The paper "Requirement for Space Separation between Buildings" is a great example of coursework on engineering and construction. Fire safety and protection in buildings is one of the key aspects that must be taken into consideration when designing a building. In fact, the aspect of fire safety and protection is among the prescriptive design requirements in building regulations. These regulations provide building design approaches that ensure that acceptable fire safety and protection levels are achieved, and it is the responsibility of those conducting building work to adhere to the requirements of these building regulations.
This paper discusses the British building regulations, particularly those related to, among others, the allowable protected areas, space separation, and construction of an external wall. These regulations are outlined in the Approved Document B (ADB, BS9999, BR 187, etc). According to reading, FRICS, & MSFSE (1991), this document is meant to outline the requirements for various common building situations, and how to comply with those requirements. It is, however, important to note that the solutions outlined in the Approved Document are not obligatory and one can use other solutions to meet the relevant building requirements. The requirement for Space Separation and External Fire spread The requirements for external fire spread as outlined in part B4 of the Building Regulations, as per the standard guidance for England and Wales (ADB, BS9999, BR 187, etc) include the following: The external walls of the building shall have sufficient resistance to stop the fire from spreading to other buildings and over the walls, putting into consideration the position, use, and height of the building (HM Government, 2010). The roof shall have enough resistance to stop the fire from spreading from one building to another and over the roof, also putting into consideration the position, use, and height of the building (HM Government, 2010). External walls Part B4 of the ADB outlines the requirements for external walls of a building in order to have enough capacity to stop the fire from spreading to adjacent buildings.
These requirements are very much related to the requirements for space separation which delineate the amount of protected area on the wall (HM Government, 2010). The amount of unprotected area on the wall is dependent on the distance of the wall from the relevant boundary.
This implies that all or part of the wall can have no resistance to fire except for parts that are load-bearing (HM Government, 2010). The relevant duration of fire resistance is dictated by the size, use, and height of the building. However, if the distance between the wall and the relevant boundary is at least 1000mm, a reduced fire resistance standard is allowed and the wall only requires fire resistance from outside (Stationery Office, 2010). Requirements are also stipulated to limit fire susceptibility of the external walls of buildings that are less than 1000mm from the relevant boundary.
This is meant to minimize the susceptibility of the surface to combustion from external sources as well as minimize the spread of fire up the external wall. In order to minimize the chances of fire spreading from a building to another adjacent building beyond the relevant boundary and vice versa, the following requirements of part B4 of the Approved Document should be met (HM Government, 2010):
HM Government 2010, The Building Regulations 2010, Approved Document B: Fire Safety.
Buildings other than dwelling houses, HM Government, London.
BSI British Standards, 2008, Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use
of buildings (BS 9999:2008), The Stationery Office, London.
Read, R, FRICS and MSFSE, 1991, External fire spread: building separation and boundary
distances (BR187), Building Research Establishment, Garston, Watford.
Stationery Office, 2010, The Building Regulations 2006, Approved Document B: Fire Safety,
The Stationery Office, London.