6.1 General

Buildings of height 15m and above shall be considered as high rise building.

Note: These provisions shall be in addition to the Chapter 3 for plan sanction procedure, general building requirements (low/high) given in Chapter 4 of this document and structural safety given in Chapter 6.  

6.2 Means of access

a. A building shall abut on a street or streets or upon spaces directly connected from the street by a hard surface approach road. The width of approach road shall be as prescribed in the Zonal Regulations.

b. The approach road to the building and open spaces on its all sides shall be as prescribed in the Zonal regulations and wherever vehicular driveways are required to be provided, the same shall be reinforced to ensure safety of the fire equipment and capable of taking the weight of Fire engine, weighing up to 45 ton

c) The said driveway shall be kept free of obstructions and shall be motorable.

d. Main entrances to the premises shall be of adequate width to allow easy access to the fire engine and in no case, it shall measure less than 4.5 m. The entrance gate shall fold back against the compound wall of the premises, thus leaving the exterior access way within the plot free for movement of fire service vehicles. If archway is provided over the main entrance the height of the archway shall not be at a height less than 5m.  

6.3 Parking Spaces

a. The parking spaces shall be provided as per the provisions of Master Plan and Zonal Regulations as prevalent. The location of parking spaces shall be well ventilated. 

b. In case of high-rise buildings parking will be permitted at any/all of the following:

i. Basements

ii. Stilt floor

c. Stacked/ Multi-level/ Automated parking  

6.4 Building components

6.4.1 Doorways

The doorway requirements shall be as prescribed in Clause no.5.2.6  

6.4.2 Revolving Doors

Revolving door shall not be provided as a means of fire exit  

6.4.3 Stairways

a. A staircase shall not be arranged round a lift shaft.

b. The staircase shall be ventilated to the atmosphere at each landing and a vent at the top; the vent openings shall be of 0.5 Sq.m in the external wall at the top. If the staircase cannot be ventilated, because of location or other reasons, a positive pressure 50 Pa shall be maintained inside. The mechanism for pressurizing the staircase shall operate automatically with the fire alarm. The roof of the shaft shall be 1 m above the surrounding roof. Glazing or glass bricks if used in staircase, shall have fire resistance rating of minimum 2 hour.

c. The minimum width of staircase shall be as per Table 4.3:

d. Handrails shall be provided with a minimum height of 0.9m from the center of the tread.

e. Access to main staircase shall be gained through adequate fire resistance rating specified in Chapter 11. Automatic closing doors shall be placed in the enclosing walls of the staircases. It shall be a swing type door opening in the direction of the escape.

f. No living space, store or other fire risk shall open directly into the staircase or staircases.

g. External exit door of staircase enclosure at ground level shall open directly to the open spaces or can be reached without passing through any door other than a door provided to form a draught lobby.

h. The exit sign with arrow indicating the way to the escape route shall be provided at a height of 0.5m from the floor level on the wall and shall be illuminated by electric light connected to corridor circuits. All exit way marking signs should be flushed with the wall and so designed that no mechanical damage shall occur to them due to moving of furniture or other heavy equipment’s. Further all landings of floor shall have floor indication boards indicating the number of floor. The floor indication board shall be placed on the wall immediately facing the flight of stairs and nearest to the landing. It shall be of size not less than 0.5x 0.5m and it shall be prominently on the wall facing the staircase.

i. In case of single staircase it shall terminate at the ground floor level and the access to the basement shall be by a separate staircase. However, the second staircase may lead to basement levels provided the same is separated at ground level by either a ventilated lobby with discharge points at two different ends or through enclosures with fire resistance rating door specified in Chapter 11 or through a fire protected corridor.  

6.4.4 Lifts General requirements of lifts shall be as follows:

a. All the floors shall be accessible for 24 hours by the lifts. The lifts provided in the buildings shall not be considered as a means of escape in case of emergency. In a dual line arrangement (lifts opposite to each other) the lobby may be between 1.5 times to 2.5 times the depth of one car. For in-line (single line) arrangements the lobby may be typically half of the above recommendations.

b. Grounding switch, at ground floor level, to enable the fire service to ground the lift shall also be provided.

c. The lift machine room shall be separate and no other machinery shall be installed there in.

