“Very tall buildings" are characterized by heights that impose fire protection challenges, and require special attention beyond the protection features typically provided by traditional fire protection methods. Very tall buildings are typically those above 420 feet in height.
Five Characteristics of a "Very Tall Building":
1. Height beyond available resources of fire department ladders.
2. Extended evacuation time.
3. Pronounced Stack effect.
4. Greater challenges of mixed occupancies.
5. Iconic nature. (Tall buildings generally are considered iconic because they are generally unusual in height, design or other feature, and recognizable as unique.)
The Society of Fire Protection Engineers is seeking input on a new guide entitled, "Guidelines for Designing Fire Safety in Very Tall Buildings". A draft of this document and comment forms can be obtained from this link, http://www.sfpe.org/SharpenYourExpertise/SFPETaskGroupandCommitteeDocumentation.aspx.