What the second staircase guidance means for the industry

Andrew Mellor_PRP_crop

The long-awaited guidance will give developers confidence to proceed on projects, but debates will continue, writes Andrew Mellor

In December 2022 the government announced that all new residential buildings over 30m would require two staircases. During consultation, evidence presented by and pressure from a number of industry bodies persuaded the government that the height threshold should be lowered.

Consequently, in July 2023 it was confirmed that the proposal had changed and all new residential buildings with a habitable floor level over 18m will now require a second staircase. At this time, the provisions to support the firefighting function of a second core were not stipulated, including lift type and size, lobbies, and ventilation to the cores.

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