By Dan Goodwin
President / Skyscraper Defense, Inc.
In an age where skyscrapers are being constructed taller and taller, and the threat of another terrorist attack is looming on the horizon like an approaching class five hurricane, the time has come for the international community to adopt a standard of codes addressing skyscraper defense. No longer can we afford to ignore the threat or the fact that more people are living and working inside these towering structures.
INTERNATIONAL BUILDING & FIRE CODES
The International Code Council (ICC) was established in 1994 as a non-profit organization dedicated to developing a single set of comprehensive and coordinated national model construction codes. Although regional code development was effective and responsive to our country’s needs, the time came for a single set of codes. The nation’s three-model code groups responded by creating the International Code Council and by developing codes without regional limitations, hence the International Codes.
U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL or LEED
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system. It provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies for improving performance across various metrics: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
SKYSCRAPER DEFENSE CODES
Upon passage and enactment of The Skyscraper Defense Act, the Skyscraper Defense Agency (SDA) will introduce a new set of Skyscraper Defense Codes (SDC). Intended for adaptation by the ‘ICC’, the new codes will revolutionize safety standards for tall buildings. Included in the new standards: required helicopter access to roofs and other locations on the building; strategically placed ‘Refuge Areas’ including one just below the roof; strategically placed ‘Skyscraper Defense Stations’ including one just below the upper most Refuge Area; robotic firefighting pods on super-tall skyscrapers; emergency egress windows on each floor; each floor to be equipped with independent oxygen ‘hook-ups’ and masks for all occupants including emergency workers; standpipes and hoses on each floor with its own independent water; carpets, drapes, interior paint, and other items common to a tall building to be ‘Green’.
Skyscraper Defense Codes (SDC) are the minimum standards for a skyscraper. Should a developer exceed the building’s SDC, ‘points’ may be awarded by the Skyscraper Defense Agency (SDA) inspector based on level of sophistication, quantification, innovation, field and lab testing, and documentation. The total number of points exceeding the minimum standard set by the SDC will determine the Skyscraper Defense Agency ‘plaque’ to be awarded. Categories include:
‘BRONZE’ If a skyscraper exceeds SDC by a minimum of 25 points in each category.
‘SILVER’ If a skyscraper exceeds SDC by a minimum of 50 points in each category.
‘GOLD’ If a skyscraper exceeds SDC by a minimum of 75 points in each category.
‘PLATINUM’ If a skyscraper exceeds SDC by a minimum of 100 points in each category.
‘EMERALD GREEN’ If a skyscraper exceeds SDC by a minimum of 100 points in each category PLUS earns a ‘Platinum’ LEED certificate.