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Experts attack post 9/11 safety standards

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FIRE SAFETY experts this week slammed new post 9/11 fire safety standards for tall buildings as unnecessary and too expensive to implement.

The Council for Tall Buildings and the Urban Habitat (CfTBUH) said proposed revisions to international codes would make it mandatory to add a third staircase to any building more than 180m high. Current standards stipulate that such buildings have at least two stair cases for emergency evacuation.

These standards are applied by local and state authorities in the US and in other parts of the world, including South America and the Middle East.

CfTBUH fire engineering group chairman Simon Lay said implementing the proposed revisions could remove 3-5% from the available commercial oor space in buildings, enough to make investment unprotable.

Lay re engineering director at consultant WSP, currently the consultant on e of the new buildings at Ground Zero.

'The new provisions proposed by New Jersey are intended to ensure evacuation capacity is sufficient in an 'extreme' event.

But we think the same safety can be achieved by engineering the building's performance adequately, ' he said.

A typical solution would be to ensure that structural cores are robust and built with concrete or a similar material, he added.

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