Pressurisation is one of the possible solutions to provide smoke ventilation in escape stairs, common lobbies and corridors in residential buildings as required by Approved Document B and is recommended for fire-fighting stairs in buildings taller than 30m (BS 9999 & BS 9991).
Mechanical ventilation is mentioned in ADB, but only with reference to pressurisation. Nevertheless it has become commonly used as an alternative to natural smoke shafts, providing equivalent or improved performance and is a possible solution in BS 9991.
How do you decide which to use? The decision is influenced by legislation and Standards, building configuration, budget and space requirements. There is no universal “right” choice, but there’s certainly a best choice for each individual building.
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