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Circulation Standards for Primary Schools
Circulation Standards for Primary Schools

There should be ease of circulation and orientation for students, staff and visitors. While coming to school from any entrance, it should be possible to move to any point in the school without meeting an area of congestion. The minimum clear width of corridors shall be 2.0 M

In a public access balcony the balustrade height should be decided considering the risk associated with projectiles [school bags, books, and pupils] being dropped over the handrail. A minimum height should not be less than 1.4 M. 
Circulation and Social Areas are generally calculated on the basis of 18% of the total area of teaching and non-teaching space within the internal face of the external walls of the school.

  • The school main entrance area should have a strong sense of arrival and space.
  • Internal signage should be clearly visible to all users. Particular regard should be paid to signage for students with special needs
  • Corridor should be a minimum of 1800mm clear in width. The 1800mm clear width applies from the face of any storage/lockers etc. in the corridors.
  • All areas at ground floor level should be accessible to all building users.
  • Where design proposals involve buildings of two or more storeys and providing that:
     The floor area is below the recommended floor area requiring the provision of a lift set down in the Technical Guidance Document to Part M of the Building Regulations, and
     The same range of accommodation for all building users is available at ground floor level also, a lift will not normally be required.
  • Where a lift and suitable fire escape refuges are to be provided and funded by the Department, the Design Team shall consult with the Planning & Building Unit regarding specific advice on lift types etc.
  • Designers should make use of natural lighting, space and colour in the circulation areas.
  • Floor and wall finishes should be appropriate for the school’s needs and location; durable finishes should be specified.
  • Draught-proof lobbies should be provided at the main entrance.
  • Stairs should have threads, risers, and balustrading, etc in accordance with Technical Guidance Document to Part K of the Building Regulations and appropriate for use by young children.
  • Doors should be easy to open and close. Care should be taken in the design of the door; frame, and opening mechanism to eliminate injury to fingers etc, and adequate vision panels for small children should be considered.
  • Windows should be double glazed, easy to clean and maintain, and have permanent ventilation louvres in addition to high and low level opening sashes. Vents should contain baffles for noise, wind and rain.
  • Permanent vents and opening sashes should exceed the current guidelines set out in the Technical Guidance Documents to the Building Regulations. Rooflights may be considered.
  • The position and size of opening window sashes must take ease of operation into account and maintain an adequate level of safety, i.e. sashes opening dangerously over adjacent paths at ground floor level; use restrictors where necessary, etc.
Access and circulation

•Pathways that allow freedom of circulation around the school are linked to better
student outcomes, although this finding is not consistent across all studies.
•There must be equitable and sufficient access for all students located in appropriate
places around the school.
•Care should be taken to avoid unintentional physical barriers such as kerbs,
thresholds, or heavy doors.
•Consider corridor width to allow equitable circulation.
•Accessibility for those with reduced manual dexterity should be considered during
the design phase.

To ensure best practice in physical access and circulation, many design guidelines show the influence of Universal Design and Universal
Design for Learning. Universal Design aims for ‘products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible,
without the need for subsequent adaptation or specialised design.
Number of exits in school ( Educational) building

The minimum required number of exits in a building shall  be  determined  based  on  occupant  load  and width required per person as  appropriate  to  the  type  of  exit  for  respective occupancies, subject to complying with maximum travel distance requirement .

As par National Building code (NBC) 2016 PART- 4 TABLE 5 : 

In Educational occupancy Group (Group B) Maximum Travel Distance is 30.00 Meter in Type 1 and 2 construction and 22.50 Meter in Type 3 and 4 construction type. 
For fully sprinklered building, the travel distance may be increased by 50 percent of the values specified. that is 45.00 Meter in Type 1 and 2 construction and 33.75 Meter in Type 3 and 4 construction type. 
Ramp shall not be counted as an exit in case of basements below the first basement in car parking.

Arrangement of exits

a) Exits shall be so located that the travel distance on the floor shall not exceed the distance given above 
b) Travel distance shall be measured from the most  remote  point within  a  storey  or  a mezzanine floor along the natural and unobstructed path of horizontal or vertical egress travel to the door to an exit.
c) The dead end corridor length in exit access shall  not  exceed  6  m  for  educational occupancies. (see figure below)
[Image: attachment.php?aid=341]
d) Exits shall be placed as remote from each other as possible and shall be arranged to provide direct access in separate directions from any point in the area served

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Manish Jain Luhadia 
B.Arch (hons.), M.Plan
Tel: +91 141 2743536 

Thanks all of you for sharing such useful information on circulations in school 

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