In the years following incidents at the World Trade Center, the Murrah Federal Building, the Cook County Administration Building, and the LaSalle Bank Building, our traditional high-rise evacuation strategies of defend-in-place or partial evacuation have been much scrutinized. Most recently, they have elicited recommendations from NIST for changes to our building codes. Whereas codes presently size and protect stairwells to accommodate the occupant load of a building’s largest floor, under the assumption that fire is the principal hazard and it will be confined to the floor of fire origin, we now find proposals for enhancing and enlarging stair construction to meet perceived threats of bombings, blackouts, CBR agents, and other catastrophes—events that will likely entail evacuation of the entire building whether warranted or not. In this symposium, leading practitioners and researchers will present and discuss their ideas about the proposed egress enhancements and related high-rise evacuation concepts in order to help evaluate their need and effectiveness given the realities of present day society.
In order to bring to the symposium the latest and best information on this timely topic, the Steering Committee has assembled an impressive group of leading experts who will make presentations on the topics listed in the symposium program, and will also lead discussions during the periods of interactive exchange which are expected to take place throughout the event and which will provide everyone with an opportunity to participate and learn.
The symposium will be hosted by AEI and The Ornamental Metal Institute of New York and will be held at the McGraw-Hill Auditorium, an ideal setting next to a number of prestigious landmarks in the heart of Manhattan. The Steering Committee and I look forward to seeing you on May 15 at the Symposium!
Mohammed Ettouney, Ph.D., P.E., F.AEIPrincipal, Weidlinger Associates, Inc., Symposium Chair