d. Walls of lift enclosures and lift lobby shall have fire rating of 2 hour; as specified in Chapter 11; lifts shall have a vent at the top of area not less than 0.2 Sq.m

e. Lift car door shall have a fire resistance rating of 1 hour.

f. Lift lobby doors in lift enclosures shall have fire resistance as specified in Chapter 11.

g. Collapsible gates shall not be permitted for lifts and shall have solid doors with fire resistance of at least 1 hour.

h. If the lift shaft and lobby is in the core of the building, a positive pressure between 25 and 30 Pa shall be maintained in the lobby and a positive pressure of 50 Pa shall be maintained in the lift shaft. The mechanism for pressurization shall act automatically with the fire alarm; it shall be possible to operate this mechanically also.

i. Lifts if communicating with the basement, the lift lobby of the basements shall be pressurized as suggested in clause 12.9.1(g) and 12.9.1(h) with self-closing door with fire resistance rating as specified in Chapter 11. Telephone or other communication facilities shall be provided in lift cars and to be connected to fire control room for the building.

j. Exit from the lift lobby, if located in the core of the building, shall be through aself-closing fire door of half an hour fire resistance.

k. Suitable arrangements such as providing slope in the floor of lift lobby shall be made to prevent water used during firefighting, etc., at any landing from entering the lift shafts.

l. A sign shall be posted and maintained on every floor at or near the lift indicating that in case of fire, occupants shall use the stairs unless instructed otherwise. The sign shall also contain a plan for each floor showing the locations of the stairways. Alternate source of power supply shall be provided for all the lifts through a manually operated changeover switch.

m. For Pressurization Specifications of various building components refer NBC Chapter 4 Fire and Life Safety Clause 4.10 Pressurization of Staircases(Protected Escape Routes) 

6.4.5 Basements General requirements

Basement floors shall be permitted as prescribed in the Zonal Regulations Requirements for High rise development

a. Each basement shall be separately ventilated. Vents with cross-sectional area (aggregate) not less than 2.5 percent of the floor area spread evenly round the perimeter of the basement shall be provided in the form of grills or breakable stall board lights or pavement lights or by way of shafts. Alternatively, a system of air inlets shall be provided at basement floor level and smoke outlets at basement ceiling level. Inlets and extracts may be terminated at ground level with stall board or pavement lights, but ducts to convey fresh air to the basement floor level have to be laid. Stall board and pavement lights should be in positions easily accessible to the fire brigade and clearly marked ‘SMOKE OUTLET’ or ‘AIR INLET’ with an indication of area served at or near the opening.

b. The staircase of basements shall be of enclosed type having fire resistance rating as specified in Chapter 11. The staircase shall be situated at the periphery of the basement to be entered at ground level only, from outside open air. The staircase shall communicate with basement through a lobby with self-closing doors with fire resistance rating as per relevant NBC code mentioned above.

c.In multi-storey basements, intake ducts may serve all basement levels, but each basement level and basement compartment shall have separate smoke outlet duct or ducts. Ducts so provided shall have the same fire resistance rating as the compartment itself. Fire rating may be taken as the required smoke extraction time for smoke extraction ducts.

d. Mechanical extractors for smoke venting system from lower basement levels shall also be provided. The system shall be of such design as to operate on actuation of heat / smoke sensitive detectors or sprinklers, if installed, and shall have a considerably superior performance compared to the standard units. It shall also have an arrangement to start it manually.

e. Mechanical extractors shall have an internal locking arrangement, so that extractors shall continue to operate and supply fans for HVAC shall stop automatically with the actuation of fire detectors.

f. Mechanical extractors shall be designated to permit 30 air changes per hour in case of fire or distress call. However, for normal operation, air changes schedule shall be as given in Part 8, Building Services, Section 3, Air-conditioning, Heating and Mechanical Ventilation of National Building Code, 2005.

g. Mechanical extractors shall have an alternative source of supply.

h. Ventilating ducts shall be integrated with the structure and made out of brick masonry or reinforced cement concrete and when this duct crosses the transformer area or electrical switchboard, fire dampers shall be provided.

i. Use of basements for kitchens working on gas fuel shall not be permitted, unless air conditioned. The basement shall not be permitted below the ward block of a hospital/nursing home unless it is fully sprinkled. Building services such as electrical sub-stations, boiler rooms in basements shall comply with the provisions of the Indian Electricity Act / Rules. Boiler room shall be provided at the first basement along the periphery wall with fire resistance rating as specified in Chapter 11or shall be separated with the blast wall. 

