The National Construction Code 2022 Public Comment Draft has proposed specific revisions with respect to egress in primary schools. Specifically, Clause D2D23 will now prescribe provisions for primary schools as follows:
(1) Every part of a Class 9b primary school must be wholly within a storey that provides direct egress to a road or open space.
(2) The requirements of (1) do not apply to a building with a rise in storeys of not more than 4 used only as a school.
This sub-clause may prove restrictive in designing a school; however, a performance solution approach is permitted in lieu of compliance with this sub-clause. The proposed changes are designed to protect primary school occupants by recognising that they may be slow to evacuate high-rise buildings and/or need supervision to do so safely.
In developing Performance Solutions, building practitioners will be expected to have specific regard for the vulnerabilities of the building’s users (NCC 2022 – Public Comment Draft Supporting Information). Our Director, Glenn Hamilton, has been undertaking research on the human behaviour and evacuation of children since 2015 and has published research data in Fire Safety Journal and Fire Technology. Most recently, Glenn presented at the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Performance-Based Design Conference, March 2022. This presentation is available for SFPE members on their website.
This experience places Sotera in an efficacious position to prepare fire engineering solutions for schools, as may be required by the new NCC requirements. If you have a project that you would like to discuss, please reach out to our team on 07 55562 0022.