- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 30 Sep 2017
Fire risk in high-rise and super high-rise buildings DG 533
BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.
Ensuring high-rise buildings are safe presents a number of challenges. For example, there is no standard definition of what a high-rise building is. Traditionally, in the context of fire, high-rise buildings have been considered to be buildings high enough that a fire cannot be fought using standard firefighting methods. As a result, there are significant differences to the fire safety measures required in high-rise buildings. These related to; the number of occupants high above the ground, the possibel adoption of a phased evacuation strategy or a ‘defend in place’ strategy, the length of time needed to evacuate and so on.
Fire risk in high-rise and super high-rise buildings: Prevention and mitigation (DG 533) was written by David Charters, Roisin Cullinan and Emma Warren, and published by BRE on 21 August 2014.
The 12-page digest provides guidance about the nature of fire risk in high-rise and super high-rise buildings and how it can assessed and mitigated. It reviews a number of fires in high-rise buildings and presents theoretical and quantitative analysis of fire risks.
The digest is intended for designers (such as architects and engineers), approval authorities (such as building control bodies and fire officers), as well as the owners, operators and insurers of high-rise buildings.
The contents of the digest include:
- The nature of high-rise buildings.
- Existing guidance for fire safety in high-rise buildings.
- Fire events in high-rise buildings.
- Examples of high-rise building fire events.
- One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia, 1991.
- World Trade Center, New York, 2001.
- Cook County Administration Building, Chicago, 2003.
- Windsor Tower Fire, Madrid, 2005.
- Analysis of fire risks in high-rise buildings.
- Risk as a function of the height of a building.
- Analysis of fire statistics.
- Computer model for fire risk in high-rise buildings.
- Results of analysis.
- Findings and conclusions.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Automatic fire sprinkler systems: A good practice guide.
- BRE articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BRE Buzz articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BRE Buzz.
- Building Research Establishment.
- Fire in buildings.
- Fire protection engineering.
- Fire safety design.
- Grenfell Tower fire.
- High-rise building.
- Managing fire risk in commercial buildings: A guide for facilities managers.
- Tallest buildings in the world.
Featured articles and news
'Developed design' is a phrase coined by the RIBA for their 2013 Plan of Work. But what does it actually mean?
New green paper published aiming to rebalance the relationship between landlords and residents and tackle stigma.
RIBA calls for a comprehensive ban on combustible materials.
Lump sum contracts can be referred to as ‘fixed price’ contracts, although strictly this is not correct. Find out more here.
Ramboll offer guidance to civil engineers on how to make projects 'off-site ready'.
Government announces its Rough Sleeping Strategy, with further funding for social housing.
An overlooked architect who deserves to be celebrated for his wide range of buildings.
The Home Quality Mark ONE technical manuals for new homes are now available.
Read our introductory article to 'Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning' (HVAC) in buildings.
BIG's first of two twisting towers in Manhattan tops out.
Is data an untapped goldmine for productivity? How the infrastructure sector can capitalise on the opportunity.