You are on page 1of 197

Structural Fire

Engineering
Tom Lennon
Principal Consultant, Structural Fire Engineering,
BRE Fire and Security, UK
Published by ICE Publishing, 40 Marsh Wall, London E14 9TP.
Co-published by IHS BRE Press, Willoughby Road, Bracknell
RG12 8FB
Distributors for ICE Publishing books are
USA: Publishers Storage and Shipping Corp., 46 Development Road,
Fitchburg, MA 01420
First published 2011
Also available from ICE Publishing
Blast Effects on Buildings, Second edition
D. Cormie. ISBN 978-0-7277-3521-8
Handbook of Tunnel Fire Safety
A. Beard. ISBN 978-0-7277-3168-5
Handbook of Tunnel Fire Safety, Second edition
A. Beard. ISBN 978-0-7277-4153-0
Designers Guide to EN 1991-1-2, EN 1992-1-2, EN 1993-1-2
and EN 1994-1-2
T. Lennon. ISBN 978-0-7277-3157-9
www.icevirtuallibrary.com
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
# Thomas Telford Limited 2011
ICE Publishing is a division of Thomas Telford Ltd, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
All rights, including translation, reserved. Except as permitted by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, no part of this publication
may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval systemor transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or
otherwise, without the prior written permission of the Publisher, ICE
Publishing, 40 Marsh Wall, London E14 9TP.
This book is published on the understanding that the author is solely
responsible for the statements made and opinions expressed in it
and that its publication does not necessarily imply that such
statements and/or opinions are or reect the views or opinions of the
publishers. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the
statements made and the opinions expressed in this publication
provide a safe and accurate guide, no liability or responsibility can be
accepted in this respect by the author or publishers.
Typeset by Academic Technical, Bristol
Index created by Indexing Specialists (UK) Ltd, Hove, East Sussex
Printed and bound in Great Britain by CPI Antony Rowe Limited,
Chippenham and Eastbourne
Preface
Structural re engineering, as a recognised discipline, is still in its
infancy. Great progress has been made in recent decades, in
furthering our understanding of material behaviour in re and of
the interactions between structural elements that occur during a
re. Much of our current understanding has arisen as a
consequence of structural engineers coming to terms with the
transient conditions associated with a re, and re scientists
appreciating the crucial role that structural integrity plays in
ensuring safe access routes for building occupants and re
ghters.
The Building Regulations Approved Document B provides a
performance-based regulatory framework for the re safety of
buildings which allows for alternative re engineering methods
as a means of satisfying the mandatory functional requirements.
To take full advantage of the opportunities provided by this
exible approach to regulation, the expertise of the re scientist
must be combined with that of the structural engineer so that a
holistic approach can be made to the design of buildings for re.
Such an interdisciplinary approach is essential to the efcient
implementation of the current generation of national and
European re standards for structures.
It is hoped that this book will go some way towards
demystifying the subject of structural re engineering and
encouraging performance-based approaches to design that,
where appropriate, go beyond the limitations of current methods
of test and assessment.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not
necessarily reect those of his current employer.
vii
Contents
Preface vii
Acknowledgements ix
01 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction 1
References 5
02 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Regulatory requirements 7
2.1. Historical background 7
2.2. Building regulations and associated guidance 8
2.3. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 10
References 14
03 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fire test and assessment procedures 15
3.1. Reaction to re 15
3.2. Fire resistance 25
3.3. External wall construction 32
References 35
04 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Structural re engineering design 39
4.1. Compartment timetemperature response 40
4.2 Heat transfer 56
4.3. Load effects at the re limit state 68
References 72
05 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fire engineering design of concrete structures 75
5.1. Introduction 75
5.2. Available options 75
5.3. Comparison with BS 8110 76
5.4. Worked example 80
5.5. Spalling 88
References 92
06 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fire engineering design of steel structures 93
6.1. Introduction 93
6.2. Available options 94
6.3. Comparison with BS 5950 Part 8 94
6.4. Worked examples 96
6.5. Design guidance 101
References 103
07 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fire engineering design of composite steel and
concrete structures 105
7.1. Introduction 105
7.2. Available options 105
References 118
08 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fire engineering design of timber, masonry and
aluminium structures 119
8.1. Introduction 119
8.2. Fire engineering design of timber structures 119
8.3. Fire engineering design of masonry structures 125
8.4. Fire engineering design of aluminium structures 128
References 130
v
09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fire engineering design of connections 131
9.1. Introduction 131
9.2. Timber connections 131
9.3. Concrete connections 133
9.4. Steel connections 134
References 146
10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Whole building behaviour and large-scale testing 149
10.1. Introduction 149
10.2. Cardington re tests 150
10.3. Discussion 159
References 159
11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Current and future issues 161
11.1. Modern methods of construction 161
11.2. Fires during construction 167
References 172
Index 173
vi
Chapter 1
Introduction
The idea for this book dates back to a time when myself and my colleagues at the Building
Research Establishment (BRE) were commissioned by the (then) Ofce of the Deputy
Prime Minister to prepare performance-based design guidance that aimed to bring together
the previously separate disciplines of re engineering and structural engineering to enable
designers to provide site-specic solutions based on the particular characteristics of the
project. This was truly quite a lofty ambition and, this author believes, the suite of BRE
Digests (Bailey, 2004; Bregulla and Enjily, 2004; De Vekey, 2004; Lennon, 2004a, 2004b,
2004c; Purser, 2004; Welch, 2004) published as a consequence of this initiative went some
way to achieving the intended objective. At the time of the Digests publication the re
parts of the structural Eurocodes (BSI, 2002, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2005d, 2006, 2007)
were not generally available and structural engineers were largely unaware of the options
in relation to structural re engineering design procedures. Nowall the relevant documents
have been published by the BritishStandards Institution (BSI) and conicting standards are
to be withdrawn, it is a good time to revisit this situation and to try once again to bridge this
gap between the specialist re safety engineer and the structural engineering profession.
Although there are very few books available that deal specically with structural re
engineering, those that are available are of a very high standard. Over many years this
author has regularly used two excellent text books (Buchanan, 2002; Purkiss, 1996)
which provide a constant source of reference and guidance. I am not attempting to
reproduce, much less improve, on these excellent publications but to provide a book
with a slightly different emphasis. Both of the established texts referred to provide an
explanation of the principles and methodology of structural re engineering design
from an academic standpoint. Much of the detailed information concerning the
thermal and mechanical properties of commonly used construction materials at elevated
temperature would be used by fellow academics, and would be essential reading for those
involved in the complex discipline of thermal and structural modelling for the re
situation. This book is not intended to be a reference document for specialists. It is
aimed primarily at practising structural engineers who wish to learn more about the
subject of structural re engineering. It will also be of use to all those involved in the
procurement, design, construction, regulation and certication of buildings and building
products in relation to performance in re including insurers and reghters.
The author would like this book to serve as a reference document and, specically, as a
guide to other more specialised sources of reference. There is a great deal of quality
1
Structural Fire Engineering
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
ICE Publishing: All rights reserved
doi: 10.1680/sfe.41417.001
information available on subjects ranging from Eurocode re design to re investigation
much of it freely available as downloads from websites. Where possible, relevant web
addresses have been included for important documents. It is hoped that this will go some
way to ensure that the references are not obsolete by the time the book is published. One
particular source of reference that should be highlighted at the outset is the web-based
One stop shop for structural re engineering hosted by the University of Manchester
under the able stewardship of Professor Colin Bailey. It covers many of the areas
dealt with by this book and much else besides, and anyone with even a cursory interest
in the subject should be encouraged to add its web address (University of Manchester,
2005) to their list of favourites.
At the time of writing, the European construction industry is entering a critical phase in
relation to the design and execution of building works. Those of us active in the elds of
education and research have been aware for many years of the importance of the
harmonised standards and the need to provide information to assist UK designers in
the transition between national and European design methods. We have now reached
the period where conicting national standards will be withdrawn. Although our
regulatory system is functionally based and designers are free to adopt whichever
approach they think is most appropriate, adherence to the principles of the structural
Eurocodes will demonstrate de facto compliance with the Essential Requirements as
set out in Council Directive 89/106/EEC, particularly in relation to Essential Require-
ment 1 Mechanical resistance and stability and Essential Requirement 2 Safety in
case of re (EC, 1988). The Eurocodes will also serve as a basis for specifying contracts
for the execution of construction works and related services in the area of public works
and serve as a framework for drawing up harmonised specications for construction
products. In short, they will become the primary means of designing construction
works within the European Economic Area and beyond. It is therefore vitally important
that UK engineers understand the system and are familiar with the opportunities
afforded to them through the various design procedures detailed in the structural Euro-
codes. For detailed information on the Eurocode system, including guidance on the
nature and use of National Annexes and Nationally Determined Parameters in relation
to re, the reader should consult either the Eurocode expert website (ICE, 2007) or one of
the related text books (Lennon et al., 2006). Guidance on the particular details of
individual codes has been published and offers a useful source of reference for those
unfamiliar with the background to the development of the codes (Franssen and
Zaharia, 2005; Institution of Structural Engineers and Communities and Local Govern-
ment, 2010; Lennon et al., 2007). Guidance is also available through industry bodies and
trade associations (Access Steel, 2006; Concrete Centre, 2009).
The re parts of the structural Eurocodes are based on the same principles that govern
behaviour at ambient temperature and many of the calculation procedures use equations
with which structural engineers with expertise in ambient temperature design will be
familiar. What is required is an explanation of the structural re engineering design
process and its position within the UK regulatory system, some guidance on the selection
of appropriate partial factors for the re limit state for variations in material properties
and loading and for factors to account for the reduction in strength and stiffness with
2
Structural Fire Engineering
increasing temperature. In providing at least some of this information within this book,
the author hopes to encourage the wider application of the principles of structural re
engineering among structural engineers generally unfamiliar with the behaviour of
structures at elevated temperature and wary of venturing outside their own areas of
expertise. There are obviously many situations where specialist advice is required;
there are many specialised re engineering consultancies (with access to, and experience
of, advanced computer programs for determining structural performance at elevated
temperature) that can provide such expert advice. However, the basic concepts of
reduction factors for material strength, partial factors for material variability and
loading associated with the re situation and the relationship between applied load
and performance in re can be used with condence by structural engineers to provide
optimum solutions for specic applications.
A number of other publications deal with the regulatory requirements for the control of
materials and structures and the relationship between the requirements of the regulations
and the standard methods of test and assessment. Other specialist publications deal with
material performance at elevated temperature and yet others still deal with the detailed
calculation procedures that can be used as an alternative to the regime of standard testing
and assessment. What this book attempts to do is bring together a body of information
generally dealt with separately. It is hoped that this will place structural re engineering
design procedures within a context and framework that is familiar to many readers. For
those already familiar with structural re engineering design procedures, the information
on standard methods of test and assessment and their function within the regulatory
framework will hopefully provide a broader perspective to the design standards. For
those familiar with current methods of test and assessment, although perhaps unfamiliar
with alternative methods of complying with the regulations through calculations based
on the principles of structural engineering, the information presented may highlight
the limitations of the current test and assessment procedures.
Many of the arguments within the structural re engineering community centre on the
relationship between prescriptive and performance-based design methodologies. In
general, prescriptive regulatory requirements and a reliance on prescriptive design solu-
tions (such as tabulated data or deemed to satisfy requirements) have been seen as an
obstacle to a more rational approach to the design of elements and structures subject
to re. Conversely, a performance-based solution that sets out specic performance
criteria related to the specic project and determines performance against the set criteria
in relation to complex calculations that take into account the complexities of whole
building behaviour, including interactions between structural elements, load redistribu-
tion and the effect of constrained expansion, may be seen as the ultimate goal. Within the
UK, the regulations are functionally based so the freedom is there to develop site-specic
solutions for structural re design. However, the important question to ask is: what is the
most appropriate solution for any specic project? The answer to this may lie in the
amount of additional design effort required to provide a performance-based solution
and the balance between this additional effort and any potential savings that can be
made in materials and/or re protection. Many of the advanced design methods and
many of the simple calculation methods set out in codes and standards have a limited
3
Introduction
eld of application generally related to the experimental validation undertaken. For
example, many of the simple calculation methods included in the Eurocodes have
only been validated for a thermal exposure corresponding to the standard re curve.
What is available is a range of different solutions ranging from simple prescriptive
guidance to complex thermal and structural modelling. The most appropriate solution
in any given case will be dependent on the nature of the project and the expertise of
the designer.
This book is quite an ambitious undertaking in that it deals not only with a complex
subject (structural re engineering) but also with a range of different materials where
the state of knowledge with regard to performance in re and the associated design
procedures varies greatly. The author cannot claim to be an expert in relation to the
performance of all materials at elevated temperature. Many of the complexities of
material decomposition and phase changes are beyond his limited understanding of
chemistry or materials science. However, he has been very fortunate in his career to
have been able to undertake large-scale re tests on a wide range of different forms of
construction, incorporating all the most commonly used construction materials and a
few not so widely used. He is therefore able to provide a broad overview of the
subject and hopefully a view that will be of some use to engineers, designers, regulators
and others with an interest in this area but having little or no specialist knowledge.
Although there are a number of specic references to Eurocode design methods, the
intention of this book is not to produce a clause-by-clause breakdown of the provisions
of the re parts of the structural Eurocodes as that has been done already by a number
of other authors (Franssen and Zaharia, 2005; ICE, 2007). The intention is to discuss
the European standards in the context of re engineering design and conformity to the
requirements of the regulations. Although the book contains a number of simple
worked examples to illustrate the options for design, the primary objective remains, as
with the previous project which produced the BRE Digests, to demystify the subject of
structural re engineering and identify the available design options to full statutory
requirements.
The ninth chapter of this book deals with the important issue of connection behaviour.
Much of the experience gained in this area has been as a consequence of involvement in
the high-prole research projects into whole building behaviour in re conducted at the
BREs Large Building Test Facility at Cardington in the 1990s. The Cardington re tests
were truly groundbreaking and have helped to shape opinion on the relationship between
re and structure in the intervening years. Some information on the re tests undertaken
at Cardington is provided in the penultimate chapter.
The nal chapter deals with specic issues that have arisen over the last few years and
which are likely to be important in relation to re safety for many years to come. The
need to improve energy conservation within buildings has resulted in a marked increase
in the amount of combustible materials present in buildings constructed over the last few
years. It is important that the implications of such changes in relation to re safety are
clearly understood. The section dealing with modern methods of construction considers
4
Structural Fire Engineering
innovation in construction and the relationship between innovation and re safety. Over
the last few years a number of large res have started on construction sites leading to
extensive damage both to the buildings under construction and, in some cases, to
adjacent properties. Information is presented on sources of guidance to reduce the risk
of ignition in such cases. Such issues are included as a means of identifying gaps in
knowledge in relation to the performance of buildings in re. The book therefore
represents an attempt to bring together in one document many of the issues encountered
over more than two decades working in the eld of structural re engineering.
The views and opinions expressed within this book are those of the author based on
experience of structural re engineering issues derived over a number of years. They
do not necessarily represent the views of his current employer.
REFERENCES
Access Steel (2006) http://www.access-steel.com/ (accessed 20/01/2011).
Bailey CG (2004) Structural re engineering design: materials behaviour steel. BRE
Digest 487, Part 2. BRE, Garston.
Bregulla J and Enjily V (2004) Structural re engineering design: materials behaviour
timber. BRE Digest 487, Part 4. BRE, Garston.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2002) BS EN 1991-1-2:2002: Eurocode 1: Actions on
structures Part 1-2: General actions Actions on structures exposed to re. BSI,
London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005a) BS EN 1992-1-2:2004: Eurocode 2: Design of
concrete structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005b) BS EN 1993-1-2:2005: Eurocode 3: Design of
steel structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005c) BS EN 1994-1-2:2005: Eurocode 4: Design of
composite steel and concrete structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design.
BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005d) BS EN 1996-1-2:2005: Eurocode 6: Design of
masonry structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2006) BS EN 1995-1-2:2004: Eurocode 5: Design of
timber structures Part 1-2: General structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2007) BS EN 1999-1-2:2007: Eurocode 9: Design of
aluminium structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
Buchanan AH (2002) Structural Design for Fire Safety. Wiley, Chichester.
Concrete Centre (2009) http://www.concretecentre.com/codes_standards/eurocodes/
eurocode_2.aspx (accessed 20/01/2011).
De Vekey R (2004) Structural re engineering design: materials behaviour masonry. BRE
Digest 487, Part 3. BRE, Garston.
EC (European Community) (1988) The Construction Products Directive (Council directive
89/106/EEC). Brussels, 21 December.
Franssen JM and Zaharia R (2005) Design of Steel Structures Subjected to Fire. University
of Lie` ge, Lie` ge, Belgium.
ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) (2007) http://www.eurocodes.co.uk/ (accessed 20/01/
2011).
5
Introduction
Institution of Structural Engineers and Communities and Local Government (2010)
Manual for the Design of Building Structures to Eurocode 1 and Basis of Structural Design.
IStructE, London.
Lennon T (2004a) Structural re engineering design: introduction. BRE Digest 484. BRE,
Garston.
Lennon T (2004b) Structural re engineering design: re development. BRE Digest 485.
BRE, Garston.
Lennon T (2004c) Structural re engineering design: materials behaviour concrete. BRE
Digest 487, Part 1. BRE, Garston.
Lennon T, Moore DB, Wang YC and Bailey CG (2006) Designers Guide to EN 1991-1-2,
1992-1-2, 1993-1-2 and 1994-1-2, Handbook for the Fire Design of Steel, Composite and
Concrete Structures to the Eurocodes. Thomas Telford, London.
Lennon T, Rupasinghe R, Canisius G, Waleed N and Matthews S (2007) Concrete Struc-
tures in Fire Performance, Design and Analysis. BRE Publication BR490. IHS BRE
Press, Watford.
Purkiss JA (1996) Fire Safety Engineering Design of Structures. Butterworth Heinemann,
Oxford.
Purser D (2004) Structural re engineering design: aspects of life safety. BRE Digest 490.
BRE, Garston.
University of Manchester (2005) One stop shop in structural re engineering. See http://
www.mace.manchester.ac.uk/project/research/structures/strucre/ (accessed 20/01/2011).
Welch S (2004) Structural re engineering design: re and thermal response. BRE Digest
488. BRE, Garston.
6
Structural Fire Engineering
Chapter 2
Regulatory requirements
2.1. Historical background
The current situation in terms of legislation and the supporting guidance related to struc-
tural performance in re has evolved over many years. Some of the most noteworthy
developments have occurred in response to specic incidents. A comprehensive review
of the history of legislation with regards to re performance in the UK is provided by
Read and Morris (1983). Broadly speaking, regulatory issues can be divided into two
main areas: measures intended to prevent the outbreak of a re and measures intended
to minimise the impact should a re occur. The critical event in relation to building
control in these areas was the Great Fire of London in 1666. This led to the rst
complete code of building regulation, requiring new buildings to be constructed from
non-combustible materials and street widths to be increased to provide adequate separa-
tion between buildings. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries a number of Acts
of Parliament were procured for regulating construction in specic locations, including
restrictions on the height of new buildings, minimum dimensions for party walls, the
location of premises where hazardous substances were employed, restrictions on the
maximum size of warehouses and provision of ladders to assist persons escaping from
a re within a building. This historical context is of more than academic interest in
an era when we are once again using large amounts of combustible material within
the fabric of the construction and building on browneld sites with very little space
separating different occupancies.
Despite technical and scientic developments in relation to building construction and the
development of reproof materials, legislation remained a muddled hotchpotch of
various Acts of Parliament and local authority bye-laws until well into the twentieth
century. In 1921, a Royal Commission was appointed to look into a wide range of
issues relating to regulation regarding re safety as well as the organisation of re
brigades. The recommendations included the need to extend the scope of existing
regulations to cover the provision of adequate means of escape and the drawing up of
model regulations.
In 1961, the Public Health Act provided the means to replace the existing 1400 sets of
local bye-laws by one set of building regulations. The rst building regulations for
England and Wales appeared in 1965 and were originally based on the 1936 Public
Health Act. In Scotland, the rst unied code was the Building Standards (Scotland)
Regulations 1963, introduced under the Building (Scotland) Act 1959.
7
Structural Fire Engineering
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
ICE Publishing: All rights reserved
doi: 10.1680/sfe.41417.007
The history of many of the current provisions and the guidance that supports the
regulations may be traced back to the workings of a Joint Committee of the Building
Research Board and the Fire Ofces Committee, set up in 1938 to review the current
state of knowledge with regard to re issues in construction and to make recommenda-
tions to those responsible for producing and implementing legislation. Their reports, the
rst of which was published in 1946, have had a signicant bearing on the provision of
re precautions and continue to serve as invaluable reference material.
2.2. Building regulations and associated guidance
Building regulations with respect to the re performance of structures are founded on
two basic objectives
g to ensure that the structure remains intact for a period of time sufcient to ensure, as
far as reasonably practicable, the life safety of building occupants and re ghters; and
g to prevent damage to other premises in the immediate vicinity of the re.
Building regulations provide for minimum requirements consistent with the objectives
above. To minimise property losses, business disruption or environmental impact,
performance requirements in excess of those required for compliance with the regula-
tions may be necessary. Such requirements may be imposed by informed clients or,
more likely, by the body responsible for providing insurance to new developments or
