The Italian Ministerial Decree of 8 June 2016 introduced a new technical standard for office buildings which follows up on the renewal process of fire safety design set off by the Code of Fire Prevention (Ministerial Decree of 3 August 2015)(“Codice di Prevenzione Incendi”). It is the first vertical technical standard which integrates the Code by extending its applicability to the activities subject to fire prevention as listed under n.71 of the Presidential Decree 151/2011.
From 23 july 2016 an alternative to the previous Ministerial Decree dated 22 February 2006 can be taken into account when designing fire safety strategies for office buildings; standing out for its conciseness, the new standard on the one hand maintains the design framework of the Codice but on the other hand annnexes activity-type specific measures.
Comparing the two above-mentioned, equally effective and mutually alternative vertical technical standards concerning office buildings some differences clearly arise. The application field serves as an example; while the recent standard only regulates the offices with more than 300 bystanders respecting hereby the activity 71-threshold of the Decree 151/2011, the 2006 standard outlined technical previsions for offices with over 25 bystanders.
Therefore the latest standard entrusts the horizontal technical one of the Codice with the regulation of the offices where the number of bystanders is lower than 300.
In addition, other non specifically office activities are regulated for the first time through the new standard provided that these result functional and suitable to the offices they are located next to.
The extended application implies that the communication of offices and non-strictly related spaces is not any longer excluded a priori; the designer is rather entitled to the strategy to outline.
Although further news do not directly arise from the wording of the law itself, they do indeed result from the assimilation of the design skeleton of the Codice: