High-rise buildings are the latest trend in the real estate industry facing land scarcity especially in thickly populated urban settlements. While high-rise buildings cost the developer heavily for meeting the foundation and other statutory requirements, the ever-increasing land prices well compensate such costs but the question of security comes in mind. These days it is found that each developer tries his hand on one or two high-rise building hoping high demand for space in such buildings.
In an attempt to ensure that buildings in Noida are being constructed, keeping the safety of residents in mind, a technical team from the Noida Authority had visited builders and is also providing structural clearances. The team also visited Supertech Group two high-rise building projects – Supernova, a mixed use project at Sector 94 and North Eye, the tallest residential project of North India at Sector 74, both in Noida, very near to Delhi. Besides, the Authority’s technical team, six professors from IIT Roorkee have also studied the project’s foundation and given it thumbs up.
“During checking, we ensured that the building has evacuation areas in case of an emergency. If a developer does not cut corners, refuge floors can be designed at various levels where people can assemble during a calamity. Some elements, such as wide staircases, are designed to facilitate the evacuation of a large number of people,” said an authority official. He added that the North Eye project has completed its pit foundation, which is around 48.5 metre in depth, and a team of Authority officials were keeping a close eye on the project in terms of structural security.
The team also checked fire security arrangements made by the builders. “These days, many high-rise buildings use fire-resistant material that reduces chances of the whole building catching fire. In some projects, houses are fitted with fire-fighting systems like sprinklers. Since the fire brigade cannot douse a fire on the 50th floor, builders have installed systems such as wet risers. A wet riser is a pipe with pressurized water available at all times. The water is supplied from the wet riser water tank to each floor in case of an emergency,” the official informed.
When asked if skyscrapers are unsafe during natural disasters such as earthquakes, a team member said: “If an area or city falls in a seismic zone, builders and their architects are responsible for executing safety norms. These days skyscrapers are designed to withstand earthquakes. If an area or city falls in a seismic zone of 3, buildings there should be designed according to zone 4 or 5 specifications. Like in the case of the North Eye project, Noida comes in the Seismic zone 4, but the project is designed in such a way that it can withstand an earthquake measuring six on the Richter scale.”
After residential skyscrapers, the city is set to witness business towers growing vertically. After putting Noida and Greater Noida on global map with the organisation of India’s maiden grand prix, the Jaypee Group will soon launch its first-ever business towers in Noida. “These towers are part of central business development at Wish Town township spread over 1,162 acres on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. The project will have multiple levels of parking, including mechanised parking bays, to handle up to 850 vehicles concurrently. It has been designed by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassa-baum firm of New York,” informed a Jaypee official.
Notably, the skyscrapers in comparison to the conventional buildings having height up to 20 storeys have their own advantages and disadvantages. While the low-rise buildings have been meeting the space requirements of multiple uses such as residences, banks, offices, commercial establishments, among others, the developers claim that the modern high-rise buildings are more convenient, safe and sought after due to their eye catching locations and ability to provide all facilities under one roof.
Commenting on the security measures, CMD of Supertech R.K. Arora said, “About 60 floor tower of 255 sq mts height is coming up in Noida which lies under Seismic Zone 4. The building is of 60 mts diameter and is designed as per NBC – 2005 and is in circular shape so that wind force is minimum. The foundation designed is of piled raft foundation of 160-ft.-depth which is quite capable of taking all types of loads/ deflection in case of an earthquake. We are using foreign technology by using friction dampers as per building requirements, so that in case of earthquake deflection shall be minimum.”
The construction at North Eye has witnessed one of the deepest piling activities of India. Soil investigation activities were conducted by a team of experts from one of the reputed civil engineering company – Langan International of USA. Besides, high-rise constructions like North Eye require expert designing to combat wind pressure at high altitudes, so wind tunnel experts RWDI from UK have been hired as consulting partners to test the stability of the structure in windy conditions. The entire building will be reinforced with 17,000 MT of steel and 1, 23,000 cu.m. of concrete. Strategically designed by VMS Mumbai, the apartments are spacious, well ventilated and provides all the modern facilities and amenities which will set a different experience of living for its residents.
North Eye -East and West wing comprises of 1st and 2nd floors being built up to provide the best of facilities like great shopping experience, cafeteria, lobbies and other facilities like creche, play school and a primary school while North Wing having fully furnished studio apartments upto 40th Floor.
Another high-rise project of Supertech Group is Supernova. The latest project ‘Supernova’ is a mix use project having commercial content of significant portion including Mega Hyper Malls, two 5 star hotels, office complexes, among other places, in which international brands would be major participants. Supernova is a mix use project having 80 stories, to be built at a height of 300 mtrs. housing four towers viz., Spira, Nova, Astralis and Aurora which offers luxurious apartments, exclusive club houses, indoor swimming pool, gym, restaurants and cafes, business lounge, swimming pool, studios, serviced offices, private terraces and “radiance place” a large VIP Mall etc.
Supernova is the tallest mix use development in India. “We are adhering to the security norms. Even before the beginning of high-rise projects, our first emphasis was on the security of people who would be working in these skyscrapers in the coming time. Henceforth, we hired world renowned expert Buro Happold – a U.K. based architectural consultancy firm, which is designing 300 mtr. high and 80 floors building’s structure,” Arora said.
“Foundation is designed based on piled raft method, having about 200 ft. deep and four ft. diameter. The building is designed as per NBC-2005 and as per the requirement of Seismic-4 Zone prescribed therein. Geo-technical investigations have been done by Golder Associates of Australia. Wind load calculation which is an important factor in design, has been done by RWDI – Canada. Vertical traffic movement which is also a challenging job in such type of tall structures, has been got designed from the London based architectural consultant. For the construction, the company has hired Brookfield Multiplex – a renowned and experienced Australian based Contractor, in association with B.L. Kashyap Ltd. The company has designed jump form shuttering for construction of Supernova which repeat a floor within 6 days,” Arora further said.