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2 nd November 2009 Reflecting on BS 9999 Summary of proceedings.

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1 2 nd November 2009 Reflecting on BS 9999 Summary of proceedings

2 Background to the Event The workshop event was intended to bring together Members of the IFE (including CEng, IEng and EngTech registrants) to share experiences and views on BS9999 one year on from its publication. It was intended that the proceedings of the event will help IFE TSAG to formulate the IFE's recommendations to the relevant BSi committee (which is shortly to reconvene) and Communities and Local Government (CLG) in respect of future development of the standard and how its potential integration into the regulatory framework should be considered.

3 A total of 47 IFE member delegates attended the event 36 Consultants / Fire Safety Advisors 5 Fire & Rescue Service / FBU 4 Building Control (LABC and Approved Inspectors) 1 Architect 1 Insurer Delegates

4 1000 hrs. Welcome (John Woodcock – IFE president elect for 2010) 1010 hrs. Presentations 1110 hrs. Briefing for break out Workshop hrs. Break out groups - Workshop hrs. Review Workshop 1 outcomes and briefing for Workshop hrs. Break out groups - Workshop hrs. Review Workshop 2 outcomes 1550 hrs. General open discussion about issues raised hrs. Finish. Agenda

5 Presentations 1. 1.An Architects Perspective Peter Capelhorn – Scott Brownrigg 2. 2.A Fire Engineers Perspective Andrew Hedges – Arup Fire 3. 3.An Approved Inspectors Perspective Glyn Jones – Approved Inspector Services 4. 4.A Fire Safety Officers Perspective Paul Jenkins – Fire Engineering Group. London Fire Brigade

6 Seven break-out workshop groups The same instructions were issued to all groups as follows: 1. 1.The exercise text describes a Design Team Meeting (DTM) scenario Volunteer someone from the group as your narrator for the exercise Review as a team and agree (on a democratic basis) a team answer for each of the questions Your workshop facilitator will record the teams answer on a master sheet. The workshop facilitator has no significant prior knowledge of the details of the scenario and may contribute as a member of the team Please answer each of the questions in the order that they occur There are 10 questions. Please try to keep discussion and debate to an average of no more than 3 minutes Dont be tempted to read on before answering a question Dont go back and amend answers as a result of decisions taken on later questions (there is a specific question at the end to deal with this) There may not be a unanimous view on the answers to the questions. For this reason it is important to record your own personal answers on your personal copy of the workshop proforma. This will also be collected at the end of the workshop and will form part of the data analysis after the event Please dont attempt to critique the scenario. It is not based on any real project and is not intended to be representative of general project team practice. It has been designed to put questions into a specific context for the purposes of the workshop exercise. Workshop No. 1

7 Scenario A Design Team Meeting (DTM) is being held on a new community college project. The project client is the Local Education Authority (LEA). Fire Strategy Design is a main item on the agenda for the DTM and it is the first time that fire safety strategy is to be discussed on the project. Present at the DTM are the following: Architect Design and Build Contractor LEA representative There is no Fire Engineer at the meeting. Workshop No. 1 – Qu. 1 Qu. 1Do you believe that it should be expected that a professionally qualified Fire Engineer be present at the meeting (tick one answer). 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree The ticks in the following table indicate the responses of the seven break-out groups:

8 The architect is experienced with using Approved Document B on college projects and knows that BB100 will not apply due to the new college being for students above school age. The architect has purchased a copy of BS9999 and has been to a couple of seminars. The architect believes that the option of applying Approved Document B (ADB) or BS9999 exists for the project. Workshop No. 1 – Qu. 2 The ticks in the following table indicate the responses of the seven break-out groups: Qu. 2Do you believe that the architect is correct in assuming that an approach based on ADB or BS9999 is possible (tick one answer). 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree

9 Workshop No. 1 – Qu. 3 The architect has formed the opinion from reading BS9999 and attending various seminars that there are benefits in terms of design flexibility in using BS9999 for certain situations but that the guidance may be more onerous in some situations than ADB guidance. At the DTM, the architect states that applicable guidance from ADB will be used as the minimum provision and BS9999 guidance will be used where possible to achieve more flexible design options and to help reduce project cost. The ticks in the following table indicate the responses of the seven break-out groups: Qu. 3Do you believe that the architect is correct in believing that an approach based on ADB AND selected BS9999 guidance is possible (tick one answer). 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree

10 Workshop No. 1 – Qu. 4 (1 of 2) The architect tables some simple block plan arrangements. These are shown in Figures 1 to 3. The proposed new college building will occupy 4 storeys of accommodation from Level 0 (ground) to Level 3 (top floor). The new building will be sited next door to a building that will provide residential accommodation for students but is not part of the current project.

11 Workshop No. 1 – Qu. 4 (2 of 2) The architect describes the distribution of main elements of accommodation throughout the building. Level 0 – reception, communal space/cafe area and teaching accommodation Level 1 – teaching accommodation Level 2 – teaching accommodation Level 3 – teaching and administrative accommodation and plant area A central void space connects all levels and accommodates a bank of glass fronted lifts and forms the perimeter of an open accommodation stair. The main contractor spots the sprinkler tank on the ground floor plan and queries whether sprinkler protection will be needed as this will be a costly item and finding space for the sprinkler tank outside the building could be difficult. The LEA representative replies that the LEA has adopted a strategic policy of requiring automatic fire suppression on all new build colleges and schools. Sprinkler protection has therefore been specified in the Employers Requirements for the project. The architect states that sprinkler protection would be required for Building Regulations approval in any event since the mechanical plant room at Level 3 would constitute an A4 risk profile if it was not provided with sprinkler protection and A4 risk profiles are not permitted by BS9999. The main contractor expresses his view that the plant room is clearly ancillary to the main purpose of the building and it would not be reasonable to require a building to be provided with sprinkler protection on that basis. Qu. 4Do you believe that the view expressed by the main contractor is valid. 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree The ticks in the following table indicate the responses of the seven break-out groups:

12 Workshop No. 1 – Qu. 5 The LEA representative states that the reason for the LEAs requirement for sprinklers is not for life safety but to protect the building as a community asset. The contractor asks whether the sprinkler system will need to be a life safety system as his experience is that there will be some cost savings if this is not required. On the basis that BS9999 does not refer to them, all parties at the meeting agree that the additional requirements for a life safety system recommended by the sprinkler design codes should not be needed. Qu. 5Do you believe that the DTM has made the correct decision in this regard. 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree The ticks in the following table indicate the responses of the seven break-out groups:

13 Workshop No. 1 – Qu. 6 The architect states that Employers Requirements stipulate that the College facilities can be used for public events and therefore a different Risk Profile will potentially apply in temporary situations where there could be large numbers of members of the public in the building who are unfamiliar with escape routes etc. The architect explains that the risk profile for this use will be B1 as defined by BS9999 (with sprinkler protection) but the intention will be to propose that an A1 risk profile can still apply for the design for the main use of the building. The basis for the justification will be that a Level 1 management level will be stipulated in the Fire Safety Manual which is in excess of the Level 2 which is recommended by BS9999 for Risk Profile B1. The LEA representative advises that management of the college is to be sub-contracted to a Facilities Management company and this contract will not be tendered until the construction phase is well underway. The architect is concerned that this may mean that there is a risk of the enforcing authorities expecting that Level 3 management is assumed for the design. The architect is unsure how this will influence approvals risks. Qu. 6Do you think that the architects concerns relating to approvals risks are valid? 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree The ticks in the following table indicate the responses of the seven break-out groups:

