Open plan living - Need a fire suppression system?
One of the greatest benefits of Automist Smartscan® is the way it opens up multiple layout opportunities for open-plan living. Building regulations are tough on modern open plan layouts, especially in homes that are higher than a two-storey house and that involve stairways or hallways being combined into living areas. The concern with such projects is that a fire in a living area could prevent the use of the main escape route.
In these instances, building regulations will require you to use a fire suppression system, or face having your plans rejected. Automist® is an ideal solution thanks to its low impact on your home and easy LABC approval. At Intelligent Mist, we work alongside Building Control to get your plans approved.
Mouse over the different room combinations (on the right) to find out which combinations you’re allowed and which ones will require Automist®.
Three-storey open plan houses
In three-storey houses or buildings with three storeys and a basement, you’re generally allowed an open plan staircase on the ground floor, provided you install fire suppression to cover the open plan room. This ground floor room normally can’t include a kitchen, although sometimes Building Control will permit this – or other variations – based on a short report from a fire engineer that covers the fire safety of your property. If you’re simply combining a living room with a staircase, you should be able to use the Automist® ‘Registered Details’ for easy approval with any local authority, provided you meet their standard requirements regarding fire doors and escape windows.
Open plan flats
In a single-storey open plan flat, installing Automist Smartscan® can often allow you an open plan kitchen-diner-living area if you want it, with the bedrooms opening directly onto this open plan area. However, you might be asked for fire suppression throughout the whole flat. This is more expensive than just installing in a single room but has the advantage of easy approval from any local authority in England, Wales or Scotland through the Registered Detail EWS534. If Building Control is prepared to accept a report from a fire engineer, you may in some cases be able to reduce the coverage to just the open plan area.
If your flat is part of a block that’s more than seven storeys high, we recommend you double-check the approvability of your project with your Building Control provider.
Open plan not what you were looking for?
Automist Smartscan® is not just for open plan – it solves a couple of other problems too:
- New or converted four-storey houses (for example, after a loft conversion) must have two separate escape routes between the upper floors. For example, a house with a ground, first, second and third floor must have two separate staircases between the third and second floors. Fitting Automist Smartscan® can do away with the requirement for the extra staircase.
- Building a new home or an extension more than 45m from the road? If a fire engine can’t get to it, part B5 of the building regulations will take issue with your project. Fitting Automist Smartscan® may enable these distances to be greater, subject to agreement by Building Control and Fire and Rescue.
Unlock Open-Plan Living With Intelligent Mist...
Want to discuss the specifics of an Automist® installation, including Automist® costs? With hundreds of Automist® systems installed, there's a good chance that we've seen a situation like yours before. We'd be delighted to talk to you. Give us a call, or send project details through our contact form.