modications to existing structures.
The primary life safety objectives are achieved through control of structural elements
with respect to re resistance and on rate of heat release with respect to the products
used to form the internal and external linings of a building. That is, control of the
reaction to re of materials used for construction. The detailed provisions in relation
to these generic terms are covered in some detail in Chapter 3.
The extent of control is a function of a number of factors related to risk of re initiation
and consequences of failure. The most important factors are the nature of the occupancy
and the size (principally related to height) of the building.
UK building regulations are functionally based in that they prescribe the performance
requirements to be achieved but not how they should be achieved. Designers, manu-
facturers and building owners are free to develop site-specic solutions to meet the
requirements of the regulations but must provide evidence to support the proposed
solution. This is the basis of re engineering. It is certainly true that performance-
based regulation is an essential prerequisite to the development of a more rational
approach to re engineering design. Guidance is provided in the supporting documents
to the building regulations (such as Approved Document B for England and Wales
(Communities and Local Government, 2007a, 2007b)) that sets out means by which
the mandatory life safety objective can be achieved. In the vast majority of cases,
designers choose to follow the recommendations in the guidance documents to establish
re resistance periods for elements of construction or reaction to re performance for
materials used to form the internal or external linings of buildings. Although there is a
separate regulatory system for Scotland and separate guidance documents for Northern
8
Structural Fire Engineering
Table 2.1 Scope of technical guidance to UK building regulations for re performance
England and Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
Areas covered Supporting documents Areas covered Supporting documents Areas covered Supporting documents
Means of warning
and escape
Approved Document B,
Volume 1,
Dwellinghouses
(Communities and Local
Government, 2007a)
Approved Document B,
Volume 2, Buildings
other than
dwellinghouses
(Communities and Local
Government, 2007b)
Compartmentation Technical Handbook
Domestic (Scottish
Technical Standards,
2009a)
Technical Handbook
Non-domestic (Scottish
Technical Standards,
2009b)
Means of escape Technical Booklet E
(Department of Finance
and Personnel, 2005)
Internal re spread
(linings)
Separation Internal re spread
linings
Internal re spread
(structure)
Structural protection Internal re spread
structure
External re spread Cavities External re spread
Access and facilities
for the re service
Internal linings Facilities and access
for the re brigade
Spread to neighbouring
buildings
Spread on external walls
Spread from neighbouring
buildings
Escape
Escape lighting
Communication
Fire service access
Fire service water supply
Fire service facilities
Automatic life safety re
suppression systems
9
R
e
g
u
l
a
t
o
r
y
r
e
q
u
i
r
e
m
e
n
t
s
Ireland, the primary focus remains life safety and the overall objectives of the regulations
are the same throughout the UK. Technical guidance is constantly updated in the light of
research, new developments and evidence from real res. Table 2.1 identies the scope of
the various technical guidance documents used in the UK.
In terms of the building regulations, the guidance sets out performance criteria in terms
of reaction to re performance as specied in national and European standard tests and
survival in a standard re test for re resistance (BSI, 1989). The level of performance is
dependent on the type of occupancy and size or height of the building or re compart-
ment. Tables 2.2 and 2.3 illustrate examples for both classication of linings and re
resistance for structural elements. Table 2.4 provides information on typical reaction
to re performance ratings for some generic materials and products. There are also
restrictions on the nature of construction materials used for external walls. These provi-
sions are summarised in Figure 2.1. The nature of the control is dependent on the
purpose group to which the building belongs, the height of the building and its relative
location to other buildings (boundary condition). Depending on the distance to the
boundary, external walls may require re resistance from both sides. To reduce the
risk of external re spread there are also limits on the amount of unprotected area
(such as openings or areas with a combustible surface) that effectively limit the distance
to a boundary based on the anticipated levels of radiation from a re within a single
compartment. Appropriate methods of test and assessment related to materials used
for external surfaces of walls are discussed in Chapter 3.
2.3. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, which came into effect in 2006, places
responsibility for ongoing re safety with the building owner or manager. The Fire
Safety Order replaces a raft of often conicting requirements within a number of
national and local acts covering housing, licensed premises, etc. The order applies to
Table 2.2 Classication of linings
Classication of linings
Location National class European class
Small rooms of area not more than:
(a) 4 m
2
in residential accommodation;
(b) 30 m
2
in non-residential accommodation
3 D-s3,d2
Domestic garages of area not more than 40 m
2
Other rooms (including garages) 1 C-s3,d2
Circulation spaces within dwellings
Other circulation spaces, including the common areas of
ats and maisonettes
0 B-s3,d2
Source: After Table 10, Communities and Local Government, 2007b
10
Structural Fire Engineering
Table 2.3 Minimum periods of re resistance
Purpose group of Minimum periods of re resistance (minutes) in a:
building
Basement storey Ground or upper storey
Depth of a lowest
basement: m
Height of top oor above ground, in a building or
separated part of a building: m
Not more
than 10
More
than 10
Not more
than 5
Not more
than 18
Not more
than 30
More
than 30
1. Residential:
a. Block of ats
not sprinklered 60 90 30
*
60
**
90
**
Not permitted
sprinklered 60 90 30
*
60
**
90
**
120
**
b. Institutional 60 90 30
*
60 90 120#
c. Other residential 60 90 30
*
60 90 120#
2. Ofce:
not sprinklered 60 90 30
*
60 90 Not permitted
sprinklered 60 60 30
*
30
*
60 120#
3. Shop and commercial:
not sprinklered 60 90 60 60 90 Not permitted
sprinklered 60 60 30
*
60 60 120#
4. Assembly and recreation:
not sprinklered 60 90 60 60 90 Not permitted
sprinklered 60 60 30
*
60 60 120#
5. Industrial:
not sprinklered 90 120 60 90 120 Not permitted
sprinklered 60 90 30
*
60 90 120#
6. Storage and other non-residential:
a. Any building or part
not described
elsewhere:
not sprinklered 90 120 60 90 120 Not permitted
sprinklered 60 90 30
*
60 90 120#
b. Car park for light
vehicles:
i. Open-sided car park NA NA 15
*
y 15
*
y 15
*
y 60
ii. Any other car park 60 90 30
*
60 90 120#
*
Increased to a minimum of 60 minutes for compartment walls separating buildings
**
Reduced to 30 minutes for any oor within a at with more than one storey, but not if the oor contributes to the
support of the building
#Reduced to 90 minutes for elements not forming part of the structural frame
y Increased to 30 minutes for elements protecting means of escape
11
Regulatory requirements
Figure 2.1 Provision for external surfaces
c. Assembly or recreation building
of more than one storey
b. Any building
other than c.
a. Any building
e. Any building d. Any building
Relevant boundary
No provision in respect of the
boundaries indicated
Class 0 (national class) or class B-s3,
d2 or better (European class)
Index (I) not more than 20 (national class) or class C-s3, d2 or better (European class).
Timber cladding at least 9 mm thick is also acceptable.
(The index I relates to tests specified in BS 476: Part 6)
Notes:
1 The national classifications do not automatically equate with the equivalent European classifications,
therefore produces cannot typically assume a European class unless they have been tested accordingly.
2 When a classification includes s3, d2, this means that there is no limit set for smoke production and/or
flaming droplets/particles.
Up to
10 m
above
ground
Building
height
less than
18 m
Building
height
18 m or
more
1000 mm
or more
1000 mm
or more
1000 mm
or more
1000 mm
or more
Any dimension
over 18 m
Up to 18 m
above ground
1000 mm
or more
Less than
1000 mm
Less than
1000 mm
Less than
1000 mm
Up to 10 m
above a roof
or any part
of the building
to which the
public have
access
Source: Diagram 40, Communities and Local Government, 2007b
12
Structural Fire Engineering
all non-domestic premises including the common parts of blocks of ats and houses in
multiple occupation, and requires the responsible person to undertake a re risk assess-
ment. A series of documents covering different types of occupancy has been produced to
guide the responsible person through the process. A similar situation is in place in Scot-
land, following the implementation of Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act which came into
force in 2006. Although the re risk assessments cover all aspects of re safety, including
issues such as signage, means of escape and emergency lighting, they will provide an
ongoing check on structural re precautions by ensuring that compartmentation is
maintained and any damage to re resistant construction is identied and rectied.
The guidance documents for specic premises are available as free downloads from
the government website (Communities and Local Government, 2010). These documents
are listed in Table 2.5.
Table 2.4 Typical performance ratings for some generic materials and products
Rating Material or product
Class 0 (national) Non-combustible material or material of limited combustibility
Brickwork, concrete, blockwork, ceramic tiles
Plasterboard
Woodwool cement slabs
Mineral bre tiles or sheets with cement or resin binding
Class 3 (national) Timber or plywood with a density more than 400kg/m
3
Wood particle board or hardboard
Standard glass reinforced polyesters
Source: After Table A2, Communities and Local Government, 2007b (refer to ADB for variations and additions)
Table 2.5 Guidance documents related to re safety risk assessment
England and Wales Scotland
Ofces and shops Ofces, shops and similar premises guide
Factories and warehouses Factories and storage premises guide
Sleeping accommodation Small premises providing sleeping accommodation guide
Medium and large premises providing sleeping
accommodation
Residential care premises Care homes guide
Educational premises Educational and day care for children premises guide
Small and medium places of assembly Places of entertainment and assembly guide
Large places of assembly
Theatres, cinemas and similar premises
Open air events and venues
Healthcare premises Healthcare premises guide
Transport premises and facilities Transport premises guide
13
Regulatory requirements
Compliance with the requirements of the regulations in relation to both reaction to re
properties and re resistance is generally achieved through reference to standard means
of test and assessment. The test and assessment methods referred to in the regulations
are the subject of the next chapter. Alternatively, the designer can choose to adopt a
structural re engineering design approach based on codied national and European
codes and standards. This approach is discussed in some detail in Chapter 4 while
much of the remainder of the book deals with the practical application of code provisions
including some simple worked examples to illustrate the application of the structural re
engineering design process.
REFERENCES
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1989) Fire tests on building materials and structures.
Method of test for re propogation of products. BSI, London.
Communities and Local Government (2007a) The Building Regulations 2000, Fire safety,
Approved Document B, Volume 1, Dwellinghouses. NBS, London.
Communities and Local Government (2007b) The Building Regulations 2000, Fire safety,
Approved Document B, Volume 2, Buildings other than dwellinghouses. NBS, London.
Communities and Local Government (2010) Fire and resilience. See http://www.communities.
gov.uk/re/resafety/resafetylaw/ (accessed 17/01/2011).
Department of Finance and Personnel (2005) Northern Ireland DFP Technical Booklet E.
See http://www.dfpni.gov.uk/re_2.pdf (accessed 17/01/2011).
Read REH and Morris WA (1983) Aspects of re precautions in buildings. Department of
the Environment, Building Research Establishment, Her Majestys Stationery Ofce,
London.
Scottish Technical Standards (2009a) Domestic, Scottish building standards. See http://
www.sbsa.gov.uk/tech_handbooks/th_pdf_2009/Domestic_May2009.pdf (accessed 10/01/
2011).
Scottish Technical Standards (2009b) Non-domestic, Scottish building standards. See
http://www.sbsa.gov.uk/tech_handbooks/th_pdf_2009/Non-domesticMay2009.pdf
(accessed 24/01/2011).
14
Structural Fire Engineering
Chapter 3
Fire test and assessment procedures
The required performance mentioned in the tables in the previous chapter is assessed
according to the results from standardised test procedures with strictly prescribed
performance criteria. In order to understand the tables, it is necessary to understand
the purpose and nature of the tests used to evaluate performance. The aim of this
chapter is to describe the standard tests (both national and European) for both reaction
to re performance and re resistance and to identify those tests that are most frequently
referenced in terms of building products and structural performance.
3.1. Reaction to re
The functional requirement B2 of the Building Regulations covering the internal re
spread within a building through control of wall and ceiling linings states the following
To inhibit the spread of re within the building, the internal linings shall
(a) adequately resist the spread of ame over their surfaces; and
(b) have, if ignited, either a rate of heat release or a rate of re growth, which is
reasonable in the circumstances.
Internal linings refer to the materials or products used in lining any partition, wall,
ceiling or other internal structure.
The provisions of the regulations do not apply to the upper surfaces of oors and stairs,
although reference should be made to the provisions covering common means of escape.
External ame spread is dealt with separately (see section 3.3).
In terms of performance requirements, the classications depend on the size of the room
considered and the purpose (occupancy) class of the building as summarised in Table 2.2
in the previous chapter.
3.1.1 UK reaction to re tests
In the UK, the re performance of products is assessed according to procedures set out in
the BS 476 series. These include test methods for both reaction to re and re resistance.
The original series ran from Part 3 to Part 8. The intention was that these would be
replaced by new standards, with Parts 1119 dealing with the response to re of building
products while Parts 2029 deal with elements of building construction. However, the
process of adopting this new system has been superseded by the development of
European re test standards (see section 3.1.2). The scope of each of the current UK
15
Structural Fire Engineering
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
ICE Publishing: All rights reserved
doi: 10.1680/sfe.41417.015
standards in relation to the reaction to re properties is summarised in Table 3.1.
Information on the general principles and applications of re testing is available (BSI,
2009a). Readers are encouraged to consult the British Standards Institution website
(http://www.bsigroup.com) to ensure they are using the most up-to-date version.
Standards are regularly updated and amended in the light of new knowledge.
For current purposes of assessing the basic reaction to re properties of an innovative
material, the most relevant standards are Parts 6 and 7 of BS 476 dealing with re
propagation and surface spread of ame. These are described below.
3.1.1.1 BS 476: Part 6: 1989 fire propagation for products (BSI, 1989)
This test provides a means of comparing the contribution of combustible building
materials to the growth of a re by providing a measure of the rate of heat evolution
of a 225 mm225 mm sample, up to 50 mm thick, exposed in a small combustion
chamber for 20 minutes to a specied heating regime of continuously increasing severity.
The gas jets are ignited at the start of the test, with electric radiant bars added after 2.75
minutes.
The performance is expressed as a numerical index from 1 to 100 or more and is based on
the readings of a thermocouple inside a cowl compared with those on a calibration curve
obtained using asbestos board samples. Low values indicate a low rate of heat release.
Table 3.1 British standard reaction to re test standards
Standard reference Title/scope
BS 476-3:2004 (BSI, 2004a) Fire tests on building materials and structures. Classication and
method of test for external re exposure to roofs
BS 476-4:1970 (BSI, 1970) Fire tests on building materials and structures. Non-combustibility
test for materials
BS 476-6:1989 A1 2009
(BSI, 2009)
Fire tests on building materials and structures. Method of test for
re propagation of products
BS 476-7:1997 (BSI, 1997) Fire tests on building materials and structures. Method of test to
determine the classication of the surface spread of ame of
products
BS 47611:1982 (BSI, 1982) Fire tests on building materials and structures. Method for
assessing the heat emission from building products
BS 476-12:1991 (BSI, 1991) Fire tests on building materials and structures. Method of test for
ignitability of products by direct ame impingement
BS 476-13:1987 (BSI, 1987a) Fire tests on building materials and structures. Method of
measuring the ignitability of products subject to thermal irradiance
BS 476-15:1993 (BSI, 1993) Fire tests on building materials and structures. Method for
measuring the rate of heat release for products
16
Structural Fire Engineering
Index of performance I i
1
i
2
i
3
where i
1
is derived from the rst three minutes of the
test, i
2
from the following seven minutes and i
3
from the nal ten minutes. A high index i
1
indicates an initial rapid ignition and heat release.
Five test samples are required. They should be 225 mm225 mm and not more than
50 mm thick for each material tested. Indicative tests may be carried out on single
samples. Such tests do not provide sufcient information to allow a classication to
be made.
The test apparatus is illustrated in Figure 3.1.
3.1.1.2 BS 476: Part 7: 1997 surface spread of flame of products (BSI, 1997)
The test is used to determine the tendency of essentially at materials to support the
spread of ame across their surfaces and species a method of classication appropriate
Figure 3.1 BS 476 test apparatus (photo courtesy of BRE)
17
Fire test and assessment procedures
to wall and ceiling linings. Specimens are exposed to a 900 mm
2
radiant panel which is
run at a temperature of 80010008C with the intensity of radiation on the specimen
varying from 32.5 kW/m
2
to 6.5 kW/m
2
. The extent of ame spread after 1.5 minutes
and at the end of the ten-minute test is used to classify products Class 1 represents
the best performance. The test apparatus is illustrated in Figures 3.2 and 3.3.
Nine samples are required with dimensions of 885 mm270 mm and a thickness not
greater than 50 mm for each material tested. As for the re propagation test, single
indicative samples may be tested but cannot be used for classifying the material.
Classication within the standard includes four categories from 1 to 4. Readers may
be familiar with the national classication 0.
Class 0 is not a BSI classication. It is a term dened in connection with the Building
Regulations. A sample that achieves Class 1 in a surface spread of ame test and achieves
an index of performance (I ) not exceeding 12 and a sub-index (i
1
) not exceeding 6 in the
re propagation test is deemed to have achieved Class 0. The performance criteria
associated with each class are summarised in Tables 3.2 and 3.3. Guidance is provided
in Appendix A of Approved Document B on the denition of non-combustibility,
which includes reference to the national and European test methods. Table 3.4 provides
Figure 3.2 BS 476 Part 7 test apparatus showing radiant panel and test specimen (photo courtesy
of BRE)
18
Structural Fire Engineering
typical performance ratings for generic materials and products according to the national
classication.
Differences from standard conditions can be accommodated through the use of prexes
and sufxes as shown in Table 3.3.
3.1.2 European reaction to re tests
The new European reaction to re tests are intended to replace the existing methods of
testing and classication of building products for member states within the European
Figure 3.3 Overview of BS 476 Part 6 Test apparatus (photo courtesy of BRE)
Table 3.2 Performance criteria for BS 476 Part 7
Classication Spread of ame at 1.5 minutes Final spread of ame
Limit:
mm
Limit for 1 specimen
in sample: mm
Limit:
mm
Limit for 1 specimen
in sample: mm
Class 1 165 16525 165 165 25
Class 2 215 21525 455 455 45
Class 3 265 26525 710 710 75
Class 4 Exceeding the limits for Class 3
19
Fire test and assessment procedures
Community (EC). For all products, excluding ooring products, a set of four test stan-
dards will be used together with a supporting standard detailing the conditioning
requirements for test specimens and the use of substrates.
The relevant standards are detailed in Table 3.5.
Table 3.3 Use of sufx and prex for specic characteristics
Prex Sufx Meaning
R More than 6 specimens were required to obtain classication
D A modied test to allow for non-conforming surface characteristics
Y Specimen curls, falls away from the holder or delaminates
Table 3.4 Typical performance ratings for some generic materials and products
Rating Material or product
Class 0 (national) Non-combustible material or material of limited combustibility
Brickwork, concrete, blockwork, ceramic tiles
Plasterboard
Woodwool cement slabs
Mineral bre tiles or sheets with cement or resin binding
Class 3 (national) Timber or plywood with a density more than 400 kg/m
3
Wood particle board or hardboard
Standard glass reinforced polyesters
Table 3.5 European reaction to re tests and re classication methods
Standard reference Title/scope
BS EN ISO 1716:2010
(BSI, 2010a)
Reaction to re tests for building products determination of the heat
of combustion
BS EN ISO 1182:2010
(BSI, 2010b)
Reaction to re tests for building products non-combustibility test
BS EN 13823:2002
(BSI, 2002a)
Reaction to re tests on building products building products
excluding oorings exposed to the thermal attack by a single burning
item test
BS EN ISO 11925-2:2002
(BSI, 2002b)
Reaction to re tests ignitability of building products subjected to
direct impingement of ame Part 2: Single-ame source test
BS EN 13238: 2010
(BSI, 2010c)
Reaction to re tests for building products conditioning procedures
and general rules for selection of substrates
BS EN 13501-1:2007
A1 2009 (BSI, 2009b)
Fire classication of construction products and building elements Part 1:
Classication using test data from reaction to re tests
20
Structural Fire Engineering
The remaining standard not generally used for UK construction is BS EN ISO 9239-1
(BSI, 2002d), Determination of the burning behaviour of oorings, using a radiant
heat source.
For current purposes of assessing the basic reaction to re properties of innovative
materials, the most relevant standards are the single burning item (SBI) test and the
single ame source test.
3.1.2.1 BS EN 13823:2002 single burning item (SBI) test (BSI, 2002a)
This test simulates the conditions experienced by a building product in the corner of a
room, when exposed to a thermal attack from a single burning item positioned in that
corner. The SBI test facility consists of a test room, the test apparatus (trolley, frame,
burners, hood, collector and ducting), the smoke exhaust system and general measuring
equipment. For each test, the burning behaviour of the product is represented by graphs
of the heat release rate and re growth rate indices as functions of time, along with the
occurrence or not of lateral ame spread over the specimen. In addition, the test provides
a quantitative assessment of the smoke growth rate and the presence of aming droplets
and particles.
Each specimen consists of a short and long wing arranged in the test apparatus in a corner
conguration, as shown in Figure 3.4. The dimensions of the short wing are 495 mm
(5 mm) 1500 mm (5 mm) and the dimensions of the long wing are 1000 mm
(5 mm) 1500 mm (5 mm). The maximum thickness of the specimen should not
exceed 200 mm. Five sets of specimens are required per test and further indicative tests
may be undertaken on individual pairs of specimens.
Figure 3.4 Typical mounting arrangement for SBI test (gure courtesy of BRE)
L-profile Air gap (if applicable)
Backing board
Specimen wings
U-channel
Burner
Blanking plate
Joints
21
Fire test and assessment procedures
Figure 3.5 illustrates the general test set-up and shows a specimen in place in the trolley
while Figure 3.6 shows a test in progress.
The results of BS EN 13823:2002 (BSI, 2002a) are expressed in terms of:
(a) Heat production parameters
g FIGRA
0.2MJ
g FIGRA
0.4MJ
g THR
600s
.
(b) Smoke production parameters
g SMOGRA
g TSP
600s
(c) Lateral ame spread, ame spread reaching the edge of the 1-m-wide wing
between 500 and 1000 mm above the bottom edge of the specimen.
(d ) Flaming droplets and particles.
Figure 3.5 Composite cladding panel prior to test (photo courtesy of BRE)
22
Structural Fire Engineering
The re growth rate indices (FIGRA
0.2MJ
and FIGRA
0.4MJ
) are dened as the maximum
of HRR
av
(t)/(t 300), multiplied by 1000. The FIGRA indices are only calculated for
that part of the exposure period in which the threshold values for the 30-s averaged
heat release rate (HRR
av
) and the total heat release (THR) have been exceeded. If one
or both threshold values are not exceeded during the exposure period, FIGRA is set
equal to zero. The threshold value used for HRR
av
(t) is 3 kW. Two different THR
threshold values are used, 0.2 and 0.4 MJ, giving rise to the two FIGRA indices. The
FIGRA
0.2MJ
is used for Class B products and the FIGRA
0.4MJ
is used for Class C
products or above. The total heat release, THR
600s
is calculated for the rst 600 s after
the specimen has been exposed, that is 300 s to 900 s.
SMOGRA (m
2
/s
2
) is the smoke growth rate and is dened as the maximum of SPR
av
(t)/
(t 300), multiplied by 1000. The SMOGRA is only calculated for that part of the
exposure period in which the threshold values for the 60-s averaged smoke production
Figure 3.6 SBI test conguration (photo courtesy of BRE)
23
Fire test and assessment procedures
rate (SPR
av
) and the total smoke production (TSP) have been exceeded. The threshold
values are 0.1 m
2
/s and 6 m
2
, respectively. Specimens with an average rate of smoke
production value of not more than 0.1 m
2
/s during the total test period, or a total
smoke production value of not more than 6 m
2
over the total test period, are assigned
a SMOGRA index of zero.
The following classication limits are used with the SBI test:
s1: SMOGRA430 m
2
/s
2
, TSP
600s
450 m
2
s2: SMOGRA4180 m
2
/s
2
, TSP
600s
4200 m
2
s3: Any product not meeting the requirements for s1 or s2.
Flaming droplets or particles are observed for ten minutes following ignition of the main
burner from t 5 minutes to t 15 minutes. Flaming droplets or particles are recorded
when they reach the oor of the SBI trolley outside the burner zone. A quarter circle
drawn on the oor of the trolley marks the boundary of the zone. This is illustrated in
Figure 3.7.
Two occurrences are recorded during the 600-s observation period
g the fall of a aming droplet or particle that remains aming for less than 10 s (d1
classication) and
g the fall of a aming droplet or particle that remains aming for more than 10 s (d2
classication). If aming droplets or particles are not recorded during this period a
classication of d0 is achieved.
Figure 3.7 Quarter circle marking the burner zone (gure courtesy of BRE)
Backing board
Specimen
U-channel
Burner
Burner zone border
Blanking plate
300 mm
3
0
0

