A 42-story residential private-rented sector development includes a number of commercial units, office areas and residential amenity areas located in Birmingham City Center, which impacted the building's fire strategy.

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The Problem

The complexity of the different uses at the lower levels and their interconnectedness with the residential areas including the stairs meant that the proposed design would not conform with the recommendations of standard Building Regulations. A custom fire engineered approach would be needed to support the design of a building over 125m (410 feet) in height.

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The Solution

Due to the building height, a detailed Qualitative Design Review was conducted to determine the additional features that may be required to ensure that the building was safe. We worked closely with the design team and West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service in determining the appropriate fire safety measures. We also drew on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling to support several fire engineered solutions including extended distances in the residential common corridors, design of office atrium and connection of ancillary areas to the residential stair.

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The Results

The building’s fire strategy has been approved by the Building Control and West Midlands Fire + Rescue Service and the project is now under construction. Once completed it will be one of Birmingham’s tallest buildings.