Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


UC Researching Change Of Building Method To Reduce Fire Risk

UC Researching Change Of Building Method To Reduce Fire Risk

November 9, 2012

The University of Canterbury (UC) is researching how high-rise buildings can cope best if a fire break out.

High-rise buildings normally require fire resistance of 60 minutes or more to facilitate rescue and prevent structural collapse, UC engineering researcher Dr Tony Abu said today.

In the light of the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers in 2001, a lot of emphasis has been placed on understanding the overall behaviour of buildings exposed to fires.

In particular it was important that the whole structure was tied-in properly to ensure that the loss of one member does not result in a disproportionate collapse of the entire building, he said.

Recent research has shown that fire resistance of multi-storey steel-framed buildings with composite floors is considerably improved if the effect of slabs is taken into account.

``Traditionally, steel buildings have been designed for room-temperature conditions and covered with protective material to limit member temperatures to 550°C when exposed to the standard furnace fire. However, if these buildings are tied together appropriately then some of the floor beams can be unprotected to generate more stable buildings in the event of fires.

``The floors of the WTC were supported on steel trusses which had been protected with sprayed-on cementitious material. The impact of the planes shook most of the protection off the trusses. They then lost strength as they heated up, eventually not being able to support their loads, leading to the collapse of floors onto the ones beneath, and the eventual pancake failure seen in the videos.’’

Dr Abu said the new approach was performance-based design, which selects the most economical solution that meets the required fire resistance criteria. In the case of steel buildings, considerable savings can be made in fire protection costs.

``The research at UC is aimed at developing simplified design methods that incorporate the advanced approach. At the masters level, we are investigating potential failure mechanisms, while our undergraduate students are evaluating the limitations of existing methods.

``In light of the high potential for the occurrence of fires that cannot be extinguished or controlled to a fairly small size after an earthquake, our research seeks to develop routine simple design solutions based on fundamental behaviour to help advance the design of all types of structures for fire conditions.’’

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Orson Welles' Masterpiece - 'Chimes At Midnight'

Never widely distributed in the US, but Welles' own personal favorite and hugely influential on directors as diverse as Kenneth Branagh and Mel Gibson, a restored 50th anniversary print has now reached the New Zealand Film Festival. More>>

Off To Leeds: Wellington’s Local Naked Girl Spreads Her Wings

Wellington born, bred and based live artist Virginia Kennard, self confessed “local naked girl”, has earned a place on the MA in Performance programme at Leeds Beckett University and flies away in 2 months time. More>>

Free Diving: William Trubridge Breaks World Record

With just a single breath, New Zealand free diver William Trubridge has successfully broken his own unassisted free dive world record of 101 metres. More>>

ALSO:

RLWC 2017 Draw: New Zealand Set For A Festival Of Rugby League

New Zealand Rugby League fans will have the chance to see the Kiwis in action against the best in the Pacific region for the Rugby League World Cup 2017, as announced today at the Official Tournament Draw. More>>

ALSO:

Non-Pokemon News: Magical Park A Safer Augmented Reality For Younger Audiences

Since May, Wellington City Council has been trialling a new app, Magical Park, in collaboration with the game’s New Zealand developer Geo AR Games, in parks around the city. Magical Park uses GPS technology to get users moving around the park to play within a set boundary. More>>

'Erroneous': Pokemon App Makers On Huge Privacy Flaw

We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news