14 Workshop No. 1 – Qu. 7 The LEA representative asks if any special fire safety measures will be required for the atrium. The architect explains that the intention is to provide an open void that is not fully enclosed at any level. The architect advises that ADB would not treat the main void as an atrium due to the fact that it does not penetrate compartment floors but that the definition given in BS9999 for an atrium applies to a void that penetrates structural floors. The main contractor states that costs associated with smoke curtains and/or smoke ventilation systems could be significant and asks whether a case can be made to Building Control that the ADB definition for atrium can be used. The architect believes that this may be possible. The architect refers to previous experience where Building Control bodies would usually allow variations to full compliance with ADB recommendations for means of escape distances and capacities on the basis of enhanced fire detection and/or sprinkler protection without stipulating additional requirements for voids penetrating non-compartment floors. The LEA representative asks that if the design intention is to design means of escape according to the absolute minimum that BS9999 will allow then would it not be advisable to follow the BS9999 guidance relating to the atrium? The ticks in the following table indicate the responses of the seven break-out groups: Qu. 7Do you think that the view expressed by the LEA representative is valid in that the BS9999 definition of Atrium and relevant design recommendations should be observed if the Design Team objective is to maximise travel distances and minimise escape capacities using the BS9999 risk profile methodologies? 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree

15 Workshop No. 1 – Qu. 8 The Main Contractor draws the attention of the design team to the elevation of the new College which faces the student residential building. The architect explains that the intention is to provide this as a fully glazed facade. The Main Contractor wonders whether this glazing will need to be fire rated based on the proximity of the buildings and advises that the cost will be extremely high if this is the case. The architect explains that the buildings are on the same site and BS9999 allows the provision of a sprinkler system to potentially discount treatment of a notional boundary condition to the residential building based on a fire in the College building. The main contractor is aware of a recent BRE guidance document on sprinklers that concludes that automatic sprinkler systems are 85% reliable. The main contractor asks whether there is a danger of too much reliance is being placed on a single system, bearing in mind the trade offs that are being allowed by BS9999 due to the provision of the sprinkler system and potential risks to occupants in sleeping accommodation should the system fail to operate. The ticks in the following table indicate the responses of the seven break-out groups: Qu. 8Do you think that the Main Contractor has raised a valid concern? 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree

16 Workshop No. 1 – Qu. 9 The main contractor asks if the building will need to be provided with fire-fighting shafts. The architect confirms that this will be the case. The attendees at the meeting then spend a bit of time juggling potential stair locations and determine that the BS9999 recommendation for maximum hose laying distance of 60m becomes the dominant factor. The architect expresses a view that the authors of BS9999 have obviously spent a lot of time developing methodologies to allow significantly greater maximum travel distances and it seems a bit odd that these seem so out of step with fire-fighting shaft recommendations which dont appear to follow a similar risk profile based methodology. The architect states that it would be hoped that Building Control would accept a fire engineered justification to allow fire-fighting shaft provisions to be aligned to escape stair proposals rather than the other way round. The main contractor is concerned about the approvals risks with this suggestion since experience on other projects is that the Fire Authority comments at the statutory consultation with Building Control are likely to indicate an expectation for compliance and that the Building control body is unlikely to disagree with the Fire Authority on a matter relating to B5 compliance. The ticks in the following table indicate the responses of the seven break-out groups: Qu. 9Do you think that the architects point relating to the consistency of application of the risk profile methodology is a valid one? 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree

17 Workshop No. 1 – Qu. 10 This question asked each break-out group to re-consider the answers to questions 1-9 at the end of completing the exercise and to identify any questions that they would answer differently. The break-out groups only identified Qu.1 as being one that they would answer differently. Four out of the seven groups indicated that they would revise the answer to this question as follows: Qu. 1Do you believe that it should be expected that a professionally qualified Fire Engineer be present at the meeting (tick one answer). 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree Original break-out group responses: Revised break-out group responses (red tick shows revised group response): Qu. 1Do you believe that it should be expected that a professionally qualified Fire Engineer be present at the meeting (tick one answer). 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree

18 Workshop No.2 For Workshop 2, each of the seven break-out groups was tasked with reviewing one of the 9 questions in more detail and coming up with relevant recommendations for the BSi committee / CLG. Questions identified in the Workshop 1 results review session for Workshop 2 are shown in the right-most column in the table below.

