5 Reasons Tall Buildings Are Perfectly Safe (4 common Concerns)

Tall buildings were first constructed in the U.S. in 1880, and as the years passed, buildings became taller and taller. Are they safe?

When standing on an upper floor of a tall building, you may feel the building swaying when there’s a strong wind.

This is quite normal, but it might make you wonder if they are perfectly safe regarding natural disasters or calamities, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and strong winds.

In general, tall buildings are perfectly safe, and here are there reasons why:

Tall Buildings Have Strong Structural Design and Modern Construction

One of the main reasons why tall buildings are perfectly safe is their structural design and modern construction.

These buildings are designed with safety as the top priority, so you can expect that everything about a tall building is well thought out to ensure its occupants are safe even during calamities.

Yes, many buildings are designed to look beautiful, but the designs and the building’s systems incorporate features that meet the minimum safety standards.

Here are the common concerns with tall buildings and how their design makes them perfectly safe:

Strong Winds

Strong winds are a common concern when you’re inside a tall building.

After all, you may feel the building sway and shiver when the wind is strong, especially on an upper floor.

Generally, tall buildings and skyscrapers are designed to be wind-resistant. Engineers use certain design techniques to ensure the structure is stable enough to withstand strong winds.

One common technique used by engineers is clustering steel columns and horizontal beams. This creates a sturdy support system to help stabilize the entire building.

Another technique involves installing dampers to counteract the swaying movement when there are strong winds.

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Tall buildings may seem like the worst place to be during an earthquake, but this isn’t always true.

With a deep and solid foundation, tall buildings can be perfectly safe even during an earthquake.

A solid foundation can support the entire building even with seismic activities. A solid building foundation helps prevent shifting and uneven weight distribution, which can compromise the building’s stability.

For this, engineers used modern techniques like mat foundations to evenly spread the weight of the building and drill shafts deep into the ground, which helps create a stable base.


Tall buildings are also safe when there’s a tsunami.

When constructed properly with a solid foundation, tall buildings are unlikely to be damaged by strong currents and flash floods caused by tsunamis.

And since they are tall, occupants are even safer because they have higher ground to evacuate to when the water level gets too high.


This is another common concern with tall buildings, but thanks to modern construction, these buildings are perfectly safe from lightning.

Tall buildings usually have a grounding system which makes them safe from lightning strikes. This grounding system creates a safe path for electrical discharge coming from lightning strikes.

Through this system, the electrical energy dissipates into the ground, minimizing the risk of damage to the building to keep the occupants safe.

Tall buildings also have lightning rods installed at the highest point of the building, usually just the rooftop.

These rods are made of metal and connected to the grounding system.

These rods provide a path of least resistance for lightning to safely discharge into the ground.

Tall Buildings Follow Building Codes and Regulations

Certain requirements must be met when designing and constructing a building, including following building codes.

Tall buildings are constructed to meet these building codes and the minimum safety standards they cover.

A building code is a set of rules and regulations written by city officials and construction professionals.

The primary purpose of building codes is to set the standards to protect public health and safety concerning the construction of buildings and other structures.

Following building codes can protect the occupants from hazards caused by fire and structural deterioration, as well as natural calamities like typhoons, strong winds, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Building codes encompass all aspects of building design, construction, and maintenance. They also cover ventilation, fire safety, and emergency planning.

Tall buildings are perfectly safe when building codes are followed, even during natural disasters.

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Tall Buildings Are Constructed Using Advanced Materials

As mentioned in this article, bricks were primarily used to construct old buildings and structures.

Most of the buildings completed during the 1800s and 1900s were built using bricks, and this is why these buildings are quite sturdy and resilient. Many of them are still standing now.

However, as buildings get taller, construction materials have become more advanced over the years.

Bricks may be strong and sturdy, but they’re not ideal when it comes to buildings skyscrapers. Bricks are quite heavy, and if you use them to construct a tall building, they will collapse because of their weight.

Nowadays, tall buildings are constructed using advanced materials that are strong enough to support their height and weight, making them perfectly safe.

Some of the most common materials used for constructing tall buildings include reinforced concrete, high-strength steel, cast iron, and aluminum. These materials have been thoroughly tested for durability and flexibility.

Out of these materials, the most popular ones are reinforced concrete and high-strength steel.

Reinforced concrete was invented in the 19th century, combining the strength of concrete and steel to create a composite material. By placing steel within freshly-made concrete, you get a material that’s strong enough to support tall buildings.

On the other hand, high-strength steel is commonly used for building a steel frame system. It is a sturdy material for horizontal beams and columns to help support the weight and height of the building.

Tall Buildings Have Safety Features

When designing and constructing a tall building, engineers consider every aspect of the design to ensure that it follows building codes and regulations.

Tall buildings are perfectly safe because they have safety features built into them.

Some examples of these safety features include fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and emergency lighting.

In addition to this, tall buildings also have evacuation plans and safety exits in case of an emergency.

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Tall Buildings Undergo Regular Safety Inspections and Maintenance

The safety of a building doesn’t end once the construction is complete.

Ensuring it follows building codes and regulations and meets the minimum safety standards is insufficient.

Tall buildings are perfectly safe when they undergo regular safety inspections and maintenance.

This includes regularly checking the structure of the building to see if there are any signs of natural wear or deterioration.

This also includes checking the building systems, such as the ventilation, electrical, heating, cooling, and water pressure systems, to ensure they work as expected.

Meanwhile, building maintenance involves the regular upkeep of the building and performing repairs whenever necessary.

Regular safety inspections and maintenance follow regulatory requirements, keeps the occupants safe, and helps preserve the building and its value.


Are Tall Buildings Safe?

Safety In High-Rise Buildings

Skyscrapers May Shiver And Sway, But They’re Perfectly Safe

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