Conversations Series 1: Modern Design Methods for External Fire Spread
Welcome to our Conversations Series. As an important part of encouraging our graduates and engineers to undertake internal research and develop concepts for new ideas, they present and discuss their insights and personal observations from areas of work undertaken at our annual team days. This brand new range of articles and posters reflect the industry conversation and educational dialogue between our colleagues.
In this first edition, our colleague Jamie Crum shared his thoughts on a potential modern design method to mitigate external fire spread.
Jamie discussed how he had observed that there are primarily two hazards when it comes to external fire spread; building-to-building fire spread and upward storey-to-storey fire spread. Currently, design methods for these hazards are limited and often lead to significant implications for building design. In response, our team has drafted a proposal which outlines an approach to developing two new design tools, one for each hazard.
Jamie’s content looks to show how the approach would quantify the probability of failure that the English regulatory system implicitly deems adequate for each hazard in inert enclosures, which would then be used as benchmarks to design buildings with inert or combustible enclosures. The tools would provide a means of demonstrating adequate risk levels for both hazards, informing the specification of measures such as spandrel height and suppression system reliability. This is particularly relevant for combustible enclosures, which can increase the risk associated with both hazards.
The tools would be limited to buildings with Euroclass A1/A2 external wall systems and the same development framework would be used for both tools.
You can view the full PDF on this topic here.