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Last edited 10 Oct 2017
A multi-storey building is a building that has multiple storeys, and typically contains vertical circulation in the form of ramps stairs and lifts. Multi-storey buildings range from 2 storeys to more than 150 storeys.
The number of storeys is determined according to the diagram below.
[Image source: Approved Document B2, ‘Fire safety: Buildings other than dwellinghouses’]
Depending on their height, multi-storey buildings may have particular considerations and requirements in relation to:
- Access and circulation.
- Fire safety and evacuation.
- Structural design.
- External air movement.
- Shading, views and right to light.
- Construction methods.
- Access for maintenance and cleaning.
Classifications of multi-storey buildings include:
- Low-rise: a building which is not tall enough to be classified as high-rise.
- Mid-rise: buildings of five to ten storeys, equipped with lifts.
- High-rise: more than 7 to 10 storeys.
- Skyscraper: 40 storeys or more.
- Supertall: exceeding 300m.
- Megatall: exceeding 600m.
 Structural types
The basic types of multi-storey structure (which may be used in combination) include:
Bracing is used to give stability so that columns can be designed as pure compression members. The beams and columns that form the frame carry vertical loads, and the bracing system carries the lateral loads. Braced frames reduce lateral displacement, as well as the bending moment in columns, they are economical, easily erected and have the design flexibility to create the strength and stiffness required.
For more information, see Braced frame structures.
For more information, see Shear wall.
For more information, see Shell and core.
Also known as ‘tube-in-tube’ and consists of a core tube inside the structure which holds services such as utilities and lifts, as well as a tube system on the exterior. The inner and outer tubes interact horizontally as the shear and flexural components of a wall-frame structure.
For more information, see Tube structural system.
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