Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

High-Rise Buildings in Natural Disaster

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_168


There is no precise definition of what constitutes a high-rise building. A building code definition includes buildings of over 23 m in height or approximately 6 stories high (IBC, 2009). Emporis Standards (2010) define high-rise buildings as multistory structures that are 35–100 m tall, or 12–39 stories high. Sometimes special service requirements dictate the definition. A building that is tall enough to necessitate an elevator, or as in the case of a fire code, “any structure where the height can have a serious impact on evacuation,” may be classified as high-rise. In the context of natural hazards, two aspects distinguish high-rise buildings from others: (1) consequence of damage and (2) structural properties and their interactions with effects of natural hazards. High-rise buildings provide increased density of occupancy per structure, providing concentration of people in one building. Therefore, the consequence of damage tends to be more severe than that of a low-rise...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Emporis Standards, 2010. Datas Standards (ESN 18727), http://standards.emporis.com/?nav=realestate&lng=3&esn=18727Google Scholar
  2. IBC, 2009. International Building Code. International Code Council.Google Scholar
  3. NBCC, 2010. National building code of Canada. Associate Committee on the National Building Code, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada