OPPORTUNE TIME TO DEFINE THE PARAMETERS OF TALL BUILDINGS

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OPPORTUNE TIME TO DEFINE THE PARAMETERS OF TALL BUILDINGS

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sundry-thumbby JES B. TIROL

Proem

It is in the news that the Panglao International Airport will soon start construction.  When it will be finished the Tagbilaran Airport will be abandoned as an airport and many businesses in Tagbilaran can then construct tall buildings.

National Building Code

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The National Building Code regulates only the design and construction of buildings and structures.  There are many situations that are not covered by the National Building Code.

Zoning Ordinance

The Tagbilaran City Zoning Ordinance controls only the location of buildings.  It does not control the traffic that the buildings will generate.

Meteorological Parameter

Tall buildings can alter the weather pattern of a locality.  We would not know what will be the effect in terms of weather alteration if a 30-story building will be constructed near the present wharf.  It is because nobody has yet made a study on the prevailing winds throughout the year.

The wind coming from the sea carries with it some water.  If the wind is stopped by the tall building, the water will be dropped.  In effect the rains will always be at the sea direction of the building and the sheltered side of the building will always be dry.  The trees and vegetation at the dry side will die while at the wet side will flourish.  The authorities must determine whether it is beneficial or harmful to Tagbilaran.

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Tall buildings constructed along the both sides of a street will also alter the flow of the wind. Depending upon the shape and positioning of the tall buildings, it may cause a tunneling effect or a vacuum effect of the wind.  When a tunneling effect occurs, the velocity of the wind will always be strong while the vacuum effect will cause the air to always go upward.

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Temperature Effect

Tall buildings, especially with plenty of concrete components, will alter the temperature of a locality. During the daytime the concrete will absorb heat and during nighttime the heat will be slowly “exhaled” by the building.

The sunlight reflected by tall buildings will also affect the temperature of the surrounding area.

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Visual Effect

Tall buildings can affect the scenery of the place.  Even at present there are many cases of house constructed at the upland of Tagbilaran in order to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the sea and sunset and suddenly a tall building is constructed blocking the view.  A good example is the Sandugo Shrine at Bo-ol, Tagbilaran City.  Suddenly a building is constructed beside the shrine making the shrine like “lawn decoration” of the new building.  Without a proper ordinance you can not protest.

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The main reason why road set-back is required for tall buildings is to prevent the streets to be darkened.  The tall buildings will block the sunlight at street level.

Effect on Safety

When fires will occur in tall buildings, are our firefighters ready or equipped to put out the fire?  When objects and debris will fall from the tall buildings, what safety precautions will provided to avoid harm and damage to those below the building?

Traffic Problem

Tall buildings are traffic generators or will vehicles to go there.  If the buildings are not properly located, it might cause traffic congestion.

One undesirable effect of the Gallares Plan of 1916 is that it produced buildings and traffic generators that causes the vehicles to turn left. When vehicles will turn left, it will block the opposite traffic.  Today you will observe it prominently at corner CPG Avenue and Tamblot St.

Sewage Problem

Tall buildings produce plenty of sewage from its comfort rooms. Where will the sewage be disposed?  If it will be recharged to the underground there is danger that our water supply will be polluted.

Comment

Today the tallest building in Tagbilaran City is seven (7) stories. The main reason for this is the prohibition imposed by the Civil Aeronautics Board so that the path of the airplane will not be obstructed.  When the present airport will be transferred, the prohibition will be lifted.  My question is; is Tagbilaran City ready for the influx of tall buildings? Apparently it is not.

My recommendation is to make a study now on what will be the effects of tall buildings so that the constructions can be regulated. At present the Architects and Engineers have no guidance as to what is allowable and prohibited construction, their locations, shapes, etc.

According to anthropologists and psychologists, the helter-skelter location of buildings will also affect the behavioral pattern of the residents.  The more chaotic will be the place, the more unruly will be the people.

I just hope that when the study will be completed it will be followed.  The Asiatic Consultants was hired to prepare a comprehensive drainage plan during the term of Mayor Jose Ma. Rocha (1992-95).  The City spent P7 million pesos. Apparently the completed plan was not followed and nobody knows where the plan is.

In 1968 a road network plan also made during the Administration of Mayor Venancio Inting.  It was a concentric network with the present location of the City hall as the center.  By a queer decision of the City Council the donated lands were not accepted because the Council wanted that the donors will be the ones to annotate the donations in their land titles.  The plan was scuttled and the effect is the present chaotic road network.

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