LA Scraps Skyscraper Helipad Rule

New high-rises taller than 75 feet won't be required to have helipads on their roofs, as long as they are built with several additional safety features.

Media in Los Angeles are hailing a change in a provision of the city's fire code that has been in place since the 1970s: a requirement that any building more than 75 feet tall have a helipad on its roof. A new policy is ushering in slanted roofs for new skyscrapers because it allows for "modified helicopter landing space" when the building is equipped with extra stairwells, a dedicated fire service elevator, automatic sprinklers that activate faster, and other safety features.

According to the several posted reports, the 73-story Wilshire Grand in the city's Financial District will be the first high-rise built to take advantage of the updated Los Angeles Fire Department policy.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called the new rules "a sea change for Los Angeles design," according to the Sept. 29 report written by Emily Alpert Reyes of the Los Angeles Times.

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