m
m
24
Structural Fire Engineering
3.1.2.2 BS EN ISO 11925-2 Single-flame source test (BSI, 2002b)
This test method is used to determine the ignitability of building products when subjected
to a direct small ame impingement under zero irradiance using specimens tested in a
vertical orientation. The specimens are tested in a stainless steel combustion chamber
with a controlled air extract rate. A set of eight specimens having nominal dimensions
of 250 mm90 mm is required for each exposure condition. The product should be
essentially at and four specimens should be cut lengthwise and four crosswise. Six of
the specimens will be tested and the remaining two will be used if additional tests are
required for classication purposes according to BS EN 13501-1:2007 (BSI, 2009b).
g If the specimen is greater than 60 mm in thickness, the thickness should be reduced
to 60 mm by cutting away from the face that is not being tested.
g If the product is likely to be used in combination with a substrate it will need to be
tested on a suitable substrate. A list of standard substrates is specied in
BS EN 13238:2010 (BSI, 2010c).
g If the product is used such that the edge may be exposed in practice, both edge and
face ignition should be conducted. In this instance, the number of specimens
required is 16.
g If the two faces differ in appearance, and both may be used in practice, then the
number of specimens required needs to be doubled so that both faces can be tested.
g If the product needs to be tested at an exposure time of 30 s as well as 15 s (for
consideration for classes above E according to BS EN 13501-1:2007 (BSI, 2009b))
then the number of specimens needs to be doubled.
g If the product is smaller than the specimen size required, then special specimens for
testing will need to be supplied of the required size.
Non-at products can potentially be tested, but full details of the product geometry and
composition would rst need to be considered by the approved test laboratory. Other
aspects of construction such as variability across the product surface may also need to
be taken into consideration according to the standard which would, if relevant, be
discussed with the client before proceeding. The test set-up is illustrated in Figure 3.8.
3.2. Fire resistance
For England and Wales, the functional requirement of the Building Regulations B3
covering internal re spread in relation to the structure states that:
The building shall be designed and constructed so that, in the event of a re, its stability
will be maintained for a reasonable period.
This is achieved through effective subdivision using re resistant construction depending
on the size and intended use of the building, and through adequate re stopping around
opening or cavities.
The re resistance of an element of construction is a measure of its ability to withstand
the effects of re in one or more of the following ways.
g Resistance to collapse: that is, the ability to maintain loadbearing capacity.
25
Fire test and assessment procedures
g Resistance to re penetration: that is, the ability to maintain the integrity of the
element.
g Resistance to the transfer of excessive heat: that is, the ability to provide insulation
from high temperatures.
Although the designer is free to demonstrate compliance with the functional requirement
in whatever way he or she chooses, the most common means of meeting the requirement
is with reference to the results from standard re tests. Guidance on performance
requirements is presented in the Approved Document in relation to height (or depth)
of the structure and the purpose group is shown in Table 2.3 in the previous chapter.
3.2.1 UK re resistance tests
The most common route to ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements for re
for structural elements is through performance under standard re test conditions
Figure 3.8 Small ame test apparatus (gure courtesy of BRE)
26
Structural Fire Engineering
whereby an element of structure (beam, column, wall, oor) is subject to a standard re
exposure under conditions representative of its end use in the building. The specic
requirements of the standard test in terms of re exposure, loading and support condi-
tions are set out in the relevant standards. Those standards dealing with re resistance
are listed in Table 3.6.
For current purposes of assessing the re resistance of structural elements the relevant
standards are Parts 2023 of BS 476. The most important information on test conditions
and failure criteria is contained within Part 20.
3.2.1.1 BS 476-20 (BSI, 1987b)
This standard sets out the basic principles for the assessment of re resistance including
the selection of appropriate support and loading conditions and the denition of the
standard temperature/time curve to be used.
The standard time/temperature curve is dened by the following equation:
T 345 log
10
8t 1 20
where
T is the mean furnace temperature (in 8C)
t is the time (in minutes) up to a maximum of 360 minutes.
The standard timetemperature response is illustrated in Figure 3.9. The standard sets
out the means for assessing performance with regard to the three possible types of
Table 3.6 UK re resistance test standards
Standard reference Title/scope
BS 476-20:1987 (BSI, 1987b) Fire tests on building materials and structures Part 20: Method
for the determination of the re resistance of elements of
construction (general principles)
BS 476-21:1987 (BSI, 1987c) Fire tests on building materials and structures Part 21: Methods
for the determination of the re resistance of loadbearing
elements of construction
BS 476-22:1987 (BSI, 1987d) Fire tests on building materials and structure Part 22: Methods
for the determination of the re resistance of non-loadbearing
elements of construction
BS 476-23:1987 (BSI, 1987e) Fire tests on building materials and structures Part 23: Methods
for the determination of the contribution of components to the
re resistance of a structure
BS 476-24:1987, ISO 6944:
1985 (BSI, 1987f )
Fire tests on building materials and structures Part 24: Method
for the determination of the re resistance of ventilation ducts
27
Fire test and assessment procedures
failure criteria related to insulation, integrity and loadbearing capacity. The means of
assessment and the quantication of failure in each case are discussed below.
LOADBEARING CAPACITY
FLOORS AND BEAMS
For horizontal members, failure in a standard test is assumed to have occurred when the
deection reaches a value of L/20 where L is the clear span of the specimen or where
the rate of deection (mm/min) exceeds a value of L
2
/9000d where d is the distance
from the top of the section to the bottom of the design tension zone (mm). The rate of
deection criteria only applies once the deection has reached a value of L/30.
The origins of the deection limits are unclear but they are, at least in part, based on the
limitations of test furnaces and the requirement to avoid damage to the furnace. Figure
3.10 shows an example of a oor/beam horizontal furnace with the loaded test specimen
located on the oor prior to lifting into position.
WALLS AND COLUMNS
For vertical loadbearing elements, failure of the test specimen is deemed to occur when
the specimen can no longer support the applied load. There is no clear denition of
failure in relation to the standard test. Laboratories are only required to provide for
maximum deformations of 120 mm and values over and above this limit would require
the test to be terminated. The state of failure is characterised by a rapid increase in
the rate of deformation tending towards innity. It is therefore recommended that
laboratories monitor the rate of deformation to predict the onset of failure and
support the test load.
Figure 3.11 shows a column furnace while Figure 3.12 shows the interior of a wall
furnace.
Figure 3.9 Standard timetemperature curve
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350
Time: mins
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
:

C
28
Structural Fire Engineering
INTEGRITY
FLOORS AND WALLS
The basic criteria for integrity failure of oor and wall elements are the same. An integ-
rity failure is deemed to occur when either collapse, sustained aming or impermeability
have occurred. Impermeability, that is the presence of gaps and ssures, should be
assessed using either a cotton pad or gap gauges. After the rst ve minutes of
heating, all gaps are subject to periodic evaluation using a cotton pad 100 mm
2
by
20 mm thick, mounted in a wire holder which is held against the surface of the specimen.
If the pad fails to ignite or glow, the procedure is repeated at intervals determined by the
condition of the element. For vertical elements, where the gaps appear below the neutral
pressure axis position, gap gauges will be used to evaluate the integrity of the specimen. If
the 25 mm gauge can penetrate the gap to its full length (25 mthickness of the specimen
as a minimum value), or the 6 mm gauge can be moved in any one opening for a distance
of 150 mm, then integrity failure is recorded. The cotton pad is no longer used when the
temperature of the unexposed face in the vicinity of the gap exceeds 3008C. At this point,
the gap gauges are used.
INSULATION
FLOORS AND WALLS
The basic criteria for insulation failure of oors and wall elements are the same.
Insulation failure is deemed to occur when either the mean unexposed face temperature
increases by more than 1408C above its initial value or the temperature at any position on
the unexposed face exceeds 1808C above its initial value.
Figure 3.10 Floor furnace (in background), loaded specimen in foreground (gure courtesy of BRE)
Furnace
Specimen
29
Fire test and assessment procedures
BS 476 Part 21 (BSI, 1987c) states specically that the standard test method is not applic-
able to assemblies of elements such as wall and oor combinations. There is some limited
guidance to suggest that the test method may be used as the basis for the evaluation of
three-dimensional constructions with each element loaded according to the practical
application and each element monitored with respect to compliance with the relevant
criteria.
Figure 3.11 Column furnace (gure courtesy of BRE)
30
Structural Fire Engineering
3.2.2 European re resistance tests
The corresponding European document to BS 476 Part 20 (BSI, 1987b) is BS EN 1363-
1:1999 (BSI, 1999a). This sets out the general principles for determining re resistance
for elements of construction subject to standard re exposure conditions. Generally,
the conditions and criteria for failure are the same as in the corresponding British
standard as is the standard time/temperature curve specied. However, the most
signicant difference between the national and European test methods is in the means
of controlling the specied furnace temperature.
Figure 3.12 Interior of wall furnace (gure courtesy of BRE)
31
Fire test and assessment procedures
Control of furnace temperature in the European test is achieved through the use of plate
thermometers rather than the traditional bead thermocouples used in the British Stan-
dard test. The plate was introduced in an attempt to harmonise furnace performance
across Europe. It has a higher thermal inertia and therefore, in the early stages of the
re, it requires more energy to achieve a given temperature. For this reason the European
test is often seen as being more severe and certainly has an adverse effect on the re
resistance ratings of materials with a high thermal conductivity e.g. unprotected
structural steel. The relevant European test standards for the assessment of re resistance
are summarised in Table 3.7.
3.3. External wall construction
Requirement B4 dealing with external re spread states that:
The external walls of the building shall adequately resist the spread of re over the walls
and from one building to another, having regard to the height, use and position of the
building.
This requirement is achieved through a combination of regulatory controls on the
materials used to form the external walls and restrictions on the proximity between
buildings depending on the nature of the construction.
Table 3.7 European re resistance tests and classication standards for elements of construction
Standard reference Title/scope
BS EN 1363-1:1999 (BSI, 1999a) Fire resistance tests Part 1: General requirements
BS EN 1363-2:1999 (BSI, 1999b) Fire resistance tests Part 2: Alternative and additional
procedures
BS EN 1364-1:1999 (BSI, 1999c) Fire resistance tests for non-loadbearing elements Part 1:
Walls
BS EN 1364-2:1999 (BSI, 1999d) Fire resistance tests for non-loadbearing elements Part 2:
Ceilings
BS EN 1365-1:1999 (BSI, 1999e) Fire resistance tests for loadbearing elements Part 1: Walls
BS EN 1365-2:2000 (BSI, 2000) Fire resistance tests for loadbearing elements Part 2: Floors
and roofs
BS EN 1365-3:2000 (BSI, 2004b) Fire resistance tests for loadbearing elements Part 3: Beams
BS EN 1365-4:1999 (BSI, 1999f ) Fire resistance tests for loadbearing elements Part 4: Columns
BS EN 1365-5:2004 (BSI, 1999g) Fire resistance tests for loadbearing elements Part 5:
Balconies and walkways
BS EN 1365-6:2004 (BSI, 2004c) Fire resistance tests for loadbearing elements Part 6: Stairs
BS EN 13501-2:2007 A1 2009
(BSI, 2009c)
Fire classication of construction products and building
elements Part 2: Classication using data from re resistance
tests, excluding ventilation services
32
Structural Fire Engineering
The guidance in the Approved Document for the re performance of external walls
covers
g re resistance to restrict re spread across a site boundary
g the combustibility of the outer surface to minimise the possibility of ignition from
an external source
g subsequent re spread up the external fac ade.
For external walls which form elements of structure then the provisions for re resistance
will apply. However, the external envelope of a building should not provide a mediumfor
re spread. The use of combustible materials in the cladding system in tandem with
unstopped cavities is a potential route for rapid re spread. Until recently, the only
means of controlling surface materials was through testing and assessment to the
small-scale test methods described in section 3.1. The provisions in relation to height,
distance from boundary and type of occupancy are summarised in Diagram 40 of
AD-B (reproduced as Figure 2.1 in Chapter 2).
In a building with a storey 18 m or more above ground level, insulation material should
be of limited combustibility. This restriction does not apply to masonry cavity wall
construction. The restriction applies down to ground level. Timber cladding could be
used at low level in a high-rise building but the insulation would be controlled at all
levels.
As an alternative means of compliance it is now possible to meet the performance criteria
given in the BRE report, Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of
multi-storey buildings (BR 135) (BRE, 2003) using full-scale test data from a test stan-
dard for evaluating the re performance of cladding systems.
3.3.1 BS 8414 Fire performance of external cladding systems (BSI, 2002c)
The building regulations deal with external re spread through controls on the materials
used for external walls and roofs. The extent of the control is dependent on the height,
use and position of the building, as discussed in the previous chapter. The control is
exercised in the guidance to the building regulations through reference to the standard
reaction to re tests discussed above. Approved Document B provides an alternative
route to compliance through reference to test data from two new British standards.
The two standards are BS 8414-1:2002 (BSI, 2002c), dealing with systems xed directly
to the face of the building, and BS8414-2:2005 (BSI, 2005), dealing with those xed to
and supported by a structural steel frame.
The standards were developed following a number of high-prole res where the external
fac ade of tall buildings provided a route for vertical re spread. The test facility is
illustrated schematically in Figure 3.13. The test is concerned not only with the reaction
to re properties of the materials but also with system performance in terms of overall
integrity and stability. The large-scale test methods covered by the two parts of
BS 8414 determine the comparative burning characteristics of exterior wall assemblies
by evaluating
33
Fire test and assessment procedures
g re spread over the external surface
g re spread internally within the system under test
g mechanical response, that is, the degree of distortion and local or global collapse.
Thermocouples are placed at two levels to measure both internal and external re spread.
The start time for measuring re spread occurs when the temperature recorded by any
external thermocouple at level 1 reaches 2008C above the ambient temperature value
and remains above that level for a period of at least 30 seconds.
Failure due to external re spread will have occurred if the temperature rise of any of the
external thermocouples at level 2 exceeds 6008C for a period of at least 30 seconds within
15 minutes of the start of the recording period.
Failure due to internal re spread will have occurred if the temperature rise of any of the
internal thermocouples at level 2 exceeds 6008C for a period of at least 30 seconds within
15 minutes of the start of the recording period.
Figure 3.13 Large-scale cladding test facility (dimensions in mm)
Main face
2800
1500
9
6
7
5
2
0
0
0
Combustion
chamber
250 550 2000
Wing
34
Structural Fire Engineering
Details of any system collapse, spalling or delamination are reported. The test method
provides a means of assessing performance against a realistic scenario in terms of re
load and provides information on the performance of the system and not just the
exposed surface.
In addition to the controls on external surfaces of walls in relation to reaction to re
performance and the requirements for re resistance, there are restrictions on the
extent of unprotected area (i.e. those areas such as openings or those with combustible
surfaces that could contribute towards radiating heat to an adjacent structure) which
effectively limit the distance to other buildings, dependent on the amount of unprotected
area present. Denitions and simplied rules are provided in AD-B. However, the
detailed methodology and calculation procedures are set out in BR 187 (BRE, 1991).
For residential buildings, particularly blocks of ats, the restrictions are limited by
the degree of compartmentation as the assumption is that only one compartment at
a time will be acting as a source of radiated heat. Simplied rules are provided in
AD-B for the maximum total unprotected area within the fac ade of a compartment
based on distance between adjacent buildings. However, the simplied rules are
subject to a number of restrictions in terms of occupancy class and size of structure.
Outside of these limits, recourse should be made to the methods set out in BR 187
(BRE, 1991). The purpose of limiting the amount of combustible material in the
fac ade and the distance between buildings is to ensure that the building is separated
from the boundary by at least half the distance at which the total thermal radiation
intensity received from all unprotected areas in the wall would be 12.6 kW/m
2
. This
value is the mean value of the critical intensity of thermal radiation to cause ignition
of dry timber.
REFERENCES
BRE (1991) BRE Report (BR 187). External re spread: Building separation and boundary
distances. BRE, Garston.
BRE (2003) BRE Report (BR 135). Fire performance of external thermal insulation for
walls of multi-storey buildings. BRE, Garston.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1970) BS 476-4:1970. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 4: Non-combustibility test for materials. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1982) BS 476-11:1982. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 11: Method for assessing the heat emission from building
materials. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1987a) BS 476-13:1987, ISO 5657:1986. Fire tests on
building materials and structures Part 13: Method of measuring the ignitability of
products subjected to thermal irradiance (ISO title: Fire tests Reaction to re ignitability
of building products). BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1987b) BS 476-20:1987. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 20: Method for the determination of the re resistance of elements
of construction (general principles). BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1987c) BS 476-21:1987. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 21: Methods for the determination of the re resistance of load-
bearing elements of construction. BSI, London.
35
Fire test and assessment procedures
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1987d) BS 476-22:1987. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 22: Methods for the determination of the re resistance of non-
loadbearing elements of construction. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1987e) BS 476-23:1987. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 23: Methods for determination of the contribution of components
to the re resistance of a structure. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1987f ) BS 476-24:1987, ISO 6944 1985, Fire tests on
building materials and structures Part 24: Method for determination of the re resis-
tance of ventilation ducts (ISO title: Fire resistance tests ventilation ducts). BSI,
London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1989) BS 476-6:1989. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 6: Method of test for re propagation for products. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1991) BS 476-12:1991. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 12: Method of test for ignitability of products by direct ame
impingement. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1993) BS 476-15:1993, ISO 5660-1:1993, Fire tests on
building materials and structures Part 15: Method for measuring the rate of heat
release of products. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1997) BS 476:7:1997. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 7: Method of test to determine the classication of the surface
spread of ame of products. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1999a) BS EN 1363-1:1999. Fire resistance tests Part
1: General requirements. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1999b) BS EN 1363-2:1999. Fire resistance tests Part
2: Alternative and additional procedures. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1999c) BS EN 1364-1:1999. Fire resistance tests for
non-loadbearing elements Part 1: Walls. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1999d) BS EN 1364-2:1999. Fire resistance tests for
non-loadbearing elements Part 2: Ceilings. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1999e) BS EN 1365-1:1999. Fire resistance tests for
loadbearing elements Part 1: Walls. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1999f ) BS EN 1365-3:1999. Fire resistance tests for
loadbearing elements Part 3: Beams. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1999g) BS EN 1365-4:1999. Fire resistance tests for
loadbearing elements Part 4: Columns. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2000) BS EN 1365-2:2000. Fire resistance tests for
loadbearing elements Part 2: Floors and roofs. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2002a) BS EN 13823:2002. Reaction to re tests on
building products building products excluding oorings exposed to the thermal attack
by a single burning item test. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2002b) BS EN ISO 11925-2:2002. Reaction to re tests
ignitability of building products subjected to direct impingement of ame Part 2:
Single-ame source test. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2002c) BS 8414-1:2002. Fire performance of external
cladding systems Part 1: Test method for non-loadbearing external cladding systems
applied to the face of the building. BSI, London.
36
Structural Fire Engineering
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2002d) BS EN ISO 9239-1:2010. Reaction to re tests.
Horizontal surface spread of ame on oor-covering systems. Determination of the
burning behaviour using a radiant heat source. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2004a) BS 476-3:2004. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 3: Classication and method of test for external re exposure to
roofs. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2004b) BS EN 1365-5:1999. Fire resistance tests for
loadbearing elements Part 5: Balconies and walkways. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2004c) BS EN 1365-6:1999. Fire resistance tests for
loadbearing elements Part 6: Stairs. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005) BS 8414-2:2005. Fire performance of external
cladding systems Part 2: Test method for non-loadbearing external cladding systems
applied to the face of the building. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2009a) BS 476-10:2009. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 10: Guide to the principles and application of re testing. BSI,
London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2009b) BS EN 13501-1:2007 A1 2009. Fire classica-
tion of construction products and building elements Part 1: Classication using test
data from reaction to re tests. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2009c) BS EN 13501-2:2007 A1 2009. Fire classica-
tion of construction products and building elements Part 2: Classication using data
from re resistance tests, excluding ventilation services. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2010a) BS EN ISO 1716:2010. Reaction to re tests for
building products determination of the heat of combustion. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2010b) BS EN ISO 1182:2010. Reaction to re tests for
building products non-combustibility test. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2010c) BS EN 13238:2010. Reaction to re tests for
building products conditioning procedures and general rules for selection of substrates.
BSI, London.
37
Fire test and assessment procedures
Chapter 4
Structural re engineering design
It is no accident that this is the most voluminous chapter in this book and no coincidence
that the title of the book is included in this, the largest chapter. The purpose of this
chapter is to explain the methodology underpinning structural re engineering design
and provide some guidance on the rst two components of the structural re engineering
design process. Structural re engineering design consists of three basic components:
choosing an appropriate design re; using this information to derive the temperatures
of the structural elements; and assessing the structural behaviour with respect to
the temperatures derived. This procedure is illustrated schematically in Figure 4.1.
Within the European standards system, the second and third components (heat
transfer and mechanical response) are generally covered by the individual material
standards and are therefore discussed in more detail in Chapters 58. The choice of
the appropriate thermal exposure is covered separately. For this reason, detailed
guidance and some worked examples of calculation techniques related to re design
are included here.
For each element of the structural re engineering design process, there are a number
of options available to the designer depending on the complexity of the project, the
state of knowledge with regard to the structural material chosen and the objectives of
the re engineering design strategy. Detailed information on the design methodology
in this area is available in the Institution of Structural Engineers Guide to the advanced
re safety engineering of structures (IStructE, 2007).
The traditional means of ensuring compliance with the requirements of the building
regulations for structural re safety is to rely on the results from standard re tests on
individual elements or components. At the simplest level, structural re engineering
is based on simple prescriptive rules and guidance. These ensure sufcient passive
re protection is applied to structural members or that minimum dimensions are satised
to ensure loadbearing capacity and/or the separating function is maintained for a period
corresponding to the recommended re resistance requirement from the regulatory
guidance.
In this way, structural engineers have been involved in re engineering for many years
without necessarily being aware of it and most probably being unaware of the back-
ground to the development of the regulations and the guidance that underpins them.
For example, a structural engineer responsible for designing a reinforced concrete
39
Structural Fire Engineering
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
ICE Publishing: All rights reserved
doi: 10.1680/sfe.41417.039
framed building will specify the overall dimensions, size and position of reinforcement
dependent on the ambient temperature design considerations in terms of loading and
environmental conditions. In the vast majority of cases, the structural re engineering
will simply consist of checking in the tables produced in BS 8110 Part 2 (BSI, 1985) to
ensure that the design meets the minimum dimensions and minimum depth of cover to
the reinforcement for the specied re resistance period.
Within this simple process there is a large number of implicit considerations on the
likelihood of a re occurring: the consequences in terms of life safety should a fully devel-
oped re occur; the thermal exposure within the re compartment; and the consequent
temperature distribution through the structural member. To a large extent, structural
re engineering design simply consists of making explicit decisions rather than relying
on the implicit assumptions within the prescriptive approach.
4.1. Compartment timetemperature response
The rst step in a structural re engineering design is to evaluate an appropriate
compartment timetemperature response to be used for the subsequent heat transfer
and structural response calculations. This initial process can itself be further subdivided
into two important preliminary tasks: the choice of appropriate design re scenario(s)
and the selection based on the design re scenarios adopted of an appropriate design re.
4.1.1 Design re scenario(s)
The appropriate design re scenarios should be determined on the basis of an overall re
risk assessment taking into account the nature and distribution of re load within the
project and the presence of likely ignition sources and the impact of detection and
suppression systems.
The design re scenarios selected will identify specic compartment geometries with their
own associated re loads and ventilation conditions, and should be based on a reason-
able worst case scenario. The choice of design re scenario will dictate the choice of the
design re to be used in subsequent analysis.
Figure 4.1 Three stages of structural re engineering design
Fire analysis
(compartment timetemperature)
Heat transfer analysis
(determination of material temperatures)
Structural analysis
(determination of mechanical response)
40
Structural Fire Engineering
To take a simple example, an appropriate design re scenario within a medium rise resi-
dential building consisting of a number of separate dwellings would be a re within a
single dwelling bounded by re resisting construction. Given the presence of sufcient
oxygen for combustion, sufcient re load and an ignition source, a fully developed
re within a single dwelling would be one design re scenario to be considered.
4.1.2 Design re
For each design re scenario adopted, a design re will be chosen that represents the
likely risk within that area. Normally the design re is only applied to one re compart-
ment at a time; that is, in the example above it would not be normal practice to assume
that two dwellings were fully involved in a re at the same time.
This stage of the process involves the selection of an appropriate model representing the
re within the compartment under consideration. In many cases, the type of occupancy
will play a major role in dening the type of model to be used. Given a re load and an
ignition source there are three options in terms of re development, either: (i) the re is
extinguished due to manual or automatic suppression or lack of oxygen; (ii) the re
remains localised due to a lack of oxygen or insufcient fuel load; or (iii) the re
becomes fully developed. For the designer, detection and the active intervention of third
parties (such as the Fire and Rescue Service) are not taken into account therefore the
chief consideration is to decide if the re will remain localised or grow into a fully
developed re. In terms of structural considerations, the most serious situation is where
ashover occurs within the compartment and all combustible materials become involved
in the process. Such a situation would require the adoption of a post-ashover re model.
Combustion behaviour within a re compartment is a complex process involving a mass
balance where the energy released from combustion of the re load is utilised in convec-
tive heat ow through openings where hot gases inside the compartment are replaced by
incoming cold air, radiated heat ow through the openings and heat losses to the
compartment boundaries. For uncontrolled compartment res, this complex process
can be simplied into a three-phase behaviour characterised by the transition point
known as ashover. Compartment re behaviour is summarised in Table 4.1 and
illustrated schematically in Figure 4.2.
Localised re models are available in codes and standards (BSI, 2002a, 2003a) but are
not considered further here as, for structural re engineering, it is the post-ashover
situation that represents the most serious threat to structural stability.
The principle choice facing the designer at this stage of the process is whether to use a
nominal re curve or a natural re model to evaluate the compartment time
temperature response. Nominal res are representative re curves for the purposes of
classication and comparison, but bear no relationship to the particular characteristics
of the building under consideration. Natural res are calculation techniques based on
a consideration of the physical parameters specic to a particular building or re
compartment. Figure 4.3 illustrates the options available to the designer when choosing
to model compartment timetemperature behaviour.
41
Structural re engineering design
Table 4.1 Phases of a compartment (enclosure) re development
Fire phase Description
Growth phase
(pre-ashover)
During the initial phase the re will remain localised. The products of
combustion will accumulate beneath the ceiling forming a hot layer. Depending
on the availability of oxygen for combustion, the growth phase may be
characterised by smouldering or aming. This phase is most serious for life
safety as tenability conditions can often be compromised through the
production of carbon monoxide and other toxic gases. The re will continue to
grow given sufcient heat release from the item rst ignited, sufcient oxygen
and no intervention either from active protection measures or the Fire Service
personnel.
Flashover This is the transition between a localised and fully developed re. Flashover can
be assumed to occur when sustained aming from combustible material
reaches the ceiling and the temperature of the hot gas layer is between 5508C
and 6008C. Following ashover the rate of heat release will increase rapidly
(accompanied by a reduction in the oxygen concentration) until it reaches the
maximum value for the compartment.
Fully developed
phase (steady
state)
This is the stage at which all the available fuel is burning. The maximum rate of
heat release will be dictated either by the availability of oxygen (ventilation
controlled) or the quantity and nature of the fuel (fuel bed controlled). This is
the most critical stage of the re in terms of structural damage and failure of
compartmentation.
Decay phase
(cooling)
After a period of sustained burning (typically once 70% of the fuel has been
consumed), the re will decay with temperatures reducing over time.
Figure 4.2 Three-phase re behaviour
Time
Flashover
Natural
fire curve
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
Ignition smouldering Heating Cooling
Standard
fire curve
42
Structural Fire Engineering
4.1.2.1 Nominal fire curves
Nominal or standard re curves are the simplest and most commonly adopted means of
representing a re. They have been developed to allow classication and assessment of
construction products using commercial furnaces. Although they do not represent
real re scenarios, they have been developed from experience of real res. A number
of different curves exists. The choice of curve for a particular situation will depend on
the end use. Different curves are used for testing and assessment depending on
whether the structural element or product is to be used in the construction of a
normal building (ofce, dwelling, etc.), the petrochemical or offshore industry or for
tunnels.
The most well-known and widely adopted nominal re curve is the so-called standard
re enshrined in national, European and international standards (BSI, 1987, 1999; ISO,
1975). The standard re curve is based on a cellulosic (i.e. wood/paper/fabric) re within
a compartment and is described by the following equation:
0
g
20 345 log
10
8t 1
As with many other nominal re curves, it is characterised by a steadily increasing
temperature and does not incorporate a descending branch or cooling phase. The
standard re exposure is illustrated in Figure 4.2 alongside a real re exposure to high-
light the differences.
Figure 4.3 Available options for modelling re behaviour in order of increasing complexity
Available fire models
Nominal (standard) fire curves suitable
for the vast majority of structures
Equivalent time of fire exposure
Parametric curves
Zone models
CFD analysis
43
Structural re engineering design
The values prescribed in Approved Document B (see Chapter 2) are related directly to
survival in a standard furnace test as discussed in Chapter 3. The actual values derive
from a consideration of the re hazard associated with particular types of occupancy
as set out in the Post-War Building Studies publication on the re grading of buildings
(Joint Committee of the Building Research Board of the Department of Scientic &
Industrial Research and of the Fire Ofces Committee, 1946).
The standard curve has been adopted throughout the world for a number of reasons: to
provide evidence of regulatory compliance; to assist in product development; and to
provide a common basis for research into the effect of variables other than temperature.
As such it has proved to be remarkably successful over a long period of time. It has the
advantage of familiarity for designers, regulators and speciers. The existence of a
large body of test data facilitates the continuing use of the standard curve and enables
tabulated data for generic materials to be developed. It is simple to use and clearly
dened, and allows for a direct comparison between the performance of products
tested under nominally identical conditions.
However, the standard re test suffers from a number of drawbacks when any attempt is
made to extrapolate test results to performance in real-life situations. These drawbacks
arise as a consequence of simplistic assumptions regarding the thermal exposure and the
support and loading conditions of the test specimen. While the standard curve incorpo-
rates the transient nature of re development, there is no direct relationship between
performance in a standard test and the duration of a real re. This is a source of some
confusion as many observers conclude that 60 minutes re resistance means that the
element of structure will survive for 60 minutes in a real re. In reality, the element of
construction may perform satisfactorily for a longer or shorter period depending on
the severity and duration of the re. The temperature within a furnace is relatively
uniform compared with the temperature within a real re compartment. Spatial tempera-
ture differences (particularly during the growth phase) may lead to longitudinal and
cross-sectional thermal gradients within structural members that are not present
during a furnace test, which in turn could lead to deformations not observed during a
standard test. For certain forms of construction, direct ame impingement during a
real re may have important implications that cannot be observed in a standard test.
As mentioned above, a real re consists of three distinct phases (Figure 4.2). The relative
durations of these three phases may have a signicant impact on the performance of
elements of structure. Such behaviour cannot be addressed by an ever increasing curve
where temperature rises at a decreasing rate with time. The very notion of a standard
test has been questioned, with the actual levels of heat ux experienced by the test
specimen dependent on the construction of the test furnace, the location of the
burners relative to the specimen and the type of fuel used. In recent years much progress
has been made in harmonising furnace conditions, with the development of furnace
control through the plate thermometer the most effective.
In addition to the problems associated with the relationship between the standard
thermal exposure and real res, a number of difculties arise in extrapolating the
results from standard tests to predict structural behaviour under realistic conditions.
44
Structural Fire Engineering
The geometric limitations of specimen size mean that it is not possible to simulate
complicated three-dimensional structural behaviour. No allowance can be made
during the test for the benecial or detrimental effects of restraint to thermal expansion
provided by the surrounding cold structure. The nature of the test means that only
idealised end conditions can be used and only idealised load levels and distributions
are adopted. During a re, some degree of load shedding will take place from the
areas affected by re to the unheated parts of the building. In the standard test, no
allowance can be made for alternative load-carrying mechanisms or alternative modes
of failure that are a function of the building rather than the element of structure. In
particular, the standard re test does not address the important role that connections
play in maintaining overall global structural stability.
A reliance on the results from standard tests and, in particular, the use of tabulated
values for generic products has retarded our understanding of structural behaviour in
res. Structural re engineering attempts to go beyond a blind reliance on prescriptive
guidance (where appropriate), to consider the physical characteristics that contribute
to re development and evaluate the material and mechanical response of the structure
to the increase in temperature.
Although the standard re curve is the most well known, a number of other nominal
curves exist for special circumstances. An external re curve is available for applications
where the structural element is subject to heating from ames emerging from openings.
This is a less severe exposure condition than for internal elements and takes the form:
0
g
6601 0.687e
0.32t
0.313e
3.8t
20
In situations where the caloric value of the re load is signicantly higher than the
standard cellulosic curve, such as the petrochemical or offshore industries, then a hydro-
carbon re exposure would be a more appropriate nominal re curve to test and assess
products. A number of such curves exist: the most widely used is reproduced in the re
part of the Eurocode for Actions (BSI, 2002b) and takes the form:
0
g
10801 0.325e
0.167t
0.675e
2.5t
20
For reactive re protection products, it is possible that testing under standard re condi-
tions may overestimate performance. In such cases, a slow heating curve is available of
the form:
0
g
154t
0.25
20
for the rst 21 minutes of the test followed by the standard curve for the remaining
period. However, this is rarely used in practice.
In recent years a number of high-prole tunnel res have caused great damage and loss of
life. In such applications, an even more severe exposure than the hydrocarbon curve may
be appropriate to simulate the effect of a re involving large petrol tankers in a conned
45
Structural re engineering design
space. The most onerous exposure has been developed in the Netherlands as the RWS
curve which reaches temperatures of 13508C. Other curves include the German RABT
curve which achieves a maximum temperature of 12008C. A comparison between
some of the various nominal exposures is provided in Figure 4.4 together with an
indicative time temperature response from a natural re exposure.
4.1.2.2 Natural fire models fundamental approach
All of the nominal re curves discussed above are post-ashover models of re behaviour
under various conditions. They are models loosely based on observed behaviour in real
res but are not based on any physical parameters. Natural re models are based on the
physical parameters that inuence re growth and development, and range from simple
models for both localised res and post-ashover re behaviour to advanced methods
based on computational uid dynamics. As this book is concerned with structural beha-
viour in re and is not aimed at the specialist re engineering community, simple models
for localised behaviour and advanced computational uid dynamics (CFD) methods are
not considered further. The remainder of this section deals with simple post-ashover
calculation models for establishing compartment timetemperature response.
Simplied re models are based on specic physical parameters with a limited eld of
application generally related to the conditions for which validation (conrmation by
test) has been undertaken.
As mentioned previously, a consideration of fully developed re behaviour must take
into account the balance between the energy released from the combustion of the re
load and the heat loss through the ventilation openings and to the walls, ceiling and
oor of the compartment.
Figure 4.4 Comparison between nominal and natural re curves
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
Time: mins
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
:

