Tower block

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A tower block, high-rise, apartment tower, office tower, apartment block, or block of flats, is a tall building or structure used as a residential and/or office building. In some areas they may be referred to as "MDU" standing for "Multi Dwelling Unit".[1]

High-rise buildings became possible with the invention of the elevator (lift) and cheaper, more abundant building materials. The materials used for the structural system of high-rise buildings are reinforced concrete and steel. Most North American style skyscrapers have a steel frame, while residential blocks are usually constructed out of concrete.

High-rise structures pose particular design challenges for structural and geotechnical engineers, particularly if situated in a seismically active region or if the underlying soils have geotechnical risk factors such as high compressibility or bay mud. They also pose serious challenges to firefighters during emergencies in high-rise structures. New and old building design, building systems like the building standpipe system, HVAC systems (Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning), fire sprinkler system and other things like stairwell and elevator evacuations pose significant problems.

Apartment blocks have technical and economic advantages in areas with high population density. They have become a distinguished form of housing accommodation in virtually all densely populated urban areas around the world. In contrast with low-rise and single-family houses, apartment blocks accommodate more inhabitants per unit of area of land they occupy and also decrease the cost of municipal infrastructure.


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