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B.C. looks for input on single egress stairway designs

DCN-JOC News Services
B.C. looks for input on single egress stairway designs

VICTORIA – The Province of British Columbia has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) looking for a response from consultants with building design, engineering, fire and life safety expertise on the potential for use of single egress stair (SES) designs in B.C. buildings.

Current B.C. Building Code (BCBC) and B.C. Fire Code (BCFC) requirements call for at least two egress, or exit, stairwells per floor in many buildings three storeys and higher, and the RFP seeks options for what would be needed to protect safety, access and egress of occupants, while achieving the benefits of single egress stair designs in buildings up to eight storeys, a release said.

“The opportunity for new multi-family residential buildings to be designed as single stair could be a game-changer for cost savings in our projects, that could directly contribute to lowering rents. It could also make development feasible on smaller lots,” said Cool Aid Society director of real estate development Steven Hurst in a statement.

“Small lots are often the only opportunity non-profit societies have to create new housing, but most can’t accommodate a multi-family building under the current regulations without needing to acquire neighbouring properties at increased expense and longer timelines.”

SES building designs can build on advancements in fire and life safety, while requiring only one exit stairwell per floor, the release said, adding the design promotes efficiency by removing requirements for space dedicated to internal corridors and staircases, allowing for better use of space for building occupants.

The RFP will be open to consultants until Feb. 21 and can be viewed here.

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