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Fire hazards of exterior wall assemblies containing combustible components

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  • National Fire Protection Association NFPA

Abstract and Figures

The Fire Protection Research Foundation has funded a research project on "fire hazards of exterior wall assemblies containing combustible composites". This paper presents preliminary findings from the project. In particular, statistics relating to exterior wall fires have been reviewed. Exterior wall fires appear to account for somewhere between 1.3% and 3% of structure fires in the selected property types investigated. Fires involving combustible exterior wall assemblies are low frequency events however the resulting consequences in terms of extent of fire spread and injuries and fatalities can be large as demonstrated by selected fire incident case studies. An overview of this project and it's further work is provided.
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MATEC Web of Conferences 9, 02005 (2013)
DOI: 10.1051/matecconf/20130902005
C
Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
Fire hazards of exterior wall assemblies containing
combustible components
Nathan White
1
, Michael Delichatsios
2
, Marty Ahrens
3
and Amanda Kimball
4
1
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Melbourne, Australia
2
University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Northern Ireland
3
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Quincy, MA
4
Fire Protection Research Foundation, Quincy, USA
Abstract. The Fire Protection Research Foundation has funded a research project on “fire hazards of
exterior wall assemblies containing combustible composites”. This paper presents preliminary findings
from the project. In particular, statistics relating to exterior wall fires have been reviewed. Exterior wall
fires appear to account for somewhere between 1.3% and 3% of structure fires in the selected property
types investigated. Fires involving combustible exterior wall assemblies are low frequency events however
the resulting consequences in terms of extent of fire spread and injuries and fatalities can be large as
demonstrated by selected fire incident case studies. An overview of this project and it’s further work is
provided.
1. INTRODUCTION
Many combustible materials are used today in commercial wall assemblies to improve energy
performance, reduce water and air infiltration, and allow for aesthetic design flexibility. There have been
a number of documented fire incidents involving combustible exterior walls but a better understanding
is needed of the specific scenarios leading to these incidents to inform current test methods and potential
mitigating strategies. This paper presents preliminary findings from the Fire Protection Research
Foundation project on “fire hazards of exterior wall assemblies containing combustible composites”.
At the time this paper was written this project is at a preliminary, information gathering stage.
2. FIRE PROTECTION RESEARCH FOUNDATION PROJECT
The Fire Protection Research Foundation has initiated a research project on “fire hazards of exterior
wall assemblies containing combustible components”. The project objective is to develop the technical
basis for evaluation, testing and fire mitigation strategies for fire hazards of exterior wall systems with
combustible components. This research project is split into two phases.
Phase 1 of the project includes review of available fire statistics, fire incidents, literature and test
methods relating to combustible external wall assemblies including those assemblies listed below.
Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS) or synthetic stucco
Metal composite claddings such as Alucabond and Alpolic
High-pressure laminates
Structural Insulation Finish Systems (SIFS) and insulated sandwich panel systems
Weather-resistive barriers (WRB).
External timber panelling and facades including cross laminated timber (CLT).
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Article available at http://www.matec-conferences.org or http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/matecconf/20130902005
MATEC Web of Conferences
The scope of the current effort, which is summarized in this paper, only covers Phase 1. A possible
Phase 2 effort would include experiments to evaluate performance of exterior walls with combustible
materials.
3. U.S. FIRE STATISTICS 2007–2011
3.1 Methodology
A preliminary statistical analysis of building fires reported to U.S. municipal fire departments has been
completed for fire incidents relating to exterior walls.
The 2007–2011 statistics in this analysis are projections based on the detailed coded information
collected in Version 5.0 of the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFAs) National Fire Incident Reporting
System (NFIRS 5.0) and the findings of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPAs) annual
survey of local or municipal fire department experience [1, 2].
The number of NFIRS code choices relating to exterior wall fires is very limited and does not capture
information such as the type of exterior wall material (combustible or non-combustible), the extent of
fire spread, or the mechanism of fire spread (external surface or within cavity).
Except for property use and incident type, fires with unknown or unreported data were allocated
proportionally in all calculations. Casualty and loss projections can be heavily influenced by the
inclusion or exclusion of one or more unusually serious fires. Property damage has not been adjusted for
inflation. Fires, civilian deaths and injuries are rounded to the nearest one and direct property damage is
rounded to the nearest hundred thousand dollars (US).
Fires involving structures other than buildings (incident type 112), and fires in mobile property or
portable buildings used as a fixed structure (incident type 120-123) were also excluded.
The following property type use codes were included:
Public assembly (100-199)
Educational (200-299)
Health care, nursing homes, detention and correction (300-399)
Residential, excluding unclassified (other residential) and one-or two-family homes (420-499). This
includes hotels and motels, dormitories, residential board and care or assisted living, and rooming or
boarding houses.
Mercantile (500-589)
Office buildings, including banks, veterinary or research offices, and post offices (590-599)
Laboratories and data centres ( 629, 635, and 639)
Manufacturing or processing (700)
Selected storage properties: Refrigerated warehouses, warehouses, other vehicle storage, general
vehicle parking garages, and fire stations (839, 880, 882, 888, and 891).
