The role and required skills of the structural engineer within the Built Environment is continually changing and expanding. With the everincreasing supply of reliable computer software to aid in the production of design calculations, clients are beginning to look for ‘extra’ value from the structural engineer. To meet this demand structural engineers are beginning to incorporate additional facets into structural design which includes aesthetic, environmental, economical and sustainability issues, to name just a few. One area where additional ‘value’ can be offered is in performance-based fire design. However, at present, this seems to be only offered by specialist firms, with most structural engineers using simple prescriptive design rules that have not changed significantly over the past 50 years. The question arises as to whether the structural aspects of a performance-based fire design should be offered as a holistic structural design package on all projects. This paper presents the background to the existing prescriptive design approaches to fire design and explores the feasibility of whether performancebased structural fire design should be introduced within the design package offered by structural engineers.
Prof. Colin Bailey, BEng, PhD, CEng, MIStructE, MIFireE
Manchester Centre for Civil and Construction Engineering, UMIST, P.O. Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD