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New office and administrative buildings are often characterised by open, spacious architecture. Frequently, access to the interior of the building is through areas with high ceilings that extend across multiple storeys – called atria. According to the model building regulation MBO Sec. 2 (4) point 5 and 6, office and administrative buildings with a gross floor area for individual rooms of more than 400 m², or used by more than 100 persons, are considered special structures.
Important regulations apply to structural, system engineering and organisational fire protection in office and administrative buildings, such as:
Other regulations may also apply if the building also houses assembly, sales, or lodging areas. These would include, for instance:
In addition, there are directives and occupational protection laws that regulate fire protection in workplaces.
According to MBO Sec. 33, “primary and secondary escape routes” are required in special structures, two structurally separated escape routes. The atrium is normally used as an escape and rescue route since it is used as a vertical access core for the individual floors. Therefore, the units of usable area must be separated from public areas through fire protection technology in order to keep the atrium clear of fire and smoke.
Lines and installations that pass through multiple floors must be installed in installation ducts, which must conform to MLAR 3.5.1. The closures of these shafts should generally be made of non-flammable materials and should be fire-resistant.
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