Fire Safety Engineering by David Barber
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Fire Safety Engineering by David Barber

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Fire Safety Engineering...

Fire Safety Engineering

David Barber, Principal, Australasia Fire Leader, ARUP

Internationally and locally, timber and wood products are increasingly specified for major construction projects as a fire safe building material. Integrating design principles and fire engineering can ensure the required performance and compliance with relevant building codes.

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Fire Safety Engineering by David Barber Fire Safety Engineering by David Barber Presentation Transcript

  • Does Wood Burn ? The Fire Safety of Solutions in Wood
    David Barber
    Arup
    Fire Group Leader - Australasia Region
  • David BarberDoes Wood Burn ? The Fire Safety of Solutions in Wood
  • Does Wood Burn ?
    I have the hardest job - convince the audience that it is ok to have elements within a building that burn, even the structure
  • Does Wood Burn ?
    Wood burns – how it burns is important
  • Concept 1:Can Fire Performance Be Predicted ?
  • Concept 1:Can Fire Performance Be Predicted ?
    Fire performance of wood has been studied for many years:
    Research dates back to 13th century
    Solid wood has highly predictable performance in fire
    Little variability between countries in species type
    Knowledge = data = confidence
  • Concept 2:Not All Wood Is The Same
  • Concept 2:Not All Wood Is The Same
  • Concept 2:Not All Wood Is The Same
  • Concept 2:Not All Wood Is The Same
  • Concept 2:Not All Wood Is The Same
    I
    Scale Matters !
  • Concept 3:How Does Wood Burn ?
  • Concept 3:How Does Wood Burn ?
    Char:
    Natural protection for wood
    Allows for continued, but diminishing strength during a fire
    Well studied and well understood and is predictable
    Different wood – different char (due to density and water content)
  • Concept 3:How Does Wood Burn ?
    The importance of char:
  • Concept 4:Expected Fire Performance
  • Concept 4:Expected Fire Performance
    National Construction Code:
    Performance Requirement CP 1 -
    “A building must have elements which will, to the degree necessary, maintain structural stability during a fire appropriate to.......”
    Structural wood needs to provide an equivalent level of performance as concrete or steel
  • Concept 4:Expected Fire Performance
    Concrete:
    - Inherent protection
    In a fire:
    • Spalling (>600C)
    • Exposed steel
    • Bending
    • Failure is very rare
  • Concept 4:Expected Fire Performance
    Protected Steel:
    • Reliant on inherent
    strength and applied
    protection
    In a fire:
    • Will deflect (>550C)
    • Protection limits heat
    • Unlikely to collapse
    • Need replacement
  • Concept 4:Expected Fire Performance
    Structural Wood:
    • Inherent protection
    from char
    In a fire:
    • Will deflect
    • Unlikely to collapse
    • Need replacement
  • Concept 4:Expected Fire Performance
    Summary:
    Concrete – fire resistive, elements may need replacement after a major fire
    Steel – fire resistant with additional protection, will need replacement after a major fire
    Structural wood - fire resistant, will need replacement after a major fire
  • Concepts:Summary
    Concepts for fire performance of wood:
    Fire performance is well understood
    Not all wood is the same - scale matters
    Solid wood chars – which has predictable performance in fire
    In a fully developed fire, wood can perform equivalent or better than steel
  • What Does the NCC Allow for Solutions in Wood ?
  • What Does the NCC Allow for Solutions in Wood ?
    Summary of limitations:
    Type A construction (non-combustible) is required for:
    • Class 5 (office) – Rise in storeys of 4 or more
    • Class 2 or 3 (residential) – Rise in storeys of 3 or more
    Type A - all elements must be non-combustible (except a mezzanine), hence no wood permitted.......
  • What Does the NCC Allow for Solutions in Wood ?
    So, how is wood used in buildings ?
    NCC allows fire engineering solutions for areas of non-compliance (so called “performance based” approach)
    Fire engineering solutions will need a good fire engineer, who understands structural wood solutions, understands the process of approval and design implementation
  • Solutions in Wood - Facades
  • Solutions in Wood – Facades
  • Solutions in Wood – Internal Elements
  • Case Study – 5 Storey Building
  • Case Study – 5 Storey Building
    Could be concrete, steel or solid wood structure
    NCC - 120 mins FRL to structure, separations
    Many different fire protection options
    • Fire rated compartmentation
    • Smoke detection
    • Sprinkler protection
    • Additional stairs
  • Case Study – 5 Storey Building
    Wood structure and steel are very similar from a fire safety view point
    Using sprinklers with a trade off in fire ratings, reducing to 60 minutes FRL
    Structural wood was determined as the better option
    Wood elements can be pre-assembled off site for quicker construction
  • Case Study – 5 Storey Building
    Solid wood structure of columns and beams, inherent FRL with load bearing capacity in excess of 60 mins FRL
    Wood assumed to not have any plasterboard protection (not required to be maintained)
    Steel would require protective coating (sprayed or paint) to achieve 60 mins FRL (requiring maintenance)
  • Case Study – 5 Storey Building
    Designing details
    Assist with detailing for:
    • Connections
    • Floor and structure connections
    • Edge details
    Penetrations for building services are complex to solve
    Facade interface with wood edge beams are problematic
  • Case Study – 5 Storey Building
    Case study summary:
    Performance requirements of the NCC can be met using structural wood
    Designs can gain approval, provided the engineering is substantive
    Similar approach to any other fire engineered solution
  • Summary
    Wood does burn – but we understand how
    Structural wood is equivalent or better than structural steel in many built situations
    A lack of understanding of the fire performance of wood by many
    Wood can be used, but you need a fire engineering solution
  • Does Wood Burn ? The Fire Safety of Solutions in Wood
    Questions?
    David Barber
    Arup
    Fire Group Leader –
    Australasia Region