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Legend: Explanations & Illustrations Rationale Note Revision history Print

9.2 PURPOSE GROUP II OCCUPANCY

9.2.1 General


a. Means of escape

(1) Means of escape for a building or a separated part of a building of PG II shall comply with the provision of Cl.2.3.

(2) Number of exit staircases or exits per storey

R Rationale - Clause 9.2.1a.(2)

The provision of minimum two remotely located staircases or other exits provides for alternate escape for the occupants in the event that one staircase or alternate exit is blocked off or rendered unusable during an emergency situation.

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In a block of residential apartments or maisonettes, at least two independent exit staircases or other exits from every storey shall be provided, in compliance with the requirements of Cl.2.2.11, unless otherwise permitted.

(3) Provision for buildings not exceeding 24m in habitable height

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In a block of residential apartments or maisonettes not exceeding 24m in habitable height, one exit staircase can be allowed provided the one-way travel distance is complied with.

(4) Provision for buildings exceeding 24m in habitable height

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In a block of residential apartments or maisonettes exceeding 24m in habitable height, one exit staircase can be provided, subject to all of the following conditions: 

(a) The building’s habitable height does not exceed 60m, unless otherwise permitted by the SCDF.

(b) The single exit staircase shall serve not more than four apartments or maisonettes at each storey.

(c) Provision of exits for each residential apartment or maisonette shall comply with the requirements under Cl.9.2.1a.(5).

(d) Travel distance from the most remote exit door to the exit staircase from each apartment or maisonette shall not exceed 15m.

(e) The approach to the exit staircase shall be through cross-ventilated corridor/lobby in accordance with Cl.1.4.28, except that the ventilation openings shall have a minimum width of 2m and a minimum height of 1.2m, as well as the following requirements:

R Rationale - Clause 9.2.1a.(4)e

The minimum size of ventilation openings in a cross-ventilated lobby minimises the risk of the lobby being smoke-logged. These dimensions have been validated through a fire engineering study. 

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(i) the openings shall be unobstructed from the parapet wall or balustrade level upwards and be positioned on opposite sides of the corridor/lobby such that they provide cross ventilation throughout the entire space of the corridor/lobby; and

(ii) the entire cross-ventilated corridor/lobby shall be unobstructed and maintained at minimum 2m width throughout.

(f) Where multiple ventilation openings are provided on opposite sides of the corridor/lobby, the minimum width and height of each opening shall not be less than 1m and 1.2m respectively, provided the aggregate width of the openings at each opposite side is not less than 2m. (See Diagram 9.2.1a.(4)(f))

(5) Exits from residential unit

(a) In each residential apartment or maisonette unit, the exit access door or doors shall be provided such that the travel distance measured from any point within the unit to the entrance door(s) of the unit shall not exceed 20m. (See Diagram 9.2.1a.(5)(a))

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(b) In the case of a maisonette unit comprising not more than two storeys, where a single entrance door is provided:

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(i) the door shall not be located on the upper storey of the unit; and

(ii) the floor area of the upper storey shall not exceed 60m², unless a separate exit is provided on this upper storey.

(c) All exits from residential or maisonette units shall have direct access to an exit staircase, exit passageway or external space.

(6) Measurement of travel distance

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Travel distance of a residential unit shall be measured from its entrance door(s) to the exit staircase. Where a residential unit requires two entrance doors at the same storey level, and if only one exit staircase is provided, the travel distance shall be measured from the most remote door. If two or more exit staircases are provided, the travel distance shall be measured from the entrance door of each unit.

(7) Smoke-free approach to exit staircase

R Rationale - Clause 9.2.1a.(7)

The purpose of providing a smoke-free approach to an exit staircase is to create an effective buffer for venting of smoke and heat so that occupants can access the staircase safely.

E

In a block of residential apartments or maisonettes, a smoke-free approach to an exit staircase can be provided by means of an external corridor, complying with Cl.2.3.10.

(8) Travel distance

(a) One-way travel distance

In a block of residential apartments or maisonettes where the means of escape is through an external corridor, the one-way travel distance measured from the door of the apartment or maisonette to the exit staircase shall not exceed 20m, or 24m if the aggregate one-way travel distance within the unit and along the external corridor does not exceed 40m. The above one-way travel distances along the external corridor shall not apply to residential apartments or maisonettes in a building exceeding 24m permitted under Cl.9.2.1a.(3).

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(b) Two-way travel distance

In a block of residential apartments or maisonettes, the two-way travel distance can be extended to 45m if the means of escape is through an external corridor as in Cl.2.3.10

In the case of buildings which are required to be provided with rising mains, the number and distribution of rising mains specified in Chapter 6 shall be complied with.

(9) Protection of staircases

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The requirements for unprotected openings stipulated under Cl.2.3.3a.(2) and Cl.2.3.3b.(2) for internal and external exit staircases respectively need not be complied with for PG II buildings provided:

(a) the exit staircases are cross-ventilated and maintained under smoke-free conditions at all times; and

R Rationale - Clause 9.2.1a.(9)(a)

Cross ventilation for exit staircases of residential apartments or maisonettes serves to address accumulation of smoke and provide a smoke-free condition for occupants to evacuate.

(b) unprotected openings of the apartment or maisonette units are not facing or ventilating into the exit staircase enclosures, as shown in Diagram 9.2.1a.(9).

