GSA opposes new high-rise building provisions: STORY UPDATED

The dispute reflects a debate among safety officials and real estate executives nationwide as to how to respond adequately to the 2001 attacks.

09/12/2008


STORY UPDATE
GSA, after further evaluation, has clarified its position on two matters under consideration by the International Code Council.

GSA will withdraw its proposal to change (or reduce) the requirements for fireproofing (bond strength of sprayed fire resistive materials) applied to steel structures in tall buildings.

GSA will also withdraw its comment on an additional stairwell as there is now a comment to allow elevator evacuation to be considered. GSA’s proposal to use elevators for occupant evacuation helps to better evacuate buildings by providing an alternative means to safely. GSA’s goal has been that building designers should have options available to provide occupant evacuation, and those options can be applied to the individual circumstances of site, configuration, materials and building use.

Importantly, GSA will continue to support, as will NIST, four additional proposals that improve occupant safety—all of which support recommendations in the NIST World Trade Center report:
*Strengthen the code to plan for more stair capacity
*Add requirements for two-way communication systems between the elevator landing and the fire control center—this aids people with limited mobility to use stairwells
*Require a written fire safety and evacuation plan
*Strengthen the exit stair size requirement.

GSA's greatest responsibility is the safety and well being of people—a key way that GSA upholds this responsibility is by supporting and advocating construction standards that make our buildings safe and secure.


A New York Times story reports that the General Services Administration has joined some of the nation’s biggest landlords in trying to repeal stronger safety requirements for new skyscrapers that were added to the country’s most widely used building code last year, arguing that they would be too expensive to meet.

The new provisions, which include requiring tall office buildings to have more robust fireproofing and an extra emergency stairwell, were enacted as a result of an exhaustive federal study into the collapse of the twin towers at the World Trade Center seven years ago this week.

The General Services Administration, which serves as the federal government’s property manager, is now opposing the tougher standards, even though they were based on a report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology , which issues recommendations for safety standards after investigating fires and other building catastrophes.





No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Combined heat and power; Assessing replacement of electrical systems; Energy codes and lighting; Salary Survey; Fan efficiency
Commissioning lighting control systems; 2016 Commissioning Giants; Design high-efficiency hot water systems for hospitals; Evaluating condensation and condensate
Solving HVAC challenges; Thermal comfort criteria; Liquid-immersion cooling; Specifying VRF systems; 2016 Product of the Year winners
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me