C
ISO External Hydrocarbon Example natural fire
46
Structural Fire Engineering
The rate of heat release is a function of the burning rate which, in itself, is a function of
the size, location and geometry of the ventilation openings in the compartment. It is the
openings that will dictate whether the re will be controlled by the amount of fuel
available to burn or the relationship between inow and outow of air. If there is no
restriction on the availability of air for combustion, the re load dictates the burning
rate. However, in most practical re compartments the burning rate in a fully developed
re will be largely independent of the amount of fuel and will depend on the rate of air
ow entering the compartment through the window openings by natural convection. The
quantity of fuel will then dictate the duration of the re. Early work in this area was
reported by Kawagoe (1958) and Thomas et al. (1967), who derived a relationship for
the burning rate:
R 6.0A
w

h
p
where
A
w
area of ventilation openings
h height of the ventilation openings
and is valid for compartments with small openings. They identied the two regimes
where burning rate is controlled by the available air or by the properties of the fuel. A
knowledge of the burning rate as a function of the geometry of the openings together
with an approximation of the amount of combustible material available to burn provides
a starting point for estimating compartment timetemperature response.
Law(1983) provided an alternative estimate of the burning rate for ventilation controlled
res, which takes into account the overall geometry of the re compartment:
R 0.18A
w

h
p
W,D
_
1 e
0.036j

where
Wdepth of compartment
Ddepth of compartment
with
j A
t
A
w
,A
w

h
p
with
A
t
area of the bounding surfaces of the compartment
Complementary studies (Heselden, 1968; Law, 1978) considered the maximum tempera-
ture that can be attained within a compartment and the duration of the re in terms of
the ventilation conditions and compartment geometry. The maximum temperature of a
re in a compartment was found to be a function of the parameter:
j A
t
A
w
,A
w

H
p
47
Structural re engineering design
With the maximum temperature given by:
0
f.max
60001 e
0.1j
,

j
p
However, this value is an upper limit which must be modied to take into account the
quantity of fuel available for combustion. The maximum temperature is therefore modi-
ed by the formula:
0
max
0
f.max
1 e
0.05
where L
fi.k
,

A
w
A
t
A
w

_
The duration of the re may be estimated by considering the ratio of the re load to the
rate of burning:
t
d
L
fi.k
,R
This pioneering work forms the basis of much of what appears in the current generation
of codes and standards. However, there are a number of important parameters
inuencing compartment re growth and development that are not taken into account
in the above equations.
TIME EQUIVALENCE
A number of attempts have been made to utilise the simplicity of the standard re curve
and to relate actual re severity to an equivalent period within a standard test. Time
equivalence is an extremely useful tool for demonstrating compliance with regulations
in a language clearly understood by building control authorities. The basic concept
considers equivalent re severity in terms of the temperature attained by a structural
element within a re compartment and the time taken to achieve the same temperature
in a standard re test. The concept is illustrated in Figure 4.5. Alternative formulations
Figure 4.5 Graphical representation of concept of time equivalence
0 15 30 45 60 75 90
Time: mins
t
e
Atmosphere
(furnace)
Steel (fire)
Max. steel temp.
Atmosphere (fire)
Steel (furnace)
1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
:

C
48
Structural Fire Engineering
consider the normalised heat input from a standard furnace. The vast majority of the
research effort into time equivalence has been initiated by the steel industry and
the results are therefore largely applicable to protected steel specimens. However, if
the data exist, there is no reason why the concept should not be extended to cover
other forms of construction.
The concept of time equivalence relates the severity of a real compartment re in an
actual building to an equivalent period of heating in a standard furnace test. This
equivalent period is then compared with the design value of the standard re resistance
of the individual structural members, which must satisfy the following relationship:
t
e.d
< t
fi.d
where t
e,d
is the design value of time equivalence and t
,d
is the design value of the re
resistance of the member.
As with the calculations associated with the burning rate, maximum temperatures and
duration of compartment res described above, there is a number of methods used to
derive time equivalent values based on the relevant parameters.
The original formulation from the 1946 report on re grading of buildings (Joint
Committee of the Building Research Board of the Department of Scientic & Industrial
Research and of the Fire Ofces Committee, 1946) used US data and results of standard
tests from the US to derive a simplied formula relating the equivalent severity to the fuel
load and the oor area:
t
e
L,A
f
(min)
where L is the total re load in kg and A
f
is the oor area in square metres.
Subsequent studies of compartment res by Law (1973) extended this approach to
include the inuence of ventilation openings:
t
e
KL,

A
w
A
t
_
(min)
where K is a constant usually taken as unity for large-scale experimental res, A
w
is the
ventilation area and A
t
is the area of the bounding surfaces excluding the area of the
ventilation opening. It should be noted that no account is taken of the inuence of the
thermal properties of the compartment linings. An alternative formulation by Pettersson
(European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (ECCS), 1985) takes the form:
t
e
0.067q
t
A

h
p
,A
t

1,2
(min)
where q
t
is the re load density (MJ/m
2
of total boundary surfaces), A is the area of the
ventilation openings, h is the weighted mean ventilation height and A
t
is the area of the
total bounding surfaces including the openings. To take account of the thermal proper-
ties of the compartment linings, both the opening factor and the re load are multiplied
by a coefcient varying from 0.5 to 0.3 depending on the nature of the construction.
49
Structural re engineering design
Alternative procedures for determining time equivalence have been formulated by the
CIB W14 workshop in 1983 and further modied in 1985 (CIB W14, 1986). The 1983
version is similar to the Pettersson formula, while the 1985 version is of the form:
t
e.d
c.q
f.d
(min)
where q
f,d
is the re load per unit oor area, c is a parameter to allow for the thermal
properties of the compartment boundaries and . is a ventilation factor related to the
area of the compartment and the openings by:
. A
f
,A
w

1,2
A
f
,A
t

H
p

1,2
where A
f
is the oor area (m
2
), A
t
is the total area of the bounding surfaces including
openings (m
2
), A
w
is the area of ventilation openings (m
2
) and H is the height of the
ventilation openings. Where A
w
is greater than 10% of A
f
this formulation allows for
an approximate method to be used where .1.5 and c 0.1. The parameter c is
related to the compartment thermal inertia (

c,`
p
). Values of the parameter c are
given in Table 4.2.
The CIB W14 method eventually developed into the formula in the re part of the Euro-
code for Actions (see below).
Harmathy (1987) proposed a method based on the normalised heat load and compared
the results with a number of other methods and with a series of room tests. The normal-
ised heat load is given by:
H
0
10
6
11c 1.6A
f
L,A
t
A
v
`,c
1,2
935A
f
L
1,2
where c lesser of 1 or 0.79 (h
3
c
/)
1/2
and ,
a
A
v
(gh
v
)
1/2
with ,
a
the density of air
entering the compartment (kg/m
3
), g the constant of gravity (m/s
2
) and A
v
the ventilation
area (m
2
).
The time equivalent value is then obtained from:
t
e
0.11 0.16 10
4
H
0
0.13 10
9
H
0

2
(hours)
The most widely used method is that set out in the re part of the Eurocode for Actions
(BSI, 2002b), which is derived from the earlier work of the CIB W14 group. The formula
Table 4.2 Values of the parameter c related to the compartment thermal inertia
Compartment thermal inertia (

c,`
_
) (W/m
2
s
1/2
K) c (m
2
min/MJ)
5720 0.09
720<2520 0.07
52520 0.05
50
Structural Fire Engineering
in the Eurocode is:
t
e.d
q
f.d
w
f
k
b
k
c
where
q
f,d
is the design re load density per unit oor area (MJ/m
2
)
k
b
is the conversion factor for the compartment thermal properties (min.m
2
/MJ)
w
f
is the ventilation factor
k
c
is a correction factor dependent on the structural material.
(Note: a similar formulation exists related to the re load density and ventilation
factor as a function of the total area of the bounding surfaces.)
For every structural Eurocode there is a corresponding National Annex for use within
the individual member state. Work undertaken in developing the UK National Annex
showed that the correction factor k
c
for different materials could not be supported
and that the use of the concept for unprotected steel structures should be limited to
re resistance periods up to 30 minutes.
Fire load density refers to the material available for combustion and tabulated data based
on the results from surveys are available related to specic occupancies. For design
purposes, the 80% fractile value is usually adopted. This is the value that is not exceeded
in 80%of the sample occupancies. Table 4.3 shows the values from the published guidance
referenced in the UK National Annex to BS EN 1991-1-2 (BSI, 2007).
The ventilation factor w
f
is derived from a consideration of the height of the compart-
ment and the ratio of the openings to the oor area such that:
w
f
6,H
0.3
0.62 900.4 c
v

