Duplex Conversion - City of Toronto
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Duplex Conversion - City of Toronto

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An Overview of the Building Code Requirements

An Overview of the Building Code Requirements
for Converting a Single Dwelling Unit to a Duplex (2 dwelling units)

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Duplex Conversion - City of Toronto Duplex Conversion - City of Toronto Presentation Transcript

  • Welcome
  • Tonight’s Agenda
    • Zoning – a good place to start
    • Building Code 101 – What you should know
    • Applying Part 11 of the Building Code – GTK
    • Applying Building Code requirements to an existing dwelling
    • What Building Code issues should be considered
    • Applying the Top 3
    • Critiquing the building for adding a dwelling unit
    • Case Study – single dwelling unit Duplex
  • Zoning
    • The City of Toronto, in each district, has amended their zoning by-laws to permit one second suite in any single or semi-detached dwelling where the dwelling is more than five (5) years old and subject to provisions in the zoning by-law.
    • There are different rules and standards to follow in the Zoning By-law depending on the zone category, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4 and R-4a.
    • Once you have determined the zone category of any property, contact the municipality to obtain specific information on adding a dwelling unit.  
  • Dwelling Renovation/Conversion Presentation
    • An Overview of the Building Code Requirements
    • for Converting a Single Dwelling Unit to a Duplex (2 dwelling units)
  • Building Code 101 Not easy as A, B, C
    • There are 3 Divisions in the Building Code, A, B and C
    • There are 12 Parts to the Building Code, Part 1 through Part 12
  • Building Code 101 Not easy as A, B, C
    • Part 9 is for new construction and is the most restrictive from a technical application point of view
    • Part 11 – Renovation offers relief from the requirements of Part 9 and is your friend. Note to qualify for Part 11 relief, the dwelling must be in existence for at least 5 years
  • Applying Part 11 Renovation of the Building Code – GTK
    • Building Codes have evolved over time in response to environmental, economic and social change, applications of innovative construction and materials technologies and research
    • The basic principal of Part 11 Renovation is to ensure that the performance level of a building subsequent to alteration is equal to or greater than the performance level prior to the alteration
  • Applying Part 11 Renovation of the Building Code - GTK
    • The intent of Part 11 Renovation is to enable increased flexibility in achieving acceptable life safety standards in existing buildings to be renovated or converted to other uses, ie. Single dwelling unit to duplex or triplex
    • Part 11 Renovation provides practical and economical options, other than demolition and replacement
  • Applying the Building Code Requirements to an Existing Dwelling
    • The requirements of the Building Code are less restrictive for converting a single dwelling to a duplex than for a triplex
    • Many compliance alternatives offered for duplexes are not available for triplexes
  • What Building Code Issues Should be Considered?
    • There are Building Code technical issues to consider when renovating or converting a single dwelling unit building to a multiple dwelling unit building (duplex or triplex)
  • What Building Code Issues Should be Considered?
    • Some major construction issues to consider are;
      • Design of areas and spaces, room heights, door heights
      • Windows for natural light in living and dining rooms and bedrooms
      • Exiting, number of and width of the exit facility
        • (exceptions for duplexes)
      • Means of egress, height
        • (exceptions for duplexes)
      • Plumbing for new kitchen and bathrooms
      • Plumbing, replacement of drains when lowering the basement floor
      • Zone furnaces and fire dampers
        • (exceptions for duplexes)
      • Separate plumbing shut-off, valves in suites
      • Fire protection between suites and exits
        • (exceptions for duplexes)
      • Handrails, guards
      • Emergency escapes
  • Applying the Top 3 Building Code Issues
    • When considering the addition of a suite or dwelling unit to an existing building, there are some Building Code issues that present more challenges in obtaining Code compliance than other issues;
      • Exiting or means of egress
      • Fire Separations
      • Room design, area and height
  • Exiting or Means of Egress
    • Normally dwelling units require a second and separate means of egress where they open directly into exits or other access to exits leading to a single exit where such egress facilities serve more than 1 dwelling unit
    • However, Part 11 offers you 3 options
  • Exiting or Means of Egress for 2 Physically Separated Dwelling Units
    • Compliance alternative C134 provides;
    • Option A) The existing exits from the dwelling are acceptable as long as each dwelling unit has a separate door opening to the exterior and has reasonable access to the ground level and the building is equipped with smoke alarms, or
    • Option B) Where one exit provides the only means of egress from each dwelling unit the building conforms with all of the following; (see our case study)
