Guys, I do think the 'regulations' are all there.
Everything is covered, and the designer will have demonstrated compliance by following the recommendations of our Part B TGD and B.S. 5588 Part 1 (Residential Buildings).
Also have a look at the revised U.K. Part B:
While it is correct that Technical Guidance Documents are Guidance, and that the designer can demonstrate alternative methods, Items such as openings for escape or rescue from rooms at first & second floors are a requirement.
My fire consultant noted that whenever a house fire is reported in the media where the occupants survive, they either escape, or are rescued through the windows in the majority of cases.
So my main thesis is that the breath and depth of our written regulations are fine.
Some designers may feel encumbered by these requirements diluting their design concept, as some obviously still have difficulty incorporating measures for accessibility.
But we need to get over that and design within practical parameters, which are there for very good reason.
A few years ago in Oporto I climbed the bell tower in Siza's Santa Maria Church in Marco de Canavezes. The lack of any handrail was a head wreck. The public space outside had an unprotected drop to a paved surface nearly a floor below. It all looked stunning. Maybe children don't run around over there?
I don't think sensible practical restraints in our regs. do/should detract from the design integrity of our work.
Last year our practice designed a scheme of four dwellings within one L-shaped building as part of an existing farmyard. A fire cert. was required, but at planning stage the fire officer came back with a request for further information on a number of items, which would have had a significant impact on the design.
Our client would have been entitled to think that we had failed to address these issues.
We got our fire consultant involved and he illustrated to the fire officer how he had 'misinterpreted' the guidance on all points, by reference to Part B and B.S. 5588.
So the problem, as I see it, relates to the standard of enforcement of our regulations: either with too much zeal (as above) or, as in my first example, where the main intent of the safety of occupants is seemingly of lesser importance than the cost & inconvenience of replacing a few defective windows.