Staying in High rise buildings for residential use is no more fashion or status symbol for Elites in Metro Cities but a necessity in Midlevel cities as well. This is not only due to scarcity and cost of land but due to changing urban requirements and building bye laws. High rise buildings were most commonly located in heart of city and used for Commercial use and high-end apartment for higher income group population. Due to high land prices and high construction cost, the affordability was limited. But later on, this has changed.
High-rise building is defined as building with more than seven floors or more than 75 ft. (i.e., 23 mts) height as per International Building Code 2015, Section 202. However, they are defined differently in various part of world according to height.
As per National Building Code (NBC) in Indian context, all buildings above 15 meters or above in height comes within ambit of high-rise buildings. In simple terms, any building which compulsorily requires mechanical means for vertical transportation of human being can be termed as High-rise Buildings:
Buildings above 30 floors in height are called Skyscrapers, which are becoming part of metro cities as address and is considered a status symbol. History of High-Rise Buildings: Historical evidences of high-rise buildings have found in ancient Rome and many cities in Roman Empire. The high-rise buildings were found in Egypt as well, which were in the form of Minarets. There were many high rises building dated 16th century still exist in Yemen. India too has history of High-rise buildings.
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They are in the form of Temples in most part of India and in form of Minarets in North India. Temple Entrances i.e. Gopurams in south India are the best example of high rise building. Tallest among them is Raja Gopuram at Ranganath Swamy Temple complex at Srirangam, Tamilnadu. Construction of this started in 16th Century, however could be completed only in 1997. There are many more gopurams of 40 meters heights built before 16th century in this complex.
In North India, Qutub Minar is 72.5 meters high which was completed in 1220. Buland Darwaja in Fatehpur Sikri is 54 meters in height. This was used for residences of Soldiers deployed for security of this gate. In modern context, Initially High-Rise buildings were mainly used for commercial purposes (Offices). Subsequently they are used for Urban Housing extensively. These are in the form of apartments of various sizes. Advantages of High-Rise buildings:
They are certainly advantageous where the land availability as compared to population requirement is less. Tall buildings require less foot print thus more open space can be planned around the building. They create landmark and changed skyline in urban areas due to its height. They accommodate more density.
They offer better sunlight and ventilation specially at upper floors because of more open space around, the light is direct. Apartments at higher floors are normally more airy. Dust problem faced at low rise building because of proximity to ground is less on upper floor. Heat transmission due to radiation from hard surfaces around building is less. Velocity of wind is always more at upper floors and as such better cross ventilation can be planned. They offer better view of surroundings because of height advantage. The range of the views is always long and wide as well. This is because people prefer higher floors. Pent houses on top floors gets more advantage of open terraces and exposure to sky. As the distance between two adjutants building is generally more as compared to low rise housing, privacy is more.
They offer better security which can be better monitored with less manpower because of less accessibility at entry point to multiple apartments. Various security systems like access control, CCTV can be more economical and needs less maintenance. Privacy in high rise building is more and is less noisy. Even though the buildings are compact, privacy is more as the apartment is not accessible from any side other than designated entrances.
Architect however can design the common area in such a way that interaction between occupants can be increased or can have some visual connectivity between the apartments through the common areas. Noise pollution is less in high rise building due to distance from the traffic due to building setbacks and height from the road Sharing of services is optimized due to compactness and reduction in length. This has direct impact on cost of construction. Further operation and maintenance of the services is manageable with less manpower and cost effective too. Architects must take the benefits to the maximum possible extend of the advantage in designing of high-rise apartments. Design shall be such that maximum apartment gets sun light, fresh air and best possible view.