j. If cutouts are provided from basements to the upper floors or to the atmospheres, all sides’ cutout openings in the basements shall be protected by sprinkler head at close spacing so as to form a water curtain in the event of a fire.

k. It is essential to make provisions for drainage of any such water on all floors to prevent or minimize water damage of the contents. The drain pipes should be provided on the external wall for drainage of water from all floors. On large area floors, several such pipes may be necessary which should be spaced 30 m apart. Care shall be taken to ensure that the construction of the drain pipe does not allow spread fire / smoke from floor to floor.  

6.4.6 Compartmentation

The building shall be suitably compartmentalized so that fire/smoke remains confined to the area where fire incident has occurred and does not spread to the remaining part of the building. Compartmentation and Pressurization method shall be adopted (as per clause 4.10 of Part 4 of NBC, 2005) to protect escape routes against ingress of smoke, or toxic gases into the escape routes will be prevented. Pressurization shall be adopted for high rise buildings and building having mixed occupancy/multiplexes having covered area more than 500 Sq.m  

6.4.7 Ramps

Ramps shall be provided as prescribed in Clause 5.2.5  

6.4.8  Corridors

a. Exit corridors and passageways shall be of width not less than the aggregate required width of exit doorways leading from them in the direction of travel to the exterior

b. The minimum width of a corridor in a residential building shall be 1.0 m for single loaded and 1.8 m for double loaded and in all other buildings shall be 1.5m.

c. Where stairways discharge through corridors and passageways, the height of corridors and passageways shall be not less than 2.4 m.

d. All means of exit including staircases lifts lobbies and corridors shall be ventilated.  

6.4.9 Glass Façade/ Service Ducts/Shafts/ Refuge Area/ Vents

a. An Opening to the glass façade of min. width 1.5 m and height 1.5m shall be provided at every floor at a level of 1.2 m from the flooring facing compulsory open space as well as on road side. Construction that complies with the fire rating of the horizontal segregation and has any gap packed with a noncombustible material to withstand thermal expansion and structural movement of the walling without the loss of seal against fire and smoke.

b. Mechanism of Opening: The openable glass panel shall be either left or right shall have manual opening mechanism from inside as well as outside. Such openable panels shall be marked conspicuously so as to easily identify the openable panel from outside. c. Fire seal to be provided at every floor level between the external glazing and building structure.

d. The glazing used for the façade shall be of toughened (tempered) safety glass as per I.S.2553.

e. To avoid fire propagation vertically from one floor to another floor, a continuous glass I must be separated internally by a smoke/ fire seal which is of noncombustible material having a fire resistance rating of not less than 2 hours.

f. Service ducts and shafts shall be enclosed by walls and doors with fire resistance rating (Refer Clause 12.7.1 of Chapter 12). All such ducts/shafts shall be properly sealed and stopped fire ingress at all floor levels.

g. A vent opening at the top of the service shaft shall be provided having an area between one- fourth and one-half of the area of the shaft.

h. The openable vent of minimum 2.5% of the floor area shall be provided. The openable vent can be pop out type or bottom hinged provided with fusible link opening mechanism and shall also be integrated with automatic Smoke Detection System. or

i) Alternate vertical glass panels of the façade shall be openable type with the mechanism mentioned above in order to ventilate the smoke.

ii) Refuge areas covered with the glass façade shall have all the panels fully openable (either left or right hinged) both from inside as well as outside. Glass quality and Practice of use of Glass in buildings shall have to be in conformity with the BIS codes as given in Table 5.1 below: 

IS Code


2553(Part 1):1990

Specification for safety glass: Part 1 General purpose (third revision)


Specification for flat transparent sheet glass (third revision)


Specification  for  silvered  glass  mirrors  for  general  purpose(second revision)


Specification for figured rolled and wired glass (first revision).


Specification for transparent float glass.

16231 Part 1

General methodology for selection

16231 Part 2

Energy and Light

16231 Part 3

Fire and Loading

16231 Part 4

Safety related to Human Impact

6.5 Building Services

6.5.1 Staircase and Corridor Lighting

a. The staircase and corridor lighting shall be on separate service and shall be independently connected so as it could be operated by one switch installation on the ground floor, easily accessible to firefighting staff at any time irrespective of the position of the individuate control of the light points, if any.

b. Staircase and corridor lighting shall also be connected to alternate supply from parallel hightension supply or to the supply from the stand-by generator.

c. Emergency lights shall be provided in staircase and corridor/ passageway, horizontal exits, refuge area; and all wires and other accessories used for emergency light shall have fire retardant property.  

