Ministry acts to make sure second staircase in tall buildings

Stock image from PxHere
Inventory picture from PxHere

Prompted by the Constructing Rules Advisory Committee (BRAC), the ministry of housing has written to native authorities to advocate not giving planning permission to tall residential buildings with just one set of stairs until there are extenuating circumstances.

The worry is that if the steps are blocked within the even of a fireplace, there isn’t a different inside escape route.

BRAC chair Hywel Davies wrote to housing minister Lord Greenhalgh on the Division for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities in March setting out considerations over proposals for tall residential buildings with single staircases. He wrote that “such proposals are extremely unlikely to have the ability to present compliance with the present Rules. Nor do we expect they’re per the preparations that you’re steering by parliament.”

Mr Davies wrote: “To handle considerations that some nonetheless search to interpret the laws or statutory steering or each to swimsuit their functions, BRAC recommends that you simply write to constructing management our bodies, native authorities and the broader trade, reminding them that every one constructing initiatives should present compliance with the complete Constructing Rules and stressing that the statutory steering and the additional steering within the Guide to the Constructing Rules (which was revised in 2020) is meant for frequent sorts of constructing. In your letter it’s possible you’ll want to say that you wouldn’t anticipate Authorized Doc B alone to justify single stair designs on tall buildings and that the related constructing management physique ought to think about looking for (from these chargeable for the constructing) related fireplace engineered options.”

5 months later, this letter has now been despatched – signed by Victoria Molho, deputy director of the technical coverage division within the Constructing Security Portfolio.

She writes: “The Division… is anxious that some very tall residential buildings are being designed on the inaccurate premise that the steering within the Authorized Doc is appropriate for a majority of these unusual constructing conditions with out due consideration by the designers on the applicability of the steering. I’m writing to remind you of the necessity to think about the suitability of the design steering in Authorized Doc B and the necessity for strong, proof based mostly, design by suitably competent professionals, notably in relation to fireplace and structural questions of safety of unusual constructing conditions akin to very tall residential buildings proposed with a single stair.

“Constructing work have to be designed and constructed to fulfill all related necessities of the Constructing Rules. To adjust to the Constructing Rules, it’s crucial each to observe the proper procedures and meet the useful necessities and to supply clear proof of compliance with these necessities, akin to detailed fireplace engineering evaluation.”

The complete correspondence could be discovered at

Obtained a narrative? E mail

Discover a hidden easter egg

read more


other articles