September 2, 2016
Following the World Trade Center towers destruction on Sept. 11, 2001, designers and architects realized that taller buildings required more effective evacuation capacity. One way to do this was to add another staircase, so first responders wouldn’t get in the way of evacuees when coming into the building.
But skyscrapers in Asia are turning to elevator evacuation, which depend on so-called “sky lobbies,” or large common areas. On a day-to-day basis, these lobbies offer amenities; people ride the express to the nearest landing floor, then take a “local” to their final destination.
In an emergency, occupants walk to the nearest landing floor, where they await a designated express elevator for evacuation. Other, newer designs focus on pressurizing first-responder elevators, better evacuation routes, and thicker, more resilient concrete floors.
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