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Horse barn/apartment Occupancy Classification NBC of Canada

Horse barn/apartment Occupancy Classification NBC of Canada

Horse barn/apartment Occupancy Classification NBC of Canada

Hello all

I realize this really isn't the proper spot on this forum for this question but the NBC of Canada forum on this site isn't used much, I did post there though.

Anyway, I am working on a reno project. The owner of a horsebarn wants to convert the overhead hayloft into an apartment. The Occupancy classification of the apartment will be residential (Class C) but there isnothing for a horse barn in the NBC of Canada because the design of the horse barn is covered in the National Farm Code of Canada. I need a classification for the main level to determine the fire rating for the separation between the classifications. I would think the simplest route would be to classify it as commercial as his horses are used for riding lessons and he does rent empty stables to other horse owners. We are just concerned the fire separation materials would be able to stand up to the unheated, moist environment of the horse barn.

Any help would be appreciated.

RE: Horse barn/apartment Occupancy Classification NBC of Canada


I believe that if you were to attempt to renovate this barn into a dual occupancy then you will have more issues on hand then you want to deal with. The most recent revisions to the building code removed the Farm building code from use (for new structures, at least in manitoba). The extent of the renovations you are talking about will probably cause you to bring the rest of the building up to current codes which will result in a good chance that there will be a boatload of reinforcement of the existing structure.

I've had two or three of these barn to residential conversions cross my desk but not one got past the theoretical stage when I told them to talk to the building authority. All of them resulted in the existing structure requiring being brought up to code (and depending on size results in a part 3/4 building instead of a part 9).

If you want a worst case scenario, account for a 2 hr fire separation between.

Hopefully that helps slightly,

RE: Horse barn/apartment Occupancy Classification NBC of Canada

Thanks Jayrod12

The barn is a small one 23'x48' and it's structure is adequate for this purpose, actually the rafters have to be sistered to meet code.

Owner wanted it classified so that no fire separation is required but I told him that wasn't going to be possible nor would it be a good idea. Just need to determine an adequate fire separation that will hold up to the climate conditions.

Thanks again

RE: Horse barn/apartment Occupancy Classification NBC of Canada

Haha, no separation. of course. well you could always tell him it needs to be a two hour separation. 3 layers of 5/8" type c should provide that.

You're best off asking the building authority first that way you know what the answer is right from the horse's mouth (pun intended)

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