The National Building Code of India (NBC), a comprehensive building Code, is a national instrument providing guidelines for regulating the building construction activities across the country. It serves as a Model Code for adoption by all agencies involved in building construction works be they Public Works Departments, other government construction departments, local bodies or private construction agencies. The Code mainly contains administrative regulations, development control rules and general building requirements; fire safety requirements; stipulations regarding materials, structural design and construction (including safety); and building and plumbing services. The building that does not satisfy building code or violation of National building code will lead to penalty, cancellation of sanction or demolition of the building.
Building codes generally include:
- Building codes are generally separate from zoning ordinances, but exterior restrictions such as setbacks.
- Requirement for specific building uses.
- Rules regarding parking and traffic impact.
- Fire code rules to ensure safe evacuation in the event of a fire.
- Specifications on material components
- Allowable installation methodologies
- Minimum and maximum room and exit sizes and location
- Qualification of individuals or corporations doing the work
- For high structures, anti-collision markers for the benefit of aircraft
Importance of right decision in design: Every decision an interior designer makes affects life safety and quality of life. There are over 700 fires per month in buildings accessed by the public where interior finish materials and content were the first items ignited. Those 700 fires per month cause 23 civilian deaths, 330 civilian injuries and over $399 million in direct property damage.
Role of Interior designers in reducing the damage?
Interior Design is a unique profession with a unique body of knowledge. While providing for the health and safety of the public, an interior designer seeks to optimize and harmonize the uses to which the built environment will be put. Interior Designers routinely make decisions regarding health, safety and welfare including complex issues of air pollution, space planning, designing for specialized need populations, fire-safe fabrics and other materials, relevant codes and standards protecting durability and quality, lighting, color, etc.
Interior Design is much more than the applications of aesthetics. Interior Design requires a specialized domain of knowledge and analytical skills and acute judgment to utilize that knowledge in the creation of spaces which are functionally safe, efficient and aesthetically pleasing
Barrier-free design: It is the process a professional designer undertakes to ensure all products, materials and furnishings meet the needs of a person with clinical issues such as arthritis, hearing loss, eyesight loss, immobility problems, and other issues such as needing to sit to prepare meals, use a sink, reaching capabilities, etc., and all related issues that create a comfortable, easily maneuverable living and/or working environment for many people.
- Entry doors, corridor widths
- Flooring transitions, non-skid surfaces
- Restroom facilities
- Furniture design and placement
- Way finding, signage
Fire code safety issues Fire Codes differ from building codes, but are required in conjunction with building codes, developed by the National Fire Protection Agency for safe use of fabrics, fibers, furnishings, materials and surfaces to eliminate or significantly reduce the incidence of fire and thereby reducing loss of life. Professional Interior Designers frequently specify fabrics, papers, furniture and furnishings for interior spaces which must meet fire safety codes or risk client injury.
Personal injury issues Personal injuries can occur if a designer specifies and/or recommends a product for personal use, whether in a commercial setting such as an office or in the home. Knowing the client’s physical limitations assists the professional designer in making correct choices to eliminate or significantly reduce additional injury to the client. A professional Interior Designer is educated in gathering important information from clients in order to specify and recommend products which cause no harm. Personal Injury Issues include - Ergonomic injuries such as Carpel Tunnel Disease; - Air,water and noise pollution such as Sick Building Syndrome
Life Safety vs. Property Protection: The basis for building-code development is to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the public. The first and foremost goal of building codes is the protection of human life from the failure of life safety provisions in a building, or from structural collapse. While many systems may perform both life safety and property protection functions, it is essential that code developers keep the issue of life safety versus property protection in mind. For example, security measures to prevent intrusion into a structure may become hazards to life safety. A prime example of this is burglar bars on the exterior of ground floor windows that can trap inhabitants of the building in an emergency if there is not an interior release to allow occupants to escape while still maintaining the desired security. In no case should property-protection considerations have primacy over life safety.
Guidelines for Educational, Medical or Hospital and office or commercial buildings.