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Structural Design for Fire Safety, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-97289-2
438 pages
January 2017
Structural Design for Fire Safety, 2nd Edition (0470972890) cover image


Structural Design for Fire Safety, 2nd edition

Andrew H. Buchanan, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Anthony K. Abu, University of Canterbury, New Zealand


A practical and informative guide to structural fire engineering


This book presents a comprehensive overview of structural fire engineering. An update on the first edition, the book describes new developments in the past ten years, including advanced calculation methods and computer programs. Further additions include: calculation methods for membrane action in floor slabs exposed to fires; a chapter on composite steel-concrete construction; and case studies of structural collapses.

The book begins with an introduction to fire safety in buildings, from fire growth and development to the devastating effects of severe fires on large building structures. Methods of calculating fire severity and fire resistance are then described in detail, together with both simple and advanced methods for assessing and designing for structural fire safety in buildings constructed from structural steel, reinforced concrete, or structural timber.

Structural Design for Fire Safety, 2nd edition bridges the information gap between fire safety engineers, structural engineers and building officials, and it will be useful for many others including architects, code writers, building designers, and firefighters.


Key features:

• Updated references to current research, as well as new end-of-chapter questions and worked examples.

•Authors experienced in teaching, researching, and applying structural fire engineering in real buildings.

• A focus on basic principles rather than specific building code requirements, for an international audience.


An essential guide for structural engineers who wish to improve their understanding of buildings exposed to severe fires and an ideal textbook for introductory or advanced courses in structural fire engineering.

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Table of Contents

Preface xv

List of Notations xvi

1 Introduction 1

1.1 Objective and Target Audience 1

1.2 Fire Safety 2

1.3 Performance ]based Design 2

1.4 Structural Fire Engineering 5

1.5 Purpose of this Book 5

1.6 Units 6

1.7 Organization of Chapters 6

2 Fire Safety in Buildings 8

2.1 Fire Safety Objectives 8

2.2 Process of Fire Development 9

2.3 Conceptual Framework for Fire Safety 13

2.4 Fire Resistance 17

2.5 Controlling Fire Spread 22

2.6 Building Construction for Fire Safety 29

2.7 Assessment and Repair of Fire Damage 31

3 Fires and Heat 35

3.1 Fires in General 35

3.2 Combustion 37

3.3 Fire Initiation 39

3.4 Pre ]flashover Fires 40

3.5 Flashover 48

3.6 Post ]flashover Fires 49

3.7 Design Fires 60

3.8 Other Factors 66

3.9 Heat Transfer 69

3.10 Worked Examples 75

4 Fire Severity and Fire Resistance 84

4.1 Providing Fire Resistance 84

4.2 Fire Severity 89

4.3 Equivalent Fire Severity 90

4.4 Fire Resistance 95

4.5 Fire Resistance Tests 96

4.6 Specifying Fire Resistance 103

4.7 Fire Resistance of Assemblies 107

4.8 Worked Examples 113

5 Design of Structures Exposed to Fire 115

5.1 Structural Design at Normal Temperatures 115

5.2 Loads 116

5.3 Structural Design in Fire Conditions 122

5.4 Material Properties in Fire 126

5.5 Design of Individual Members Exposed to Fire 130

5.6 Design of Structural Assemblies Exposed to Fire 135

5.7 Worked Examples 149

6 Steel Structures 154

6.1 Behaviour of Steel Structures in Fire 154

6.2 Steel Temperature Prediction 157

6.3 Protection Systems 166

6.4 Mechanical Properties of Steel at Elevated Temperature 171

6.5 Design of Steel Members Exposed to Fire 179

6.6 Bolted and Welded Connections 187

6.7 Cast ]iron Members 188

6.8 Design of Steel Buildings Exposed to Fire 188

6.9 Worked Examples 188

7 Concrete Structures 195

7.1 Behaviour of Concrete Structures in Fire 195

7.2 Concrete Materials in Fire 196

7.3 Spalling of Cover Concrete 201

7.4 Concrete and Steel Reinforcing Temperatures 202

7.5 Mechanical Properties of Concrete at Elevated Temperatures 207

7.6 Design of Concrete Members Exposed to Fire 213

7.7 Worked Examples 224

8 Composite Structures 234

8.1 Fire Resistance of Composite Elements 234

8.2 Assessing Fire Resistance 237

8.3 Behaviour and Design of Individual Composite Members in Fire 238

8.4 Design of Steel and Composite Buildings Exposed to Fire 248

8.5 Worked Example 255

9 Timber Structures 257

9.1 Description of Timber Construction 257

9.2 Wood Temperatures 261

9.3 Mechanical Properties of Wood 264

9.4 Charring Rate 273

9.5 Design for Fire Resistance of Heavy Timber Members 280

9.6 Timber Connections in Fire 290

9.7 Worked Examples 297

10 Light Frame Construction 301

10.1 Summary of Light Frame Construction 301

10.2 Gypsum Plaster Board 304

10.3 Fire Behaviour 309

10.4 Fire Resistance Ratings 311

10.5 Design for Separating Function 314

10.6 Design for Load ]bearing Capacity 318

10.7 Steel Stud Walls 325

10.8 Timber Joist Floors 327

10.9 Timber Trusses 328

10.10 Construction Details 329

10.11 Lightweight Sandwich Panels 335

11 Advanced Calculation Methods 340

11.1 Types of Advanced Calculation Methods 340

11.2 Fire Models 341

11.3 Thermal Response Models 344

11.4 Advanced Structural Models 348

11.5 Advanced Hand Calculation Methods 349

11.6 Finite Element Methods for Advanced Structural Calculations 355

11.7 Software Packages for Structural and Thermal Fire Analysis 369

12 Design Recommendations 371

12.1 Summary of Main Points 371

12.2 Summary for Main Materials 372

12.3 Thermal Analysis 375

12.4 Conclusions 376

Appendix A: Units and Conversion Factors 377

Appendix B: Section Factors for Steel Beams 381

References 394

Index 411

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Author Information

Dr Andy Buchanan is Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He has a B.E.(Honours) degree from the University of Canterbury, a Masters degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D from the University of British Columbia, Canada. He is a structural engineer with special interests in fire resistance, earthquake engineering and timber structures. After gaining experiences as a consulting structural engineer, he joined the University of Canterbury over 20 years ago, where he established the fire engineering programme, leading to the first edition of Structural Design for Fire Safety in 2001. His recent research interests are in structural design and fire performance of multi-storey timber buildings, including the rebuild of Christchurch after recent devastating earthquakes.

Dr Anthony Abu is a Senior Lecturer in Structural Fire Engineering at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He has a B.Sc.(High Honour) degree from Eastern Mediterranean University in Northern Cyprus, and a Ph.D from the University of Sheffield, UK. Dr Abu is a structural engineer with particular expertise in building resistance to fires. He has worked with consultancies in both the UK and New Zealand to develop structural fire engineering solutions for stadia, office complexes and airports. He was involved in the implementation of the structural fire engineering Eurocodes in the UK. At the University of Canterbury he teaches structural mechanics and structural fire engineering, and has been involved in fire resistance research for steel, reinforced concrete and timber structures since 2009.

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