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Legend: Explanations & Illustrations Rationale Note Revision history Print

9.3 PURPOSE GROUP III OCCUPANCY

9.3.1 General

(Not in use)

9.3.2 Healthcare occupancy 

a. General

Sprinkler shall be provided for healthcare occupancy with patient accommodation if: 

(1) it comprises more than one storey, or 

(2) it is located on an upper storey other than first storey, or

(3) its largest non-compartmented AFA exceeds 750m².

b. Hospital

They shall comply with the following additional requirements:

(1) Basement

Patient accommodation area containing beds shall not be located in basement storeys.

(2) Width of exit

The minimum clear width of an exit door opening shall be not less than 1.2m.

(3) Number of exits per ward

For patient accommodation wards where the occupant load exceeds 50 persons, each ward shall be provided with at least two exits, which shall be remotely located from each other.

(4) Provision of area of refuge

Every upper storey used for the accommodation of patients shall be provided with at least one area of refuge. The size of the area of refuge shall be computed based on Table 1.4B. For hospital and nursing home, the area of refuge shall be sized adequately to accommodate the number of beds of minimum dimension 2.55m (length) by 1.1m (width) and computed based on occupant load factor of 2.8m2/person for the ward served by the area of refuge.

(a) For area of refuge not adjacent to the patient ward, the routes leading to the area of refuge shall be through:

(i) an external corridor complying with Cl 2.3.10, or

(ii) a protected lobby separated from the adjoining areas of the building by a wall and door of at least 1-hr fire resistance rating. The protected lobby shall have a minimum size of 4m (length) by 2m (width) and ventilated in accordance with Cl 2.2.13b.(7)(a) or (b)   

(b) For area of refuge immediately adjacent to a patient ward, the routes leading to the area of refuge need not be through an external corridor provided both the area of refuge and the adjacent patient ward are:

(i) fire compartmented from each other by a wall and door of at least 1-hr fire resistance rating;

(ii) provided with engineered smoke control and the design smoke layer height shall be at least 2.5m above the finished floor; and

(iii) provided with minimum of 2 remotely located exit access between them.

(5) Size and compartmentation of patient accommodation area

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(a) Each patient accommodation ward shall not exceed a floor area of 750m² and an occupant load of 75 persons, calculated on the basis of Accessible Floor Area (AFA) of 10m² per person.

(b) For single storey premises not protected by sprinkler, each patient accommodation ward shall be constructed as a compartment having at least 1-hr fire resistance rating and at least ½-hr fire resistance rating door for protection of door openings. It shall be provided with both an automatic fire alarm system.

(c) For sprinkler-protected premises, patient accommodation ward area shall not exceed a fire compartment size 2100m² and shall be separated by full-height smoke barrier (up to soffit of the slab) for patient rooms of aggregated area not exceeding 750m² within the ward. 

(6) Provision of fire escape bed lifts

(a) At least two fire escape bed lifts shall be provided for premises with more than one storey. They shall be located remotely from each other and sited adjacent to a protected exit staircase. Each area of refuge shall also be served by at least one fire escape bed lift. Fire lift can double-up as a fire escape bed lift provided there is more than one fire lift and at least one shall remain as a dedicated fire lift. Where the fire lift doubles up as fire escape bed lift, its dimension shall be as specified in Cl.9.3.2b.(6)(c).

(b) The fire escape bed lift shall be contained within a protected shaft, constructed to comply with the relevant requirements under Cl.3.8.

(c) The entry into the fire escape bed lift and the protected exit staircase shall be through a common protected lobby. The fire escape bed lift shall have a minimum clear platform size of 2.8m (depth) by 1.8m (width). The protected lobby shall have a minimum size of 5m (length) by 4m (width). In the situation where the protected lobby is also serving as a smoke-free lobby or fire lift lobby, the floor area of the lobby shall be of sufficient size to accommodate both the evacuation of the required number of beds, as well as the passage of other occupants into the protected staircase.

(d) A signage shall be displayed outside the bed lift stating “FIRE ESCAPE BED LIFT”.

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(e) The escape route for the fire escape bed lift at the 1st storey level shall be protected from other occupancy areas by 1-hr fire resistance separation and shall discharge directly into an external space.

