How will you integrate egress into your design work?
What are the most important elements to consider when designing safe egress
Exit stairs and pathways are important due to post occupation evaluation be it be 1980 or 2016. But the initial rules on egress as of New York City’s stair code and maybe the entire North America, maybe not, were imposed around early 1860, when stairs had to be fire resistant because the stairs themselves disintegrated and left the dwellers trapped or dead. Some forms of early regulations for north America and the U.S. primarily, 1860,- egress stairs, 1911- triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, 1942-Cocoanut Grove fire.
The result of tested incidents lead building authorities to define fire proof stairs, exits to be safe and non suffocating for anyone escaping away from the fire, The idea of a safety exit, allowing the stairwell to control and deter fires, standpipes to be more useful than a hindrance to firefighting.
The basic stair requirements according to Ching’s building construction:
“Stairway Width 44″ minimum, 36” for stairways max load 49 or less
“Handrails be at 4′- 1/2″ into required width”
“Landings- wide as staircase, minimum, length equal to stair width “, Open doors must not intrude into required width by 7″ greater”
“Handrails on both sides of the stairs”
When integrating staircase, circulation paths, stairs/ramps into design consider at least how the adjustments will work to the over all design. If the code requirement does not mesh with a design then a mediation must be made. If your design is a narrow slender arcade, gallery and the requirement creates a horrible disjoint to then a mediation space must be made or a complete redo of the design.
For a design to incorporate codes, consider small spaces potential, since dead space can somewhat be revived if not completely redesigned.
In a design egress should be the primary objective, since your house or building cannot exist without any occupants, otherwise your design is not for people.