Fire safety design for tall buildings

Cowlard, Adam, Bittern, Adam, Abecassis-Empis, Cecilia and Torero, Jose (2013). Fire safety design for tall buildings. In: 9th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology, AOSFST 2012. 9th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology (AOSFST 2012), Hefei, (169-181). 17-20 October 2012. doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2013.08.053


Author Cowlard, Adam
Bittern, Adam
Abecassis-Empis, Cecilia
Torero, Jose
Title of paper Fire safety design for tall buildings
Conference name 9th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology (AOSFST 2012)
Conference location Hefei
Conference dates 17-20 October 2012
Proceedings title 9th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology, AOSFST 2012   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Procedia Engineering   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Publication Year 2013
Year available 2013
Sub-type Fully published paper
DOI 10.1016/j.proeng.2013.08.053
Open Access Status DOI
ISSN 1877-7058
Volume 62
Start page 169
End page 181
Total pages 13
Collection year 2014
Abstract/Summary In any subject area related to the provision of safety, failure is typically the most effective mechanism for evoking rapid reform and an introspective assessment of the accepted operating methods and standards within a professional body. In the realm of tall buildings the most notable failures in history, those of the WTC towers, widely accepted as fire induced failures, have not to any significant extent affected the way they are designed with respect to fire safety. This is clearly reflected in the surge in numbers of Tall Buildings being constructed since 2001. The combination of the magnitude and time-scale of the WTC investigation coupled with the absence of meaningful guidance resulting from it strongly hints at the outdatedness of current fire engineering practice as a discipline in the context of such advanced infrastructure. This is further reflected in the continual shift from prescriptive to performance based design in many parts of the world demonstrating an ever growing acceptance that these buildings are beyond the realm of applicability of prescriptive guidance. In order for true performance based engineering to occur however, specific performance goals need to be established for these structures. This work seeks to highlight the critical elements of a fire safety strategy for tall buildings and thus attempt to highlight some specific global performance objectives. A survey of tall building fire investigations is conducted in order to assess the effectiveness of current designs in meeting these objectives, and the current state-of-the-art of fire safety design guidance for tall structures is also analysed on these terms. The correct definition of the design fire for open plan compartments is identified as the critical knowledge gap that must be addressed in order to achieve tall building performance objectives and to provide truly innovative, robust fire safety for these unique structures.
Subjects 2200 Engineering
Keyword Tall Buildings
Fire safety strategies
Performance based design
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2014 Collection
 
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