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(f) An fire escape bed lift that opens directly into an external corridor and which is sited adjacent to a protected exit staircase does not require a protected lobby, provided there is no unprotected opening within 3m horizontally from the fire escape bed lift door opening. The fire escape bed lift provided in this situation may be treated as a common bed lift that can serve multiple compartments located on the same floor.

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(g) An fire escape bed lift shall be provided with the following features:

(i) a secondary power supply from an emergency generating plant;

R Rationale - Clause 9.3.2b.(6)(g)(i)

The purpose of providing a secondary power supply from an emergency plant is to ensure that the escape bed lift will stay operational during a fire emergency or a power failure in the building.

(ii) a switch labelled “Fire Escape Bed Lift”, situated next to the lift landing door at the final exit storey, which enables an authorised person nominated by the building management to take control of the lift car during an emergency. The operating of the switch shall be similar to fire lift operational features stipulated in SS 550. Such a switch is not needed in two-storey buildings;

(iii) a communications system (except in two-storey buildings) shall be installed to allow communication between occupants at each lift landing and the operator in the lift car; and 

(iv) the installation of fire escape bed lifts shall be in accordance with SS 550.

(7) Internal access to wards

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A patient accommodation ward with access through an internal corridor shall comply with the following requirements:

(a) each ward shall be separated from the internal corridor by a wall having at least 1-hr fire resistance rating;

(b) doors opening into an internal corridor shall have at least ½-hr fire resistance rating and be fitted with an automatic self-closing device to comply with the requirements of Cl.3.9.2; or be held open by an electromagnetic or electromechanical device;

(c) requirements on fire compartmentation under Cl.9.3.2b.(7)(a) and Cl.9.3.2b.(7)(b) can be relaxed up to a size of 2100m² as per Cl.9.3.2b.(5)(c), if the premises is sprinkler-protected;

(d) an internal corridor shall be naturally ventilated with fixed openings in an external wall, such ventilation openings being not less than 15% of the floor area of the internal corridor;

(e) the ventilation opening in the external walls shall not be less than 3.5m², with at least 1.75m2 on each side shall be unobstructed by parapet walls or balustrade levels upwards and be positioned on opposite sides of the internal corridor such that they provide effective cross ventilation throughout the entire space of the corridor;

(f) the ventilation openings in the external walls shall not be more than 12m from any part of the internal corridor;

(g) an internal corridor can be provided with mechanical ventilation and pressurisation in lieu of natural ventilation; and

(h) other non-patient accommodation areas or spaces which open into or form part of the internal corridor, and which can jeorpadise the means of escape provision, shall be compartmentalised by 1-hr fire-rated enclosures and ½-hr fire-rated doors unless otherwise allowed under Cl.9.3.2b.(4)(b) and Cl.9.3.2b.(6)(c).

(8) External access to wards

R Rationale - Clause 9.3.2b.(8)

External corridor and lobby space facing external space will minimise the possibility of smoke-logged situation to facilitate safe evacuation of occupants in a fire emergency. These dimensions have been validated through a fire engineering study. 

E

External access to a patient accommodation ward shall be through external corridor complying with Cl.2.3.10.

(9) Smoke-free approach to exit staircase

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(a) Entry into an exit staircase from any part of a building of more than four storeys above ground level shall comply with the requirements of smoke-free approach to an exit staircase, as stipulated in Cl.2.2.13.

(b) Where a smoke-free lobby is provided to an exit staircase to serve a patient accommodation floor, or any area where patients may need to be evacuated on mattresses or stretchers, the lobby shall have a minimum clear space (unobstructed by door swing) of 6m².

(10) Staircase landing width/depth

E

(a) Exit staircases that serve a patient accommodation floor to be used by patients in an emergency fire situation shall be designed to allow the evacuation of patients on mattresses or stretchers.

(b) The width of stairs, and staircase landing width and depth shall comply with Table 9.3A.

c. Nursing home, convalescent home, home for the aged and hospice

They shall comply with the full requirements stated under Cl.9.3.2a. and b. for hospital.

