Author: D. Hopkin (Olsson Fire & Risk UK), S. Anastasov (Olsson Fire & Risk UK), D. Illingworth (AKT II), B. McColl (Olsson Fire & Risk UK), E. O'Loughlin (Arup Dubai) and A. Taylor (Trenton Fire Ltd)
2 January 2018
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D. Hopkin (Olsson Fire & Risk UK), S. Anastasov (Olsson Fire & Risk UK), D. Illingworth (AKT II), B. McColl (Olsson Fire & Risk UK), E. O'Loughlin (Arup Dubai) and A. Taylor (Trenton Fire Ltd)
Four Pancras Square (London) is a successful example of where early fire engineering engagement has helped deliver an iconic design. The building features an external, fully load-bearing, weathering steel frame, with a storey-deep Vierendeel transfer truss. To allow the weathering steel to develop its protective patina and achieve the desired aesthetic, it must be left untreated and exposed; this is in conflict with traditional fire resistance solutions.
This paper documents the key steps undertaken in realising the building and describes how they were tackled at the interface of the fire and structural engineering disciplines. These include quantification of the design goals, selection of the fire constraints, understanding the behaviour of unconventional steel, quantifying thermal exposure for external elements and, finally, quantification of structural response in fire.
Structural fire engineering is often adopted in large open-plan structuressuch as airport terminals, railway stations, etc., where the low fire risk can be directly conceived and a structural fire analysis may bring significant savings on structural fire protective coatings. In some recent cases, structural fire engineering approaches have also been applied to landmark high-rise buildings in China. This paper introduces four different examples of such methods with varying motivations, approaches and ultimate design schemes, to provide readers with an insight into the commercial application of structural fire engineering in China.
The Grenfell Tower tragedy in London last June was a stark reminder of how rapidly a fire can spread and the horror which it can cause. In the wake of this disaster, the UK construction industry is actively examining what can be done to minimise the risk of similar tragedies in the future. It is likely that one of the recommendations will be a clearer identification of responsibilities, but whatever the outcome it will clearly be helpful for all members of the design team to have a good understanding of all aspects of fire safety, as well as detailed knowledge about those aspects under their direct control.
All the articles from the January 2018 issue.