On March 30, 2023, 2021 Michael Evamy Scholarship recipient Conrad Speckert presented his winning research thesis “The Second Egress: Building a Code Change” at DIALOG’s Toronto Studio.
Conrad spoke to DIALOGers about the first attempt to decode the requirement for two exit stairs in the National Building Code of Canada, to document its adverse effect on the design of small apartment buildings, and to compare Canada with other jurisdictions where this is not required.
Michael Evamy Scholarship recipient Conrad Speckert presents at DIALOG Toronto studio.
His research study argues that a single-means-of-egress design can meet fire safety criteria and has since evolved into a project funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to submit a code change request to the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes.
By challenging the existing code requirement and proposing a single-means-of-egress, Conrad’s research has the potential to lead to more feasible midrise and low-cost housing solutions. His study underpins the idea that architects should actively question and contribute to the rules they work with, in order to create better and more efficient living environments.
Diagram courtesy of secondegress.ca
DIALOG supported this research as it brings great hope of catalyzing valuable changes that can lead to more affordable housing in Canadian communities and bring transformational change for Canada’s built environment.
About the Michael Evamy Scholarship
DIALOG established the Michael Evamy Scholarship to honour the memory of Michael Evamy, a partner instrumental in building its integrated practice from 1966 to 1993. The award provides financial assistance to the selected Canadian student attending a Canadian school of architecture in the year prior to their final year of study, to undertake a specific research project in a field of interest to them and relevant to the practice of architecture.