Fires involving structures other than buildings (incident type 112), and fires in mobile property or
portable buildings used as a fixed structure (incident type 120-123) were also excluded.
Separate queries were performed for:
Fires s tarting in or the exterior wall surface area (area of origin code76),
Fires that did not start on the exterior wall area but the item first ignited was an exterior sidewall
covering, surface or finish, including eaves, (item first ignited code 12); and for
Fires which did not start in the exterior wall or area or with the ignition of exterior sidewall covering
but fire spread beyond the object of origin (fire spread codes 2-5) and the item contributing most to
fire s pread was the exterior sidewall covering (item contributing to flame spread code 12).
Results were summed after unknown or missing data, including extent of fire spread for the last
condition, were allocated. This summed result is taken to represent the total number of exterior wall
fires.
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Table 1. Total structure fires in selected properties.
Civilian Civilian Property damage Portion of
Property use Fires deaths injuries (US$ Millions) total fires
Public assembly 15,374 6 172 $446.2 (9%)
Educational 6,012 0 90 $105.1 (3%)
Institutional, 7,153 6 182 $59.6 (4%)
Residential 121,651 485 4,592 $1,548.8 (68%)
Mercantile 15,198 20 287 $724.8 (9%)
Office building 3,538 4 40 $112.1 (2%)
Laboratory & Data centre 234 0 10 $22.5 (0%)
Manufacturing or processing 5,742 8 176 $593.2 (3%)
Selected storage occupancies, 2,930 8 45 $230.7 (2%)
Total 177,833 537 5,595 $3,842.9 (100%)
Table 2. Exterior wall fires Building fires in selected properties in which the area of origin, item first ignited or
item contributing most to flame spread was an exterior wall.
Portion of
Civilian Civilian Property damage total structure
Property use Fires deaths injuries (US$Millions) fires
Public assembly 706 0 6 $30.8 (5%)
Educational 127 0 0 $2.8 (2%)
Institutional, 94 0 0 $4.6 (1%)
Residential 2,889 18 133 $197.2 (2%)
Mercantile 891 0 5 $31.1 (6%)
Office building 210 0 3 $7.6 (6%)
Laboratory & Data centre 5 0 0 $1.5 (2%)
Manufacturing or processing 120 0 1 $6.3 (2%)
Selected storage occupancies, 303 0 0 $13.1 (10%)
Total 5,346 18 148 $295.0 (3%)
Separate queries were performed for four above ground height groupings:
one to two stories,
threetofivestories,
six to ten stories, and
11 to 100 stories.
Separate queries were performed for four categories of automatic extinguishing system (AES) presence:
Present [code 1],
Partial system present [code 2],
NFPA adjustment indicating AES presence but the reason for failure was the AES was not in the fire
area [converted to code 8], and
None present [code N].
3.2 Results
Table 1 shows the total number of “structure fires” in the selected property types overall, regardless of
the area of origin or item first ignited. This includes fires with confined fire i ncident types (incident
type 113-118), including cooking fires confined to the vessel of origin, confined chimney or flue fires,
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1-2 stories
79%
3-5 stories
19%
6-10 stories
1%
11 to 100
stories
1%
Exterior wall fires - all building types
considered
1-2 stories
69%
3-5 stories
28%
6-10 stories
1%
11 to 100
stories
1%
Exterior wall fires - residenal, office &
insituonal
Figure 1. Percentage of Exterior wall fires by building height.
confined incinerator fires, confined compactor fires, confined fuel burner or boiler fires, and trash or
rubbish fires inside a structure with no damage to the structure or its contents.
Table 2 shows the total shows the building fires in selected properties that began on, at or with an
exterior wall, by property use. These exclude the confined fire incident types listed above.
For all building types, Exterior wall fires accounted for 3% of all structure fires. Exterior wall fires
also accounted for 3% of civilian deaths and injuries and 8% of property damage. The highest number
exterior wall fires occurred in residential buildings, and was 2% of the total residential structure fires.
However, the percentage of residential structure exterior wall fires was lower than the percentage of
selected storage properties, public assembly, office buildings, and mercantile properties, with exterior
wall fires being 10% of storage occupancy structure fires.
For exterior wall fires in the selected occupancies
42% were fires starting on the exterior wall surface,
32% were fires where the area of origin was not exterior wall, but item first ignited was exterior
sidewall covering, and
26% were fires where area of origin or item first ignited were not an exterior wall but the item
contributing most to fire spread was an exterior wall.
Inclusion of the exterior wall as the area of origin or item first ignited may be capturing scenarios such
as fires in external fuel loads located against external walls or exposure of external walls to fires from
adjacent buildings where the fire spreads to the interior of the building but the external (combustible or
non-combustible) wall does not play a significant role in the fire spread.
The percentage of exterior wall fires within buildings of different height categories is shown in
Figure 1. This indicates that the vast majority of exterior wall fires occur within low rise (5 stories or
less) buildings. This may be due to two reasons:
The majority of the building stock is low rise.
Sprinklers are more likely to be installed in high rise buildings and reduce the risk of internal fires
spreading via openings to the external facade.
As a sensitivity study, the percentage of exterior fires by building height has been plotted for only
residential, office and institutional type buildings as these are expected to have a larger proportion of
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AES Present
23%
Paral AES
present
1%
AES
presence
but not in
fire area
3%
No AES
present
73%
Exterior wall fires in buildings 1-2 stories
AES
Present
15%
Paral AES
present
1%
AES
presence
but not in
re area
3%
No AES
present
81%
Exterior wall fires in buildings 3-5 stories
AES Present
20%
Paral AES
present
3%
AES
presence
but not in
re area
4%
No AES
present
73%
Exterior wall fires in buildings 11-100 stories
Figure 2. Percentage of exterior wall fires by presence of automatic extinguishing system.
high rise building stock compared with other building types such as storage, manufacturing, mercantile
and educational. A slightly increased percentage of exterior wall fires occur in three to five stories
buildings compared to the other building types.
Figure 2 shows the percentage of exterior wall fires by presence of automatic extinguishing system
within the different building height categories. Figure 2 indicates that the majority of exterior wall fires
occur in buildings with no automatic suppression system or no automatic suppression system installed
in the fire area. Two points need to be considered when examining this data. The NFIRS data element
“presence of automatic extinguishing s ystem” is intended to document “the existence of an AES within
the AES’s designed range of a fire. NFPA added the category “present, but not in fire area, when an AES
was coded as present, but the reason for a failure to operate was “Fire not in area protected.
Typical thresholds above which sprinkler systems are required in the International Building Code
(IBC), 2012 Edition [3], include:
Mercantile: Over 12,000 ft
2
(1115 m
2
) in one fire area, or over 24,000 ft
2
(2230 m
2
) in combined fire
area on all floors, or more than 3 stories in height
High-Rise: All buildings over 55 ft (16.8 m) in height
Residential Apartments: All buildings except townhouses built as attached single-family dwellings.
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Table 3. NSWFB building fire statistics for area of fire origin [5].
Area of fire origin
Year
2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07
Wall assembly, 34 31 32 32
concealed wall space
Exterior wall surface 82 77 95 69
Total building fires 6,388 6,165 6,566 6,257
(all areas of fire origin)
Figure 3. Saif Belhasa building fire, Tecom 2012 (left) & Tamweel Tower fire 2012 (right).
Typical thresholds above which sprinkler systems are required in NFPA 5000, Building Construction
and Safety Code, 2012 Edition [4] include:
Mercantile: Over 12,000 ft
2
(1115 m
2
) i n gross fire area or three or more stories in height
High-Rise: All buildings over 75 ft (22.9 m) in height
Residential Apartments: All buildings except those in which each unit has individual exit discharge
to the street.
Although it is expected that the majority of high-rise buildings (6 stories or more) would have at least
internal sprinkler systems, the majority of exterior wall fires for high rise buildings occur in buildings
where no suppression system is installed. It is concluded that sprinkler systems are likely to have a
significant effect on the risk of exterior wall fires. For example internal sprinklers reduce the risk of
spread from an internal fire to the exterior facade.
The data presented in Figure 2 provides no information regarding failure of automatic suppression
systems where installed. However, previous NFPA reports address sprinkler effectiveness in general.
The data also does not enable analysis of the effectiveness of internal sprinklers vs external facade
sprinklers in preventing exterior wall fire spread.
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Figure 4. Mermoz Tower, Roubaix, France [1316] May 2012.
4. OTHER FIRE STATISTICS
4.1 New South Wales fire brigade statistics, Australia
The Australian Incident Reporting System (AIRS) is an Australian national database framework for
incidents reported to emergency services. Unfortunately not all Australian fire brigades actively report
to AIRS and it is currently not well maintained or easy to retrieve data from.
New South Wales Fire Brigade (NSWFB) is one of the largest fire brigades in Australia. NSWFB
publish annual fire statistics which represent a selection of the NSWFB AIRS data. The only information
relating to exterior wall fires is the “area of fire origin” as shown in Table 3.
This indicates fires starting in wall assembly/concealed wall space are 0.5% of the total fires and
fires starting on exterior wall surfaces are 1.3% of total fires. NSWFB statistics provide no information
relating to the number of fires where the main area or fire spread was the exterior wall assembly or the
types of exterior wall assemblies involved.
4.2 New Zealand fire service emergency incident statistics
The New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) publish annual fire statistics in a similar format to NSWFB.
Again, the only information relating to exterior wall fires is the “area of fire origin” as shown in table.
This indicates that fires starting in wall assembly/concealed wall space are 1.7% of the total fires
and fires starting on exterior wall surfaces are 5.0% of total fires.
Fire statistics in the UK and Europe are currently being collected.
5. SELECTED FIRE INCIDENTS
Although the rate of fires resulting in extensive fire spread involving combustible exterior wall systems is
low, the consequences of such fires is potentially very large. Examples of incidents on various different
types of combustible wall systems from around the world are presented.
5.1 Fires involving aluminium composite panels
A spate of recent facade fires in the United Arab Emirates has involved aluminium composite panels
with polyethylene cores. On 18 November 2012 a fire started at the top of the 34-storey Tamweel
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Table 4. NZFS building fire statistics for area of fire origin [6].