6.5.2 Electrical Services

a. The electric distribution cables/wiring shall be laid in separate duct the duct shall be sealed at every floor with non-combustible materials having the same fire resistance as that of the duct. Low and medium voltage wiring running in shaft and in false ceiling shall run in separate conduits.

b. Water mains, telephone cables, intercom cables, gas pipes or any other service line shall not be laid in the duct for electric cables. Use of bus ducts/solid rising mains instead of cables is preferred.

c. The provision of dedicated telecommunication ducts for all new building proposals is mandatory for conveyance of telecommunication and other data cables.

d. Separate circuits for water pumps lifts, staircases and corridor lighting and blowers for pressurizing system shall be provided directly from the main switchgear panel (for detailed specifications refer NBC 2005, Chapter 4 Fire and Life Safety).  

6.5.3 Alternate Source of Electric Supply

A stand-by electric generator shall be installed to supply power to staircase and corridor lighting circuits, fire lifts, the stand-by fire pumps, pressurization fans and blowers, smoke extraction and damper system in case of failure of normal electric supply. The generator shall be capable of taking starting current of all the machines and circuits stated above simultaneously. If the stand-by pump is driven by diesel engine, the generator supply need not be connected to the stand-by pump.  

6.5.4 Air-conditioning Air-conditioning shall conform to the following:

a. Escape routes like staircases, common corridors, lift lobbies, etc. shall not be mused as return air passage.

b. The ducting shall be constructed of substantial gauge metal in accordance with good practice.

c. Wherever the ducts pass through fire walls or floors, the opening around the ducts shall be sealed with materials having fire resistance rating of the compartment.

d. Where duct crosses a compartment which is fire rated, the ducts shall be fire rated for same fire rating. Further depending on services passing around the duct work, which may get affected in case of fire temperature rising, the ducts shall be insulated.

e. Metallic ducts shall be used even for the return air instead of space above the false ceiling.

f. Where plenum is used for return air passage, ceiling and its fixtures shall be of noncombustible material.

g. The materials used for insulating the duct system (inside or outside) shall be of noncombustible material; glass wool shall not be wrapped or secured by any material of combustible nature.

h. Air ducts serving main floor areas, corridors, etc. shall not pass through the staircase enclosure.

i. The air-handling units shall be separate for each floor and air ducts for every floor shall be separated and in no way inter-connected with the ducting of any other floor.

j. If the air-handling unit serves more than one floor, the recommendations given above shall be compiled with in addition to the conditions given below:

i. Proper arrangements by way of automatic fire dampers working on smoke detector / or fusible link for isolating all ducting at every floor from the main riser shall be made.

ii. When the automatic fire alarm operates, the respective air-handling units of the air conditioning system shall automatically be switched off.

iii. The vertical shaft for treated fresh air shall be of masonry construction.

iv. The air filters of the air-handling units shall be of non-combustible materials or fire rated (Refer Clause 12.7.1 of Chapter 12)

v. The air-handling unit room shall not be used for storage of any combustible materials.

vi. Inspection panels shall be provided in the main trunk line to facilitate the cleaning of ducts of accumulated dust and to obtain access for maintenance of fire dampers.

vii. No combustible material shall be fixed nearer than 150 mm to any duct unless such duct is properly enclosed and protected with non-combustible material (glass wool or spyglass with neoprene facing enclosed and wrapped with aluminum sheeting) at least 3.2 mm thick and which would not readily conduct heat.  

