New TGD Part B – 2015 of the Building Regulations
The Pro-Fire team attended an update event hosted by “Engineers Ireland” recently at their Ballsbridge Headquarters on the new Part B (Fire) of the Building Regulations.
We are now armed and ready to update our clients on the new TGD(B)2015 when it is released to the general public, which they were promising for May, but we now hope to see it in June.
Some interesting changes which are proposed for the new TGD(B)2015 include completely changing the format from one guidance document into two separate volumes. This format follows in the UK’s footsteps, who have divided their Approved Document B into two volumes.
- Volume 1 is for dwelling houses and
- Volume 2 is for buildings other than dwellings.
Note that flats are included in Volume 2, even though they are “dwellings”, but this is because flats come under a requirement to obtain a Fire Safety Certificate, whereas houses are currently exempt from the requirement to obtain a Fire Safety Certificate for a house.
On another note:
At Pro-Fire & Design we have been asked to create “Fire Safety Statements” for the Assigned Certifiers and Design Certifiers who up until March 2014 were generally covered by the old regulations to sign off on these buildings.
Under the new “Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Buildings and Works” which was produced by the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government to provide guidance with respect to inspecting and certifying works for compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations, there is a great emphasis on fire-safety inspections and certification. It is mentioned under sub-headings several times in the document, leading most of our architectural clients to seek documentation to cover their certificates and requesting us to independently carry out the site inspections and sign the ancillary certificates for the whole Part B/ Fire Safety element of the Building Regulations.
Other changes in the new TGD(B)2015 will be a general update to the Codes and referenced standards which are now out of date. This will include the newest IS 3218: 2013 (Fire detection & alarm systems) and IS 3217: 2013 (Emergency lighting systems). It will also include BS 9999 and BS 9991. Some extracts from the latter document will likely be incorporated into the new TGD(B)2015 much like Approved Document B from the UK did with the older standard BS 5588.
There is an interesting inclusion of a new “purpose group” which will be called “Community Dwellings”. This is very refreshing news to Pro-Fire and Design, as we deal with a lot of these property types and often have to use a Fire Engineering solution to reduce the onerous costs of compliance to design these buildings to an unnecessarily high specification. This is great news for our clients. For these types of buildings, they are bringing in a new rule where they will not require a Disabled Access Certificate. The reason for this is because there is another suite of standards that these type of buildings need to follow, so it will make the whole process much easier.
One risky situation which will be removed from the new TGD(B)2015 is the ability to escape over flat roofs. This will no longer be allowed over buildings not in the same ownership. Experience has led all professionals involved in Fire Safety to see the issues with this situation. With the introduction of Management systems in the new TGD(B)2015 it is clear to see that managing your own property is difficult enough, without trying to manage another person’s property too.
In relation to the Management systems mentioned above, BS 9999 contains a matrix of different management levels, but in the new TGD(B)2015 they mentioned there will be an extra commentary on this, to reduce the level of management to a reasonable level which they have agreed is quite adequate. Hopefully, this will tie in with the Fire Safety Register to make everything easier to organise and follow.
They are proposing an expansion to the occupancy types from the 2006 version (TGD(B)2006) which we agree is much needed. Both BS 9999 and Approved Document B from the UK have expanded lists and this is welcome news, as we often have to refer to UK documents to propose alternative solutions, so this should simplify the process.
There are many more items changed which apply to houses such as changes to loft conversions, changes to the provision of replacement windows and clarification of wording, even down to the way the escape window opens in a house for rescue. The fire detection and alarm system specification and separating walls also see new upgrades in the new TGD(B)2015.
For commercial buildings, compartment sizes and evacuation lifts see changes and also clarification on refuges and measuring the width of a door.
At the end of the seminar there was a little bit of discussion. They discussed the requirements for sprinklers in new nursing homes, and changes to open-plan living arrangements in houses.
One attendee was concerned about the implications that the provision of sprinklers in new nursing homes would have on older nursing homes and very concerned about making little extensions or alterations to existing nursing homes. He sought to clarify this in the written document as he was concerned that a Local Authority Fire Officer might ask that the entire nursing home be upgraded If an extension was added, leading the whole project to become unfeasible.
Here at Pro-Fire & Design we are looking forward to the official release of the new TGD(B)2015 as it has been in the pipeline for a number of years.
When the document is released Pro-Fire and Design will be one of the first in line to update our clients with a detailed presentation on the real implications as to how they will affect clients, developers and architects, and the implications of the extra regulations on the cost to design and build.
* FROM EARLIER
A new service we are offering our Architectural clients is a “Pro-Fire-Cert” which is like a Fire Safety Certificate for a House.
We offer Ancillary Certification on houses too, as this has become increasingly popular in the last few months.
Most of our architectural clients are now seeking documentation (a “Fire Safety Statement”) to cover their certificates and requesting us to independently carry out the site inspections and sign the ancillary certificates for the whole Part B/ Fire Safety element of the Building Regulations.
Following a number of these requests since March 1st, 2014, we decided that what we were producing was essentially a Fire Safety Certificate for a house, and that our package was just like an Application for a commercial building.
Please note that a Fire Cert is not required under the current regulations for a house- We produce these only because our Architectural clients now demand them in their efforts to ensure compliance:
Our Package consists of the following:
- “Pro-Fire-Cert” for a 2 storey standard House(This can be described as being similar to a Fire Safety Application for a Commercial building, and contains a “Compliance Report” which shows the fire safety strategy, marked up drawings which show the fire detection specification and system and the Ancillary Design Cert for fire safety, and your Design cert for the Fire detection and alarm system)
- Ancillary Certification (Fire- Inspection and Completion) This is based on essential inspections being carried out also.
- Inspection and Report (Fire): To sign the certificate of compliance (The Inspection & Report & Completion certificates for Ancillary Certifiers) we need to carry out site inspections. The frequency is based on the Plan produced by the clients Assigned Certifier but we are finding for the Fire Safety element it is usually 1 or 2 for a standard sized two-storey house, and maybe 2-3 for a two storey house with a loft conversion and upgrade.
For a Quotation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone us at 045-409 134