Area of fire origin
Year
2009/10 2008/09 2007/08 2006/07 2005/06
Wall assembly, 72 111 121 99 98
concealed wall space
Exterior wall surface 224 321 355 307 290
Total building fires 4,738 6,361 6,235 6,269 6,111
(all areas of fire origin)
Figure 5. EIFS fire, Dijon, France on 14 November 2010.
Tower, Dubai resulting in rapid fire spread down the external facade to ground level [7, 8]. This was
accompanied by a significant amount of falling flaming debris. In October 2012 a fire started in the
fourth floor of the 13 storey residential building in Dubais’s Tecom area [9, 10]. The fire rapidly spread
upwards on the aluminium composite facade to all floors above. A similar fire occurred in April 2012 in
a 14 storey residential building, Al Tayer Tower in Sharjah with the fire starting on the second floor and
spreading to all floors via the aluminium composite facade [11].
A change to the UAE Building code has been drafted to address fire safety requirements for facades
[12] however it is estimated that non-fire resistant aluminium composite panels are currently installed
on around 70% of high rise building facades in the UAE.
A similar fire occurred on 14, May 2012 at the Mermoz Tower, Roubaix, France [1316]. The fire
started on a second storey balcony of the 18 storey residential building. Flames spread upwards on the
facade reaching the top of the building and resulting in one fatality. Fire spread up through external
balcony channel which was lined with 3 mm thick aluminium composite cladding.
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Figure 6. EIFS fire, Mikolc, Hungary, 15 August 2005, in.
5.2 Fires involving EIFS
A fire in a residential building in Dijon, France on 14 November 2010 resulted in 7 fatalities [17]. The
fire started in an external garbage container resulting in r apid vertical fire spread on the façade. The
façade was an EIFS system with EPS insulation and mineral wool fire barriers.
On 15 August 2005, in Mikolc, Hungary, a fire started in a 6
th
floor residential kitchen resulting in
vertical fire spread on the EIFS façade to the top of the 11 story building, resulting in 3 fatalities. Factors
contributing to the fire spread were the use of EPS insulation, inadequate installation of insulation and
protective render and no use of mineral wool fire propagation barriers, particularly around window
reveals [18].
5.3 Fires involving other combustible wall materials
There has been some very large façade fire incidents reported in China. Unfortunately, detailed
information on these incidents or any regulatory changes in China has not been available. One example
is the Shanghai 28-storey residential building fire on 15 November 2010, believed to be caused by
welding resulting fire spread on polyurethane insulation to external walls. This resulted in 58 fatalities
[19]. Another example is the China Central Television headquarters (CCTV Tower). A 44 storey tower
nearing completion of construction. The facade at the top of the building was ignited by illegal fireworks.
The fire spread to involve the majority of the facade over the entire height of building. The façade is
believed to have i ncluded a polystyrene insulation [20].
6. TEST METHODS
This project will examine and compare applicable tests for combustible exterior wall assemblies such
as BS8414 part 1 & 2, ISO 13785 part 1 & 2, NFPA 285, SP105, CAN/ULCS134, DIN 4102-20 and the
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Figure 7. Shanghai Fire (left) and CCTV Tower, Beijing fire (right).
BRANZ Vertical channel test. It will also examine s mall scale fire tests which may be used for screening
of materials or determination of key flammability properties of the individual elements of the facades
that could be used for modeling.
The purpose of this review is to ascertain the degree to which these tests are uniform or equivalent
throughout the world as well as whether the tests and standards are adequate f or control of fire hazards
for combustible exterior wall assemblies, particularly in high-rise buildings.
Based on a preliminary review:
Dimensions and physical arrangement of facade tests vary. As an example, some large-scale tests
involve external corner walls 8 meters high (UK) or 5.7 m high (Germany and ISO) and 2.4 m and
1.3 m wide
There are wide differences in the source fire simulating a fire in the room of origin. Wood cribs,
liquid pool fires and gas burners are being used to generate maximum heat fluxes on the façade in the
range of 20 to 90 kW/m2. It will be investigated if these fires represent a sufficient exposure for real
life situations.
Test durations, measurements and acceptance criteria vary.
The degree to which suitability of fixing systems and fire spread through joints, voids and window
assemblies of a multifunctional façade assembly are tested varies. The Swedish SP-105 test appears
to address this by including multiple window openings in the tested façade.
Whilst large-scale facade tests do not measure key flammability properties of the individual elements
of the facades for direct input to modelling. These tests do provide useful validation for fire spread
modeling.
We believe that the existing standards are good to some extent. However, based on this review it is
possible that improvements to the current test methods may be identified to better cover the multitude
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of façade material systems and wide range of fire scenarios, such as large flash-over fires with excess
pyrolysate burning outside the room of the original fire.
7. CONCLUSIONS
This paper presents preliminary findings from the Fire Protection Research Foundation project on ‘fire
hazards of exterior wall assemblies containing combustible composites’. At the time this paper was
written t his project is at a preliminary, information gathering stage.
A review of statistics indicates the following:
Exterior wall fires appear to account for somewhere between 1.3% and 3% of total building fires.
The statistics reviewed do not provide detail relating to the types of combustible wall systems
involved and the extent of fire spread.
The US NFIRS is one of the best maintained fire incident databases worldwide. It is expected
that more detailed statistics relating to combustible exterior wall assembly fires are unlikely to be
available.
Some examples of significant combustible façade fires have been presented. This indicates that whilst
the rate of these fires is relatively low, the consequences in terms of property damage and fatalities can
be large.
The fire incidents presented are generally considered to be examples where materials or installation
methods have been used which would not be expected to meet regulations and test criteria in countries
where control of combustible facades is well developed.
The project objective is to develop the technical basis for evaluation, testing and fire mitigation
strategies for exterior fires exposing exterior wall systems with combustible components. This will be
achieved by further review of fire incidents and statistics, and regulations and test methods currently
adopted around the world.
NFPAs Fire Analysis Division has been of great assistance to conduct the review of the National Fire Incident
Reporting System database.
References
[1] John R. Hall Jr. BH. (1989) The national estimates approach to U.S. fire statistics. Fire
Technology. 1989 May 1989;Volume 25(Issue 2):pp 99-113.
[2] (2010) National Fire Incident Reporting System - complete reference guide. July 2010.
[3] ICC. (2012) 2012 International Building Code USA.
[4] (2012) NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code. Quincy, MA
[5] (2003-2007) NSW Fire Brigades Annual Statistical Reports 2007-2007. Sydney, NSW, Australia.
[6] (2005-2010) The New Zealand Fire Service Emergency Incident Statistics 2005-2010.
Wellington, New Zealand.
[7] Croucher M. (2012) Residents of Dubai’s Tamweel Tower relive fire ordeal. TheNationalUAE.
2012 Nov 19, 2012
[8] Croucher M. (2012) Aggressive changes to UAE fire-safety code after hundreds left homeless.
TheNationalUAE. 2012 Nov 26, 2012
[9] (2012) Two Serious Fire Outbreaks in Dubai Towers. FIRE Middle East. 2012.
[10] Barakat JPdLaN. (2012) Fire in Tecom building leaves seven families homeless. Gulf News. 2012
October 6, 2012.
[11] Derek Baldwin JPdL. (2012) Tower cladding in UAE fuels fire. Gulf News. 2012 May 2, 2012.
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[12] (2013) UAE Fire & Life Safety Code of Practice - Annexure A.1.21. Fire Stopping, Exterior Wall
Cladding and Roofing Systems (DRAFT). United Arab Emirates.
[13] Messerschmidt B. (2012) RE: Another Exterior Wall Fire. Received by: White N. Email
containing power point slides of Rockwool investigation of facade fire in Roubaix, France 14th
May 2012. Received: Thu 11/07/2013 11:27 PM.
[14] (2013) l’incendie tour mermoz pompiers de Roubaix [Movie]. YouTube; 2013 [cited
2013 19 July 2013]. Footage of Mermoz Tower Fire, Roubaix, France]. Available from:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= j4mIBQnUAfQ.
[15] (2012) Spectacular High-Rise Fire in France 2012 [cited 2013 19 July 2013]. Blog report on
Mermoz Tower fire, Roubaix, France]. Available from: http://firegeezer.com/2012/05/15/
spectacular-high-rise-fire-in-france/.
[16] (2012) High-rise blaze in 18-storey block in Roubaix, France 2012 [cited 2013 19 July 2013].
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[17] (2010) Seven die in fire in immigrant hostel in Dijon, France. BBC News Europe. 2010 14
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[18] HAJPÁL DM, editor (2012) Analysis of a tragic fire case in panel building of Miskolc. Integrated
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... Modern facade walls, especially in high-rise buildings, have become high-performance construction systems designed by advanced engineering [1] to improve the building's thermal insulation and acoustic performance. Although concerns about performance have evolved, the facade performance against fires is still lacking [3]. Fire propagation on facades is one of the fastest ways for a fire to spread and develop in the building [2]. ...
... Therefore, predicting the fire behaviour of fire on facades is essential for improving building resilience. Small-scale (or bench) tests do not have adequate means to reproduce some conditions, such as fire exposure, the interaction between layers, the presence of cavities, thermal elongation, and the installation of fastenings and joints [3]. In addition to these conditions, the external damage extension can only be properly observed in large-scale tests. ...
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Full-text available
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... A disparity in installation details and cavity barrier placement was noticed following major ventilated cladding fires. For example, the Knowsley Heights fire (UK, 1991) had no fire barriers in the air cavity below the cladding [3]. Barriers were not placed in the TVCC tower (China, 2009) and the insulation and cladding were both flammable [4]. ...
... Experimental setup using BS 8414.1 standards for the test of the full-scale ACP cladding system[3,17]. (a) Test rig, (b) Location of thermocouples. ...
