The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 81 (2003) > Issues > Issue 9 > An Examination of fire spread in multi-storey buildings via glazed curtain wall facades
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An Examination of fire spread in multi-storey buildings via glazed curtain wall facades

Tests were carried out to investigate fire spread in an office occupancy from the room of origin to the floor above via the curtain wall. Behaviour of each individual component of the façade ie. the framing, structural fixing, glazing and spandrel panels was examined in response to repeatable timber crib fires. Additionally the reaction of the total system to a real fire load was considered. The results show limits of exposure of each individual element and suggest that additional attention is needed to the detailing of fire-stopping and choice of material for brackets. The glazing itself is a weak point with fire resisting glazing an alternative. Where possible, spandrel panels should not be glazed. Control of the hazard by fitting of suppression systems is the only alternative to spending money to limit spread. B. Morris, MEng, PhD Risk Engineer, XL Insurance Global Risks, London Office, UK L. A. Jackman, BSc, PhD Senior Consultant, Building Research Establishment, Garston, UK

Author(s): Morris, B;Jackman, L A

Keywords: fire tests;multistorey buildings;offices;curtain walls;facades;frames;brackets;glazing