The law requires that an architect fully understand safety and health issues as well as how to protect the property from fire when they design a building. The laws surrounding fire safety are regularly updated and architects must always keep up with those updates and adhere to them as designers whenever working with existing or new buildings. Back in 2008, the UK established some new documentation that covered a whole range of fire issues associated with buildings. Here we’ll take a look at some of those key areas which can affect the design of a building and we will give particular emphasis to the architectural benefits as well as any limitations.
It is important that architects see the property from all its angles which includes from the view of an occupant as well as first responders. This means they will need to consider the type of materials they use for their design as well as creating a good layout when a rescue is needed. This further means the architect has to be capable of doing more than just adding walls, a roof, and a ceiling.
An architect plays a crucial role in safety. They are the ones who will think about it first and as a professional, they are obligated to design the building so that it complies with all building codes, property rules, and zoning laws in their state and county. It’s important that an architect be able to think proactively.
This applies to commercial and residential buildings including serviced apartments in reading.
Building codes are what architects will often use as a baseline as they often show critical issues such as concerns surrounding fire escapes and overall layout. This means the architect will have to look for other ways they can improve on the buildings safety and its overall structure so that the building goes beyond just the local codes.
Here Are Three Critical Issues That Are Directly Related To Fire Safety For Commercial And Residential Architecture
Often an architect will work directly and in cooperation with the fire and rescue crews in the area to better develop a property that doesn’t have any fire hazards and is more easily accessible to the first responders. Here are some ways that they do that:
The types of materials used in the construction of a building play a significant role in how it interacts with fire as well as how accessible the building is for first responders. There are materials that are not combustible or ignitable and other material that needs to be in place for stability. Often the internal material has issues that can be a source a fuel for the fire and for that reason, they need to be specified and they need to be varied as much as possible with regard to their risk of fire. These materials include plastics, textiles, furniture, and so on. There are also materials used behind the finish that are of concern.
In most situations, there will be materials that are combustible. It is considered good if the residential or commercial project uses the least amount of combustible materials as possible. It’s not possible to completely avoid this type of material and this means architects will need to work with the fire department so that a combination of materials are built in that are appropriately matched so that it reduces the issues in the case where a fire happens.
The flow and layout often dictate how fast a fire crew can combat the fire and this plays a part in how they can rescue anyone trapped inside. The design needs to come from working with experts on fire and with responder teams. An architect will consider how to use the design of staircases, the number of landings, as well as the width of those landings, to determine how to best design the overall layout for good flow. They will consider the use of staircases when compared to the use of elevators in a fire rescue situation.
The architect might have a fire crew take a look at the potential designs and give them feedback about it and whether or not it works for a rescue team. They will use the suggestions given from those crews to improve the overall flow and safety of the construction.
Most building codes require that emergency exits are built in and that they are easy to navigate in an emergency. It’s necessary for architects to know all of the fire codes and any updates made to them and it’s necessary for them to collaborate with fire safety engineers. They do this to create more practical fire escapes for residential, multi-purpose buildings, and commercial construction.