RealNews

NYC Panel Issues High-Rise Safety Tips

A task force assigned to evaluate the safety of the city’s high-rises after the World Trade Center collapse proposed broad changes in the building code, including a ban on the type of trusses that were used in the 110-story twin towers. “What we want to do in New York is to encourage people to live, work and build here, and to do that, we need to assure them that the buildings are safe for them,” said Patricia Lancaster, commissioner of the city Buildings Department, which convened the task force 11 months ago. Lancaster said New York City’s building code is already one of the most stringent in the world. But she added: “The world has changed now, and terrorism is something that we have to take into account.” In its report, task force said the adherence of fireproofing on the lightweight “open web bar” trusses used in the trade center has been called into question by investigations into the collapse. The group proposed prohibiting the trusses until the National Institute of Standards and Technology sets a standard for their use. “If that finds its way into the code, that would be a landmark provision,” said Glenn Corbett, a professor of Fire Science at John Jay College. “I think from a fire service perspective you would hear a collective `hurrah.'” Full Story

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