19 Workshop No.2 – Qu.1 Recommendations for CLG: We recommend that BS9999, in its current form, should only be used for design purposes by qualified fire professionals Recommendations for BSi: The text in the foreword should be strengthened and clarified in respect of two issues: (i) who the document is primarily aimed at, and (ii) whether it is considered acceptable to pick and mix from the standard, or Alternatively, the standard is re-written so as to make it useable by the general design profession and other non-fire experts. Qu. 1Do you believe that it should be expected that a professionally qualified Fire Engineer be present at the meeting (tick one answer). 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree Recommendations by Break-out Group No.1:

20 Workshop No.2 – Qu.3 Recommendations for CLG: 1. Explanation of where guidance in ADB comes from (technical). User guide can then be produced so impact of pick and mix can be discussed. 2. Synchronise release of guidance documents 3. Identify competency levels Qu. 3Do you believe that the architect is correct in believing that an approach based on ADB AND selected BS9999 guidance is possible (tick one answer). 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree Recommendations for BSi: 1. Matrix for use in selecting parts of BS9999. For example, state if using principles in Section 9. refer to section 13 and Identify importance of competence fire safety professionals in using 2 guidance documents (i.e. pick and mix). 3. State that competent people only should use BS State where using pick and mix solutions that the design should provide at least an equivalent level of fire safety as fully compliant with one. Recommendations by Break-out Group No.2:

21 Workshop No.2 – Qu.4 Recommendations for CLG: Talk to BSi Qu. 4Do you believe that the view expressed by the main contractor is valid. 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree Recommendations for BSi: Clarify that the Risk Profile is for the whole building, or not. Allow separation of hazard areas to keep building Risk profile at an appropriate level. Recommendations by Break-out Group No.3:

22 Workshop No.2 – Qu.5 Recommendations for CLG: Recommend that CLG carries out a review of current guidance to determine whether there are addtional trade-offs that could be recognised in the guidance of ADB. This may help promote wider use of sprinklers in buildings. Recommendations for BSi: Recognition that BSEN12845 includes an annex relating to life safety enhancements and that for certain building characteristics consideration should be given as to whether such enhancements are justified (for example, tall buildings, multiple occupancy, high populations, sleeping risks). Qu. 5Do you believe that the DTM has made the correct decision in this regard. 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree Recommendations by Break-out Group No.7:

23 Workshop No.2 – Qu.6 Recommendations for CLG: (see recommendations to BSi) Recommendations for BSi: A statement providing clarification regarding modification of Risk Profile in relation to management procedures should be provided. Aligning the default management level with the minimum requirements of that country. Qu. 6Do you think that the architects concerns relating to approvals risks are valid? 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree Recommendations by Break-out Group No.4:

24 Workshop No.2 – Qu.7 Recommendations for CLG: Generally, BS9999 should be used in its entirety. Only competent people should mix codes and approaches. Provide supplementary guidance on reasons behind changes in guidance. Recommendations for BSi: Harmonisation of BS9999 and ADB with respect to atria with particular focus on the words structural floor in BS9999. Pricing structure for revisions (partial updates to avoid having to buy the whole document again) Qu. 7Do you think that the view expressed by the LEA representative is valid in that the BS9999 definition of Atrium and relevant design recommendations should be observed if the Design Team objective is to maximise travel distances and minimise escape capacities using the BS9999 risk profile methodologies? 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree Recommendations by Break-out Group No.5:

25 Workshop No.2 – Qu.9 Recommendations for CLG: Seek to clarify the role of occupancy groups now that Risk Profiles are being used. Be clear and pro-active on what you want the construction industry to do. Recommendations for BSi: Remove BS5588 by putting the relevant parts into the PAS system – while waiting for BS9999 to be called up by ADB. Qu. 9Do you think that the architects point relating to the consistency of application of the risk profile methodology is a valid one? 4. Strongly Agree3. Agree2. Not sure/maybe1. Disagree Recommendations by Break-out Group No.6:


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