Evacuation and life safety strategies for occupants in super tall buildings Essay Example

Evacuation and Life Safety Strategies for Occupants in Super Tall Buildings


  1. Objectives

The main objective of this study paper is to propose the possible improvements in ensuring life safety in tall buildings by investigating the relocation of occupants as well as the evacuation strategies involved in use of elevators, exit stairs, sky bridges in addition to the possible other combinations thereof. To fully realize this goal the specific study objectives to be interrogated include:

  • To identify the major behavioral factors that affect response by rescue teams during times of disaster in super tall buildings.

  • To review the current strategies as well as procedures adopted in high-rise buildings.

  • To review the capacities of the existing evacuation models in facilitating evacuations from high-rise buildings.

  • To suggest the specific areas that call for more research in the quest to guarantee safe evacuations from high–rise buildings.

  1. Synopsis
    Over the years, the need for concrete evacuation strategies in high rise buildings has become a reality especially after the September 27, 2001 attacks on World Trade Towers in New York City (Vanney, 2014). The terrible resultant situation even in the light of eventual collapse of the wounded structures effectively brought to the fore the fundamental failure in design of exit strategies for both tall and super tall structures (Fernandez, 2011). The effective management of a crisis or challenge in a building goes a long way in minimizing the effects of the disaster on not only the staff, visitors and occupants but also the general operations within the given premises. According to Edwards (2007), so far, most studies have focused on exit stairs and elevators though there is still need to focus on the combination of the two evacuation strategies coupled with sky bridges particularly for tall buildings. This study paper will seek to review the most viable plans in dealing with unforeseen disasters so as to enhance the safety and quality of lives.

  1. Rationale of the Project

This paper has been prepared to provide a clear guideline in considering the right evacuation strategy when it comes to flee from a super tall building. The necessity to leave would result from incidences of hazardous material, equipment failure, structural damage, arson or even in the event of fire. It is important to note that poor coordination of the evacuation plans can only translate to delays and consequently possible injuries. This creates the need to develop clear procedures that can be understood and practiced occasionally by the occupants for a particular building when need arises. The purpose of this research, therefore, is to formulate suitable evacuation procedures to avoid or minimize casualties among high-rise building occupants in case of an emergency. The measures will include proper management plans to handle catastrophic incidences with the necessary urgency; orderly and safe evacuation strategy in addition to timely detection of emergency incidences.

  1. Study Methodology

To adequately address the specific objectives of this study, a literature review will be conducted first. The background study will seek to bring together various theories touching on the subject of evacuations and life safety strategies with an aim of getting a clear view of the current procedures and singling out their main weaknesses as well as proposing the most viable approaches on the whole subject. Further, the process of study will have to put up with a very keen interest on the much touted view that guaranteeing security in high-rise buildings is a tall order (Kinateder et al., 2014; Edgar & Chow, 2011).

Data for the research work will be obtained from a number of secondary sources — books, the internet, and journals — whose pioneer researchers have or had tackled the subject of safety in super tall buildings. Additionally, questionnaires will also be administered among the various stakeholders to get their views on the entire subject of safety. In this case, samples selected for the study will be acquired through probabilistic sampling; in particular, simple random sampling since each firm or stakeholder will have an equal chance of being chosen.

  1. Method Limitations

The study will arguably focus on buildings that mainly house offices and other social amenities. However, as Fang Li (2009) observes, other forms of building usage are also possible like storage meaning that behavioral issues and associated design considerations may present different characteristics.

  1. Timetable


DURATION (July 2016 to Sept. 2017)

Conceptualization of an Idea

Development of the idea into a problem statement

Preliminary design

Preliminary Presentations(Research Plan)

Implementation of the proposed changes in the research plan and acceptance

Material gathering for data collection

Data collection and analysis

Writing of the final proposal

Discussion of the final proposal with the supervisors

Amendments of the final proposal in line with supervisors’ advice

Presentation of the Final proposal

Compiling the final proposal report for onward forwarding to implementing agencies


Edgar, C, L., Chow, W.K., 2011, Fire Safety Concerns on Existing Supertall Buildings and Proposed Upgrading in Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China

Edwards, J, 2007, Evacuation of High Rise Buildings, MFESB Community Safety Advisory Group

Fang Li, 2009, The Evolution of Building Evacuation Design in China, Menara Prestige, No. 1 Jalan Pinang

Fernandez, J, E, 2011, Escaping with your life, Gingko Press

Kinateder, T., Omori, J., Erica, D, K, 2014. The Use of Elevators for Evacuation in Fire Emergencies in International Buildings, National Institute of Standards and Technologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.6028/NIST.TN.1825

Vanney, F, A, 2014, Aligning Architectural Vision and Fire Safety Strategies in Super Tall Buildings, Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc