University of Cambridge > > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > TALK POSTPONED: Structural Fire Resiliance - How we’re getting it wrong, and why

TALK POSTPONED: Structural Fire Resiliance - How we’re getting it wrong, and why

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Karen Mitchell.

Structural designers are responsible – both ethically and in accordance with the Building Regulations – for ensuring that buildings “shall be designed and constructed so that, in the event of fire, (their) stability will be maintained for a reasonable period.” However, most structural designers give little detailed thought to structural design for fire safety – in contrast to other loading cases such as gravity, wind, seismic, etc.

Luke’s talk will explore, with examples, two postulations to suggest that current structural fire engineering practice fails to necessarily deliver fire-resilient buildings, both because of the ongoing evolution of construction materials and design methods, and because of a lack of awareness of fire safety issues amongst the majority of building designers.

These postulations can be summarised as follows: 1) Despite the (apparent) success of the engineering community at mitigating structural collapses in fires, we only very rarely explicitly consider the fire ‘resilience’ of designs. 2) Improper or unthinking application of ‘fire resistance’ testing and ‘fire resistance’ ratings represents a significant threat to the fire resilience of the built environment.

The talk will conclude by highlighting opportunities to address these shortcomings in the future.

Brief Bio:

Professor Luke Bisby, BEng MSc(Eng) PhD PEng(Ontario) CEng(IStructE) FIFireE FIStructE

School of Engineering, The University of Edinburgh

Luke is the Chair of Fire and Structures within the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, where he was formerly Acting Director of the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering. He is a graduate of McGill and Queen’s Universities, both in Canada, and author of more than 183 peer reviewed technical publications in areas related to structural design for fire safety, structural strengthening and rehabilitation, fire safety engineering, and engineering education. He is involved as an advisor or contributor to government, technical bodies, and building and fire code committees in the UK and internationally. He is a chartered structural engineer and a fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Institution of Fire Engineers.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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