Karen Kozlowski, a partner in the real estate department ofSullivan & Worcester LLP, tells GlobeSt.com that while thereport states that the partial or total collapse of the buildingdue to fires was a rare event, the NIST still "urge buildingowners, operators and designers to evaluate [existing] buildings toensure adequate fire performance of the structural system." Shenotes that seems a bit like 20/20 hindsight, adding that the biggerquestion is how it will affect the industry. "Will tenants nowrequire landlords to do such an evaluation? Will insurancecompanies, prior to insuring buildings, require such an evaluation?How will developers get construction loans on a going forwardbasis? Will they be required to comply with existing standards…suggested by NIST?" she wonders. "Plus, won't the cost ofdeveloping new buildings be so much greater if developers arerequired to comply with these new standards?"

One building owner has already jumped on board with new safetyguidelines. Building owner, Silverstein Properties Inc.,implemented structural and life-safety measures in the rebuildingof 7 WTC, which, according to a prepared statement, "set a newstandard in modern skyscraper design --a standard that is beingcarried through to every tower we are building at the new WorldTrade Center."

The safety measures Silverstein is referring to for the newlyrebuilt 7 WTC include: increased robustness and redundancy ofsteel; two-foot think reinforced concrete walls to protect thebuilding's core for the full height of the tower; and a laminated,structurally fortified wall as well as columns in the buildinglobby serve as a blast shield. Safety enhancements as far asevacuation is concerned include: exit stairs are 20% wider thanrequired by NYC building codes; four fire stairways exit directlyto the outside; widely-separated stairs are equipped with emergencylighting and glow-in-the-dark paint and are pressurized andsmoke-purged to resist the intrusion of smoke. The "new standard inmodern skyscraper design," that was mentioned in the statementinclude: fireproofing material used to protect the steel structurethat is 10 times as adhesive and twice as thick as required bybuilding codes; dual standpipes and water storage capacity for thebuilding sprinkler system that are double that required by code;and a fresh air intake system located at the top of the tower,which includes multiple levels of filters.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.