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d. Custodian care facility

It shall comply with the following additional requirements:

(1) where such facilities are located within a building of mixed use, they shall be compartmentalised from other spaces and occupancies by walls and doors having at least 1-hr fire resistance rating;

Exception:

The requirement on the provision of fire compartmentation will not apply if the building is sprinkler-protected.

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(2) where such facilities are located on the grade level, they shall be provided with direct access to the exterior of the building;

(3) where not located on grade level, they shall have direct access to an exit staircase or to a smoke-free lobby that is connected to an exit staircase (minimum one exit staircase);

(4) where there is no fire lift lobby or smoke-free lobby, there shall be at least one direct access to the exit staircase;

(5) institutions for the mentally disabled shall be designed with each storey having an area of refuge in accordance with Cl.1.4.9 and Table 1.4B; and

(6) fire safety requirements under Cl.9.3.2b. - Hospital, shall be fully complied with, except Cl.9.3.2b.(6) on provision of escape bed lift and Cl.9.3.2b.(10) on staircase landing width/depth.

e. Supervisory care facility

It shall comply with Cl.9.3.2a. and b., except Cl.9.3.2b.(6) on provision of fire escape bed lift and Cl.9.3.2b.(10) on staircase landing width/depth.

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f. Ambulatory healthcare centre

It shall comply with the following additional requirements:

(1) if located within a building of mixed use, shall be compartmentalised from other tenants and occupancies by walls and doors having at least 1-hr fire resistance rating;

(2) shall be provided with its own means of escape to at least one exit staircase; and

(3) shall fully comply with Cl.9.3.2a. and b., except Cl.9.3.2b.(4) on provision of area of refuge for horizontal evacuation, Cl.9.3.2b.(6) on provision of fire escape bed-lift and Cl.9.3.2b.(10)on staircase landing/depth.

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g. Other outpatient clinics

Outpatient clinics shall be categorised as PG V occupancy and shall comply with all relevant requirements for such premises/usage.

9.3.3 Workers’ dormitory

Workers’ dormitories shall comply with the following additional requirements:

a. Size 

Each dormitory bedroom shall not exceed 120m2 and an occupant load of 40 persons.

b. Occupant load

The occupant load shall be based on accessible floor area on the basis of 3m² per person. 

c. Number of exit staircases or exits per storey

There shall be at least two independent exit staircases or other exits from every storey of a workers’ dormitory.

d. Maximum travel distance

The travel distance, measured from the most remote point of the dormitory bedroom to the nearest exit staircase or other storey exit, shall not exceed the maximum travel distance permitted under Table 2.2A.

e. Internal corridor to dormitory bedrooms

Dormitory bedrooms with access through an internal corridor shall comply with the following requirements:

R Rationale - Clause 9.3.3e.

The minimum size of ventilation openings along the internal dormitory corridors minimises the risk of a smoke-logged situation. These dimensions have been validated through a fire engineering study.

(1) dormitory bedrooms shall be separated from the internal corridor by a wall having at least 1-hr fire resistance; 

(2) doors opening into internal corridors shall have at least ½-hr fire resistance and be fitted with an automatic self-closing device to comply with the requirements of Cl.3.9.2; and

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(3) internal corridors shall be naturally cross-ventilated with fixed openings on the external walls, with such ventilation openings having an aggregate free area of:

(a) at least 15% of the total floor area of the internal corridor, or 

(b) at least 3.5m2, whichever is greater.

R Rationale - Clause 9.3.3e.(3)

Natural ventilation is a permanent and more reliable method for ventilating internal corridor in workers' dormitory. It ensures effective smoke dispersal and unlike mechanical ventilation and pressurisation systems which may fail during an fire emergency if they are not properly maintained.

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(4) each ventilation openings in the external walls shall have at least 1.75m2 free area, unobstructed by parapet walls or balustrade levels such that they provide effective cross-ventilation throughout the entire space of the corridor;

(5) the ventilation openings in the external walls shall not be at most 12m from any part of the corridor;

(6) pressurisation of internal corridors in lieu of natural ventilation is not permitted; and

(7) other rooms or spaces which open into or form part of the bedroom corridor and which can jeopardise the means of escape shall be compartmented by enclosures with at least 1-hr fire-resistance rating and doors with at least ½-fire resistance rating.