4
50.5 (in the absence of horizontal openings)
Table 4.3 Fire load densities from PD 6688-1-2 (BSI, 2007)
Occupancy Fire load density
Average:
MJ/m
2
80% fractile:
MJ/m
2
90% fractile:
MJ/m
2
95% fractile:
MJ/m
2
Dwelling 780 870 920 970
Hospital 230 350 440 520
Hospital storage 2000 3000 3700 4400
Hotel bedroom 310 400 460 510
Ofces 420 570 670 760
Shops 600 900 1100 1300
Manufacturing 300 470 590 720
Manufacturing and storage 1180 1800 2240 2690
Libraries 1500 2250 2550
Schools 285 360 410 450
51
Structural re engineering design
where H is the height of the compartment (m) and c
v
A
v
/A
f
. Alternatively, for small
re compartments where the oor area is less than 100 m
2
, the ventilation factor may
be calculated from:
w
f
O
1,2
A
f
,A
t
where O is the opening factor A
v

h
p
,A
t
with h the (weighted) mean height of
the ventilation openings. In carrying out a time equivalent analysis, consideration
should be given to the changes in ventilation that occur during the course of a
re, which have a signicant bearing on temperatures attained and overall re
duration.
The National Annex sets out the appropriate values for k
b
which differ from those in the
informative annex. The default value for use in the UK is k
b
0.09.
The concept of time equivalence does not take into account implicit safety levels built
into the prescribed values for re resistance set out in the guidance to The National
Building Regulations (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2007) to
account for occupant mobility, ease of re ghting and evacuation strategies. The
output from time equivalent calculations therefore should not be used in isolation but
should be part of an overall re strategy for the building. The procedure in terms of
input parameters is summarised in Figure 4.6. For more detailed information, the
reader should consult the UK National Annex to BS EN 1991-1-2 (BSI, 2007) and the
associated non-contradictory complementary information (NCCI) set out in PD 6688-
1-2:2007 (BSI, 2007).
Figure 4.6 Input values for equivalent time of re exposure
Characteristic re load density q
f,k
(re engineering standards or survey data)
t
e,d
= q
f,d
w
f
k
b
Design re load
density q
f,d
(inuence of
active measures)
Thermal properties of
compartment boundaries
(standards, manufacturers
information)
Area of
ventilation
openings A
v
Compartment
oor area A
f
and
surface area A
t
Ventilation factor w
f
k
b
factor (see EN1991-1-2)
52
Structural Fire Engineering
Simple worked example of time equivalent calculation using the procedure in BS EN 1991-
1-2 (with UK National Annex)
Design information:
Compartment in four-storey ofce building
Floor area: A
f
6 m6 m36 m
2
Design re load density: 570 MJ/m
2
(80% fractile value for ofces from PD 6688-
1-2: 2007 (BSI, 2007))
Compartment construction: roof formed from hollowcore concrete slabs, walls and
oor lined with plasterboard
Ventilation area A
v
3.6 m2 m7.2 m
2
Height of compartment H (m) 3.4 m
Total area of enclosure A
t
(2 6 6) + (4 3.4 6) 153.6 m
2
Opening factor OA
v
p
h/A
t
7.2
p
2/153.6 0.066 m
1
Calculation:
Ventilation factor: w
f
6,H
0.3
0.62 900.4 c
v

4
50.5
c
v
A
v
/A
f
7.2/36 0.2 (this is within the limits in the Eurocode)
giving w
f
1.95
Thermal properties of compartment linings: the factor k
b
is dependent on the
thermal inertia of the construction materials as dened by the factor b

,c`
p
where
, density (kg/m
3
)
c specic heat (J/kgK)
`thermal conductivity (W/mK).
Although no information on the thermal properties of commonly used construction
materials is provided in the Eurocode (BSI, 2002b) (or the National Annex and asso-
ciated NCCI (BSI, 2007)), some guidance is available in the literature (ECCS, 1985).
Table 4.4 sets out the appropriate values for the current case taken from published data.
The b value to be used for design is a weighted average where b

b
j
A
j
,A
j
. Here the
relevant b value 945 J/m
2
s
1/2
K. From Table B.1 of the NCCI (BSI, 2007) this
corresponds to a value of k
b
0.07. Note: if no detailed information is available on
the thermal properties of the compartment linings or if there are uncertainties about
the nal construction, or changes may be made over the course of the buildings
design life, then the default value of k
b
0.09 should be used.
Table 4.4 Thermal properties of compartment linings
Construction Material Thermal inertia (b value J/m
2
s
1/2
K with b

,c`
_
) Area: m
2
Ceiling Concrete 2280 36
Floor Plasterboard 520 36
Walls Plasterboard 520 76.8
53
Structural re engineering design
The equivalent time of re exposure is then given by:
t
e.d
570 1.95 0.07 78 min
PARAMETRIC APPROACH
Over the years a number of attempts have been made to derive compartment time
temperature relationships from a consideration of the fundamental heat balance
equation as a function of the opening factor and the thermal properties of the compart-
ment boundaries. The most widely used and extensively validated method is that given in
Annex A of BS EN 1991-1-2 (BSI, 2002b). The temperaturetime curves in the heating
phase are given by:
0
g
13251 0.324e
0.2t

0.204e
1.7t

0.472e
19t

where
0
g
temperature in the re compartment (8C)
t
*
t. (h)
t time (h)
O,b
2
,0.04,1160
2
()
b

,c`
p
and should lie between 100 and 2200 (J/m
2
s
1/2
K)
Oopening factor (A
v

h
p
,A
t
) (m
1/2
)
A
v
area of ventilation openings (m
2
)
h height of ventilation openings (m)
A
t
total area of enclosure (including openings) (m
2
)
, density of boundary enclosure (kg/m
3
)
c specic heat of boundary enclosure (J/kgK)
`thermal conductivity of boundary (W/mK)
The background theory to this calculation approach was developed by Wickstrom
(1981/2) who used data from a comprehensive test series (Pettersson et al., 1976) to
validate his theoretical assumptions (1986). The values 0.04 and 1160 relate to the
opening factor and the thermal inertia of the standard compartment as used in the
original experimental programme. The temperature within the compartment is then
assumed to vary as a simple exponential function of modied time dependent on the
variation in the ventilation condition and the thermal properties of the compartment
linings from this standard compartment. The theory assumes that temperature rise is
independent of re load. In order to account for the depletion of the fuel or for the
active intervention of the re and rescue service or suppression systems, the duration
of the re must be considered. This is a complex process and depends on the rate of
burning of the material which itself is dependent on the ventilation and the physical
characteristics and distribution of the fuel.
The parametric approach is a relatively straightforward calculation ideally suited for
modern spreadsheets. It provides a reasonable estimate of the average timetemperature
response for a wide range of compartments and represents a major advance compared
54
Structural Fire Engineering
with a traditional reliance on nominal res which bear little or no relationship to a
realistic re scenario. The parametric re curves comprise a heating phase represented
by an exponential curve up to a maximum temperature 0
max
occurring at a corre-
sponding time of t
max
, followed by a linearly decreasing cooling phase.
The maximum temperature in the heating phase occurs at a time given by:
t
max
max0.2 10
3
q
t.d
,O
lim
; t
lim

where
q
t.d
q
f.d
A
f
,A
t
and t
lim
25 minutes for a slow re growth rate, 20 minutes for a medium re growth
rate and 15 minutes for a fast re growth rate.
For most practical combinations of re load, compartment geometry and opening
factor, t
max
will be in excess of these limiting values. The temperaturetime curves for
the cooling phase are then given by:
0
g
0
max
625t

max
for t

max
40.5h
0
g
0
max
2503 t

max
t

max
for 0.5 < t

max
< 2h
0
g
0
max
250t

max
for t

max
52h
Although in EN 1991-1-2 (BSI, 2002b) a number of restrictions are imposed on the use of
the parametric approach, such as maximum oor area of compartment and maximum
height of compartment, the UK National Annex allows the approach to be used
outside this limited scope using the NCCI (BSI, 2007). The relevant input parameters
for the parametric approach are illustrated schematically in Figure 4.7.
Simple worked example of the parametric approach using the procedure in BS EN 1991-1-2
(with UK National Annex)
Using the same example of a corner ofce compartment as used to illustrate the concept
of time equivalence.
Design information:
Floor area A
f
36 m
2
Design re load density q
f,d
570 MJ/m
2
Opening factor O0.066 m
1/2
Thermal inertia b 945 J/m
2
s
1/2
K
The parametric time factor is a function of the opening factor O and the thermal
inertia b:
O,b
2
,0.04,1160
2
0.066,945
2
,0.04,1160
2
4.1
55
Structural re engineering design
Fire load
q
f,d
570 MJ/m
2
q
t,d
q
f,d
A
f
/A
t
570 36/153.6 133.6 MJ/m
2
Maximum temperature will be at time:
t
max
0.2 10
3
q
t.d
,O 0.2 10
3
133.6,0.066 0.4 hours (24 min)
The heating and cooling phases can then be constructed using the relevant formulae
above to give the compartment timetemperature response illustrated in Figure 4.8.
4.2 Heat transfer
Heat transfer analysis is undertaken to determine the temperature rise and distribution of
temperature within the structural members. Thermal models are based on the acknowl-
edged principles and assumptions of heat transfer. Thermal models vary in complexity
ranging from simple tabulated values to complex calculation models based on nite differ-
ence or computational uid dynamics. The heating conditions considered extend to cover
Figure 4.7 Input values for parametric calculation
Area of
ventilation A
v
Opening factor A
v
h/A
t
= O
Thermal properties b = ( c)
t
max
= max[(0.2 10
3
q
t,d
/O)]; t
lim
Timetemperature response in heating phase
Height of
ventilation
openings h
Area of
bounding
surfaces A
t
Compartment
floor area A
f
Fire load
density q
f,d
Specific heat of
compartment
boundaries c
Thermal conductivity
of compartment
boundaries
Density of
compartment
boundaries
q
t,d
= q
f,d
A
f
/A
t
t
lim
Fire growth rate
slow/medium/fast
56
Structural Fire Engineering
natural re scenarios. However, the validity of some of the simpler methods and most of the
tabular data is restricted to a re exposure corresponding to the standard re curve.
Whatever model is adopted, the analysis needs to consider transient behaviour which
covers
g heat transfer within the element including conduction for solid elements but also
any radiative or convective components, particularly where the construction
includes cavities and/or voids
g moisture migration
g chemical reactions and phase changes.
In order to undertake the analysis, a knowledge of material properties at elevated
temperature is required, specically
g thermal conductivity
g specic heat
g density
g emissivity
g initial moisture content
g charring rate if appropriate.
As the guidance in this book is aimed principally at practising structural engineers, the
fundamental theory is not considered and the focus is on tabulated data and simple
calculation models. The structural Eurocodes provide methods for determining tempera-
ture distributions subject to certain conditions. The thermal modelling approaches set
out in the Eurocodes are summarised in Table 4.5.
Figure 4.8 Parametric curve
0.00
200.00
400.00
600.00
800.00
1000.00
1200.00
0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.60 0.70 0.80 0.90 1.00 1.10
Time: h
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
:

C
Heating
Cooling
57
Structural re engineering design
Heat transfer methods for materials that incorporate free moisture should consider the
effect of moisture migration with time through the member in order to provide an
accurate prediction of the temperature of the element with time. This is generally
accomplished through the incorporation of mass transfer in the model providing
additional information on the pressure eld due to steam production which, in certain
cases, may inuence the tendency of a material to spalling. For many simple models,
the inuence of moisture is either implicitly included (empirical models and tabulated
data) or conservatively ignored.
4.2.1 Concrete
For materials with a high thermal conductivity (such as steel) it is generally possible to
ignore thermal gradients within the member and assume a uniform temperature.
However, for concrete members, having a low thermal conductivity and including free
and chemically bound moisture, the calculation of heat transfer to the structure can
be very complex. A number of different methods may be used to derive the temperature
distribution within the member. These are summarised in Figure 4.9. Eurocode 2
includes a number of temperature proles for slabs, beams and columns with the
temperature prole for slabs also being applicable to walls subject to heating from one
side. The temperature proles are presented for specic re resistance periods and are
therefore applicable only to a heating regime corresponding to a standard re exposure.
In principle, the calculation methods for which the temperature prole is input data (see
section 4.3) could be used to determine performance due to different thermal exposure
but there are no validated test data to support this.
A method proposed by Wickstrom (1986) for calculating the temperature prole within
concrete members when exposed to the standard re or real re conditions is included in
the structural part of the British Standard for re engineering design (BSI, 2003b).
The temperature rise (T
x
) at any depth beneath the surface of a concrete member heated
to a temperature (T
s
) by exposure to a gas temperature (T
g
) can be calculated by:
T
x
n
x
T
s
and T
s
n
s
T
g
where n
x
and n
s
are a function of time (t).
Table 4.5 Thermal modelling options in structural Eurocodes
Eurocode Material Tabular
data
Simple
model
Advanced
model
EN 1992-1-2 (BSI, 2004a) Concrete Yes Yes Yes
EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005a) Steel No Yes Yes
EN 1994-1-2 (BSI, 2005b) Composite (steel and concrete) Yes Yes Yes
EN 1995-1-2 (BSI, 2004b) Timber No Yes No
EN 1996-1-2 (BSI, 2005c) Masonry Yes Yes Yes
58
Structural Fire Engineering
Time is scaled to account for the variation in surface thermal properties between the
concrete being considered and a nominal standard mix.
t
s

i
_ _
t. where

p
.
i

b,1550
_
. b

k
c
_
,
c
c
c

A
w

h
w
_
,A
t
b
_ _
2
1160
0.04
_ _
2
For normal weight concrete, the scaling of time is unnecessary and t
s
t.
The ratio between the temperature of the re and the surface temperature of the concrete
can be calculated from:
n
s
1 0.0616t
0.88
s
The ratio n
x
, between the surface temperature and the temperature at a depth x beneath
the surface, can be calculated by:
n
x
0.18 ln U
x
0.81 with U
x

K
c
4.17 10
7

t
s
x
2
where x is the depth in metres.
This procedure can be greatly simplied for applications considering the temperature
development in normal weight concrete heated in accordance with the standard re
Figure 4.9 Options for the determination of heat transfer to concrete structures
Heat transfer modelling options
Design charts
Simple
formulae
Advanced
methods
BS8110,
EN1992-1-2
Wickstroms
method
Standard fire exposure
Standard, parametric and
natural fire exposures
Finite element
methods
Test data
59
Structural re engineering design
curve. In this case the temperature at any depth (x) m beneath the surface at time (t) h can
be calculated from:
T
x
345 log 10t480 11 0.0616t
0.88
0.18 ln
t
x
2
_ _
0.81
_ _
This empirical method may be applied to concrete members heated on parallel faces
simultaneously, with n
x
as the superimposed total of the n
x
values calculated with respect
to each separate face. The method also incorporates heat ow at square corners, again
through superimposing the contributions from the orthogonal faces n
x
and n
y
as follows:
T
xy
n
s
n
x
n
y
2n
x
n
y
n
x
n
y
T
s
4.2.2 Structural steel
Steel loses both strength and stiffness with increasing temperature. This relationship is
illustrated in Figure 4.10, which shows the relationship between steel strength and
temperature based on test results (Kirby and Preston, 1988). The gure shows an
enhanced performance from that derived from previous experimental work carried out
by the European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (ECCS, 1981), which did
not take into account the inuence of strain hardening that accounts for the plateau
in the early stages. It should be borne in mind that the determination of strength
reduction factors for hot rolled steel is dependent not only on the material but also on
the test method, the heating rate and the strain limit used to determine steel strength.
The differences between test data are signicant. The British Steel data used in the
National and European codes shows that for a temperature of 5508C structural steel
will retain 60% of its room temperature strength, while the corresponding gure
Figure 4.10 Reduction factors for steel strength at elevated temperature
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
P
r
o
p
o
r
t
i
o
n

o
f

a
m
b
i
e
n
t

t
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

s
t
r
e
n
g
t
h
Steel
Temperature: C
60
Structural Fire Engineering
obtained from the ECCS relationship for the same temperature is closer to 40%. The
use of the British Steel data is justied by its improved correlation with large scale
beam and column tests, both in terms of the heating rates and the strains developed
at the deection limits imposed by the standard re resistance tests. This simplied
presentation does not itself take into consideration the fact that values above unity
exist within the lower range of temperatures. The ne detail in the temperature-
dependent material properties is principally of interest to those involved in the numerical
modelling of material and structural behaviour. What is abundantly clear is that both
strength and stiffness decrease with increasing temperature and that this reduction is
particularly signicant between 4008C and 7008C.
Because of the perceived poor performance of steel elements in re discussed above, the
most common method of designing for re is to design the steel structure for the
ambient temperature loading condition and then to protect the steel members with
proprietary re protection materials. This ensures that a specic temperature is not
exceeded or, in the light of the discussion above, that a specied percentage of the
ambient temperature loading capacity is retained. This is discussed in a paper by
Robinson (1994), who foresees a more rational approach where the re is considered
at the initial design stage rather than as an expensive afterthought once the main struc-
tural members have been chosen. Such a philosophy is consistent with new design docu-
ments produced in the UK and elsewhere.
Traditional re design methods for structural steel are based on the concept of a single
critical temperature. Due to the relationship between steel strength and temperature
illustrated, below the gure of 5508C is generally adopted as the critical temperature
for steel. In reality, there is no single critical temperature as the capacity of the structure
is a function of the load applied at the re limit state. This is discussed further in
Chapters 58, which deal with the calculation of the mechanical response of structural
elements.
The rate of increase in temperature of a steel cross-section is determined by the ratio
of the heated surface area (A) to the volume (V). The ratio A/V is known as the
section factor and is analogous to the earlier concept, whereby the rate of temperature
rise was related to the ratio of the heated perimeter (H
p
) to the area of the section (A).
A steel section with a large surface area will be subject to a greater heat ux than
one with a smaller surface area. The greater the volume of the section the greater will
be the heat sink effect. Therefore, a small thick section (such as a universal column
[UC] section) will heat up to a given temperature more slowly than a long thin
section. In terms of applying passive re protection, the greater the section factor the
greater the thickness of protection required to limit the temperature of the steel to a
given temperature.
A number of empirical relationships exist for steel sections where the relatively high
thermal conductivity enables an assumption of uniform temperature for the cross
section particularly when the entire section is fully engulfed in re. Milke (National
Fire Protection Association, 1995) presents a relationship between the re resistance in
61
Structural re engineering design
hours and the section factor (H
p
/A) for a critical temperature of 5388C as:
R 5.29
H
p
A
_ _
0.7
. for
H
p
A
13.4
R 6.96
H
p
A
_ _
0.8
. for
H
p
A
413.4
The most common method used in the UK to relate protection thickness to section factor
for a given re resistance period and a specied critical temperature is the Yellow Book
published by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (2007).
The European re design standard for steel structures includes methods for calculating
the temperature rise in both unprotected and protected steel, assuming a uniform
temperature distribution through the cross section. The increase of temperature 0
a,t
for an unprotected member during a time interval t is given by:
0
a.t
k
sh
A
m
,V
c
a
,
a
_
hh
net.d
t for t 45 sec
where
,
a
is the unit mass of steel (kg/m
3
)
A
m
is the surface area of the member per unit length (m
2
)
A
m
/V is the section factor for unprotected steel members (m
1
)
c
a
is the specic heat of steel (J/kgK)
_
hh
net.d
is the net heat ux per unit area (W/m
2
)
k
sh
is the correction factor for the shadow effect (k
sh
1.0 if the shallow effect is
ignored)
t is the time interval (seconds)
V is the volume of the member per unit length (m
3
).
For circular or rectangular cross-sections fully engulfed by re the shadow effect is not
relevant and k
sh
1.0 otherwise:
k
sh

0.9A
m
,V
b
A
m
,V
for I-sections under nominal fire actions
A
m
,V
b
A
m
,V
for other cases
_

_
In the above equation the value of A
m
/V should not be used if it is less than 10 m
1
.
[A
m
/V]
b
is the box value of the section factor.
The k
sh
correction for the shadow effect accounts for the fact that members with
geometry similar to I and H sections are shielded from the direct impact of the re in
some parts of the surface.
62
Structural Fire Engineering
The above method requires integration with respect to time with the calculated tempera-
ture rise substituted back into the equation for each time step. This can be realised using
a simple spreadsheet-based method. For greater accuracy, temperature-dependent values
for specic heat and thermal conductivity could be used (where known).
For protected members, a similar procedure is adopted taking into account the relevant
material properties of the protection material. The method is applicable to non-reactive
re protection systems such as board or spray protection but is not appropriate for
reactive materials such as intumescent coatings. Assuming a uniform temperature
distribution, the temperature rise 0
a,t
of a protected steel member during a time interval
t is given by:
0
a.t

`
p
A
p
,V
d
p
c
a
,
a
0
g.t
0
a.t

1 c,3
t e
c,10
10
g.t
with 0
a,t
50 and
c
c
p
,
p
c
a
,
a
d
p
A
p
,V
where
`
p
is the thermal conductivity of re protection material (W/mK)
0
a,t
is the steel temperature at time t (8C)
0
g,t
is the ambient gas temperature at time t (8C)
0
g,t
is the increase of ambient gas temperature during time interval t (K)
,
a
is the unit mass of steel (kg/m
3
)
,
p
is the unit mass of re protection material (kg/m
3
)
A
p
/V is the section factor for steel members insulated by re protection material (m
1
)
A
p
is the appropriate area of re protection material per unit length (m
2
)
c
a
is the temperature dependent specic heat of steel (J/kgK)
c
p
is the temperature independent specic heat of re protection material (J/kgK)
d
p
is the thickness of re protection material (m)
t is the time interval (seconds)
V is the volume of the member per unit length (m
3
).
Figure 4.11 shows an example of a calculation for a fully exposed insulated column
section using the Eurocode equation for a standard re exposure.
4.2.3 Composite steel and concrete construction
The European re design standard for composite construction provides a conservative esti-
mate of the temperature rise in composite slabs through tabulated data treating the com-
posite slab as if it were a solid slab. The temperatures at a distance x from the underside
of the exposed slab are related to specic standard re resistance periods in Table 4.6.
For the temperature of the reinforcement and the temperature of the steel decking,
coefcients are used to determine the temperature for specic periods of re resistance.
63
Structural re engineering design
The temperature of the reinforcing bars in the rib is given by:
0
s
c
0
c
1
u
3
h
2
c
2
z c
3
A
L
r
c
4
c c
5
1
l
3
Figure 4.11 Temperature rise of insulated column
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Time: min
Gas
Steel
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
:

C
Table 4.6 Temperature distribution in a solid normal weight concrete slab of 100 mm thickness
Depth x: Temperature 0
c
(8C) for standard re resistance of
mm
R30 R60 R90 R120 R180 R240
5 535 705
10 470 642 738
15 415 581 681 754
20 350 525 627 697
25 300 469 571 642 738
30 250 421 519 591 689 740
35 210 374 473 542 635 700
40 180 327 428 493 590 670
45 160 289 387 454 549 645
50 140 250 345 415 508 550
55 125 200 294 369 469 520
60 110 175 271 342 430 495
80 80 140 220 270 330 395
100 60 100 160 210 260 305
Note: for lightweight concrete the values may be reduced to 90% of those given.
64
Structural Fire Engineering
with
1
z

1

u
1
p
1

u
2
p
1

u
3
p
where
c is the angle of the web (degree)
c
0
. . . c
5
are the coefcients for determining the temperature of reinforcing bars
(rebars) in the rib as given in Table 4.2
A/L
r
is the rib geometry factor (mm)
A is the concrete volume of the rib per m rib length (mm
3
/m)
h
2
is the depth of the rib (mm)
L
r
is the exposed area of the rib per m rib length (mm
2
/m)
l
3
is the width of the upper ange (mm)
u
1
, u
2
is the shortest distance from the rebar centre to any point of the webs (mm)
u
3
is the distance from the rebar centre to lower ange of the steel sheet (mm)
z is the factor indicating the position of rebar in the rib (mm
1/2
).
The situation is illustrated in Figure 4.12 while Figure 4.13 shows the parameters
associated with the position of the reinforcing bars.
The temperatures 0
a
of the lower ange, web and upper ange of the steel decking is given
by:
0
a
b
0
b
1
1
l
3
b
2
A
L
r
b
3
b
4

2
with

1
l
3

h
2
2
l
3

l
1
l
2
2
_ _
2

h
2
2

l
1
l
2
2
_ _
2

_
_
_
_
Figure 4.12 Denition of rib geometry factor
l
3
/2
l
2
+ 2 h
2
2
+
( )
2
l
1
l
2
h
1
h
2
L
r
Concrete slab
Area: A
Steel sheet
The rib geometry factor A/L
r
is given by:
=
A
L
r
l
1
l
2
2
h
2 ( )
l
1
+ l
2
2
65
Structural re engineering design
where
is the view factor of the upper ange ()
b
0
. . . b
4
are the coefcients for determining the temperatures of various parts of the
steel decking as given in Table 4.7
A/L
r
is the rib geometry factor (mm)
A is the concrete volume of the rib per m rib length (mm
3
/m)
h
2
is the depth of the rib (mm)
L
r
is the exposed area of the rib per m rib length (mm
2
/m)
l
1
, l
2
are the distances as shown in Figure 4.12 (mm)
l
3
is the width of the upper ange (mm).
The relevant coefcients are shown in Table 4.7 with linear interpolation allowed for
intermediate values.
4.2.4 Timber and masonry
In general, there is no need to determine the temperature distribution through a timber
structural element as capacity is related to a residual undamaged section below the char
layer where the material is assumed to maintain its ambient temperature properties in
terms of strength and stiffness. The important aspect in this case is the calculation of
the depth of charring which is covered in Chapter 8.
The re part of Eurocode 6 provides tables of minimum dimensions to achieve specied
periods of re resistance. It also includes timetemperature graphs for various re
resistance periods for different types of masonry. For insulation purposes, the calcula-
tion of the temperature rise of the unexposed face is reasonably well understood and
the Eurocode includes temperature-dependent material properties for use in thermal
modelling. However, the issue of free and chemically bound water needs to be addressed
to be able to accurately reect the delay in reaching temperatures signicantly above
1008C. Other issues that need to be considered include the presence of voids in hollow
masonry blocks and ancillary products (such as metal wall ties) leading to localised
areas of high conduction.
Once the thermal analysis has been carried out to ascertain the compartment atmosphere
temperatures (section 4.1) and the heat transfer to the structure has been completed
Figure 4.13 Parameters for the position of reinforcing bars
Rebar

Rebar
u
1
u
2
u
2
u
3
u
3
u
1
66
Structural Fire Engineering
(section 4.2), it is then necessary to assess the effect of the increased temperatures on
the resistance of the structural members. This is the subject of Chapters 6 to 9. In
reality, steps 2 and 3 of the re engineering design (see Chapters 58) (heat transfer
and structural response) will generally be undertaken in tandem with the rules for
calculating or looking up member temperatures within the same standards as the rules
for evaluating member capacities.
The most comprehensive suite of design standards for undertaking structural re
engineering design is the structural Eurocodes. The re codes cover actions on structures
exposed to re as well as design procedures for concrete, steel, composite steel and
concrete, timber, masonry and aluminium. All these codes have now been published
by the BSI for use in the UK along with a National Annex setting out Nationally
Determined Parameters for those areas where national choice is allowed. The interaction
of the re parts of the various structural Eurocodes is illustrated in Figure 4.14. Before
looking at the methods for determining structural response, it is necessary to look at the
relationship between design loading at ambient temperature and the design load case for
Table 4.7 Coefcients for the determination of the temperatures of the parts of the steel decking
Concrete Fire resistance:
min
Part of steel
sheet
b
0
:
8C
b
1
:
8Cmm
b
2
:
8Cmm
b
3
:
8C
b
4
:
8C
Normal
weight
concrete
60 Lower ange 951 1197 2.32 86.4 150.7
Web 661 833 2.96 537.7 351.9
Upper ange 340 3269 2.62 1148.4 679.8
90 Lower ange 1018 839 1.55 65.1 108.1
Web 816 959 2.21 464.9 340.2
Upper ange 618 2786 1.79 767.9 472.0
120 Lower ange 1063 679 1.13 46.7 82.8
Web 925 949 1.82 344.2 267.4
Upper ange 770 2460 1.67 592.6 379.0
Lightweight
concrete
30 Lower ange 800 1326 2.65 114.5 181.2
Web 483 286 2.26 439.6 244.0
Upper ange 331 2284 1.54 488.8 131.7
60 Lower ange 955 622 1.32 47.7 81.1
Web 761 558 1.67 426.5 303.0
Upper ange 607 2261 1.02 664.5 410.0
90 Lower ange 1019 478 0.91 32.7 60.8
Web 906 654 1.36 287.8 230.3
Upper ange 789 1847 0.99 469.5 313.0
120 Lower ange 1062 399 0.65 19.8 43.7
Web 989 629 1.07 186.1 152.6
Upper ange 903 1561 0.92 305.2 197.2
67
Structural re engineering design
the ultimate limit state for the accidental design situation of a re. This is the subject of
the next section.
4.3. Load effects at the re limit state
Traditional design procedures for steel structures are based on limiting the temperature
rise of the steel section to a set value generally termed the critical temperature for steel.
Similarly, tabulated values in the national code for the re design of concrete structures
specify minimum cover distances to ensure that the temperature of the reinforcement
does not exceed a specied limiting value. Such methods are independent of the load
applied under re conditions and offer simplied, often conservative, solutions to the
majority of re design scenarios.
The development of structural re engineering has highlighted the importance of load in
determining the re resistance of structural elements. A major change in the design
methodology for steel structures in re came about with the publication in 1990 of
BS 5950 Part 8 (BSI, 2003c). Although this code is still based on an evaluation of the
performance of structural steel members, in the standard re test it allows architects
and engineers an alternative approach of designing for re resistance through calculation
procedures. Unlike the Approved Document, the code is concerned only with restricting
the spread of re and minimising the risk of structural collapse. It recognises that there is
no single failure temperature for steel members and that structural failure is inuenced
not only by temperature but also by load level, support conditions and the presence or
otherwise of a thermal gradient through and/or along the member. The code allows
for the consideration of natural res but does not provide any detailed information or
guidance. Load factors and material strength factors specic to the re Limit State
Figure 4.14 Interaction between the various parts of the re parts of the Structural Eurocodes
Selection of the relevant design
fire scenarios EN 1991-1-2
Determination of the corresponding
design fire EN 1991-1-2
Calculation of the temperature rise in
the structural member EN1992-1-2,
EN1993-1-2, EN1994-1-2, EN 1995-1-2,
EN1996-1-2, EN 1999-1-2
Calculation of the mechanical
response EN1992-1-2, EN1993-1-2,
EN1994-1-2, EN 1995-1-2,
EN1996-1-2, EN 1999-1-2
68
Structural Fire Engineering
are given. These are partial safety factors which deal with the uncertainties inherent in
probabilistic distributions for loading and material properties and represent reductions
from ambient temperature design in recognition of the small probability of excessive
loads being present at the same time as a re occurs. In 2003, BS 5950 Part 8 (BSI,
2003c) was updated to provide consistent information with the re part of Eurocode 3.
The national code for the design of concrete structures, BS 8110 Part 2 (BSI, 1985),
did not reect the important role that load level plays in determining performance
under re conditions. Load effects are allowed for in Eurocode 2 for the tabulated
data for concrete structures with dimensions dependent on load level for columns and
loadbearing walls.
An accurate assessment of the performance of a structural member during a re requires
knowledge of both the reduction in material properties with increasing temperature
and an accurate assessment of the loads acting on the structure at the time of the
re. Load effects can have a signicant impact on the re resistance of a structure
and this is reected in the requirement for realistic load levels to be in place during
standard re tests. As material properties reduce with increasing temperature the
loadbearing failure criterion is reached when the residual strength of the element
equals the load applied. Load level can also have a signicant impact on other types
of construction such as timber or light steel framing that rely on sacricial linings for
re resistance. Increased loading leads to increased deections at the re limit state
which can cause gaps to open between panels thereby compromising the assumed level
of re protection.
4.3.1 Partial safety factors for loads
Loads (or actions in terms of the Structural Eurocodes) are factored and a number of
load cases considered for the ambient temperature situation to account for uncertainties
and the potential for adverse conditions. Fire in terms of the Eurocode system is an
ultimate limit state accidental action and, as such, is subject to specic partial factors
that reect the reduced likelihood of the full ambient temperature design loading
being present at the same time as a re occurs. In the European system, in order to deter-
mine the calculation of the load effects at the re limit state, the designer must be familiar
with the Basis of Design EN 1990 (BSI, 2002c) which provides the required load combi-
nations and with the re part of the Eurocode for Actions EN 1991-1-2 which, in
addition to specifying the re design to be adopted also species the mechanical
actions for structural analysis. In particular, EN 1991-1-2 species the partial factor
for imposed (assuming leading variable action) loading for the re limit state. Fire
loading is an ultimate limit state accidental design situation of the form:
E
d
E G
k.j
; P; A
d
;
1.1
or
2.1
_ _
Q
k.i
_ _
for j 51; i 1
where
E is the effect of actions (E
d
is the design value of the effect of actions)
G is the permanent action (dead load)
P is the relevant representative value of a prestressing action (where present)
69
Structural re engineering design
A
d
is the design value of an accidental action

1
is the factor for frequent value of a variable action

2
is the factor for quasi-permanent value of a variable action
Q
k
is the characteristic value of a single variable action (Q
k,1
is the characteristic
value of the leading variable action often the imposed load)
In the re situation, A
d
is the effect of the re itself on the structure the effects of
restrained thermal expansion, thermal gradients, etc. However, where the design is
based on the standard re situation then such indirect actions need not be considered.
EN 1990 allows the use of either
1
or
2
with the main variable action. EN 1991-12
recommends the use of
2
. However, the UK National Annex for use with EN 1991-
1-2 species that
1
be used in the UK. The value of the partial factors for specic
types of occupancy and design situations is shown in Table 4.8.
It is important to understand the signicance of the reduced partial factor for imposed
loading and the effect that this has on different structural forms. Effectively, a reduction
in the imposed load will increase the re resistance of the structural member.
Consequently those forms of construction where the imposed load is a relatively high
proportion of the total load (such as steel frame construction) may be able to reduce
the levels of re protection required by taking advantage of the spare capacity in the
member. Conversely, for those forms of construction (such as reinforced concrete)
where the imposed load is a relatively small proportion of the total load, the potential
benets of a re engineering solution taking into account residual capacity are limited.
The relationship between the reduction factor j

and the ratio of the dead and


imposed loads is illustrated in Figure 4.15 where:
j
fi

G
k

fi
Q
k.1

G
G
k

Q.1
Q
k.1
Table 4.8 Values of partial factors (

) to be used for the accidental re limit state


Action
1

2
Imposed loads in buildings,
Category A: domestic, residential 0.5 0.3
Category B: ofce areas 0.5 0.3
Category C: congregation areas 0.7 0.6
Category D: shopping areas 0.7 0.6
Category E: storage areas 0.9 0.8
Category F: trafc area, 430 kN 0.7 0.6
Category G: trafc area, 30160 kN 0.5 0.3
Category H: roofs 0 0
Snow load: H41000 m a.s.l 0.2 0
Wind loads on buildings 0.2 0
70
Structural Fire Engineering
with
Q
k,1
is the characteristic value of the leading variable action (imposed load)
G
k
is the characteristic value of a permanent action (dead load)

G
is the partial factor for permanent actions (1.35)

Q,1
is the partial factor for variable action 1 (1.5)

is the combination factor ( 0.5 for residential and ofce applications from UK
National Annex to EN 1991-1-2).
4.3.2 Concept of load ratio, load level and degree of utilisation
Although there is a slight difference in terminology between National (BS 5950 Part 8)
(BSI, 2003c) and European standards (EN 1991-1-2, EN 1993-1-2, EN 1994-1-2) the
concept of load ratio, load level and degree of utilisation is the same in each case. The
resistance of the member at the re limit state is assessed according to the level of load
applied at the time of re compared with the ambient temperature load capacity. The
concept of load ratio is very useful with regard to tabulated data as it allows for
generic solutions that cover a wide range of potential applications.
The concept of load ratio is the basis for the limiting temperature method for steel
structures set out in BS 5950 Part 8 (BSI, 2003c) where the load ratio (R) for beams is
given by:
R
M
f
M
c
or R
mM
f
M
b
where
M
f
is the applied moment at the re limit state
Figure 4.15 Relationship between reduction factor j

and ratio of dead and imposed loads for


values of the partial factor for the re situation

1,1
= 0.9

1,1
= 0.7

1,1
= 0.5

1,1
= 0.2
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0
Q
k,1
/G
k

f
i
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
71
Structural re engineering design
M
b
is the lateral torsional buckling resistance moment
M
c
is M
cx
or M
cy
the moment capacity of the section about the major and minor
axes in the absence of axial load
m is the equivalent uniform moment factor
For columns in simple construction exposed on up to four sides the load ratio R is given
by:
R
F
f
A
g
p
c

M
fx
M
b

M
fy
p
y
Z
y
where
A
g
is the gross area
p
c
is the compressive strength
p
y
is the design strength of the steel
Z
y
is the elastic modulus about the minor axis
M
b
is the lateral torsional buckling resistance moment
F
f
is the axial load at the re limit state
M
fx
is the maximum moment about the major axis at the re limit state
M
fy
is the maximum moment about the minor axis at the re limit state
For sway or non-sway frames a load ratio of 0.67 may be used. Alternatively, the load
ratio may be taken as the greater of:
R
F
A
g
p
y

M
fx
M
cx

M
fy
M
cy
or R
F
A
g
p
c

mM
fx
M
b

mM
fy
p
y
Z
y
For tension members exposed on up to four sides the load ratio R is given by:
R
F
f
A
g
p
y

M
fx
M
cx

M
fy
M
cy
The concept is illustrated for specic design examples in the subsequent chapters
(Chapters 58) dealing with the calculation of the structural response of specic
materials.
REFERENCES
Association for Specialist Fire Protection (2007) Fire Protection for Structural Steel in
Buildings, 4th edn. Association for Specialist Fire Protection, Aldershot.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1985) BS 8110-2:1985. Structural use of concrete Part
2: Code of practice for special circumstances. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1987) BS 476-20:1987. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 20: Method for determination of the re resistance of elements of
construction (general principles). BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1999) BS EN 1363-1:1999. Fire resistance tests Part
1: General requirements. BSI, London.
72
Structural Fire Engineering
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2002a) BS EN 1991-1-2:2002: Eurocode 1: Actions on
structures Part 1-2: General actions actions on structures exposed to re, Annex C
Localised res. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2002b) BS EN 1991-1-2:2002: Eurocode 1: Actions on
structures Part 1-2: General actions actions on structures exposed to re. BSI,
London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2002c) BS EN 1990:2002. Eurocode basis of struc-
tural design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2003a) PD 7974-1:2003. Application of re safety
engineering principles to the design of buildings Part 1: Initiation and development of
re within the enclosure of origin (sub-system 1). BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2003b) PD 7974-3:2003. Application of re safety
engineering principles to the design of buildings Part 3: Structural response and re
spread beyond the enclosure of origin (sub-system 3). British Standards Institution,
London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2003c) BS 5950 Part 8:2003. Structural use of steelwork
in building Part 9: Code of practice for re resistant design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2004a) Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures
Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2004b) Eurocode 5: Design of timber structures Part
1-2: General structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005a) Eurocode 3: Design of steel structures Part 1-
2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005b) Eurocode 4: Design of composite steel and
concrete structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005c) Eurocode 6: Design of masonry structures
Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2007) PD 6688-1-2:2007. Published document, back-
ground paper to the UK National Annex to BS EN 1991-1-2. BSI, London.
CIB W14 (1986) Workshop report, design guide, structural re safety. Fire Safety Journal
10(1): 77154.
Department for Communities and Local Government (2007) The Building Regulations
2000, Fire Safety, Approved Document B (Volumes 1 and 2), Department for Commu-
nities and Local Government, London.
ECCS (European Convention for Structural Steelwork) (1981) European recommendations
for the re safety of steel structures, ECCS Technical Committee 3, Brussels.
ECCS (European Convention for Constructional Steelwork) (1985) Design Method on the
European Recommendations for the Fire Safety of Steel Structures. Report R35. ECCS,
Brussels.
Harmathy TZ (1987) On the equivalent re exposure. Fire and Materials II: 95104.
Heselden AJM (1968) Parameters determining the severity of a re, Symposium No. 2
Behaviour of structural steel in re. HMSO, London.
IStructE (Institution of Structural Engineers) (2007) Guide to the Advanced Fire Safety
Engineering of Structures, August. IStructE, London.
ISO (International Standards Organisation) (1975) ISO 834. Fire resistance test elements
of building construction. ISO: Geneva.
73
Structural re engineering design
Joint Committee of the Building Research Board of the Department of Scientic & Indus-
trial Research and of the Fire Ofces Committee (1946) Fire Grading of Buildings
Part 1 General Principles and Structural Precautions. HMSO, London.
Kawagoe K (1958) Fire behaviour in rooms, Japanese Ministry of Construction Building
Research Institute Report No. 27, Tokyo.
Kirby BR and Preston RR (1988) High temperature properties of hot rolled structural
steels for use in re engineering studies. Fire Safety Journal 13: 2737.
Law M (1973) Prediction of re resistance, Paper No. 2 of Symposium No. 5 Fire
resistance requirements for buildings a new approach. HMSO, London.
Law M (1978) Fire safety of external building elements. Engineering Journal of the
American Institute of Steel Construction 2nd Quarter: 5974.
Law M (1983) A basis for the design of re protection of building structures. The
Structural Engineer 61A: 2533.
National Fire Protection Association (1995) SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineer-
ing, 2nd edn. Quincy MA, DiNenno PJ, Beyler CL, Custer RLP and Walton WD (eds),
National Fire Protection Association, Massachusetts.
Pettersson O, Magnusson S-E and Thor J (1976) Fire engineering design of steel structures.
Publication No. 50. Swedish Institute of Steel Construction, Stockholm.
Robinson JR (1994) Whole structure studies potential impact on building construction
and safety. In Proceedings of the First Cardington Conference. BRE, Garston.
Thomas PH, Heselden AJM and Law M (1967) Fully developed compartment res two
kinds of behaviour, Fire Research Technical Paper No. 18. HMSO, London.
Wickstrom U (1981/2) Temperature calculation of insulated steel columns exposed to
natural re. Fire Safety Journal 4: 219225
Wickstrom U (1986) A very simple method for estimating temperature in re exposed
concrete structures. Fire Technology Technical Report, SP-RAPP, 46. Swedish National
Testing Institute, Boras.
74
Structural Fire Engineering
Chapter 5
Fire engineering design of concrete
structures
5.1. Introduction
Concrete structures generally perform extremely well during and after a re and the
majority of re-damaged concrete structures have been repaired and re-used. The non-
combustible nature of the material coupled with the high thermal mass and relatively
low thermal conductivity have meant that concrete is seen as a re proof material
and, for many years, was often used to provide the required re protection to other
materials such as structural steel. For this reason, the development of structural re
engineering in relation to concrete structures has lagged behind that of other materials.
Design procedures for concrete structures have traditionally consisted of checks to
ensure that the minimum dimensions are such that the temperature rise of the unexposed
face is limited to values unlikely to lead to ignition of materials in close proximity to the
unexposed surface and that the temperature of the reinforcing bars or prestressing
strands do not exceed values at which the structural performance is likely to be compro-
mised. The main issue in relation to concrete structures in re and the focus of much
research in this area has been efforts to eliminate, reduce or control the effects of spalling
on the performance of the structure. The development of the re part of the Eurocode
(BSI, 2004a) for the design of concrete structures has provided an impetus for designers
to consider a more rational approach to the structural re engineering design of concrete
structures that takes into account degradation of material properties and considers the
effect of re limit state loads on performance during and after a re. As with structural
steel, the properties of concrete do deteriorate with increasing temperature and any
rational design approach must take this degradation of material properties into
account. The reduction in compressive strength with temperature is illustrated in
Figure 5.1 for siliceous, calcareous and lightweight concretes.
5.2. Available options
Once the design re scenario(s) and the appropriate design re have been chosen, and the
heat transfer from the re to the structural element has been calculated (see Chapter 4), it
is necessary to determine the subsequent mechanical response. A number of options are
available to the designer, ranging from a simple reliance on tabulated values derived
from the results of standard re tests to complex representations of the temperature
distribution incorporating longitudinal and cross-sectional thermal gradients derived
from complex analyses used together with non-linear nite element methods to derive
the structural response. The various methods available using BS EN 1992-1-2 (BSI,
2004a) are summarised in Table 5.1.
75
Structural Fire Engineering
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
ICE Publishing: All rights reserved
doi: 10.1680/sfe.41417.075
While general information is presented on the use of advanced methods in the code, such
techniques are generally only available to specialist re engineering consultants or
academics. The practical guidance in the Eurocode (BSI, 2004a) is centred round
tabulated data and simplied calculation methods and the use of these methods is
often restricted to a thermal exposure similar to the standard re curve. However,
despite there being little guidance on the use of advanced methods, the code does
provide a plethora of information on the thermal and structural properties of concrete
and reinforcement at elevated temperatures. The information set out in Chapter 3 of
the code is intended to be used by those involved in developing mathematical models
for analysing concrete structures in re. For most general practitioners this level of
detail is not required. For those involved in complex structural re engineering more
guidance is available on the use of material models and the validation and verication
process required (Lennon et al., 2006, 2007; IStructE, 2007). This chapter attempts to
synthesise the information that would be of most use to structural engineers looking
to utilise tabulated data and simplied calculation techniques. A comparison is made
between methods in BS 8110 (BSI, 1985) and BS EN 1992-1-2 (BSI, 2004a). In this
chapter a single simple worked example is used to illustrate the various options available
in relation to tabulated data and simple calculation methods.
5.3. Comparison with BS 8110 (BSI, 1985)
5.3.1 Identication of main differences and similarities between
national and European standards
The most common means of designing concrete structures for re in the UK is to rely on
tabulated data published in the national code of practice and elsewhere. This situation is
Figure 5.1 Reduction factors for the compressive strength of various types of concrete
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
Temperature: C
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
v
e

s
t
r
e
n
g
t
h

r
e
d
u
c
t
i
o
n

f
a
c
t
o
r
Siliceous NWC
Calcareous NWC
LWC
NWCnormal-weight concrete; LWClightweight concrete
76
Structural Fire Engineering
unlikely to change with the advent of the Eurocode (BSI, 2004a) and a reliance on tabu-
lated data will remain the preferred approach for most designers. It is therefore necessary
to examine the similarities in both approach and design solution between the tabulated
approach in BS 8110 (BSI, 1985) and that in the Eurocode. Table 5.2 summarises the
scope of the tabulated data from the relevant national and European standards.
The main differences and similarities in approach between the tabulated data in the two
documents are summarised in Table 5.3.
Some specic issues are discussed below.
5.3.1.1 Cover and axis distance
In the UK, cover is traditionally specied as either the distance to the rst steel bar (i.e.
including the links) as in BS 8110 Part 1 (BSI, 1997) or as cover to the main bars as in
Table 5.1 Alternative methods for verication of re resistance using BS EN 1992-1-2 (BSI, 2004a)
Tabulated data
prescriptive methods
Simplied calculation
methods
Advanced calculation
methods
Member analysis. The
member is considered
as isolated. Indirect re
actions are not
considered, except
those resulting from
thermal gradients
YES
Data given for
standard re only. In
principle data could be
developed for other
re curves
YES
Standard re and
parametric re.
Temperature proles
given for standard re
only. Material models
apply only to heating
rates similar to
standard re
YES
Only the principles are
given
Analysis of parts of the
structure. Indirect re
actions within the sub-
assembly are
considered, but no
time dependent
interaction with other
parts of the structure
NO YES
Standard re and
parametric re.
Temperature proles
given for standard re
only. Material models
apply only to heating
rates similar to
standard re
YES
Only the principles are
given
Global structural
analysis. Analysis of
the entire structure.
Indirect re actions are
considered
throughout the
structure
NO NO YES
Only the principles are
given
77
Fire engineering design of concrete structures
BS 8110 Part 2 (BSI, 1985). The situation is illustrated schematically in Figures 5.2a and
5.2b.
In Europe, the cover to the steel is specied as the axis distance. That is the distance to the
centre of the bar as illustrated in Figure 5.2b. Any comparison between the tabulated
values must take account of this difference.
5.3.1.2 Load effects for prescriptive design
The most signicant difference between the national and European codes is the
incorporation of load effects for columns and loadbearing walls in EN 1992 (BSI,
2004a). Load effects may be described by reference to either load level (n) or degree of
utilisation (j

). It is important to dene these terms at the outset.


