AUST – HENDRY building surveyors raise the question, can a stair connect four storeys without being fire isolated under Part D1 of the Building Code of Australia? The single stair in this BCA example can connect three consecutive storeys plus one additional storey if this additional storey is used solely as a carpark or the building is sprinkler protected or the required stair is fire separated from the additional storey and does not provide access or egress to that storey. On the ground floor, the stair can discharge up to 15m from an exit and unit entrance doors can be up to 20m from the same exit from the building. On upper floors, the exit distance is reduced to 6m where a single exit is provided. The public corridors on all floors, including the stairwell require a fire separation of at least -/60/60 FRL (non load bearing) from the units. The FRL of the wall will increase if it is load bearing.
Note: Victoria’s BCA amendment H103.1 provides for an alternative approach where the building is protected by a sprinkler system complying with E1.5.
The following illustration from BCA Illustrated depicts an exit stair configuration in a Class 2 building containing four storeys as required by the BCA.
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