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f. External access to dormitory bedrooms 

External access to dormitory bedrooms shall be through an external corridor complying with Cl.2.3.10.

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g. Smoke-free approach to exit staircase

Entry into an exit staircase from any part of a building of more than four storeys above ground level shall comply with requirements of Cl.2.2.13 - requirements of smoke-free approach to exit staircase. Pressurisation of a staircase in lieu of the provision of smoke-free lobby is not permitted.

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h. Bedroom compartmentation

(1) Each dormitory bedroom shall be compartmented from adjoining rooms and other parts of the same building by construction having at least 1-hr fire resistance rating, unless otherwise permitted under Cl.9.3.3f. for the provision of window openings between the bedroom and external corridor;

(2) Dormitory bedrooms and other rooms or spaces which open into or form part of the dormitory bedroom corridor shall be separated from the corridor to comply with Cl.9.3.3e and Cl.9.3.3f.; and

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(3) Kitchen shall be enclosed with at least 1-hr fire-rated compartment wall, including at least ½-hr fire-rated door. Kitchen can be located within each floor, but shall not be within the dormitory bedroom.

R Rationale - Clause 9.3.3h.(3)

Dormitory bedrooms are meant for resting and sleeping. Hence, cooking activity, which normally involves the use of open flame, shall not be allowed in the bedrooms. This will help to reduce the risk of fire occurring in workers' dormitory.

9.3.4 Temporary workers’ quarter in uncompleted permanent buildings on construction sites

! Note to QPs on Clause 9.3.4

1. The main contractor of the project shall engage a Qualified Person(s) to design and supervise the erection of the temporary workers’ quarter(s).

2. The Qualified Person(s) shall submit fire safety plans for the proposed temporary workers’ quarters to SCDF for approval prior to the commencement of the fire safety works. Upon completion, the QP shall inspect the fire safety works and issue a Certificate of Supervision after all fire safety works have been inspected and complied with all fire safety requirements. Inspection by Registered Inspector (RI) and TFP/FSC application are not required. 


a. General

(1) The temporary workers’ quarters shall not be located higher than 10m above the fire engine access road level of the uncompleted building and shall not be lower than first basement level.

(2) The temporary workers’ quarters shall only be used for housing workers working within the construction site.

(3) Hot work is not allowed in the basement(s) where the temporary workers’ quarters are located.

b. Means of escape

(1) For aboveground levels, provision of only one exit staircase is permitted provided that the one-way travel distance is complied with Table 2.2A and the occupant load does not exceed 20 persons on any storey. The exit staircase shall discharge directly to exterior open space.

(2) At least two independent exit staircases shall be provided for the temporary workers’ quarters located in basement levels or when the occupant load exceeds 20 persons on any aboveground storey.

(3) Every storey shall be provided with exit facilities for its occupant load. Only those exits designated for escape of the workers shall be included in the exit capacity calculations. 

c. Compartmentation

(1) Cooking is only allowed at a designated kitchen area, including basement(s). Such kitchen, shall be enclosed with at least 1-hr fire-rated compartment wall and at least ½-hr fire-rated door and shall not be located within the dormitory unit.

(2) Office and storage are allowed in the basement(s) where the temporary workers’ quarters are located. They shall be compartmented from the accommodation areas with at least 1-hr fire-rated compartment wall and at least ½-hr fire-rated door.

(3) Only non-combustible materials shall be used for the construction of temporary workers’ quarters. 

(4) The floor area of each worker bedroom or the total floor area of a group of small worker bedrooms shall not exceed 120m2.  Compartment wall of having fire resistance rating of at least 1-hr shall be provided to separate the bedrooms so as to limit each compartment size to a maximum of 120m2

(5) The worker bedrooms shall be separated from the internal corridor by a wall having fire resistance rating of at least 1-hr. Doors opening into the internal corridor shall have fire resistance rating of at least half an hour. 

