Means of escape in 4-storey refurbished house, Chamberlain Street, North London

 

The building control officer (BCO) was not happy with the escape strategy for this single staircase dwelling being refurbished. I was asked to clarify it and prepare a logic. I inspected the building with the client. At my request the architect marked up the plans showing the protected areas and I prepared a logic for the escape which, for one fire scenario, involved an unusual route. This was accepted by the BCO. There was also a query about upgrading the ...

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Fire safety of external balcony steelwork and timber cladding of 6-storey residential block, London E3

Following receipt of a fire safety enforcement notice from the LFEPA my building management client asked me for a professional opinion  a) on the need to fire protect the external steelwork on this residential building and b) if the extensive external timber cladding on the building needed to have treatment to improve the resistance to spread of flame. The building was 6 storeys and had, on one face, external open-to-the-air timber walkways supported on unprotected steel balconies which formed the ...

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Fire safety report on external balcony steelwork and timber cladding of 6-storey residential block, London E3

 

I was asked by my client to inspect and report on this existing block following comments by the local fire service. Calculations by a structural engineer assumed that the steel I-sections were exposed to the standard BS 476 fire resistance heating conditions in which the steel is totally engulfed in the fire, which may be a very severe environment if the steel is outside the fire compartment. I said that if any calculation method should be employed it should use ...

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Report on proposed fire curtain including calculation of radiation tenability and proposed alternative solution to the means of escape problem in Stanford Court, Cornwall Gardens, London, SW7.

My client, the flat owner, was refurbishing a 4th floor flat. RBKC building control had provided a guidance document on the criteria that needed to be satisfied when fire curtains are to be deployed, and this required information on insulation against radiation so that flat occupants could pass by the hot curtain in a fire without suffering radiation burns

I was asked to make a calculation of tenability on the assumption that a 7m wide Coopers fire insulating curtain would be ...

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Fireplace modifications in a block of flats in Judd Street near Euston, London WC.

The client, owner of the flat in question, had removed a 2m wide traditional brick chimney breast to gain space in the small rented flat. A structural steel ‘box’ frame had been installed to provide load transfer from chimneys above the flat  and this steelwork had been clad with fire protecting board. Several uninsulated stainless steel flues had been used to connect traditional brick flues in flats below and above, and the floor and ceiling had been properly fire stopped ...

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2nd floor apartment with single escape stair, Kew Road, London.

The client wished to change the disused second floor to residential use and eliminate an alternative stair so as to achieve a larger sitting room. I inspected the building with the builder and discussed a range of fire safety strategies. By relocating the kitchen, use of automatic door hold-open devices actuated by the fire detection and alarm system, subdividing the layout to provide a protected corridor to the single stair, and the provision of two emergency egress widows etc I ...

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Reduction of the number of pitched roof cavity barriers, social housing, Enfield.

My client was adding lightweight steel-framed pitched roofs above existing flat roofs in blocks of 3-4 storey residential flat/maisonettes as part of an upgrade.  The client considered that it did not need to provide cavity barriers at every party wall location, and had appealed to the local building control authority. ADB Volume 2 recommends that the separating elements of adjoining flats possess a one hour fire resistance according to BS 476, and with most timber-joisted roof construction this would mean ...

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