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Safety concerns for the new age of high-rise buildings

Blog Post created by kristinbigda Employee on Jun 26, 2015

"Pre-fabulous"?  "Plyscrapers?"  The future of high-rise buildings is here...and it's a little scary if you ask me!

 

In the past couple of weeks I have come across two articles addressing emerging trends in high-rise building design and construction:

 

Pre-fabricated construction:

The skyscraper built in a matter of weeks - CNN.com

 

Use of timber in high-rise design:

Architects design 'world's tallest' wooden skyscraper - CNN.com

 

High-rise buildings are being constructed faster than ever before, utilizing pre-fabricated pieces and sections.  In the story link above, a 57 story skyscraper was constructed in a mere fraction of the time to that of a building similar in size constructed under traditional building techniques.  But, does saving time and money mean we are compromising safety?

 

With the Green movement accelerating, the construction industry is looking towards experimenting with alternative materials and those with a more positive impact on the environment.  The second link above discusses the design and construction of the world's tallest wooden skyscraper.  Buildings constructed with timber materials have traditionally been only a few stories in height. Now, the world is starting to explore the potential to go much taller with similar materials.  Would you be comfortable in a 35-story building constructed out of wood?

 

There are still many unanswered questions to these emerging trends.   Hopefully, above all, we can keep safety in the forefront of the push towards taller, faster and greener.

 

Visit www.nfpa.org/highrise for additional information and the updates on the latest work of the High-Rise Building Safety Advisory Committee.

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