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Why safety and security is so crucial for high-rises

September 2016
Safety is always of paramount concern, but even more so with high-rise construction. 
Jairam Panch, Managing Director, Turner Project Management India, shares
some key safety issues that arise on high-rise construction projects in addition to the usual issues: “Fire considerations – evacuation procedures, protected staircases and temporary alarm systems; wind issues – hugely increased wind speeds on taller structures effecting workers, stored materials, and temporary structures including lightweight scaffolds; open shafts – lifts and mechanical risers; falling materials – large amount of open edges and significant heights involved; adjacent pedestrian and vehicle traffic.”
Generally, safety features comprise about 2-3 per cent of the project cost. Ani Ray, Managing Director, ACC (Arabian Construction Company), says, “It is important to have a proper safety department with trained safety inspectors, managers and stewards in order to ensure round the clock supervision of safety issues.” 
And, Raman Sapru, President-EPC, Omkar Realtors & Developers, adds, “Water sprinkler, fire hydrant, fire notifier, smoke detectors, pressurisation in lift wells and staircases etc, are used in high-rise construction.”
“Importantly,” says Dr HM Raje, Director, Raje Structural Consultants, “…with floating column systems and girders, dampers or shock absorbers are used.” The taller the building, the higher the displacement in an earthquake or wind. “To avoid these, dampers and outriggers are used,” Raje adds. Outriggers can be used at 1/3rd or 2/3rd of the height. “Another system, yet to come to India, is base isolation,” Raje points out. “With this, during large earthquakes, the structure vibrates horizontally, like a building on wheels.”