the facility shall be sprinklered to conform to NFPA-13D,

b)where a large room requires more than two sprinkler heads to provide complete sprinkler coverage, heat baffles shall be installed on the ceiling to create areas that contain not more than 2 sprinkler heads, or the supply pressure shall be sufficient to supply the water necessary for simultaneous operation of all the room sprinklers, and

c)the heat baffles shall project downward from the ceiling a distance of not less than 200 mm and shall consist of heavy timber beams, solid noncombustible material (e.g., sheet metal) or a 45 min minimum fire-rated construction assembly.

10.3.3. Alternative Requirements to Facilitate Conversion of an Existing One-Family Dwelling to Include a Secondary Suite Secondary Suites

1) If a one-family dwelling constructed under a building permit issued prior to June 22, 2004 is, or was, altered to include a secondary suite, the alternative fire and general life safety requirements in Table shall apply to the entire building, and the requirements of Part 9 shall apply to all major additions.

2) Despite the requirements of Sentence for the installation and the number and distribution of circuits and receptables, the following circuits and receptacles shall be provided in the secondary suite:

a)a minimum of two kitchen counter duplex receptacles supplied by two appliance circuits; and these receptacles may be wired on single circuits or a split circuit for both,

b)a minimum of two duplex receptacles located on different walls in each bedroom, and

c)a minimum of three duplex receptacles located on different walls in the living area.

3) Despite Clause, a single existing panel board may supply electrical loads in the principal dwelling and in the secondary suite.

4) If

a)the one-family dwelling referred to in Sentence (1) was constructed under a building permit issued prior to April 25, 1990,

b)there are no major additions to the building,

c)the building is currently not sprinklered,

d)the cost of the renovations and improvements does not exceed 50% of the replacement cost of the building, and

e)the building is provided with smoke alarms conforming to Subsection 9.10.18., then the building is exempt from ther equirements for sprinklering.

Fire Safety Requirements

Forming Part of Article
Windows In Side Yards Original openings may remain.
New openings to conform to Part 9.
Fire Compartmentation
Separation between Secondary Suite and Principal Dwelling
Heating ducts that penetrate fire separations
Plastic pipes for plumbing and sprinklers
Suite entry doors in separation between secondary suite and principal dwelling
Fire resistant combustible construction.(1)
No fire dampers or fire stopping required.
Existing solid core doors and frames in good condition are acceptable if unglazed or if glazed with wired glass. Doors to be provided with closers.
Egress from each suite
Windows adjacent to exits
Minimum of a single conforming exit is required from both the principal dwelling and the secondary suite.
No requirements
Flame Spread Rating of Finishes
Remainder of building
150 or less
No requirements
Heating Systems [See Section 9.33]
Furnace room enclosures
No separation required but provide proper combustion air and required clearances from all equipment.(2)
Smoke Alarms Interconnected smoke alarms shall be provided outside every bedroom, and at least one smoke alarm shall be provided on every storey. Smoke alarms shall be installed by permanent connections to an electrical circuit. (See Subsection 9.10.19., except that Sentence does not apply to sprinklered buildings.)
In addition, smoke alarms for unsprinklered suites shall be provided with battery backup and manual silencing devices which will silence the alarm for a period of 10 minutes, after which the alarm will continue to function. [See Sentence].
Stairs Stair treads, rise and run shall be reconstructed or modified to conform to Subsection 9.8.3. when
a) the existing stairs are considered to present an unsafe condition as determined by the Chief Building Official.
All existing stairs shall have at least one handrail meeting the requirements of Subsection 9.8.7.
Guardrail Protection Guards shall be provided around all stairways, balconies, landings, decks, and porches in accordance with Subsection 9.8.8. and Article
Existing guards may remain where they are structurally sound and a minimum of 900 mm high.
Existing Headroom May be reduced to 1980 mm over 80% of the suite area and all egress routes.
unsafe conditions Any condition that could cause undue hazard or risk to life, limb or health of any person authorized, expected or anticipated to be on or about the premises shall be corrected as required by the Chief Building Official.
Notes to Table

(1)  "Fire resistant combustible construction" shall mean existing lath and plaster in good condition, or minimum 1/2 inch gypsum wallboard on wood studs at maximum 600 mm on centre.
(2)  The Gas Code places restrictions on locating gas furnaces adjacent to sleeping rooms or bathrooms.

10.3.4. Alternative Requirements to Convert an Exterior Open Balcony to an Enclosed Balcony in a Residential Building Application

1) An existing exterior balcony in a residential building may be enclosed without being considered an addition, provided the enclosure conforms to the following requirements of this By-law:

a)suite fire separations,

b)spatial separation between buildings,

c)travel distance within suites,

d)height and openings for guards,

e)ventilation of suites and associated facilities,

f)light and natural ventilation of suites,

g)structural requirements of Part 4, and

h)provisions for a smoke-free refuge area, where applicable.