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New domestic basement egress alternative


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Hello all,

Have a slight conundrum with a new basement I would like to put partially under a new extension. 1/3 will be under the extension, 2/3 will be in the garden. size is approx 5 x 5 x 3 high

There will be skylights in the garden bit.

Access to the basement will be via a spiral staircase from the open plan kitchen/dining area.

Building regs require an egress window and then stairs up to ground level - in this situation that means we will have a wall/banister 1000 high in the middle of the garden - that is enough to scrap the idea. HOWEVER...

It has been suggested that other measures may negate the need for an egress opening - domestic mist sprinklers, smoke dampers and others have all appeared in the mix, but the Building Control people are a bit non-commital on this... which I understand.

Before I get to Fire Engineers, surveys (as any solution would have to be certified for BC to accept) can anyone tell me from their experience whether my basement idea is a non-starter or that there is actually an acceptable way to overcome the egress requirement and make it happen?

There will be no services in the basement other than a radiator and a few sockets for domestic appliances, it is intended to be a living room.

Thanks in advance.

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In my travels, I have seen two basement conversions very similar to what you describe. One had (as you said) a banister/railing in the garden to prevent anyone falling down to the basement. (There was a permanent ladder bolted to the wall)

The other place I have seen was similar, but had a very low wall and a grille/door just below the wall which opened outwards to allow escape, and as before, there was a permanent ladder bolted to the wall.

Perhaps you could ask would this be acceptable in your situation?

(I am only describing what I have seen, I do not have any pictures or further information)

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