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This paper investigates aluminium composite panels (ACPs) to understand the fire behaviour of combustible cladding systems under different fire scenarios. A fire dynamics simulator (FDS) is used to develop the numerical model of full-scale fire tests of combustible cladding systems using the procedures of the British BS 8414.1 standards. The results obtained from the FDS models are verified with test data. Seven test scenarios are investigated with four distinct parameters, i.e., cavity barrier, air-cavity gap, panel mounting (with and without joining gaps between the panels), and material combustibility qualities. A critical air-cavity gap (50–100 mm) is established at which maximum fire spread is noticed. Furthermore, variations in the cavity barrier, panel mounting, and material combustibility significantly impact the rapid fire spread of ACP cladding systems and the internal failure criterion. The results from the present study can serve as a basis for future research on the full-scale fire-test development of combustible ACPs.
... White e Delichatsios [2] relatam em sua pesquisa os diversos métodos de ensaio já desenvolvidos no mundo para avaliar o comportamento ao fogo em paredes de fachada com montagem em escala real, em que os corpos de prova para ensaio são montados ao sistema de ensaio conforme a aplicação final em obra. Os autores ainda descrevem que as dimensões do sistema de apoio aos ensaios, a carga de incêndio, os detalhes de fixação do corpo de prova ao sistema de ensaios, a severidade de exposição ao incêndio e os critérios de aceitação variam significativamente a cada método. ...
... Os autores ainda descrevem que as dimensões do sistema de apoio aos ensaios, a carga de incêndio, os detalhes de fixação do corpo de prova ao sistema de ensaios, a severidade de exposição ao incêndio e os critérios de aceitação variam significativamente a cada método. Os ensaios em escala reduzida (ou de bancada) não dispõem de meios adequados para reproduzir algumas condições importantes para a avaliação deste comportamento, como a severidade da exposição ao incêndio, a interação entre as várias camadas de diferentes tipos de materiais, a presença de cavidades, a expansão térmica e a instalação de fixações e de juntas [2]. ...
... A montagem do corpo de prova ao sistema de ensaio deve reproduzir, da melhor forma possível, a situação de aplicação em obra, sendo este requisito essencial dos métodos de ensaio em escala real [2]. A Tabela ...
Conference Paper
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A previsão do comportamento ao fogo dos sistemas de paredes de fachada têm se caracterizado como um desafio mundial para a segurança contra incêndio. Destaca-se que nas últimas três décadas o número de ocorrências de incêndio em fachadas cresceu em quase cinco vezes, segundo Bonner e Rein [1]. Ainda, tais dados apontam uma tendência crescente das ocorrências de incêndios, os quais são negativamente destacados e relatados na mídia, por conta da sua extensão e seu potencial destrutivo. Apesar disto, muitos dos incêndios de menor dimensão que ocorreram nas paredes fachadas não foram incluídos, mas há uma tendência clara de tais incêndios estão se tornando mais frequentes. White e Delichatsios [2] relatam em sua pesquisa os diversos métodos de ensaio já desenvolvidos no mundo para avaliar o comportamento ao fogo em paredes de fachada com montagem em escala real, situação esta que considera a montagem dos corpos de prova conforme a sua aplicação final em obra. Apontam que as dimensões do sistema de apoio aos ensaios, a carga de incêndio, os detalhes de fixação do corpo de prova ao sistema de ensaios, a severidade de exposição ao incêndio e os critérios de aceitação variam significativamente a cada método. Foi consolidado por Böstrom et al.[3] os principais parâmetros e requisitos exigidos nos métodos de ensaio para avaliação do comportamento ao fogo nas paredes de fachada utilizados nos países europeus. McNamee et al. [4] expõem a necessidade do desenvolvimento de novos métodos de ensaio visando uma melhor compreensão da dinâmica do fogo relacionada aos incêndios nos sistemas construtivos. Foram analisados os métodos de ensaio definidos nas normas técnicas DIN 4102-20 [2], ISO 13785 Parte 2 [5], BS 8414 Partes 1 e 2 [6,7], LEPIR 2 [8], SP Fire 105 [9], ANSI FM 4880 [10], NFPA 285 [11] e CAN / ULC S134 [2] e consolidados parâmetros relevantes que envolvem a avaliação do comportamento ao fogo em paredes de fachada em escala real, em quatro tópicos distintos: as características principais do sistema de apoio ao ensaio, dimensões e características do corpo de prova, as condições de exposição ao fogo e os critérios para avaliação e classificação dos danos nos corpos de prova. Apresenta-se discussões aos métodos analisados, incluindo: a severidade da exposição ao incêndio, a utilização dos resultados de ensaio, a montagem do corpo de prova, os critérios de aceitação para avaliação dos danos e o posicionamento da carga de incêndio em relação ao sistema de fachada, no sentido de apontar lacunas técnicas e de fornecer subsídios para o estudo e aplicação dos referidos métodos
... On the 1st of October 2010, the Wooshin Golden Suites fire in Busan (South Korea) occurred after a spark from an electric outlet [29]. The super high-rise building was multi-purpose with both residential and commercial units. ...
... The super high-rise building was multi-purpose with both residential and commercial units. Combustible cladding propelled a rapid spread of the fire up the exterior to the top of the building within 20 minutes [29]. There were five injuries reported, with some residents having to escape by helicopter [29]. ...
... Combustible cladding propelled a rapid spread of the fire up the exterior to the top of the building within 20 minutes [29]. There were five injuries reported, with some residents having to escape by helicopter [29]. Following the incident, experts commented that such high-rise buildings were defenceless against fires, and this would have resulted in multiple fatalities had the fire been during the night [30]. ...
