The School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham will be a five-storey state-of-the-art university building consisting of labs, design studios, breakout and collaborative areas and academic offices.

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The Problem

The proposed design focused around the provision of two central atria which connect the upper floors of the building. The atria would be open to the floor plates and include bridges and open balconies which would form the escape routes from several academic offices, flexi-bays and meeting rooms. This design does not comply with standard Building Regulations guidance and a fire engineered approach was needed to demonstrate an appropriate standard of safety is achieved.

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The Solution

JGA developed a fire engineered approach which reflected the geometry of the building, the occupancy characteristics of the building user, the potential fire loading and risk of fire and overall high standard of fire safety in the building. This demonstrated that the proposed design would achieve as good if not better standard of safety than found in a code compliant design.

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The Results

The building’s fire strategy has been agreed with Building Control and West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service and the project is now under construction.