Property Owners And Property Management
1. ‘Above minimum requirements’- Good business sense – Caring and thoughtful- risk reduction and client appreciation
Tenants are obviously concerned about their working environment and safety included but also about ecology and energy issues. The general population is receptive to arguments in these areas and are prepared to pay for some extras, especially when it has been shown over and again that meeting minimum requirements carries a non-negligible residual risk.
These additional provisions in buildings can be called -‘above minimum requirements‘. Property owners and management companies can build competitive advantage and have higher average rentals and/or occupancy with relatively small investments in these areas.
The basis for ‘above minimum requirements‘ and the ultimate demonstration of care and responsiveness come from a risk assessment approach to safety. Any formal risk assessment carried out in a building today must take into account the recent history ? failure to do so is not only a lack of care but may, in the event of an incident, be deemed negligent. The consequence to business of not addressing the risk of being careless or negligent is high. The opportunity of being SEEN to be actively caring and thoughtful is extremely positive.
Tenants will have an added benefit of being in buildings that have ‘above minimum requirements’ since it can be quantified and has proven to save lives.
(see Appendix I)
2.How did we get here and what are they?
JALITE has specialised in photoluminescent systems now for over 25 years with the JALITE name in the forefront of this application since the first Trade Mark in Switzerlandin 1981. The first applications were Military and Civil Defence in the mountains of Switzerland.
In the last 25 years there have been a string of disasters that have had detailed analysis of ‘minimum requirements’ not meeting the needs. (see Appendix II) All the subsequent inquiries have lead to recommendations for improved directional signing and low location escape path marking systems.
Finally in New York the clear recommendation for a system that is independent of direct or emergency electrical power.
Photoluminescent Safety way-guidance systems are continuous escape path marking lines on floors walls and handrails up to and including the Exit door and an unambiguous series of safety signs to give direction to the Exit.
The systems harvest energy given by the normal lighting that is required on the escape path which is then subsequently released over time as visible light in case of loss of lighting. JALITE brought the proof of their effectiveness in collaborative research with the National Research Canada already back in 1998 which was the basis for stairway provisions.
JALITE products are engineered specifically to charge quickly and well under relatively low lighting although performance maybe significantly enhanced by adjustments to the installed lighting.
JALITE systems are all designed to be ‘above minimum’ requirement and can be tailored to expected evacuation times or for greater conspicuousness.
JALITE systems have the highest credentials and accreditations of any systems on the market with the most prestigious reference list of clients over its now very long history.
3 How to get the job done?
JALITE works exclusively through a trained and qualified distributor network to provide essential logistic support and services.
Like any other safety system there is a need to choose the right product for the risk, install the product effectively and to maintain it. ‘Above minimum’ is assured by qualified expertise, JALITE as manufacturer and JALITE distributors’ expertise in securing client relationships and to deliver advice, installation and maintenance services.
JALITE and Chubb have formed this level of co-operation for many years in the UK and in Hong Kong now for over 5 years.
New York background and supporting justification
As a direct result of the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in1993, photoluminescent escape path marking was installed in the stairwells as aprovision against failure of the emergency lighting during an incident. This system was responsible for many positive comments during the 9/11 attack and indeed some evacuees attribute their survival directly to the system.
Following the 9/11 attack on the twin towers, the New York City government passed Local Law 26 to force property owners to install photoluminescent safety way-guidance systems in all tall commercial buildings. Here the ‘above minimum requirement’has become good business sense for New York City since there was a high risk that property values would plummet and workers would leave tall buildings. This was considered a major political and financial risk to the city.
JALITE systems are now installed in close to 200 of the largest and most prestigious buildings in New York.This represents about 10% of the total number of buildings affected by the law,however this is about 35% of the stairwell lengths. 90% of the buildings,mainly smaller and of single ownership or management chose to meet only minimum requirements or risk not to meet them at all.
Justifications for ‘above minimum’
These are as follows from a risk assessment point of view:
- Stairwells are classified as unoccupied areas in a building and therefore unfamiliar to the occupants- unfamiliar areas carry this extra risk for slower movement and egress.
- Emergency lighting and electrical power are vulnerable and fail
- Emergency lighting is not activated by fire or disaster but by power failure Many occupied spaces do not require emergency lighting and offer risks to occupants
- Emergency lighting has a period of vulnerability after power failure due to charging of batteries
- Generator powered emergency lighting has a lead time that can delay evacuation
- High mounted EXIT signs are not visible in smoke and can be destroyed by heat
- Ceiling mounted Emergency lighting becomes smoked logged in smoke
- Over door mounted EXIT signs do not generally give sufficient directional information for efficient egress
Potential for overcrowding on stairwells and slow moving evacuees
The above residual risks and observations following disasters such as:
- Ships – Herald of Free Enterprise – Scandinavian Star
- Off shore Oil Platforms- Piper Alpha
- Train Stations – Kings Cross – Korea
- Aircraft – Manchester Air Disaster
- Tunnels – Mont Blanc tunnel-others
- Trains – Paddington train disaster-others
- Buildings – World Trade Centre twice!
- Airports – Dusseldorf Fire
Entire Tishman Speyer NYC portfolio: (a total of 21 Skyscrapers)
Rockefeller Center: Which includes the GE building,One Rock, and several other buildings.
Met Life building
The Lipstick Building
The Chrysler Building
The Hearst Building
1166 Avenue of the Americas
The Grace Building
One New York Plaza
The GM building
Cushman & Wakefield
Atco Property Management
The Fiel Organization
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