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The new fire regulations now look at the building as being capable of storage and its potential fire cell load. This is due to the need to future proof the building, rather than rely on the proposed design use.
Though the racking storage height may be 4m of a building design, the apex height is 7m – the capable of storage definition (greater than 5m), the building will fall under risk group where sprinklers may be necessary.
There are two main categories where all commercial buildings are analyzed:
(1) High level storage and high risks Risk group WS : Warehouses with storage 5m, cool stores 3m & bulk retail 3m This category requires sprinkler system to be installed in the building.
(2) Business, Commercial & low level storage Risk group WB : This category may not require sprinkler systems in the building. But this depends on the apex height and or the knee height. This category of the building will require Alarm system depending on the height of the storage and the number of occupants in the building, but usually A type 2 Manual Alarm system is not required if occupancy in building is less than 50 and storage height is less than 3.0m. There are many design and boundary issues that the new code addresses, and these need to be explained correctly for your clients specific building situation.