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Open plaza design on several floor levels

Guest Luarence

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Guest Luarence

I am an Architect working at a London Studio. We are designing a public plaza, with several stacked levels, all of which are open (without walls or enclosed staircases).

Is there any guidance or advice you can offer us on this scenario.

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Guest laurence

The stacked plaza is hard to describe, but essentially it’s like an open sided multi-storey car park (16 Stories), but each level is double height, and all the stair cases are not enclosed (open) throughout and at ground.

Our query is if it is acceptable to have open escape stairs, especially if throughout the structure non-combustible materials are used? Also is there a minimum distance the fire exits on ground level will need to be set apart?

I have looked through the building regs Part B, but could not find information on open sided structures without enclosed escape routes. Is there any other guides you could refere us too?



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Laurence I am assuming it must be subject to building regulations and you have a choice on three methods to use,

1. The prescriptive method by using Approved Document B (Fire Safety).

2. A fire engineered solution usually done by specialists using PD 7974.

3. A hybrid system using the methodology of both the above in a document BS 9999.

The number of staircases and distance apart will depend on the number of people who will occupy the structure based on its use to establish the occupation factor.

This is a strange one and I need more time for research. As a matter of interest how is it proposed the structure will be used?


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Have you considered treating it as a multi-storey car park there is a design guide for that, and there is a section on fire safety. check out Design recommendations for multi-storey and underground car parks(3rd Edition) there is a fourth edition but you will have to pay for that one.

Remember 1st April has passed and it is definitely not a college project is it. :unsure:

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Further information to consider,

1. Because it will not bear any relationship to existing building regarding fire safety I would expect you need to consider a fire engineered approach.

2. This is bound to include life sprinklers, and automatic fire shutters.

3. You need to talk to Building Control at an early stage which could mean you will have a fight on your hands.

Check out http://www.coopersfire.com/index.php.

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