Square Pegs & Round Holes: Bridging the Gap Between International Codes and Local Expectations

Simon Lay
Director
OFR Consultants, Manchester

Tall buildings are a critical aspect of achieving safe and sustainable urban densification. Aside from the top-of-the-market penthouses and urban escapes, tall buildings need to provide homes for the masses, so that slums and deprivation are avoided. Emerging economic zones need and want tall buildings to drive urbanization, but without a legacy in tall building design, construction, and maintenance, there is often a tendency to fall back onto international building standards, which were originally developed for geographies where tall buildings are part of the historical landscape. Alternatively, local codes may borrow from international codes, and local approvers may all too often come to presume that the local code delivers safety, when this is not the case. This presentation explored some of the key challenges for bridging between local codes and expectations and the appropriate use of international standards, to ensure that high-rise buildings can be safe, economic, and sustainable in emerging economic zones. The presentation focused on case studies that include tall buildings in India, South America, Angola, and Sri Lanka.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation

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