Is the ground floor the first storey?


In the UK, does the ground floor = the first storey?
Or is it the ground storey, with the next floor up (ie upstairs) being the first storey?
I've just been through a pile of both official government guidance and guidance published by local authorities on height-related fire safety measures and the approach is not consistent.
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First floor is above the Ground floor.
But when they are talking about storeys the ground floor is the first story.
ss.
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Way back when I was a kid in Ireland, you walked in off the street on Ground then up to first, second etc.
I don't recall noting any difference in the UK or Continent during forays to said.
Your use of words "floor" and "storey" brings up questions I don't know the answers to.
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I live in the UK
The floors are labled as follows
Ground Floor, First Floor, Second etc
A two storey building would be Ground + First
Hope that makes sense
Tim
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As I walk through the city, gazing down on my minions, occaisionally catching an ogle at a rooftop sunbather, should I want to number the floors of a building I start by discarding the roof and peeling my way down until it comes up dirt.
Screw the roof, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ... n-2, n-1, n, dirt. "n floors."
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I've seen similar naming in other parts of Europe. Typically (if you look on the elevator buttons) the floor at grade will be labeled 0, with the 1st level above grade being 1, and so on. In doing projects in Europe I've just designate our plans by the height above grade. For example: Grade level designated as +0.0M, next level +6.0M, etc. I've had confusing moments in the past by using the american version of level 1 (our at grade level) and then having the clients having question marks form over their heads when they think the building is a level shorter than they were led to believe.
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On 25 Jul 2005, Don wrote

But it's not, Don: the ground floor is the ground floor, but it's the first *storey*.
A distinction is made here (and throughout Europe) between storeys and "floors": they're not synonyms. (The first is a structural term, whilst the second has to do with naming the elements.)
As mentioned elsewhere in the thread, UK and European lifts are always labelled on the lines of G/1/2/3.
FWIW, "0/1/2/3" has become a common way to avoid using a language- specific letter for the ground floor: it eliminates what one sees in older French lifts: RdC/1/2/3.
(One tries to avoid language-specific letters for labelling: the oddest one to English eyes is probably found on bathroom taps in France and Italy, where the tap marked "C" is for hot.)
--
Cheers, Harvey
Architectural and topographical historian
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Tim wrote:

>

Tim:
I often work in New York City that is approximately 30K. to the NE of Edison, New Jersey, where I live.
Mysticism still prevails in the building codes in NYC.
The elevator panels number the floors in this way:
Roof Level [If appropriate] 17 16 15 14 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 Mezzanine [If present] Street (Ground Floor that is nearly always denoted by a five pointed             star (*) or the word "STREET"] [get it --- that means "st"],             however, people from elsewhere including me think "st"             means something else, or something associational or             nothing. Street level, if only they would say that is the first             proper floor of a building. Basement Sub-basement 1 Sub-basement 2 Garage Level[s]
The New York City Building Code writers and probably some builders maintain that 13 is an unlucky number and is to be avoided.
Floors 1 and 13 are rarely identified on the elevator (or, more rarely, lift] switch panels.
. . . . . . .
BTW: Please indulge me a story.
The IBM building in NYC is located at 58 th. St. and Madison Avenue. A block or so south was a new skyscraper being constructed. The several garage levels below grade, which had been mined out of solid 4B YO schist, had been framed in steel. That TOS level reached what may be designated to be the (*) level. The steel workers were placing steel columns beginning at (*), and those were for the extra high banking lobby and entrance of the building. The columns were, if I recall, cross shaped with possibly 20" by 20" O.A. size and 3" thick flanges. The column length was more than 25 ft. it seemed. What was neat was the crane. In NYC they place an unimaginable amount of giant wood timbers beneath the tracks to distribute the load. Bright night lights illuminated the area at Madison Ave. Three workers were guiding the heavy steel column for the lobby level into place, and not touching the metal. Would you believe, they were standing around. A fourth worker was giving directions to the crane operator with tiny motions of his fingers, e.g., this-way-that way-up-down-stop. The massive piece of welded steel was gently lowered and positioned into just the right place over the steel frame column below.
I had stayed approximately fifteen minutes, and I was an aware audience of one. What a moment of satisfaction it must have been for those steel workers. They and I said approvals and I went on my way home. The workers went on to build the rest of the skyscraper. Those guys are really proud of what they do, and most of us haven't a clue of what that means. I know what they mean when they say that, "I helped build that". The architects who exist in the pseudo client safety of Post Modernist Surrealism and mental social distortions often have little idea of what is going on in the construction world, in the real and physical world, and the world of real pride and satisfaction.
Ralph Hertle
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On 24 Jul 2005, John wrote

As Tim has posted, the ground floor is the first storey; the first floor -- the next one up -- is the second storey. (That is, a two- storey building has ground + first floors.)
The terms are clearly open to confusion, though, and it doesn't really surprise me that you've found inconsistencies in documents issued by various local authorities.
--
Cheers, Harvey
Architectural and topographical historian
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same was true in Switzerland. Basement ground floor 1st floor on and on.

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That's what I said, not Tim. But looking at my AJ mags I realise that it is done both ways with storeys here in the UK. But with buildings with three or more storeys, in all the examples I have looked at, the ground floor is refered to as the first storey in any elevations.
ss.
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On 25 Jul 2005, Synapse Syndrome wrote

-snip-
Ah: I know he mentioned something about ground+first, but I wasn't sure who clarified what. Sorry.

Elevations. Now you've done it, and set me off on historical terms for these things.
It surprised me a bit when I discovered that "elevation" for the facade of a building seems relatively new -- at least in practice -- as one comes across a lot of early 19thC drawings which don't use it at all: the terms on such drawings tend to be "Front" and "Back Front". (I find the latter term kind of cute, but then then I'm easily amused...)
Another oddity-to-modern-eyes is the use of "Basement" for a floor which isn't below grade. (The lower-than-normal floor at ground level of a Palladian villa -- below the piano nobile -- is the "basement".)
And to return to floors/storeys, those early 19thC drawings usually label the first and second floors as "One Pair" and "Two Pair", a name which came from the number of flights of stairs needed to reach them. (A now-disused alternative name for a flight of stairs was a "pair of stairs" -- along the line of a pair of scissors or trousers, it referred to one thing with multiple elements.) "One pair of stairs" was shortened to "One Pair", and was transferred to the name of the storey. I wonder if this influenced the UK convention of naming the storeys -- that is, it's a logical progression from "ground floor/one pair/two pair" to G/1/2.)
--
Cheers, Harvey
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From OP:
My initial source of frustration, if anyone's interested, was Approved Document B (and if you're a fan of English/Welsh fire regulations, point your browser at http://www.odpm.gov.uk/stellent/groups/odpm_buildreg/documents/page/odpm_breg_027756.pdf)
Where storeys are designated by ordinals (ie second, third), it starts counting at ground storey rather than first storey. Thus the upper storey of what it (correctly) calls a two storey building is described (in my view incorrectly) as the first storey.
In UK practice generally, the storey two in a two storey building would generally be called the second storey.
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On 26 Jul 2005, John wrote

I agree entirely. The only term I've encountered in the UK for the upper level of a two-storey building is either the "second storey" or the "first floor"; it's not the "first storey" (as that's the ground floor).
I've never come across "ground storey".
--
Cheers, Harvey
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John wrote:

Why is there an "e" in "storey?"
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On 26 Jul 2005, 3D Peruna wrote

For the same reason that there's a "u" in "colour"?
--
Cheers, Harvey
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