What you should know about Refuge Area in Construction
All contractors are required to read and adhere to building bylaws in order to ensure all buildings follow a uniform safety code. High rise buildings must have a demarcated space where people can get shelter in case of an emergency.
Define Refuge Area
When a fire breaks out, a refuge area may be defined as a place where people can take shelter. These pieces of land are usually illegally used by the owners of apartments built by the developer.
There are two types of buildings: residential and commercial. Nine story or above buildings are considered high rises in India. A refuge area is defined as this area. Classified Buildings as high rises can comply with a few fire safety standards. A Refuge Area is also designated on the terrace floor of the building.
Importance of Refuge Area
In high buildings, refuge areas are essential areas where accidents may pose a risk to lives. After getting on paper approval for building such a facility, builders were selling this area to residents for private use, according to the authorities. Before issuing completion certificates to high rise buildings, civic bodies must examine whether the refuge area requirements have been met as shown on the approved map.
Refuge Area Rules for Building
In a high rise building, refuge areas should be located every seven floors or after 24 meters. For refuge areas of buildings, a few additional safety rules must also be observed.
1. A building's refuge area must be clearly marked by a well lit passage, which must be provided by the real estate developer. The lift staircase should never open in the refuge area, as it should only be locked in case of trouble.
2. Community gatherings should never take place in the refuge area.
3. Only troubled people should be able to enter the refuge area of a high rise building.
4. As a society, they must clean refuge spaces at least once a week.
Floor Space Index
The refuge area has been sold by builders at lucrative rates in some cases. For this reason, building codes provide clear guidelines for calculating the floor area of refuge areas so that such misuse can be prevented. The refuge area may not exceed four percent of the live able floor area it serves. In addition, the Floor Space Index does not include refuge areas.
Refuge Areas Alternatives
The requirement for an alternate refuge area applies to high rises greater than 70 meters or with more than 24 stories. At the alternate mid landing level of the staircase, reinforced concrete cantilever projections can be seen as the alternate refuge area.
Residential buildings should have a minimum width of 3 meters, and high rise commercial buildings should have a minimum area of 10 square meters. Additionally, the builder must create a clear path to the refuge area, with brightly painted signs posted everywhere.
In these spaces, lifts or staircases should not be opened, since they should serve as temporary shelters for occupants in case of trouble.
Safety Rules for Refuge Areas
Every 70 meters, this should cover one entire floor of the building. Refuge areas should never be locked during troubled times, just as their doors should not be locked.
To learn more, watch the following video tutorial.
Video Source: Shagun Gherde
There can never be a temporary or permanent purpose for the refuge area, such as a place for community cooking, storage, or recreation. Floor fire checks are mandatory when a building is higher than 70 meters.