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Navigating Compliance in High-Rise Residential Smoke Control Design

As an architect, ensuring the safety and well-being of occupants in high-rise residential buildings is paramount. Our latest blog provides an architect's guide to compliant smoke control design, keeping you abreast of the current legal landscape, particularly within the framework of the Building Safety Act.

Current Regulatory Framework

The UK's legal framework for smoke ventilation primarily resides in the Building Regulations and Approved Documents, notably Approved Document B (Fire Safety). This cornerstone document outlines minimum fire safety standards, emphasising the importance of means of escape, protected escape routes, and the design and installation of smoke ventilation systems. It highlights the critical role of Automatic Opening Vents (AOVs), fire resistance, and compartmentation.

Latest Regulatory Updates: Building Safety Act (BSA)

The BSA, enacted in 2021, introduces pivotal changes. Notably, it establishes the Building Safety Regulator (BSR), a body overseeing the safety of high-rise residential buildings. Developers face a new gateway process with stringent requirements, ensuring robust fire and emergency planning statements, including details about smoke control systems. The Building Safety Case, mandatory for higher-risk buildings, demands architects demonstrate how fire safety, including smoke control, is addressed in design, construction, and ongoing management. Duty holders now bear explicit responsibilities, including system effectiveness, regular inspections, and maintenance, under the watchful eye of the BSR, which wields strengthened enforcement powers.

Staying Informed and Ahead:

While the BSA introduces these changes, specific regulations related to smoke control in high-rise residential buildings are evolving. Architects must remain vigilant, checking updates from the BSR, government, professional bodies, and experts in the field. At G.S Stothers, our smoke control technical consultants and design teams stay at the forefront of these changes, offering informed advice tailored to your project's needs.

Collaborate with Confidence

In 2024, G.S Stothers remains your trusted partner, ensuring compliant and cutting-edge smoke ventilation solutions. Our decades of experience, dedication to excellence, and commitment to staying ahead of regulatory changes make us the go-to choice for architects navigating the complexities of high-rise residential smoke control design. Contact us today to discuss your upcoming projects.

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