Purpose/rationale– Building and property managers face a difficult task because they have to balance the legal requirements that will protect occupants of the high-rise buildings. Most developers do not abide by fire or building codes that require the buildings to be effective in providing emergency evacuation measures1.
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The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the present evacuation plans. Strategies that are used in building evacuations are very crucial in high-rise building fire safety. According to Butler, most studies have focused on elevators and exit stairs evacuation systems2.
The responses that were attributed to the evacuees during the 2001 attack at the WTC have ignited a lot of interest in the studies on evacuations in tall buildings. As stated by Winerman, architects have failed to consider appropriate emergency cases on evacuation3.
Aim– This study aims at developing strategies to assist planning committees to develop effective building evacuations in high-rise buildings for fire safety.
Objective– The objective of this study is to evaluate possible improvements to be used in high-rise buildings through an investigation of occupant relocation and strategies for evacuation that involve the use of modern technology. This study involves a review and compilation of available information on this subject.
In addition, this study provides an overview of architectural design, regulatory, as well as, a better understanding of the existing and emerging evacuation strategies.
Literature review– Evacuation plans for high- rise buildings is a controversial issue4. Building and regulatory agencies have taken a sensitive look at planning and evacuation phases for high-rise buildings. Some of the issues regarding evacuation plans involving tall buildings are concerned with the losses that occupants may encounter when they have to evacuate their premises5.
Because of their large scale and great height, the relation between existing technology and architectural design has been very dynamic in high-rise buildings6. The current architecture can be better understood through the recognition of the directions used in the design of architectural buildings7.
In the recent years, high-rise structures have become even much taller and the importance of the optimal structure design has become even more significant. The issues of vertical transportation, life safety, as well as fire safety have become very crucial in the high-rise buildings8.
Due to their great heights, the high-rise buildings have a design with enormous amount of resources and energy during their occupancy9. Currently, sustainability has become an important issue in the design of high-rise buildings in order to save the existing limited resources.
With the prevailing status, there is concern that these types of structures have generated a more thorough work on investigation into their roles and the technologies, which has become very important in the construction industry.
However, the suggestion that high-rise buildings are necessary to prevent congestion is impossible to sustain10. It is important to ascertain higher densities than the medium or low-rise developments, which in some instances may be less effective in utilizing space than other building alternatives.
High-rise buildings are important to prevent congestion in urban areas, in addition, high-rise buildings are energy efficient and improve other land uses such as transportation in the urban areas11. However, tall buildings are often associated with beauty of the landscape and efficient developments12.
Methodology – This study seeks to evaluate systems of developing sustainable evacuation systems for high-rise buildings. It will use descriptive methodology that will be aim at obtaining data regarding available evacuation systems from respondents. The descriptive methods are beneficial and the type data obtained will be used to provide tentative results of the study.
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This study will also develop procedures that will include interviewing the respondents and will include questions to obtain information from development managers. In addition, questionnaires will be designed to obtain information from development managers and officials from fire departments.
Thus, this study will involve both primary and secondary sources of data collection. The primary sources will include observations of the groups identified for five hours per week for a period of four weeks; it will focus on conversations at group meetings.
Interviews will be conducted to provide an insight into the conversations; I will attempt to conduct the interviews shortly after the conversations that will be of great interest.
The general strategy of the interviews will begin with broad questions and follow up on the responses of the respondents to capture their meanings and avoid imposing my meanings on the respondents. The secondary sources of data will be derived from scholarly journals or articles and books that will be relevant to the topic of study.
Limitation: The anticipated limitation is the time constraint that may be appropriate for this study, since there will be need for aspects of leadership practice, organization culture as well as team communication that may not be ascertained during the study.
BRE Methodology for Environmental Profiles of Construction Materials, Components and Buildings, 1999, pp. 19-21.
Butler, J, ‘Getting the Best of Fire Evacuation Drills,’ Fire Prevention, Vol.200, 1987, 26-28.
Corral, E A, Conducting Fire Drills in High-Rise Buildings, City of Houston Fire Department, Houston. 2007.
Inyengar, JH, Tall Building Systems for the Next Century, 4th International Kerensky Conference, 1997, pp. 22-34.
Jones, D L, Architecture and the Environment, Bioclimatic Building Design, Laurence King, London, 1998.
McCarthy, B, Multidisciplinary Engineering, Capability statement, London, 2001, pp. 12-23.
McCarthy, B, Structural Engineering, Building Services, Environmental Engineering, and Landscape Architecture Planning Supplementary Report, 2000.
National Fire Safety Association (NFPA), Life Safety Code (NFPA 101). Quincy. MA, National Fire Safety Association, 2006, pp. 12-23.
National Safety Council, Evacuation Systems for High-Rise Buildings, National Safety Council, IL, 2008, pp.21-29.
Newman, P & R Kenworthy, Cities and Automobile Dependence, An International Sourcebook, Gower Technical, London, 1989, pp 20-45.
Swamy, RN, Holistic Design – Key to Sustainability in Concrete Construction, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Vol 1. 2001, pp 1-5.
Winerman, L, Fighting Fire with Psychology, American Psychology Association, Monitor on Psychology, V. 35, No 8, 2004, pp. 28.
1 BRE Methodology for Environmental Profiles of Construction Materials, Components and Buildings, 1999, pp. 19-21.
2 J Butler, Getting the Best of Fire Evacuation Drills. Fire Prevention, V.200, 1987, 26-28.
3 L Winerman, Fighting Fire with Psychology. American Psychology Association, Monitor on Psychology, V. 35, No 8, 2004, pp. 28.
4 E A Corral, Conducting Fire Drills in High-Rise Buildings. City of Houston Fire Department. Houston, Texas. 2007.
5 P Newman & R Kenworthy, Cities and Automobile Dependence. An International Sourcebook, Gower Technical, 1989, pp 20-45.
6 National Fire Safety Association (NFPA).Life Safety Code (NFPA 101). Quincy. MA: National Fire Safety Association, 2006, pp. 12-23.
7 National Safety Council. Evacuation Systems for High-Rise Buildings. IL: National Safety Council, 2008, pp.21-29.
8 JH Inyengar, Tall Building Systems for the Next Century, 4th International Kerensky Conference, 1997, pp. 22-34.
9 B McCarthy. Structural Engineering, Building Services, Environmental Engineering, and Landscape Architecture Planning Supplementary Report, 2000.
10 D L Jones. Architecture and the Environment, Bioclimatic Building Design, Laurence King, London, 1998.
11 RN Swamy. Holistic Design – Key to Sustainability in Concrete Construction, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Vol 1. 1-5, 2001.
12 Multidisciplinary Engineering: capability statement, Battle McCarthy, London, 2001, pp. 12-23.