    • 1. The means of egress is separated from the remainder of the building by a 30 minute fire separation,
    • 2. The required access to exit is not through the other dwelling unit and
    • 3. Both dwelling units and common areas are provided with smoke alarms and are interconnected
  • Exiting or Means of Egress for 2 ‘Shared’ Dwelling Units
    • Compliance alternative C134 provides
    • Option C) Where access to exit from one dwelling unit leads through another dwelling unit and the building conforms with one of the following;
    • 1. An additional means of escape is provided through a window that meets specific criteria for sill height, opening size, clearance in window wells and smoke alarms installed in each dwelling unit, common areas and interconnected, or
    • 2. An additional means of escape is provided through a window that meets specific criteria for type of window, sill height above floor and grade, opening size and smoke alarms installed in each dwelling unit, common areas and interconnected, or
    • 3. The building is sprinklered and the dwelling units are equipped with smoke alarms
  • Fire Separations
    • Horizontal fire separations are required to separate floors between two dwelling units
    • Under Part 11 of the Building Code, Compliance Alternative permits a 15 minute rating for dwellings containing not more than 2 dwelling units and;
      • Smoke alarms installed in every dwelling unit and in common areas, and
      • The smoke alarms are interconnected
    • Therefore, usually the existing plaster finish is acceptable as a 15 minute fire separation
  • Room Design – area and height
    • Bedrooms and Living rooms require windows, bathrooms and kitchens do not
    • There are minimum areas for kitchens, bedrooms, dining rooms and living rooms, but not bathrooms
    • Bathrooms must contain a lavatory, toilet and bathtub or shower stall
    • The Building Code does allow areas of rooms to be less, provided it can be shown that the rooms are adequate for their intended use
  • Room Design – area and height
    • Under Part 11, basements converted from a storage to living area require a minimum height of 1950 mm or 2030 mm
      • A. 1950 mm (6’ 5”) over the required floor area and in any location that would normally be used as a means of egress, or
      • B. 2030 mm (6’ 8”) over at least 50% of the required floor area, provided that any part of the floor having a clear height of less than 1400 mm shall not be considered in computing the required floor area
    • A. Watch for low beams and ductwork. You must be able to exit all spaces within the basement area, including under beams and ducts with a 1950 mm (6’ 5”) minimum clearance
    • B. 2030 mm (6’ 8”) clearance under all beams, ductwork and bulkheads within the required area floor area, including the means of egress to the stairs
  • Room Design – area and height
      • Where the height is not compliant with the Building Code, the basement floor may be lowered using a ‘benched’ footing or underpinning the foundation wall
      • When you do lower the basement floor level, you will usually need to lower the plumbing drains
  • Pre-Bench Footing
  • Pre-Bench Footing
  • Bench-Type Underpinning Bench-type underpinning
  • Existing Foundation Wall Underpinning beneath the existing foundation wall
  • Case Study Front Elevation Site Plan The Facts of the Case Municipality: City of Toronto Building Type: Semi-detached dwelling Proposal: Create a second dwelling unit Building Code: Compliance Alternative C134, Option B Developer: Oro Properties
  • Critiquing the Building for Adding a Dwelling Unit
    • Zoning in place to support the creation of an additional dwelling unit?
    • Exiting – can exiting from each dwelling unit be accomplished?
    • Room design – can the area and height of each room comply with the Building Code, how difficult?
    • Fire Separations of dwelling units – is this a large undertaking?
    • Plumbing – can kitchen and bathroom facilities be added?
    • Heating – is the zoning of the furnace an issue?
    • Windows – can a window(s) be added to facilitate light and emergency escape
    • Smoke alarms – do they need to be added and interconnected
  • Existing Basement Floor Single Dwelling Unit
  • Existing First Floor Single Dwelling Unit
  • Existing Second Floor Single Dwelling Unit
  • Proposed Basement Floor Existing living room changed to a bedroom for the creation of the dwelling unit that occupies the first and basement floor levels New window required for natural light provisions and emergency escape Other issue: Basement Height, minimum room height of not less than 1950 mm over the required floor area and in any location that would normally be used as a means of egress
  • Proposed First Floor Create a 30 minute Fire Separation for the Means of Egress from the dwelling unit on the second floor
  • Proposed Second Floor New Dwelling Unit The construction of the kitchen has created the new second dwelling unit in this building Locating the new kitchen close to the existing bathroom will take advantage of existing drains and vents for the kitchen sink and dishwasher.
  • Case Study – Results Municipality: City of Toronto Building Type: Semi-detached dwelling Result: Duplex Developer: Oro Properties New Dwelling Unit Existing Dwelling Unit Second level First level Basement level