Flooring and Carpeting/Building construction without Staircases.
QUESTION: Dear Perry
Is it possible to construct a Building i.e. residential or commercial complex without Staircase ?. Is it feasible to built ?.
The people will always use Lifts / elevators instead of alternative of staircase.
i.e. The space occupied by the staircase will be replaced by additional Lifts / elevators.
What are the pros (advantages) and cons (disadvantages) if such a building model is constructed without staircase (if feasible) ?.
Examples : 10 floor commercial complex, 6 floor residential complex etc.
Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar
ANSWER: So nice to hear from you again Prashant,
I have to admit that you coming into my life through this forum has given me great pleasure to expand my interests and also to let others know that there is more to repetitive and standard practice measures that can and should be explored to challenge our processes.
In regards to your inquiry to consider this proposition you need to start where all of us start in the construction trades...in my case as a flooring "expert" I have to evaluate the quality of the sub-strate be it a cement slab, a structured floor, joist system, light weight concrete those kinds of options. Then the framing for break points or layout concerns and certainly whether everything vertical is plumb especially where walls intersect. I check and consider where it can go wrong to determine what I need to make it right before I start the process. With your question you need to do the same thing..."what can go wrong if I do this and how do you address the worse case scenario as a result if it happens"...
So with that in mind safe egress during a catastrophic event must first be addressed. Having people who are working or visiting a ten floor building, if the power were to fail and an operational back up system (battery backup for instance) become useless, like in a fire or explosion, how do we get them out of the building quickly and safely if elevators or lifts no longer function? Of course you want your tennants or visitors to encounter a safe environment within the confines of the building but along with that you also need to protect yourself (owner/investors) from liability/courts as it is a natural response in modern times for victims to want to sue anybody and everybody possible....follow me?
Here in the States there are basically two option that come to my mind both applications are commercial in nature as a means of moving people to safety in Public spaces. Yet both have optional use capability in a residental setting. Ramps and or escalators...both have the ability to function even should power be unavailable even for days or weeks so that access to the building both coming or going can still have access while whatever problem is addressed. This is also true should "First Responders" (Firemen/Police/Medical Techs) be needed to "head into" the building while everyone else is "heading out" of the building.
So while the traditional footprint (typically the center or ends) of the building foundation can supplant elevators/lifts in lieu of the staircase there will still be a need to incorporate a basic means to escape a crippled structure if you care about life. This is where the ramp/escalator come into play. If located at the rear of a structure it could be hidden from the street view and not affect the asthetics of what the Public sees from the front yet offers a safe option for the building occupants or customers. Each and every large event structure around the World (Stadiums) typically have both means of moving large amounts people quickly and safely in and out of the venue so only a scaled down version would be required in my estimation. Ok Prashant, so nice to have you return, I hope this gives you something to consider. Come again anytime...
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QUESTION: Dear Perry
We have to study the modern built elevators in terms of providing sufficient back up power for 2-3 days in situations of mains power breaks so that people may not get stuck up in elevators.
Also nowadays sophisticated elevators from Schindler, Otis cos have the best fire protection systems. Maybe this model is useful for taller buildings, skyscrapers rather than shorter buildings ?.
Cost factor of Having additional Lifts / Elevators for replacing the staircases have to be evaluated.
European countries viz Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Hungary, United Kingdom etc may build this experimental building model in the 21st century ?
Thanks & regards
Prashant S Akerkar
Another consideration I didn't add was the possiblity of adding as a back-up system is the option of incorporating an onsite generator. The fuel component is storable and as diverse as there are fuel. Here in the States we have the option of diesel fuel stored in a nearby tank that can be refilled as needed if placed into service as something is sorted out. Also Propane and or Natural gas can be employed and stored onsite in protected tanks. If there is a Natural gas depot then it certainly would be possible to pipe direct from the source to the generator if there exists street supply to tap into so that there would be a constant and consistant supply to power the generator. Generators are so much more advanced in modern times as to be far more compact and efficient and can be tied together in sequence to generate more combined power supply as is needed for the job. Come again anytime Prashant... I welcome you to do so..