SR245 Fire design for aging residential occupancies (2011)
This report was prepared during research into fire safety design associated with residential occupancies that are predominately older adults.
Metrics of use when characterising an intended building occupancy for emergency evacuation during a fire must cover the three major areas of functionality: physical, sensory and cognitive functionality. Data sets considered from various surveys (e.g. for healthcare, disability access, assisted care programmes, etc.) must be interpreted in relation to the context of the initial collection intent and how that influences the range of results in terms of the applicability of use characterising intended building occupants during an emergency event.
Design of buildings to facilitate access for people with disabilities during normal activities is fundamentally different to design of accessible emergency escape. That is, an accessible route is not an accessible escape route. Similarly, an escape route is not an accessible escape route. Fire safety design must be specifically tailored to the fire safety design objective for the intended functionality of the building and usage by the intended occupancy.
A draft for a common framework for various fire safety-related analysis of performance-based building design approaches to be used in the selection of fire-safety scenarios for the assessment specific designs are included and discussed in terms of potential application to residential building with intended older adult occupancies.