Author Topic: 23 storey block of flats with single staircase  (Read 19557 times)

Offline kurnal

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23 storey block of flats with single staircase
« on: May 23, 2015, 12:30:46 PM »
Single staircase discharges via single half hour door to ground floor foyer with furnished reception area and flats opening directly into foyer. No direct access from staircase to outside. The staircase should obviously be a firefighting shaft but only has half hour doors throughout. Building won international design award. Building 6 years old,  no previous fire risk asessor has raised any comment and no concerns raised through Building Regulations  approvals so as far as the client is concerned clearly we must be wrong in raising our concerns.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 06:56:02 PM by kurnal »

Offline Golden

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Re: 23 storey block of flats with single staircase
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2015, 01:22:04 PM »
No sprinklers? Some of the basic fire safety design issues that are currently ignored are unbelievable. Was this LA BC or an approved inspector?

Offline kurnal

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Re: 23 storey block of flats with single staircase
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2015, 02:18:16 PM »
AI.  Despite being 6 yrs old it was constructed to the 2000 ADB.

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: 23 storey block of flats with single staircase
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 12:00:56 AM »
Yep, too many vested interests, pass any old thing, becoming more and more common - we've walked away from one such job rather than put our name to it as being OK.
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Offline Phoenix

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Re: 23 storey block of flats with single staircase
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 11:15:12 PM »
It sounds bad but if a number of people have looked at it, indeed built it, and considered it safe then there might be some reason for this other than them all being incompetent idiots.  Or there might not be.

I think you have to make some attempt to figure out how the design could be justified but I wouldn't spend long. 

I don't think there's anything to be gained from walking away from jobs like this, you don't have to condone other people's crap designs.  Just tell it like it is.  There are a lot of innocent people's lives at stake.

Offline nearlythere

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Re: 23 storey block of flats with single staircase
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2015, 11:39:53 AM »
It sounds bad but if a number of people have looked at it, indeed built it, and considered it safe then there might be some reason for this other than them all being incompetent idiots.  Or there might not be.

I think you have to make some attempt to figure out how the design could be justified but I wouldn't spend long. 

I don't think there's anything to be gained from walking away from jobs like this, you don't have to condone other people's crap designs.  Just tell it like it is.  There are a lot of innocent people's lives at stake.
Phoenix is correct AB. We all come across cock ups and blunders carried out by others be they individuals or authorities. Regardless as to who makes the blunder I will always point out any overlooked issues.  Just because someone in the past missed something or accepted a dodgy trade off doesn't make it right to ignore a problem.

Publish and be damned.
We're not Brazil we're Northern Ireland.

Offline kurnal

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Re: 23 storey block of flats with single staircase
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2015, 12:34:33 PM »
I agree with Phoenix and NT but sometimes its not as simple as that because as we all know in carrying out the FRA there is a need to not only identify hazards and risks but also to produce an action plan in order to reduce the risk. Sometimes the design mistakes are so fundamental and significant there are no solutions that are palatable to the client. That's when like AB  I find it better to tell the client of the concerns and proposed solution and if they will not accept your advice to walk away and wash your hands of it. I have done this in several buildings in the last 3 years including one major hospital, though on that occasion I did send the CEO a robustly worded letter setting out the concerns.  

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: 23 storey block of flats with single staircase
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2015, 11:02:59 PM »
It's walk away when the client want's you report to remove all the issues you would raise and your conversation with the AI and Engineers to explain the rationale that not only deviates from AD.B but also the normal engineered solutions that would mitigate it only results in the 'because we've done it loads of times' reply instead of technical justification.

Last to look at it and first in the firing line when it goes belly up is the FRA and so we won't whitewash it, especially when vested interests and contract awards based on the tiniest bottom line start to surface.
 
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Offline Davo

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Re: 23 storey block of flats with single staircase
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2015, 09:33:34 PM »
Prof


Conscience would dictate some effort to explain to the client

Notes kept in a safe place..........

davo

Offline dave3974

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Re: 23 storey block of flats with single staircase
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2015, 09:33:05 PM »
SO a 6 year old building that appears odd at the very least and up till now no risk assessor has seen any problems with it !!! says a lot about the training and competence of risk assessors 

Offline kurnal

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Re: 23 storey block of flats with single staircase
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2015, 09:44:11 PM »
And the organisation of significant national standing who wrote and presumably audited the fire strategy but didn't notice they had fitted 1/2 hour doors rather than 1 hour or that there is no protected route from outside to the base of the fire fighting shaft.