The effect of building design, regulation and operation on the facility management of performing arts auditoria in Hong Kong

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The effect of building design, regulation and operation on the facility management of performing arts auditoria in Hong Kong


Author: Taylor, Mark
Title: The effect of building design, regulation and operation on the facility management of performing arts auditoria in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Facility management -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Building Services Engineering
Pages: xxx, 159 p. : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: This work examines the facility management of performing arts auditoria and how building design, regulation and operation have a particular effect on the safety of such an establishment. Accidents may be expected at work but not in recreation. The theory and literature review of this work starts from this premise and considers auditorium risk from fire and panic, from an historical point of view and the development of safety legislation in response to major disasters to avert their reoccurrence. This is then placed in context with the Hong Kong situation given its legislation and theatre buildings. More recent cases with fire engineered solutions are detailed, as is the psychology of able and disabled participants in evacuation and the need for effective evacuation signage. Hong Kong venue management and venue safety are then compared with those in existence elsewhere. A case study of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre forms the core of the work. It examines in detail the daily operation of the Centre and the normal ingress, circulation and egress of those patrons using the Grand Theatre for a performance. Data is provided for audience capacity and provision of means of escape together with dimensions relating to audience seating and gangways. The emergency evacuation of the Grand Theatre is described fully with photographs and drawings of emergency routes and tabular materials indicating possible exit and staircase loading. Conclusions put forward that the key fundamental to maintaining overall enjoyment of all elements of the event is good facility management. There is a particular responsibility and need in such buildings far three essential issues to be addressed. To minimise risk; to prevent panic, should it occur; and to provide a clearly designated safe egress from the auditorium. Concerns regarding the combustible nature of scenery and likelihood of fire or malicious act requiring an emergency evacuation are weighed against the fire detection and fire fighting provisions available within the building and the management procedures in place to handle such an incident. The adequacy of the escape signage and escape staircase provision are also discussed. Recommendations are made against the specific case study to immediately improve management procedures, improve escape signage and mitigate specific escape staircase loading. Further recommendations are made to study future improvement to the fire detection and staff warning systems, improve industry standards of scenic construction and improve regulations pertaining to auditoria to achieve parity with international best practice. Comparative data for evaluating the key aspects of auditoria layout and safe egress is provided, as a review tool for existing auditoria or considering a new building.

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