Designing fire safe structures: Oregon State professor and Stellenbosch University to run South African workshops
As buildings get taller, cities get denser and new construction products are being used, do we know if our structures will stand up when a fire breaks out? Just the mention of Grenfell Tower should make us concerned. Stellenbosch University’s Dr Richard Walls and Dr Nico de Koker, along with Oregon State University’s Prof Erica Fischer, will be running two seminars in Johannesburg and Cape Town to train local engineers and professionals involved with the built environment about structural design for fire safety. Topics to be covered include: fire behaviour, fire testing, material response in fire, steel buildings and passive protection, concrete structures in fire, design of timber members for fire and advanced design topics. Note: To assist with developing the fire industry a discount is offered for employees of municipalities and fire brigades to attend the course. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
It is important that when fire engineers, structural engineers and building control officials look at plans and designs of buildings they can understand questions such as:
- What does a one hour fire rating really mean? (It doesn’t mean your building will collapse after a fire burns in it for one hour. Also, did you know the standard fire is more than 100 years old and does not represent a “real fire”?)
- Can structural steel be left unprotected in a building? (In some cases, it can without safety being compromised)
- Is concrete always the safe option? (Did you know high-strength concrete can experience explosive spalling when heated?)
- Is timber always unsafe in fire? (Heavy timber chars at a consistent rate and can actually provide a good fire rating if properly engineered)
- Why is the architect specifying the passive protection paint? (Isn’t it the structural engineer who designed the building elements that the architect is now protecting?)
- Can my building which suffered a fire be repaired?
For more information contact: email@example.com