6.5.5 Transformers

a. If transformers are housed in the building below the ground level it shall be necessarily in the first basement in separate fire resistance room of 4 hours rating. Transformer shall be dry type and shall be kept in an enclosure with walls, doors and cut-outs having fire resistance rating of 4 hour. The room shall necessarily be at the periphery of the basement having separate and direct access from open area at ground floor through a fire escape staircase. The entrance to the room shall be provided with a steel door of 2 hours fire rating. A curb of a suitable height shall be provided at the entrance in order to prevent the flow of oil from ruptured, transformer into other parts of the basement. The switchgears shall be housed in a separate room separated from the transformer bays by a fire-resisting wall with fire resistance not less than 4 hours.

b. The transformer shall be protected by an automatic foam sprinkler system. When housed at ground floor level it/they shall be cut-off from the other portion of premises by Fire Resisting Walls of 4 hours rating.

c. A tank of RCC construction of adequate capacity shall be provided at lower basement level, to collect the oil from the catch pit in case of emergency. The pipe connecting the catch-pit to the tank shall be of non-combustible construction and shall be provided with a flame-arrester.

d. The electric sub-station shall be located in a separate building in accordance toI. E. Rules 68(I) and 64(I) (a).

e. If this is not possible due to site conditions, the sub-station shall be located on the ground floor. As far as possible sub-station shall not be installed in a basement, for such situations special provisions like mechanical ventilation, wherever required, cable ducting, cable trays, top/bottom entry of HV/LV cable, hooks on Transformer(s) & HV panels, adequate fire detection and firefighting arrangement, adequate drainage, effective measures to prevent flooding etc. shall be provided. Adequate precautions shall also be taken for water proofing to prevent seepage of water. A ramp shall also be provided with a slope, not steeper than 1 in 7, for easy movement of equipment’s to and from sub-station.

f. Fire regulations – The installations shall be carried out in conformity with the local regulations and rules there under wherever they are in force. At other places NBC guidelines shall be followed.

6.5.6 Gas supply

a. Town Gas / L.P. Gas Supply Pipes – Where gas pipes are run in buildings, the same shall be run in separate shafts exclusively for this purpose and these shall be on external walls, away from the staircases. There shall be no interconnection of this shaft with the rest of the floors.

b. LPG distribution pipes shall always be below the false ceiling. The length of these pipes shall be as short as possible. In the case of kitchen cooking range area, apart from providing hood, covering the entire cooking range, the exhaust system should be designed to take care of 30 cum per minute per Sq.m of hood protected area. It should have grease filters using metallic grill to trip oil vapors escaping into the fume hood.

Note: For detailed information on gas pipe installations, reference may be made to Para.9 ‘Plumbing Services, Section 3 Gas Supply’, of National Building Code of India. 

c. For large/commercial kitchens all wiring in fume hoods shall be of fiberglass insulation. Thermal detectors shall be installed into fume hoods of large kitchens for hotels, hospitals and similar areas located in high rise buildings. Arrangements shall be made for automatic tripping of the exhaust fan in case of fire.

d. If LPG is used, the same shall be shut off. The voltage shall be of 24 V or 100V DC operated with the external rectifier. The valve shall be of the hand re-set type and shall be located in an area segregated from cooking ranges. Valves shall be easily accessible. The hood shall have manual facility for steam or carbon dioxide gas injection, depending on duty condition; and Gas meters shall be housed in a suitably constructed metal cupboard located in a well-ventilated space, keeping in view the fact that LPG is heavier than air and town gas is lighter than air. 

6.5.7 Boiler Room

Further, the following additional aspects may be taken into account in the location of Boiler/Boiler Room:

a. The boiler shall not be allowed in sub-basement but be allowed in the first basements away from the escape routes.

b. The boilers shall be installed in a fire resisting room of 4 hours fire resistance rating, and this room shall be situated on the periphery of the basement. Catch pit shall be provided at the low level. Entry to this room may be provided with a composite door of two-hour fire resistance.

c. The boiler room shall be provided with fresh air inlets and smoke exhausts directly to the atmosphere.

d. Foam inlets shall be provided on the external walls of the building at the ground floor level to enable the fire services to use foam in case of fire.

e. The furnace oil tank for the boiler, if located in the adjoining room shall be separated by fire resisting wall of 4-hour rating. Entry to this room shall be provided with a composite door of 2hour fire resistance. A curb of suitable height shall be provided at the entrance in order to prevent the flow of oil into the boiler room in case of tank rupture. 

6.5.8 Helipad

Buildings above 200 m in height, helipad may be provided.  

6.5.9 Disaster Management / Fire Safety

Refer Chapter 11 of this document.  

6.5.10 Sustainable Environment and Buildings

Refer Chapter 10 of this document  

6.5.11 Structural Safety

As per provisions made for Structural Safety in Chapter 6