... In this context, some recent studies have focused on the materials used in construction of the external envelope of a building [5][6][7]. Several standardized tests also exist in different building codes available across the world, a comprehensive review of which is available in the literature [8]. The issue of spread of fire and smoke is not limited in buildings with combustible fac¸ade materials. ...
Article
Facade systems used in modern buildings have received much attention in recent times due to their involvement in the propagation of fires in various incidents. These systems comprise of multiple components—cladding frame (typically of aluminum), façade panels (glass, aluminum composite panels, etc.), perimeter firestop (to seal the gap between floor and façade) and spandrel fire protection (typically provided from the inside of a compartment). While many standardized testing methods exist for quantifying their fire performance, most of them consider the behavior of individual components in isolation. The test conditions are also quite different from those encountered in real fire scenarios. The current study highlights these gaps and provides inferences from six full-scale real fire experiments conducted in a three-storey structure with different façade (curtain wall) and firestop configurations. Combustible façade panels of aluminum composite panels (ACP) and medium density fiberboard (MDF) and non-combustible glass panels of single glazed units and double-glazed units were utilized whereas two different methods of edge of the slab firestop and spandrel insulation were employed. The fire scenarios were developed at all floor levels (fire loads as well as initial ventilation conditions) as per realistic residential/office type dwellings. It was found that once the flames leap out of the fire compartment due to the failure of the façade panels, the spandrel area was subjected to 31 kW/m2 of additional heat flux, which indicated the need to consider fire protection of the spandrel area from the outside, especially for combustible façade systems. Further, one of the firestop installation methods was found to be more robust to address site tolerances and installation uncertainties arising due to workmanship as it allowed significantly less ingress of hot gases and toxic fumes to the upper floors. In terms of the two combustible panels, ACP and MDF, it was found that there were differences in their performance in a bench-scale experiment (cone calorimeter) and the full-scale experiments. MDF was found to perform better in the full-scale experiments. The method used for securement of the façade panels (pressure tape/silicone sealant and screws) was also found to have significant effect on the overall performance of the façade system; the failure mechanism of the façade panels was found to be different in both cases. It is expected that the findings presented in this study will provide insights to the real performance of different façade components as a system and will help in improving the codes and standards in the future.
... White e Delichatsios [2] em sua ampla pesquisa identificaram os parâmetros comuns entre as metodologias de avaliação do comportamento ao fogo em fachadas, tendo em conta a capacidade de influenciarem diretamente a propagação do incêndio na envolvente externa. Estes parâmetros são o cenário de exposição ao fogo, a geometria e forma do corpo de prova, o combustível de ensaio, as condições de exposição (o que se deve medir em termos de temperaturas e fluxo de calor) e duração da exposição ao fogo. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A previsão do comportamento ao fogo em fachadas é de grande importância para a resiliência do edifício contra a ação do incêndio. Diversos trabalhos têm utilizado o software FDS – Fire Dynamics Simulator [1] para o estudo da dinâmica do incêndio e seus efeitos. Foram desenvolvidas análises numérico-experimentais utilizando as normas BS-8414-1[2,3,4], LEPIR II [5] e ISO-13785-1 [6,7] e para avaliar o comportamento ao fogo de sistemas construtivos utilizados para revestimento de fachadas avaliados por estes métodos. Tais estudos consideram que o incêndio de referência se inicia no interior do edifício e avança ao seu exterior, um cenário típico de edificação em área urbana. A envolvente externa dos edifícios industriais pode estar submetida à condições severas de exposição ao fogo, como é caso dos incêndios adjacentes à fachada, sendo um cenário relevante e não explorado em trabalhos anteriores. White e Delichatsios [8] em sua ampla pesquisa identificaram os parâmetros comuns entre as metodologias de avaliação do comportamento ao fogo em fachadas, tendo em conta a capacidade de influenciarem diretamente a propagação do fogo na envolvente externa, sendo: o cenário de exposição ao fogo, a geometria e forma do corpo de prova, o combustível de ensaio, as condições de exposição (o que se deve medir em termos de temperaturas e fluxo de calor) e duração da exposição ao fogo. Tais parâmetros, por serem distintos entre os diferentes métodos, impedem que os resultados sejam comparáveis e restrinjam a aplicação dos resultados dos ensaios nos devidos locais em que são exigidos. O artigo apresenta a comparação entre os resultados dos ensaios experimentais em escala real e os obtidos nos modelos numéricos com o software FDS [1], considerando o sistema de ensaio da norma BS-8414-2 [7], em solução de parede de fachada em painel sanduíche com núcleo em lã de rocha. Esta comparação irá considerar dois cenários distintos de exposição ao incêndio de referência: 1) carga de incêndio no interior do edifício (idem ao método da BS-8414-2) e; 2) carga de incêndio no exterior e próxima à parede de fachada. Pretende-se avaliar, com esta comparação, a severidade do incêndio em termos da evolução das temperaturas e do fluxo de calor recebido na fachada ao longo do tempo, identificando os principais desvios entre o modelo numérico-experimental.
