Extra Considerations to Make When Designing a High Rise Building

High rise buildings are increasingly common because of the demand for high-density development. They allow people to live and work in close proximity to amenities. However, there are extra considerations to make when designing a high rise building that one doesn’t have to deal with when designing suburban homes and two-story office buildings. Here are a few of them.

The Importance of Safety during Construction

Construction is a dangerous enough job as is. High rise construction is even more dangerous. Falling from the roof of a two-story home will result in broken bones. Falling from the 20th floor without adequate fall protection is lethal. Risk management is one way to identify and mitigate these risks. Safety training before people begin work is another option, though it shouldn’t be the only one.

Some risks only exist at certain stages of the project. For example, you don’t have to worry about crane collapses during preliminary activities. The damage high wind gusts can cause exist at every stage of construction, though risks will increase with height. The solution is planning for the risks that come with each stage of construction and systematically eliminating or mitigating them. Having plans in place so that you can continue work when high winds or bad weather make outside work unsafe can minimize the disruptions to your construction schedule.

The Value of Policies that Improve Everyone’s Safety

If safety training for everyone before the start of the project is standard practice, you will minimize the risk of someone getting hurt because they don’t know better. Encouraging open lines of communication can help managers know when safety hazards need to be addressed or employees are being pushed to cut corners on safety to meet performance standards. Forbid smoking on the premises to minimize the risk of fires and explosions and make monitoring of this part of the regular routine.

The Necessity of Planning for Emergencies

When the power goes out, infrastructure like lights in common areas and elevators go out. This poses a risk to the safety of people inside high rises. That explains why many building codes make emergency generators compulsory for both new buildings and old buildings.

Backup power must at a minimum supply power to emergency lights and exit signs, and the backup power should be separate from an on-site generator you may keep running. Work with electrical engineers to install backup systems that meet the local building code, and consider backups of the backups. If you can keep elevators running or provide near-normal power levels while everyone else has gone dark, the building occupants will appreciate it.

The Long-Term Impact of Design Choices

Fall protection methods used during construction include netting, standpipes, and sidewalk sheds. However, buildings should be designed with the safety of occupants and maintenance staff. Don’t ask someone to climb around on the outside of the building without adequate fall protection to fix air conditioners or clean gutters. Install railing, barricades, and other safety features where a fall could occur, and make it durable to last for years.


High-rise buildings have many benefits. However, they bring with them significant risks we can only mitigate with detailed planning and constant vigilance.

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