During the recent debate on tall buildings, as illustrated in Amanda Levete’s article (5 April, page 34) one issue is ignored: fire safety. Are we to presume the process of control in design and construction will ensure that the right decisions are taken on fire safety?
Recent changes to Approved Document B do not include adequate provision for tall buildings, which, as Levete points out, will be multifunctional. The question is not whether fire safety is in place but whether it is appropriate for the building in question.
The changes to the approved document fail to give specific guidance for buildings that are more than 30m tall – so the regulations governing the construction of a building 31m tall and one of 331m are the same. Yet clearly such buildings are very different, in terms of evacuation and collapse in the event of a fire.
David Sugden, chairman, Passive Fire Protection Federation