LOAD LEVEL (n)
This term is used to determine the re resistance of columns and relates the load imposed
at the time of the re to the ambient temperature load capacity
n N
0Ed. fi
,0.7A
c
f
cd
A
s
f
yd

Table 5.2 Summary of scope of tabulated data


Member BS 8110 Part 1
(BSI, 1997)
BS 8110 Part 2
(BSI, 1985)
EN 1992-1-2 (BSI, 2004a)
Beams Cover to all
reinforcement,
includes simply
supported and
continuous beams
Cover to main steel,
includes lightweight
concrete, simply
supported and
continuous
Axis distance rather than cover specied,
dependent on web thickness (NDP
1
),
increase in axis distance required for
prestressing steel
Floors Includes ribbed
open soft and at
slabs, simply
supported and
continuous
Includes lightweight
and prestressed
concrete
Includes simply supported and
continuous, ribbed and solid. For simply
supported slabs depends on 1-way or 2-
way spanning and for 2-way spanning
dependent on aspect ratio. Increase in axis
distance required for prestressing steel
Columns Dependent on
degree of exposure
Includes lightweight
concrete
2methods for columns: (i) dependent on
degree of exposure and reduction factor
(ii) dependent on reinforcement ratio and
load level
Walls Dependent on
reinforcement ratio
Includes lightweight
concrete
Dependent on degree of exposure,
reduction factor and includes
non-loadbearing walls
1
Nationally determined parameter.
78
Structural Fire Engineering
Table 5.3 Signicant differences between tabulated approaches in the two documents
BS 8110 (BSI, 1985) EN 1992-1-2 (BSI, 2004a)
Based primarily on the direct assessment of results
from standard re tests informed by engineering
judgement and observations following real res
Developed on an empirical basis conrmed by
experience and theoretical evaluation of tests
Values given for normal weight concrete made
with siliceous aggregates. Specic tabulated values
for lightweight concrete. Reductions in minimum
thickness generally 10%, some corresponding
reductions in cover. No additional benet from the
use of calcareous aggregates
Values given for normal-weight concrete
made with siliceous aggregates. Reductions of
10% in minimum dimension where
calcareous or lightweight aggregates used
Tables assume all elements are supporting the full
design load
No further checks required for shear, torsion
or anchorage
No further checks required for spalling up to
an axis distance of 70 mm.
No allowance for HSC Increase in minimum cross section dimension
for HSC (C50/60)
Critical temperature for reinforcement of 5508C Axis distance for beams and 1-way slabs
based on a critical temperature of 5008C
(assumes E
d,
0.7E
d
)
For prestressing tendons critical temperature for
wires is 4508C
For prestressing tendons critical temperature
for bars is 4008C and strands 3508C. For
prestressing bars axis distance should be
increased by 10mm, for prestressing wire/
strand axis distance should be increased by
15 mm. Adjustment in axis distance allowed
for different values of critical temperature
Figure 5.2 (a) Specication of cover distance (BS 8110 [BSI, 1985, 1997]); (b) Specication of axis
distance (BS EN 1992-1-2 [BSI, 2004a])
c
Nominal
cover
part 1

main
links
Cover to
main bars
part 2
a
Axis
distance
(b) (a)
79
Fire engineering design of concrete structures
where
N
0Ed,
is the axial load under re conditions (kN)
A
c
is the area of concrete (mm
2
)
f
cd
is the concrete design compressive strength (N/mm
2
)
A
s
is the area of steel (mm
2
)
F
yd
is the steel design tensile strength (N/mm
2
).
The load imposed at the time of the re is dependent on the choice of the partial factor
for loading at the re limit state. This is discussed in some detail in Chapter 4.
DEGREE OF UTILISATION (j
fi
)
This is the ratio of the load applied at the re limit state to the load applied under
ambient conditions and is dictated by the choice of partial factor for the re limit
state, as discussed in Chapter 4.
j
fi
N
Ed. fi
,N
Rd
where
N
Ed,
is the design axial load in the re situation
N
Rd
is the design resistance of the column at normal temperature conditions.
Because of the relationship between dead and imposed load and the fact that the national
standard does not take load level into account in the tabulated data, it is difcult to make
an absolute comparison between the dimensions obtained from BS 8110 (BSI, 1985) and
the Eurocode (BSI, 2004a).
5.3.1.3 Use of calcareous aggregates
BS 8110 (BSI, 1985), while acknowledging that calcareous aggregates (typically lime-
stone) generally provide an enhanced re performance compared with siliceous aggre-
gates (typically quartz, granite and gravel), does not allow for any reduction in
minimum dimensions. However, there are different provisions to account for the
enhanced performance of lightweight aggregates. EN 1991-1-2 (BSI, 2004a), on the
other hand, provides the information for siliceous aggregates and allows a 10% reduc-
tion in minimum dimensions where calcareous or lightweight aggregates are used.
5.4. Worked example
The design example chosen is taken from the European Concrete Building (ECB) project
constructed inside BREs Large Building Test Facility at Cardington. The completed
building comprised three bays by four bays each with two cores (Figure 5.3), which
include steel bracing to resist lateral loads. Each oor slab is nominally 250 mm thick,
Grade C30/37 normal-weight concrete and designed as a at slab supported by internal
columns 400 mm
2
and external columns 400 mm250 mm. The building was designed to
provide a minimum re resistance period of 60 minutes. This involved checking the
geometry of the member and ensuring sufcient cover to reinforcement as specied in
current codes.
80
Structural Fire Engineering
In order to illustrate the various options available to the designer, a simple structural
element has been chosen. This is a rst oor internal column (C3 in Figure 5.3).
The section and bending moment distribution have been obtained from the ambient
temperature design. The section geometry is illustrated in Figure 5.4.
Design information:
Bar diameter 32 mm
Link diameter 8 mm
Cover to links 20 mm
Hb 400 mm
M
xx
M
yy
122 kNm (at top of column, pinned at ground oor)
Figure 5.3 Plan of the European concrete building showing location of column C3 used for the
design examples
A
400 250
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 400
HSC Column
400 400
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 400
HSC Column
400 400
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 400
HSC Column
400 400
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
400 250
HSC Column
X, East
B
C D
5
4
3
2
Y, North
Column C3
Wall
Column D3
1
Steel
bracing
Steel
bracing
7500
7500 7500
7500
7500
7500
7500
Slab
Beam
81
Fire engineering design of concrete structures
Axial force N
0Ed
6114 kN
Column height (centre to centre) 3625 mm
Slab thickness 250 mm
Clear height of the column l 3500 mm.
This is a braced column due to the presence of steel cross-bracing elsewhere in the
building.
Characteristic concrete compressive strength f
ck
70 N/mm
2
.
Characteristic yield strength of steel reinforcement f
yk
500 N/mm
2
.
5.4.1 Tabulated method BS 8110 Part 2 (BSI, 1985)
Table 4.2 of BS 8110 Part 2 provides the data for obtaining the re resistance for rein-
forced concrete columns. The following information is required to use Table 4.2:
Cover to the main reinforcement 20 8 28 mm
Width of the column400 mm
Type of exposure fully exposed
Type of concrete dense concrete.
Based on this information, minimum dimensions of 200 mm with a corresponding cover
to reinforcement of 25 mm are required for a re resistance period of 60 minutes. In this
case the re resistance is governed by the cover to reinforcement. An increase in the cover
of 2 mm would result in a corresponding re resistance period of 90 minutes.
5.4.2 Tabulated data EN 1992-1-2 (BSI, 2004a) method A
The characteristic strength of concrete in this case falls within the limits for Class 1 high-
strength concrete. It is permissible to use tabulated data for high-strength concrete but
according to clause 6.4.3 of EN 1992-1-2 (BSI, 2004a) the minimum cross-section is
increased by a factor 2(k 1) where k 1.1 for Class 1 high-strength concrete (HSC)
and the axis distance is factored by k.
Figure 5.4 Internal column C3 section geometry and reinforcement layout
400 mm (b)
400 mm (h)
H8
B32
82
Structural Fire Engineering
Method A is valid only for columns in braced structures which is satised in this case.
In order to use method A three further conditions must be satised.
g Condition 1: effective length of the column under re conditions l
0,
<3.0 m.
Effective length under re conditions l
0,
0.5l 0.5 3500 1750 mm<3.0 m.
Therefore condition 1 is satised.
g Condition 2: rst order eccentricity under re conditions,
e M
0Ed,
/N
0Ed,
<e
max
, where e
max
0.15 h 0.15 400 60 mm
e 122 10
6
Nmm/6114 10
3
N19.9 mm<60 mm.
Therefore condition 2 is satised.
g Condition 3: amount of reinforcement A
s
<0.04A
c
Area of steel A
s
3217 mm
2
, area of concrete A
c
400 400 3217 156 783 mm
2
0.04A
c
6271 mm
2
so A
s
<0.04A
c
Therefore condition 3 is satised.
Therefore method A can be used. In accordance with the note above, Table 5.2a (of
BS EN 1992-1-2) of the code j

0.7 is used instead of calculating the reduction


factor j

explicitly. This is a conservative simplication as it assumes that the column


is fully loaded at ambient temperature.
Axis distance for main bars, a 20 8 32/2 44 mm.
b h 400 mm.
Although the concrete for this application is classied as high strength (Class 1 according
to Clause 6.1(5) of the code) it is still possible to use the tabulated method. Both the axis
distance and the minimum dimension are increased as a function of the factor k which,
for Class 1 concretes, is specied as 1.1 in the UK National Annex.
The procedure is to evaluate the minimum dimensions and axis distance from Table 5.2a
(of BS EN 1992-1-2) as for normal strength concrete and then to increase the minimum
dimension by 2(k1)a and factor the axis distance by k. Therefore for j

0.7 the
following values are obtained.
The minimum dimension and axis distance are therefore sufcient to achieve a re
resistance period of 60 minutes for column C3.
It is important to note that Table 5.2a (of BS EN 1992-1-2) is based on a recommended
value of c
cc
1.0 to account for long-term effects. However, the UK National Annex for
Table 5.4 Summary of minimum dimensions
Standard re
resistance
Minimum dimensions (b
min
/a) for
normal strength concrete
Minimum dimensions (b
min
/a) for high
strength concrete (Class 2)
R30 300/27 309/30
R60 350/40 359/44
83
Fire engineering design of concrete structures
BS EN 1992-1-1 species a value of c
cc
0.85 which means that the tabulated values are
not directly applicable to the UK situation.
The code includes a formula for calculating the re resistance that can be used in place of
the table with re resistance:
R 120R
jfi
R
a
R
l
R
b
R
n
,120
1.8
where
R
j
83[1.00 j

((1 .)/((0.85/c
cc
) .)]
R
a
1.60(a 30)
R
l
9.60(5 l
0,
)
R
b
0.09b
0
R
n
0, for n 4 (corner bars only)
R
n
12, for n 4
a is the axis distance to the longitudinal steel bars (mm)
l
0,
is the effective length of the column under re conditions (m)
b
0
2A
c
/(b h) for rectangular cross-sections or the diameter of circular
cross-sections
. is the mechanical reinforcement ratio under ambient temperature conditions
A
s
f
yd
/A
c
f
cd
c
cc
is the coefcient for compressive strength.
The equation is valid for axis distances between 25 mm and 80 mm, effective lengths
between 2 m and 6 m, values of b
0
between 200 mm and 450 mm, and values of h41.5b.
So for c
cc
0.85, R
j
83(1 j

) 24.9 based on a conservative assumption that


j

0.7
R
a
1.6(a 30) 1.6(44 30) 22.4
R
l
9.6(5 l
0,
) 9.6(5 1.75) 31.2
R
b
0.09b
0
where b
0
2A
c
/(b h) 0.09 (2 156783/(800)) 35.2
R
n
0
R120((24.9 22.4 31.2 35.2)/120)
1.8
109 minutes.
Note: no allowance has been made here for reduction in axis distance and minimum
dimension for high strength concrete.
5.4.3 Tabulated data EN 1992-1-2 (BSI, 2004a) method B
An additional method is available in the Eurocode for assessing the re resistance of
reinforced concrete columns using values in Table 5.2b (of BS EN 1992-1-2). Additional
tabulated values based on this method are set out in Annex C.
This method is also valid for columns in braced structures.
Load level n N
0Ed. fi
,0.7A
c
f
cd
A
s
f
yd

84
Structural Fire Engineering
with
f
cd
c
cc
f
ck
,
c
0.85 70,1.5 39.6 N/mm
2
f
yd
f
yk
,
s
500,1.15 435 N/mm
2
N
0Ed
j

N
0Ed
0.7 6114 4280 kN (conservative assumption assuming fully
stressed at ambient temperature)
Load level n 4280 10
3
/[0.7(156783 39.6 3217 435)] 0.8.
(Note: this value is outside the scope of the table one would need to calculate n
explicitly based on the actual level of load in place at the time of the re. This is a
function of the ratio between dead and imposed loads and the ratio of the partial
factors at ambient temperature and under re conditions (see Chapter 4). As a
simplication we can assume that the calculation gives a reduction factor n 0.7.)
As with method A there are certain conditions that have to be satised in order to use the
method.
g Condition 1 rst order eccentricity under re conditions e <e
max
100 mm, from
above e 19.9 <100 mm therefore condition 1 is satised.
g Condition 2 e/b 40.25, 19.9/400 0.05 <0.25 therefore condition 2 is satised.
g Condition 3 slenderness in re conditions `

430, `

l
0,
/i where i radius of
gyration (I/A)
1/2
h/12
1/2
115.5 mm so `

1750/115.5 15.2 <30 therefore con-


dition 3 is satised.
Mechanical reinforcement ratio .A
s
f
yd
/A
c
f
cd
3217 435/156783 39.6 0.225.
From Table 5.2b (of BS EN 1992-1-2), there is no clear guidance on establishing the
specic re resistance period for the combination of minimum dimension, axis distance
and reinforcement ratio. Based on the values in the table, a re resistance period
approaching 60 minutes is assumed. Although linear interpretation is allowed it is not
clear how this is to be achieved where performance is based on three inter-dependent
parameters.
5.4.4 Simplied calculation methods EN1992-1-2 (BSI, 2004a) 5008C
isotherm method
The method comprises a reduction in the cross-section with respect to a heat damaged
zone around the concrete surface. The thickness of the damaged zone a
500
is made
equal to the average depth of the 5008C isotherm in the compression zone of the cross
section. Damaged concrete in excess of this 5008C value is assumed not to contribute
to the loadbearing capacity of the member while the residual cross-section is assumed
to maintain its ambient temperature strength and modulus of elasticity. The damaged
concrete does, however, retain its insulation properties in terms of providing the required
cover to the reinforcement. The situation is illustrated in Figure 5.5.
The temperature proles from Annex A of EN 1992-1-2 (BSI, 2004a) are used to
determine the temperature through the cross-section. The temperature of the reinforce-
ment is also assessed using the proles in Annex A of EN 1992-1-2 (BSI, 2004a). For
85
Fire engineering design of concrete structures
compression reinforcement in columns, curve 3 of Figure 4.2a (EN 1992-1-2 [BSI,
2004a]) should be used corresponding to the strength reduction given for 0.2% strain
for Class N reinforcement.
Conventional calculation methods can then be used to determine the loadbearing
capacity for the reduced cross-section.
For the purposes of illustrating the method we will assume that the concrete is normal
strength. In practice, where high-strength concrete is used, the depth of the 5008C
isotherm is increased by a factor k where k is dened in the National Annex (1.1 for
Class 1 concrete). This effectively provides for a conversion from the 5008C isotherm
to the 4608C isotherm for Class 1 HSC and from 5008C to 4008C for Class 2 HSC.
From Figure A12 of EN 1992-1-2, for a 300 mm300 mm column with a re exposure
period of 60 minutes, the 5008C isotherm is 25 mm from the column surface. The
temperature at the centre of the main bars 4408C at 44 mm from the re exposed
surface. The situation is illustrated in Figure 5.6.
The reduced cross-section dimensions are therefore b

400 2 25 350 mm.


From Figure 4.2a of EN 1992-1-2 (or the calculation in 4.2.4.3(1)) the strength reduction
factor for steel k
s
(0) 0.648.
From Table 3.2a of EN 1992-1-2 the reduction in the elastic modulus of steel with
temperature is given by E
s,0
/E
s
0.66.
Figure 5.5 5008C isotherm method
C
T
T
C
Tension
Compression
d d

b
b

500C
Heat
86
Structural Fire Engineering
It is now necessary to determine the slenderness in the re situation of the residual
section.
Slenderness ratio `

l
0,
/i where i h

/12
1/2
350/12
1/2
101 mm.
`

1750/101 17.3
According to EN 1992-1-1 (BSI, 2004b) (Clause 5.8.3.1), second-order effects can be
neglected if the slenderness is below a minimum value `
min
dependent on the design
value of the reinforcement area and strength, and the concrete area and strength. This
check is not carried out here as the calculation procedure is part of the ambient tempera-
ture calculation. However, it is important to note that the check needs to be undertaken
with the modied properties for concrete area and steel strength used.
Using the ambient temperature calculation with the appropriate properties from the re
limit state gives `
lim,
34.9.
As `

<`
lim,
no additional moments due to second order effects need to be considered.
Using the ambient temperature calculation procedures in EN 1992-1-1 (Equations 5.31
and 5.32) the major and minor axis bending moments in the re situation have been
calculated as 85.4 kNm.
In order to calculate the moment resistance of the column, the rectangular stress block
can be used as illustrated in Figure 5.7 and shown in Figure B2 of EN 1992-1-2.
The detailed calculation of the moment capacity is not carried out here as it is the same as
for the ambient temperature case. Taking moments about the middle line of the section
results in a moment capacity about both the x and y directions of 364 kNm and the check
for biaxial bending is satised. Therefore the column is acceptable for a 60-minute re
rating as the moment capacity at the re limit state is greater than the applied
Figure 5.6 Location of 5008C isotherm and temperature at centre of reinforcement
440C
500C isotherm
400 mm
400 mm
25 mm
87
Fire engineering design of concrete structures
moment. A further iteration of the calculations to consider the depth of the 5008C
isotherm at 90 minutes shows that the column is capable of providing 90 minutes of
re resistance.
Table 5.5 is a summary of the re resistance periods calculated for column C3 using the
different methods.
The table illustrates how additional effort in terms of calculation time can yield benets
over the more simple tabulated approaches which tend to be conservative.
5.5. Spalling
Spalling of concrete structures has long been recognised as a potential problem which
may reduce the assumed levels of re resistance derived either from test results, tabulated
values or calculation procedures. Although spalling of concrete structures following real
res has been observed, it does not necessarily have implications for the stability of the
damaged structure. There is a need to establish the circumstances under which spalling
would have serious consequences. It is recognised that there are certain factors which
Table 5.5 Comparison of re resistance periods obtained
Design methods
Tabulated method BS 8110: Part 2 60
EN 1992-1-2 method A c
cc
1.0 (European) 60
c
cc
0.85 (UK) 90
EN 1992-1-2 method B 60
Simple calculation methods 5008C isotherm method 90
Figure 5.7 Assumed stress distribution
Strain Stress
h
d
1
d
2
x

