Requirement for refuge area might push up housing price: association

Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 08:41

Apartment buildings in Ha Noi. It was necessary that high-rise buildings had areas for refuge to ensure safety in case of emergency. — Photo

The requirement for an area of refuge in high-rise buildings was necessary, but this might push up housing prices, according to the HCM City Real Estate Association.

The Ministry of Construction recently made public a draft about national technical standards for residential and commercial buildings which had a new point that high-rise buildings must have areas of refuge where people could take shelter in case of fire or other emergencies.

The area for refuge would be compulsory for buildings with height of 100m or higher, meaning that 30-50 storey buildings should have one to two floors for refuge.

Le Hoang Chau, the association’s Chairman, said that it was necessary to have areas for refuge in high-rise buildings to ensure safety. Big cities were seeing the construction of more skyscrapers, such as the 461.3-metre Landmark 81, 336m Kaengnam Landmark 72 and 272m Lotte Centre Ha Noi.

However, there were no buildings in Viet Nam with an area of refuge, except the 68-storey Bitexco in HCM City with the top floor for a helipad.

Chau said that having an area for refuge might push up investment costs and housing prices which would weigh on homebuyers. This problem needed to be put into consideration especially in the context that housing prices were already high in Viet Nam.

To avoid pushing up costs for developers, the area of refuge should not be included in the total floor area of the project and the height of the refuge floor should not be included in the maximum height of the building when licensing, Chau said.

According to Tran Chung, former Director of the State Authority for Construction Quality Inspection under the Ministry of Construction, there were now more and more apartment buildings of more than 40 storeys. It was necessary to develop technical standards, especially for fire prevention and fighting, he stressed. — VNS

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