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

 

Architecture:
Ian Athfield Dies In Wellington

New Zealand Institute of Architects: It is with great sadness that we inform Members that Sir Ian Athfield, one of New Zealand's finest architects, has passed away in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington Production: New-Look Tracy Brothers Are F.A.B.

ITV and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures today released an exclusive preview of the new-look Tracy brothers from this year’s hotly anticipated new series, Thunderbirds Are Go. More>>

ALSO:

Cardinal Numbers:
Pope Francis Names Archbishop From NZ Among New Cardinals

Announcing a list of bishops to be made Cardinals in February Pope Francis named Archbishop John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, overnight from Rome. On hearing the news of the announcement, Archbishop John Dew said "This news is recognition of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the contribution it makes to the global Catholic family." More>>

ALSO:

Nomenclature: Charlotte And Oliver Top Baby Names For 2014

Charlotte and Oliver were the most popular names for newborn girls and boys in 2014... The top 100 girls’ and boys’ names make up a small proportion of the more than 12,000 unique first names registered for children born this year, says Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriage. More>>

Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news