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Miss Margaret Law (Ove Arup): I should like to comment on the fire engineering design for this building, since the structure under discussion does not have any fire cladding. It might seem surprising that a theatre holding 750 people which has no structural fire protection at all was deemed acceptable. In our development of the fire safety measures for the Royal Exchange Theatre, we adopted a design approach to fire safety, by setting out our objectives explicitly, rather than trying to meet the letter of the building regulations. For example, it was by no means clear whether the
theatre or the Great Hall should be defined as the 'building' for the purposes of the regulations.
Computers and programs can be wonderful. Their misuse, however, can have enormously distressing consequences that may not be detected for years, and even then may not be fully realised. Please consider the following incidents, of which I have personal knowledge.
American Petroleum Institute recommendations for the design of tubular steel struts are represented in a series of convenient graphs. The graphs are intended for use in the initial stages of design, where various configurations are under consideration, and
rapid weight estimates are required.