Fed Agency Battles Tough Post-9/11 Building Code

New safety rules safety 'too expensive,' officials complain
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 8, 2008 3:36 AM CDT
Ground Zero is shown Tuesday, May 6, 2008 in New York.    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – A federal agency is joining major landlords in fighting tough new building safety standards developed in the wake of 9/11, the New York Times reports. The requirements, added last year after a federal probe into the Twin Towers collapse, call for better fireproofing and extra stairwells. But the General Services Administration,which manages federal property, complains that the cost could outweigh safety benefits.

It doesn’t “take a rocket scientist to figure out that requiring additional exit stairs will improve overall occupant evacuation times,” said an agency fire safety engineer. “The bigger question is, at what economic cost to society?” But supporters of the changes, which face a vote next week, feel otherwise. “It's unbelievable to me that our tax dollars are being spent to fight safety improvements,” said a fire science expert.