Thesis
From past few decades, need for high-rise buildings has increased to meet the modern urbanization demands. However, the complexities of construction and increased fuel loading have resulted in frequent fire incidents in them resulting in considerable amount of loss in terms of life and property. This outburst has urged engineers and researchers worldwide to devise their safety measures. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the involved physics in fire and smoke spread in high-rise buildings both internally and externally. Undoubtedly, such fires cannot be reconstructed physically due to the large-scale involved. Therefore, the only way to investigate these fires is by performing experiments at lab-scale with boundary conditions similar to the real scenarios or performing numerical simulations, using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes when experiments are not possible or to save cost/time. This is the overall objective of the present work in this PhD thesis to explore and employ small-scale experimental methods and numerical tools for studying external and internal fire spread in high-rise buildings. The whole work has been divided into three major parts - Experimental, Numerical and Performance-Based Design (PBD).
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Yangın yapıyı ve kullanıcıları kısa sürede etkisi altına alıp can kayıpları, yaralanmalar ve büyük maddi kayıplar verebilen bir afettir. Özellikle yüksek katlı ve giydirme cepheli yapılarda yangının cephe boyunca kısa sürede hızla yayılması yapı ve kullanıcılar açısından tehlike oluşturmaktadır. Son yıllarda, Grenfell Tower (2017) ve Lacrosse (2014) gibi büyük yangınlar başta olmak üzere cephe yangınlarının çoğunun havalandırmalı giydirme cephelerde (Rainscreen) meydana gelmesi, binaların cephe tasarımında yangın güvenliği açısından eksiklikler olduğunu ortaya koymakta ve daha fazla çalışmanın gerekliliğini vurgulamaktadır. Bu nedenle çalışmada, pasif yangın güvenlik önlemleri kapsamında havalandırmalı giydirme cephelerde meydana gelmiş olan yangın olayları ve akademik çalışmalar kapsamında yapılan yangın yayılım deneyleri incelenip değerlendirilmiş, laboratuvarlarda çevresel etkenlerin birçoğunun bulunmadığı yalıtımlı ortamlarda gerçekleştirilen deneylerin sonuçları ile gerçek zamanlı yangınların yayılım dinamiğinin karşılaştırılması ve deneyler ile gerçek zamanlı olayların ne derece örtüştüğünün ortaya koyulması amaçlanmıştır. Çalışma kapsamında, gerçek zamanlı yangınlar ve deneyler yangın raporları ve akademik çalışmalar aracılığı ile incelenmiş, elde edilen veriler ile havalandırmalı giydirme cephelerde yangın yayılım dinamiği analiz edilmiştir. Yapılan incelemelerde 2010 ve 2021 yılları arasında incelenen 41 adet cephe yangınından 21 tanesinin havalandırmalı giydirme cephelerde meydana geldiği, 11 tanesinin ise kayıtlı bir cephe bilgisi olmadığı görülmüştür. Bu durum tüm cephelerin %51’ini temsil ederken, bilinen cephelerin %70’i gibi büyük bir oranı temsil etmektedir. Bu doğrultuda çalışma, 2010 ve 2021 yılları arasında meydana gelen havalandırmalı giydirme cephelerdeki yangın olayları ile sınırlandırılmıştır. Çalışma, yangın dinamiğinin havalandırmalı giydirme cephelerde oluşturduğu etkiler hakkında deneysel verilerin araştırmacılara, tasarımcılara, üreticilere ve uygulayıcılara bilgi vermek ve tasarım sırasında alabilecekleri önlemleri vurgulamak açısından önem taşımaktadır.
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Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, sits in the north of Iraq with 3.5-million population. Mosul underwent brutal battles against extremist groups after 2003, which ended victim with the fall of the city in the grip of ISIS troops in 2014. Subsequent military actions have led to an internal displacement of millions of Mosul's residents to other safer neighbourhoods. Displacement of families also took the form of migration to other cities in Iraq. This horrific scenario necessitated the importance of finding suitable emergency shelters in the city designed and prepared to receive the displaced from all over the war-hit zones. These emergency shelters can be the existing buildings within the city that can be conveniently transformed into emergency shelters. The provided facilities should be regularly distributed within the city's neighbourhoods and are easily accessible. Moreover, they should accommodate many displaced people and meet minimal requirements for establishing shelters. The mosques in Mosul could be the best choice for emergency shelter specifications. Evidence has shown that mosques can be used as emergency shelters during recent disastrous situations. This study investigates the prospect of converting mosques in Mosul into emergency shelters during wars, conflicts, and even natural disasters. To this end, some of the newly constructed and relatively large mosques were selected to verify whether they are designed to meet international standards for constructing emergency shelters. The results revealed that the selected mosques in Mosul city could be used as emergency shelters by just adding a few functions.
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The development of the National Fire Incident Reporting System in the late 1970s made detailed, representative national fire statistics possible for the first time. However, calculation rules used to produce these statistics have varied among users. The authors present a detailed consensus procedure for such calculations and the supporting rationale.
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RE: Another Exterior Wall Fire. Received by: White N. Email containing power point slides of Rockwool investigation of facade fire in Roubaix
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