(10) Ventilation 

(a) Exit staircase

All exit staircases shall be naturally ventilated. Where an exit staircase is used as storey shelter, mechanical ventilation is permitted provided there are more than one exit staircase, with the remaining exit staircase(s) being naturally ventilated. 

(b) Common internal corridor

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(i) The internal corridor not forming part of smoke-free approach to exit staircase shall have ventilation openings of not less than 15% of the floor area and located not more than 9m from any part of the common internal corridor.

(ii) If the common internal corridor is cross ventilated, all of the following requirements shall be complied with:

• The ventilation openings shall be located at high level and positioned directly opposite to each other.

• Each ventilation opening shall be at least 50% of the superficial area of the opposing external walls.

• No part of the floor area of the corridor shall be at a distance of more than 12m from any ventilation openings, or from the outer plane of recess void space, if ventilation opening is in recess position. 

(b) Structural fire precaution

(1) Wall separating residential apartment or maisonette

(a) Each residential dwelling unit shall be compartmented from adjoining units and other parts of the same building by construction having at least 1-hr fire resistance rating and unit’s exit access door of ½-hr fire resistance rating, unless otherwise permitted under Cl.2.3.10d.

(b) Any compartment wall separating a residential apartment or maisonette from any other part of the same building, shall not be required to have at least 1-hr fire resistance rating unless:  

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(i) the wall forms part of a protected shaft and the minimum period of fire resistance required by the provisions of this Code for the protecting structure is more than one hour, or

(ii) the part of the building from which the wall separates the residential apartment or maisonette is of a different purpose group and the minimum period of fire resistance required by the provisions of this Code for any element of structure in that part is more than one hour.

(2) Attic floor

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An attic in buildings under PG II can be constructed of timber boarding on timber joists, provided it is protected to achieve the fire resistance rating required of the elements of structure of the building or compartment.

9.2.2 Super high-rise residential building

a. Refuge floor

A super high-rise residential building shall be provided with at least one refuge floor at an interval of not more than 20 storeys, i.e. each refuge floor shall not serve more than the 20 storeys immediately above it. The refuge floor shall comply with all of the following requirements:

(1) It shall be of masonry construction having at least 2-hr fire resistance rating. 

(2) At least 50% of the accessible floor area of the refuge floor shall be designated as an evacuee holding area. There shall be no residential unit or part of the unit on the refuge floor.

(3) There shall be no commercial activities in the evacuee holding area, however, it can be used as space for physical exercises or a children’s playground. All equipment placed within the evacuee holding area shall be made/constructed of non-combustible materials.

(4) The size of the evacuee holding area shall be adequate to accommodate at least the total occupant load of all storeys above the refuge floor, up till the next higher refuge floor, or the remaining floors, based on 0.3m² per person.

(5) The evacuee holding area shall be separated from other areas of the refuge floor by compartment walls having at least 2-hr fire resistance rating. Linking of the evacuee holding area with other occupied rooms/areas shall be via an external corridor, or a smoke-free lobby complying with Cl.2.2.13a.

(6) The evacuee holding area shall be naturally ventilated with permanent openings on at least two sides of the external walls, with total area of at least 25% of the floor area of the evacuee holding area.

(7) The minimum height (measured from the sill to the top) of each opening shall be at least 1.2m.

(8) All parts of the evacuee holding area shall be within 9m of a ventilation opening.

(9) Ventilation openings shall be located at least 1.5m horizontally from and 3m vertically above unprotected openings, except for ventilation openings which total area as specified in Cl.9.2.2a.(6) above is at least 50% of the evacuee holding area, the vertical distance from the unprotected openings can be reduced to 1.5m.

(10) A sprinkler system shall be provided for the refuge floor if there is any non-residential room located on the same floor.

(11) Escape routes leading to the evacuee holding area shall be through a smoke-free/fire lift lobby or external corridor.

(12) Emergency lighting shall be provided to cover all areas of the evacuee holding area. Such lighting shall be connected to a secondary power supply, i.e. generator, battery, etc., and shall be able to provide horizontal luminance at floor level of not less than 5 lux. The delay between the failure of the electrical supply for normal lighting and the energization of the emergency lighting for occupied areas shall not exceed 15 secs.

(b) Provision of fire lift

(1) The fire lift car shall have a clear area/space of not less than 1.7m (depth) x 1.5m (width).

(2) Two-way emergency voice communication system shall be provided between the fire lift lobby at the refuge floor and the following locations in order of priority:

(a) FCC, or

(b) Main alarm panel, or

(c) Respective fire lift lobby at grade level nearest the fire engine access road.

(3) At least two fire lifts shall be provided for a super high-rise residential building.

Diagram 9.2.1a.(4)(f)

Diagram 9.2.1a.(4)(f) : Provision of exit staircase for residential building not exceeding 60m in habitable height

In a block of residential apartments or maisonettes not exceeding 60m in habitable height, one exit staircase only can be provided to every storey.

Diagram 9.2.1a.(5)(a)
Diagram 9.2.1a.(5)(a) : Provision of exit for apartment unit

D. 9.2.1a.(8) (22 Mar 2019)

Diagram 9.2.1a.(9) : Cross-ventilated exit staircase to residential apartment/maisonette

Exit staircase is cross-ventilated and maintained under smoke-free condition at all times. Unprotected openings of the apartment/maisonette units are not facing or ventilating into the exit staircase enclosure.