As part of the preparation for the Safety Design in Buildings (SDiB) Tehran conference on Nov. 22, long-time speaker Altaf Afridi of Dormakaba, gave an overview on the SDiB Campaign and the upcoming move to Tehran.
Altaf Alfridi said;
“We have been a part of SDiB since the inception of the campaign in 2012. Our company focuses on doors and access solutions. Doors play a surprisingly important role in life safety in buildings, in that they help prevent a fire from spreading, and are critical to egress and fire escape routes.”
“SDiB features very focused sessions whereby professionals gather to integrate and align their vision of fire safety and to determine how to get the optimal results. There’s a strict screening of speakers, with the programme intended only for those genuinely interested in the technical and educational aspects.”
“The Gulf region is developing rapidly, and building requirements are improving commensurately. Credit is due to the campaign for positively influencing the industry by fostering a team spirit that brings professionals with different backgrounds together so they are on the same page in order to understand each other’s roles and to assist each other.”
“The Iranian market has high potential waiting to be explored. The passion of the country for art and design is well known and hence opportunities to incorporate international standards to highlight the local culture in buildings and yet make it safe for the users will make for an interesting debate in Tehran. In my experience the education level, technical skills, and intellectual curiosity of Iranian professionals are impressive.”
“Every accident pushes the authorities to raise standards. Buildings are becoming more complex, and ensuring fire safety is a dynamic process whereby it is important that professionals are kept up-to-date, and that they communicate with each other.”
“The Codes and Standards requirements in the Iran market will be a learning curve for both Iran based and external professionals. It gives an opportunity to adopt new technology, keeping in mind the awareness of unfortunate incidents in the past in developed countries and learning from it.”
“I see Iranian Investors, Engineers, Designers and Architects as serious about investing and taking steps to achieve high standards in building design. This gives SDiB a perfect opportunity to create a platform for a long-term knowledge exchange between local and international experts.”
“For us at Dormakaba, we have 400 professionals in the region who all strive to provide support from the design phase throughout construction and delivery to the actual operation of a building. We have 30 certified advisers in place to support architects in conforming to the necessary codes and regulations. In other words, safety requirements need to be imprinted into the DNA of the building design and structure.”
“It is very important not only to integrate specifications into the design stage but to be able to meet and comply with requirements for approvals even prior to tendering. Doing it properly from the beginning also minimises cost and delays. When you need to make changes and modifications during construction, it can quickly become very costly, with the added risk of causing friction, and even conflict, between all stakeholders.”
“A building would be rendered safer, of course, if it didn’t have doors at all. However, these are required for practical reasons. In 95% of cases, deaths in fires can be attributed to the victims having been unable to escape from buildings.”
“Fire safety is not as simple as just choosing the right products that meet certain specifications and rating codes. For instance, doors are rather straightforward. However, planning their function and use, and installing them in high-rise buildings, is a highly-complex science that involves physics, behavioural psychology, and quality workmanship. Again, the complexity does not reside in the product itself, but in the planning, installation, and operation.”
“This is the beauty of the SDiB campaign, as it represents the full circle of fire safety, which connects all of the professionals involved, as well as taking the entire lifecycle of the building into account.”
Image shows Altaf Afridi at a previous conference.