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Fire EngineeringSome key changes to the Code of Practice for Fire Safety in Buildings 2011
1Some key changes to the Code of Practice for Fire Safety in Buildings 20111.0 GeneralThe Buildings Department of Hong Kong have released the Code of Practice for Fire Safety in Buildings 2011, which will be fully implemented from 1 April 2012 for all new buildings and A&A works in Hong Kong. The existing codes of practice (MoE, FRC and MoA) can be adopted in parallel until this day.The new code was written based on the consultancy study on fire engineering approach and fire safety in buildings undertaken by Arup. In general, the new code has been written to remove outdated clauses and follow generally recognised practices adopted by both local and international designers in performance-based framework. For example, compartment limits for most buildings are now based on area rather than volume.The new code is split in Part A to Part G. Part A of the new code set up the scene for fire safety design of buildings, where the performance requirements are described in Section 2 of this part. This includes the high level objectives of fire safety design. Designers can choose to strictly follow the clauses in Part B, C and D to comply with performance requirement. Part B, C and D are simply the replacement for MoE, FRC and MoA codes, and following this approach is considered as adopting the “deemed to comply” approach.Alternatively Fire Engineering Approach is also a recognised approach in parallel to meet the performance requirements. Part G provides guidelines for fire engineering approach. Many of the fire engineering solutions require fire safety management to complete the full picture and this is addressed in Part F. Finally, Part E simply addresses the fire properties of materials used for building elements and components. Fire tests and standards are described in detail in this part.
2Some key changes to the Code of Practice for Fire Safety in Buildings 20112.0 Changes impacting means of escapeUse classificationThe introduction of use classification is now in accordance to the type of occupancy (sleeping, awake, familiar and unfamiliar with the building) and the associated content risk. They are divided into 8 different classifications under Clause B4.1.