The Towering Inferno


Fire safety regulations provide a significant restriction on the planning of tall buildings. The location and nature of egress points, lifts and smoke control have a measurable impact on the floor plate design of tall buildings and as a result contribute heavily to planning decisions early in the design process. This thesis will investigate the implications of fire legislation on the design and resultant form of tall buildings.

The regulation of fire safety has developed in response to a history of building fires which have caused avoidable deaths and injury, providing the basis for minimum standards which have been written into law. As economic forces drive the growth of tall buildings to higher and higher limits, the demand and pressure to provide a higher standard of building safety in the event of a fire has become more pressing and increasingly legislated.

To study the theoretical and practical implications of fire safety regulations on the design and the resultant form of tall buildings, a series of case studies has been selected from both Hong Kong and Brisbane. These examples are all designed under different legislation and illustrate that there is a direct relationship between the legislation of building and design outcomes.

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