(6) The worker bedrooms shall be separated from the external corridor by a wall having fire resistance rating of at least 1-hr, except that ventilation openings of non-combustible construction can be fixed at or above a level of 1.1m, measured from the finished floor level of the external corridor to the sill height of the opening.  Doors opening into the external corridor are not required to have fire resistance rating. 

d. Fire engine access

(1) Provision of fire engine access road shall be provided in accordance with the requirements for the development. Only the portion of the fire engine access road serving the temporary workers’ quarters shall be made available.

(2) Every part of the required fire engine access road shall be within an unobstructed distance of 50m from the nearest working fire hydrant. Where the remotest temporary workers’ quarter is located not more than 100m away from the site entrance at the public road, provision of working private fire hydrant is exempted.

(3) A temporary “dry” fire hydrant is allowed. The “dry” fire hydrant shall be connected to a 150mm diameter pipe, which shall be connected the other end to a 4-way breeching inlet. This breeching inlet shall be within 18m from any fire engine accessway or fire engine access road having minimum 4m width and within 50m from any wet fire hydrant.

e. Emergency power supply

(1) Emergency power supply lasting at least 2-hr shall be provided for all firefighting systems serving the temporary workers’ quarters.

(2) The location, arrangement, control and installation of electrical wiring of the secondary source of power supply, be it in the form of battery, standby generator, inverter or other accepted equipment, shall be in accordance with Chapter 5. 

f. Firefighting systems

(1) Where dry riser system is required for the main development, they shall be commissioned and made operable for the storeys housing the temporary workers’ quarters during the accommodation period. 

(2) Provision of automatic sprinkler system and smoke control system is exempted for basement provided the basement is effectively cross-ventilated as follows:

(a) no point within the basement(s) is more than 12m from any vertical opening or void for spaces that are in between two openings or voids;

(b) no point shall be more than 6m from any opening or void for spaces that are ventilated by such opening or void on only one side;

(c) all ventilation openings shall be at least 1000 x 600mm; and

(d) the total aggregate area of these voids and vertical openings shall be at least 20% of the total basement floor area.

(3) An automatic fire alarm system shall be provided if provision of automatic fire sprinkler system is exempted for the temporary workers’ quarters located in the basement(s).

(4) For temporary workers’ quarters located above ground level, fire alarm system shall be provided as stipulated under Table 6.3A.

(5) Connection of fire protection systems to the approved alarm monitoring company is not required.

(6) Standby fire hoses can be installed in lieu of the dry riser system, on condition that the temporary workers’ quarters are adequately covered by fire hose reel(s). 

(7) Provision of fire extinguishers shall be in accordance with Cl.6.1. 

(8) Provision of fire hose reels shall be in accordance with Cl.6.2.8.

g. Engineered smoke control system

Engineered smoke control and sprinkler systems shall be required for the basement levels where the workers’ quarters are located, if the provision of cross ventilation stipulated in Cl.9.3.4.f. cannot be fulfilled.

h. Storage of hazardous materials

(1) All stores of highly flammable substances shall be sited in open space at a minimum distance of 5m away from the building where the temporary workers’ quarters are located and shall comply with the relevant standards. 

(2) All LPG cylinder installations serving the temporary workers’ quarters shall be in accordance with Cl.10.1.

i. Occupant load

The occupant load shall be based on the floor area of the temporary workers’ quarters on the basis of 3m2 per person, excluding non-simultaneous areas such as toilets, kitchens etc., or the actual number of occupants for which each occupied space of the floor is designed as shown on the plan, whichever is greater.

j. Emergency lighting and exit signs

Emergency lightings and exit signs serving the temporary workers’ quarters shall be in accordance with Cl.8.1. 

TABLE 9.3A STAIRCASE LANDING WIDTH/DEPTH
Stair Width Minimum Landing width Minimum Landing Depth
1 2.8 1.9 Allows mattress or stretcher evacuation only (i.e. no pedestrian passing)
1.25 2.8 1.9 Allows mattress or stretcher evacuation and restricted ambulant passing
1.5 3.2 1.55
1.75 3.6 1.35* Allows mattress or stretcher evacuation and ambulant passing.
2 4 1.25*
Note:
* = Clear landing depth, instead of the clear stair width, shall be taken for the purpose of calculating the exit capacity of the staircase.