cu3
= 0.0027

s2
F
s2
F
s1
F
c
f
s2d,fi

s1
h/2
N
0Ed,fi
M
Rd,fi
x
88
Structural Fire Engineering
increase the likelihood of spalling taking place. These include but are not limited to
g severity of re exposure
g moisture content of concrete
g strength of concrete (generally related to porosity and permeability)
g type of aggregate
g high levels of restraint.
There are four distinct types of spalling (Connolly, 1995): aggregate spalling, corner
spalling, surface spalling and explosive spalling. Of these it is explosive spalling that
has the most serious implications in terms of structural stability. The increasing use of
high-performance concrete has focused research attention on the subject of the spalling
of concrete. High-strength concrete has a low porosity and permeability, and the dense
nature of the gel structure is such that internal pressures generated from the release of
free and chemically bound water cannot effectively be dissipated and eventually the
stress exceeds the tensile capacity of the material. High-prole incidents such as the
res in the Channel and Mont Blanc tunnels have led regulators and researchers to inves-
tigate the parameters that inuence the spalling of concrete in re. Examples of spalling
to concrete elements and structures are shown in Figures 5.8 to 5.11.
Figure 5.8 Reinforced concrete column, following a standard re test (photo courtesy of BRE)
89
Fire engineering design of concrete structures
Figure 5.9 Spalling of soft to hollow core oor slab (photo courtesy of BRE)
Figure 5.10 High-strength concrete columns following re test (a) with and (b) without
polypropylene bres (photo courtesy of BRE)
(b) (a)
90
Structural Fire Engineering
Both national and European standards provide guidance on measures to limit the effects
of spalling under certain conditions, and range from additional reinforcement to the
application of passive re protection. The British Standard (BSI, 1985) suggests four
methods to reduce or eliminate spalling of structural elements.
g An applied nish by hand or spray of plaster, vermiculite etc.
g The provision of a false ceiling as a re barrier.
g The use of lightweight aggregates.
g The use of sacricial tensile steel.
The guidance in the Eurocode recognises that for certain classes of concrete (notably
high-strength concrete) and for certain types of re exposure, additional measures to
counter the effects of spalling are essential. The inclusion of polypropylene bres has
been shown to be an effective solution to the problems associated with the performance
of high-strength concrete in re, particularly in relation to explosive spalling
(Figure 5.12). However, for the majority of cases where concrete is used in an internal
environment and subject to a re exposure condition corresponding to the standard
re curve, the simple methods including tabulated data and simple calculation models
can be used without any additional measures to allow for the effects of spalling.
Designers, re engineers and approving authorities may wish to consider a risk-based
approach to the issue of spalling which takes into account the interaction of the
Figure 5.11 Spalling to underside of oor slab Cardington (photo courtesy of BRE)
91
Fire engineering design of concrete structures
various parameters that inuence the spalling of concrete structures and considers
consequences should spalling occur. One possible procedure for assessment is outlined
in BRE Report 490 (Lennon et al., 2007).
REFERENCES
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1985) BS 8110-2:1985. Structural use of concrete
Part 2: Code of practice for special circumstances. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1997) BS 8110-1:1997. Structural use of concrete
Part 1: Code of practice for design and construction. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2004a) BS EN 1992-1-2:2004, Eurocode 2: Design of
concrete structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2004b) BS EN 1992-1-1:2004, Eurocode 2: Design of
concrete structures Part 1-1: General rules and rules for buildings. BSI, London.
IStructE (Institution of Structural Engineers) (2007) Guide to the Advanced Fire Safety
Engineering of Structures. IStructE, London.
Connolly RJ (1995) The spalling of concrete in res. PhD thesis, University of Aston, Bir-
mingham.
Lennon T, Moore DB, Wang YC and Bailey CG (2006) Designers Guide to EN 1991-1-2,
EN 1992-1-2, EN 1993-1-2 and EN 1994-1-2. Thomas Telford, London.
Lennon T, Rupasinghe R, Canisius G, Waleed N and Matthews S (2007) Concrete Struc-
tures in Fire, Performance, Design and Analysis. BR 4901. IHS BRE, Garston.
Figure 5.12 Use of polypropylene bres to prevent explosive spalling of tunnel lining segments:
(a) without bres; (b) with bres (photo courtesy of BRE)
(a) (b)
92
Structural Fire Engineering
Chapter 6
Fire engineering design of steel
structures
6.1. Introduction
Steel loses both strength and stiffness with increasing temperature. This relationship is
illustrated in Figure 6.1 which shows the relationship between steel strength and tempera-
ture for structural steel. The ne detail in the temperature-dependent material properties is
principally of interest to those involved in the numerical modelling of material and
structural behaviour. What is abundantly clear is that both strength and stiffness decrease
with increasing temperature and that this reduction is particularly signicant between 400
and 7008C. Because of the perceived poor performance of steel elements in re, the most
common method of designing for re is to design the steel structure for the ambient
temperature loading condition and then protect the steel members with proprietary re
protection materials to ensure that a specic temperature is not exceeded, or that a
specied percentage of the ambient temperature loading capacity is retained.
Over the last 20 years or so, the Europeansteel industry has actively supported research into
the performance of steel structures in re with the aim of increasing the competitiveness of
the material through a reduction in the cost of applied passive re protection. As a result of
this research, a number of design methods have been developed and included in national
and European standards and in guidance documents published by the steel industry.
A major change in the design methodology for steel structures in re came about with the
publication in 1990 of BS 5950 Part 8 (BSI, 1990). Although this code is still based on an
evaluation of the performance of structural steel members, in the standard re test it
allows architects and engineers an alternative approach of designing for re resistance
through calculation procedures. Unlike the Approved Document the code is concerned
only with restricting the spread of re and minimising the risk of structural collapse. It
recognises that there is no single failure temperature for steel members and that
structural failure is inuenced not only by temperature but also by load level, support
conditions and the presence or otherwise of a thermal gradient through and/or along
the member. The code allows for the consideration of natural res but does not
provide any detailed information or guidance. Load factors and material strength
factors specic to the re limit state are given. These are partial safety factors which
deal with the uncertainties inherent in probabilistic distributions for loading and material
properties, and represent reductions from ambient temperature design in recognition of
the small probability of excessive loads being present at the same time as a re occurs.
The code was revised in 2003 (BSI, 2003) to be consistent with the European standard.
93
Structural Fire Engineering
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
ICE Publishing: All rights reserved
doi: 10.1680/sfe.41417.093
6.2. Available options
Structural steel is a relatively homogeneous and isotropic material. As such it is possible
to accurately predict behaviour with respect to load bearing capacity at elevated
temperature. As with concrete design a number of options are available to the designer.
The various methods available using BS EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005) are summarised in
Table 6.1.
A comparison with Table 5.1 of the previous chapter shows a move away from tabulated
data towards a reliance on simplied calculation methods. This is a reection of the state
of knowledge in terms of the individual materials. The code provides simple models for
the calculation of critical temperature and steel temperature development, and detailed
calculation models for the re resistance (either in terms of resistance or temperature) for
tension members, columns and beams.
The main sections of the code are split into: basis of design incorporating the design
value of material properties and information in the verication methods available;
material properties dealing with the thermal and mechanical properties of carbon
and stainless steels; and structural re design incorporating both simple and advanced
calculation models. Additional material is provided in the appendices on strain hard-
ening, heat transfer to external steelwork, stainless steel, joints and slender cross-
sections.
6.3. Comparison with BS 5950 Part 8
Designers familiar with the re part of the national structural steel design code will nd
the transition to the Eurocode relatively straightforward. The version of the British
Standard published in 2003 (BSI, 2003) was revised to conform to the provisions of
Figure 6.1 Reduction factors for the stressstrain relationship of carbon steel at elevated
temperatures
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
Temperature: C
R
e
d
u
c
t
i
o
n

f
a
c
t
o
r
,

k

Proportional limit
k
p,
= f
p,
/f
y
Slope of linear elastic range
k
E,
= E
a,
/E
a
Effective yield strength
k
y,
= f
y,
/f
y
94
Structural Fire Engineering
the Eurocode with respect to elevated temperature material properties and partial load
factors for the re limit state, and also adopts European terminology with respect to
strength retention factors and section factors.
6.3.1 Identication of main differences and similarities between
national and European standards
Although BS 5950 Part 8 (BSI, 2003) has been substantially revised to correlate with the
provisions of BS EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005), there remains a number of differences. The
national code is concerned not only with steel construction but also with steel-concrete
composite construction. As such, BS 5950 Part 8 (BSI, 2003) includes thermal and
mechanical elevated temperature data for both normal-weight and lightweight concrete
as well as structural steel.
Two simple calculation methods are included in BS 5950 Part 8 (BSI, 2003): the limiting
temperature method and the moment capacity method. In reality, the former is an
example of the critical temperature method from the re part of Eurocode 3 (BSI,
2005) and the latter is an example of verication of resistance for beams. Examples of
Table 6.1 Alternative methods for verication of re resistance from BS EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005)
Tabulated data
prescriptive methods
Simplied calculation
methods
Advanced calculation
methods
Member analysis. The
member is considered
as isolated. Indirect re
actions are not
considered, except
those resulting from
thermal gradients
NO YES
Standard re and
parametric re.
Temperature proles
for protected and
unprotected steel
members can be
calculated
YES
Only the principles are
given
Analysis of parts of the
structure. Indirect re
actions within the sub-
assembly are
considered, but no
time-dependent
interaction with other
parts of the structure
NO YES
Standard re and
parametric re. Only
general guidance on
selection of boundary
conditions provided
YES
Only the principles are
given
Global structural
analysis. Analysis of
the entire structure.
Indirect re actions are
considered throughout
the structure
NO NO YES
Only the principles are
given
95
Fire engineering design of steel structures
both general methods with respect to the national and European standards are included
in the worked examples below. The purpose of the worked examples is to highlight three
important aspects of structural re engineering design.
1. The use of partial load factors (and partial material factors) for the re limit state
that differ from those used under ambient temperature conditions.
2. The use of strength reduction (or retention) factors to account for material
degradation at elevated temperatures.
3. Design solutions for the re limit state use the same principles as calculation
procedures at ambient temperature.
6.4. Worked examples
6.4.1 BS 5950 Part 8 (BSI, 2003) limiting temperature method
Consider a simple unprotected steel beam in an ofce as a means of illustrating the
limiting temperature method:
Uniformly distributed load
3 m 3 m
Unprotected steel beams are generally incapable of achieving more than 30 minutes
re resistance, so this example will be considered for a 30-minute period. For such an
application, a relatively large section size and a high steel grade would need to be used.
Design information:
Beam size: 457 152 67 UB
Steel grade: S355
Beam centres: 3 m.
Characteristic (unfactored) loading:
Imposed: 5 kN/m
2
Dead: 3.5 kN/m
2
Ceiling and services: 1.5 kN/m
2
.
The design temperature is evaluated from Table 6.10 of the code based on the thickness
of the beam ange (15 mm) which, for a re resistance period of 30 minutes, is 7368C.
The load ratio R at the re limit state is calculated from:
R Moment at fire limit state/moment capacity at 208C
From Table 5 of the code, at the re limit state the load factors
f
are:
Permanent: 1.0
Non-permanent: 0.5.
96
Structural Fire Engineering
The moment at the re limit state is therefore L
2
b/8 (1.0 permanent load0.5 non-
permanent load) where b is the spacing of the beams
M
f

6
2
3
8
1.0 5 0.5 5 101.25 kNm
Moment capacity at 208C:
M
c
p
y
S 355 1453 10
3
515.8 kNm
So load ratio
R
101.25
515.8
0.196
So from Table 8 of BS 5950 Part 8 the limiting temperature at a load ratio of 0.2 7808C.
Design temperature 7368C<limiting temperature 7808C so the beam will have 30
minutes re resistance and can remain unprotected.
6.4.2 BS EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005) simply supported beam with full lateral
restraint
Uniformly distributed load
6 m
The same example will be used to illustrate two of the methods for verication to the
Eurocode.
Classication of cross-sections:
d
t
f
t
w
r
b
h
z
z
y y
457 152 67UB
h = 458 mm b = 153.8 mm d = 407.6 mm
t
w
= 9 mm t
f
= 15 mm r = 10.2 mm
97
Fire engineering design of steel structures
Section classication is as with normal temperature design but with a reduced value for
0.85 235,f
y

0.5
0.69
Flange:
C b t
w
2 r ,2 62.2
C,t
f
4.14
Class 1 limiting value of C/t
f
for the outstand of a rolled section is 9 6.21, therefore
ange is Class 1.
Web:
d/t
w
45.3
Class 1 limiting value for web with neutral axis at mid-depth is 72 49.68, therefore web
is Class 1 and section is Class 1.
Ambient temperature moment resistance:
M
Rd
M
pl.Rd
W
pl.y
f
y

,
M0
where
M0
is the ambient temperature partial factor for materials 1.0 and W
pl,y
is the
plastic modulus about the major axis of the beam yy in European classication.
M
Rd
1453 10
3
355,1 515.8 kNm
Fire limit state moment resistance:
Verication may be carried out with respect to the resistance of the member at the re
limit state or with respect to the temperature domain. In either case the critical design
parameter is the temperature of the member at the re limit state. In this case, this is
taken as the design temperature from BS 5950 Part 8 (BSI, 2003) (based on results
from standard re tests) with a value of 7368C.
The moment resistance at the re limit state is given by:
M
fi.0.Rd
k
y0

M0
,
M.fi

M
Rd
where k
y0
is the reduction factor for yield strength of steel at the design temperature and

M,
is the elevated temperature partial factor for materials 1.0.
In this case, using the design temperature in conjunction with Table 3.1 of BS EN 1993-1-
2 (BSI, 2005) yields the value of k
y0
0.1868. Therefore:
M
fi.0.Rd
0.1868 515.8 96.35 kNm
98
Structural Fire Engineering
From the previous example the moment at the re limit state M
,d
has been calculated as
101.25 kNm so in this case the beam would not be adequate for 30 minutes re resistance.
The designer has a number of options.
g Consider verication in the temperature domain.
g Consider the effects of a non-uniform temperature distribution.
g Increase the size of the beam.
g Use applied passive re protection.
In this case, we will consider verication in the temperature domain using the concept of
a critical temperature in order to illustrate the options in terms of the calculation of
limiting (or critical) temperature.
As with the limiting temperature approach in Part 8 (BSI, 2003), the critical temperature
is related to the load ratio or degree of utilisation j
0
with:
0
a.cr
39.19
1
0.9674j
3.833
0
1

482
The degree of utilisation (j
0
) is determined from:
E
fi.d
,R
fi.d.0
where E is the effect of actions and R is the resistance. In this case, E is the bending
moment at the re limit state and R is the design moment resistance at time t 0
equal to the plastic moment capacity so:
j
0

101.25
515.8
0.196
(the same as the load ratio for the BS 5950 Part 8 [BSI, 2003] calculation). This value is
lower than the lowest tabulated value in Table 4.1 of BS EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005) so the
degree of utilisation needs to be calculated explicitly:
0
a.cr
39.19 ln
1
0.9674j
3.833
0
1

482 7288C
In this case, the critical temperature is slightly lower than the design temperature so
other options need to be considered. Instead of relying on tabular data for the design
temperature of steel BS EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005) provides a simple calculation method
to calculate steel temperature for either protected or unprotected members.
The steel temperature difference for a specic time step is determined from:
0
a.t
k
sh
A
m
V
c
a
,
a
0
@
1
A
h
net

t
99
Fire engineering design of steel structures
where
k
sh
is the shadow effect 0.9 A
m
,V
b
, A
m
,V
where the gures in square brackets are the value of the section factor for boxed protec-
tion and prole protection, respectively
A
m
is the surface area of the member per unit length (m
2
/m)
V is the volume of the member per unit length (m
3
/m)
c
a
is the specic heat of steel (J/kgK)
h
net
is the design value of the net heat ux per unit area (W/m
2
)

t
is the time interval (seconds)
,
a
is the unit mass of steel (kg/m
3
).
This formula is suitable for calculation in a simple spreadsheet. The value of the net heat
ux is taken from BS EN 1991-1-2 (BSI, 2005) with the emissivity of the ames
f
1.0
and the emissivity of the material
m
0.7 for carbon steels.
The net heat ux is made up of a radiative and convective component. Guidance
is given in section 3 of BS EN 1991-1-2. The net convective heat ux component is
given by:
h
net.c
c
c
0
g
0
m

where
c
c
is the coefcient of heat transfer by convection (W/m
2
K)
0
g
is the gas temperature in the vicinity of the re exposed member (8C)
0
m
is the surface temperature of the member (8C).
For the standard re exposure, the coefcient of heat transfer by convection is 25 W/m
2
K
and the gas temperature in the vicinity of the heat exposed member corresponds to the
furnace temperature for the standard re curve.
The net radiative heat ux component per unit surface area is given by:
h
net.r

m

f
o
r
273
4

m
273
4

where
is the conguration factor ( 1.0)

m
is the surface emissivity of the member ( 0.7)

f
is the emissivity of the re ( 1.0)
o is the Stephan Boltzman constant ( 5.67 10
8
W/m
2
K
4
).
Using the assumption of a uniform temperature throughout the cross-section and a
temperature step of ve seconds, a simple spreadsheet-based calculation procedure is
used to calculate the relationship.
100
Structural Fire Engineering
This gives a temperature of approximately 8308C at 30 minutes, which conrms that the
unprotected section is not suitable for the application as the steel temperature at 30
minutes is in excess of the calculated critical temperature and recourse must be made
to the alternative procedures in the list above.
For members with passive re protection, the method of calculating the heat transfer is
similar to that for unprotected steel. The use of a highly insulating layer considerably
reduces the heating rate of the member. The appropriate formula is:
0
a.t

`
p
A
p
,V0
g.t
0
a.t

d
p
c
a
,
a
1 ,3

t
e
c,10
10
g.t
with
c
c
p
,
p
c
a
,
a
d
p
A
p
,V
where
A
p
/V is the section factor for steel members insulated by re protection material
A
p
is the appropriate area of re protection material per unit length of the member
(m
2
/m)
V is the volume of the member per unit length (m
3
/m)
c
a
is the specic heat of steel (J/kgK)
c
p
is the specic heat of the re protection material (J/kgK)
d
p
is the thickness of the re protection material (m)

t
is the time interval (seconds)
0
a,t
is the steel temperature at time t (8C)
0
g,t
is the ambient gas temperature at time t (8C)
0
g,t
is the increase in ambient gas temperature during the time interval
t
(K)
`
p
is the thermal conductivity of the re protection system (W/mK)
,
a
is the unit mass of steel (kg/m
3
)
,
p
is the unit mass of the re protection material (kg/m
3
).
The calculation again lends itself to a simple spreadsheet solution.
6.5. Design guidance
In the 1990s, BRE, in collaboration with the UK steel industry, was involved in a
programme of groundbreaking research centred around the Large Building Test Facility
at Cardington. The facility eventually housed three full-scale buildings framed in steel,
concrete and timber. The rst, largest and most extensively used as a research facility
was the steel framed building erected in the early 1990s. The building was subjected to
a range of static, dynamic and explosive tests as part of the collaborative research
programme. However, the most signicant research project was that undertaken by
BRE and British Steel Technical to investigate the behaviour of the structure subject
to a series of re tests ranging from a furnace built around a single beam member to a
large compartment re test consisting of half of one oor of the building. The research
101
Fire engineering design of steel structures
undertaken at Cardington provided a comprehensive set of high-quality data on the
thermal and structural response of a modern composite steel framed building that has
been used to vastly improve the understanding of structural behaviour at elevated
temperature. The data have been used to validate numerical models for designing
complex structures in re. It has also been used to improve national and international
standards in relation to steel (and composite) structures in re. Figure 6.2 shows the
rst natural re test to be undertaken on the third oor of the building in a compartment
representative of a corner ofce.
One of the most signicant developments was the identication of tensile membrane
action as a load carrying mechanism mobilised at the re limit state as a consequence
of the large deections characteristic of the latter stages of a fully developed re. A
new design method was developed by Professor Colin Bailey based on the enhancement
in load carrying capacity due to tensile membrane action during his time at BRE. The
theoretical background to the design method is published in guidance documents and
research papers (Bailey, 2001, 2003; Bailey and Moore, 2000a, 2000b). Some of the
practical applications of the method are published in tabular form in a steel industry
guidance document (Newman et al., 2000), which also includes some useful background
information on the Cardington re tests.
Figure 6.2 BRE ofce re test on the steel framed building at Cardington (photo courtesy of BRE)
102
Structural Fire Engineering
REFERENCES
Bailey C (2001) Steel structures supporting composite oor slabs: Design for re. BRE
Digest 462. CRC, London.
Bailey CG (2003) New Fire Design Method for Steel Frames with Composite Floor Slabs.
Foundation for the Built Environment publication FB5. BRE, Garston.
Bailey CG and Moore DB (2000a) The structural behaviour of steel frames with composite
oor slabs subject to re: Part 1: Theory. The Structural Engineer 78(11): 1927.
Bailey CG and Moore DB (2000b) The structural behaviour of steel frames with composite
oor slabs subject to re: Part 2: Design. The Structural Engineer 78(11): 2833.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1990) BS 5950-8:1990. Structural use of steelwork in
building Part 8: Code of practice for re resistant design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2003) BS 5950-8:2003. Structural use of steelwork in
building Part 8: Code of practice for re resistant design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005) BS EN 1993-1-2:2005. Eurocode 3: Design of
steel structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
Newman GM, Robinson JT and Bailey CG (2000) Fire Safe Design: A New Approach to
Multi-storey Steel-framed Buildings. Steel Construction Institute Publication P288. SCI,
Ascot.
103
Fire engineering design of steel structures
Chapter 7
Fire engineering design of composite
steel and concrete structures
7.1. Introduction
Composite construction, which incorporates the benets of both steel and concrete, has
been used extensively for many years as reinforced and pre-stressed concrete. Composite
construction in the present context refers to the structural action between steel and
concrete sections or decking, in which the concrete resists compression and the steel is
largely in tension. Composite construction incorporates steel beams acting compositely
with concrete oor decks generally through the use of shear studs and proled steel
decking and concrete-lled beams or columns with or without additional reinforcement.
Composite construction has been widely used in the UK for many years particularly for
steel framed ofce buildings. Figures 7.1 to 7.3 show some typical forms of composite
construction.
7.2. Available options
The relevant national and European standards for the re engineering design of com-
posite construction are BS 5950 Part 8 (BSI, 2003) and BS EN 1994-1-2 (BSI, 2005).
The various methods available using BS EN 1994-1-2 (BSI, 2005) are summarised in
Table 7.1. There are signicant differences between UK design and construction
procedures and those within the remainder of continental Europe. These differences
are reected in the nature and extent of the design information in the re part of Euro-
code 4 (BSI, 2005). In the UK, composite construction generally refers to proled steel
beams acting compositely with lightly reinforced concrete oor slabs through shear studs
welded through proled steel sheeting which acts as the permanent formwork for the
concrete slab. Although such methods are also widely used within the rest of Europe
(although shear studs tend not to be through-deck welded) there is also a wide range
of fully encased and partially encased beams and columns, both reinforced and
unreinforced, which fall under the generic term composite construction. Unfortunately,
the tabulated data which are so popular with engineers relate mainly to those forms of
construction which are not generally used within the UK. However, the Eurocodes
provide a level playing eld for designers so it is important that UK engineers are
capable of undertaking designs in other countries where such methods may well be used.
Composite steel deck oors incorporating either trapezoidal or re-entrant proles for the
steel sheet are generally used without any re protection to the exposed steel soft,
although the beams will generally incorporate some form of passive re protection.
The national code provides information on minimum slab depths for both trapezoidal
105
Structural Fire Engineering
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
ICE Publishing: All rights reserved
doi: 10.1680/sfe.41417.105
and re-entrant proled steel sheets for composite oor slabs. The values are based on a
comprehensive series of re tests using both normal (gravel) and lightweight (Lytag)
aggregate. Table 7.2 provides information on the temperature distribution through the
slab based on the test results. Composite oor slabs have been shown to have a good
inherent re resistance. Standard re tests have shown that re resistance periods of
up to two hours can be achieved without any additional protection to the underside of
the steel sheet.
Figure 7.1 Composite beam and slab
Mesh
reinforcement
Concrete slab
Shear studs
Profiled metal decking
Figure 7.2 Partially encased composite beam
Reinforcing
bar
Links welded
to web
Mesh
reinforcement
Concrete slab
106
Structural Fire Engineering
Figure 7.3 (a) Composite slab and column; (b) column reinforcement (photos courtesy of BRE)
(a) (b)
Table 7.1 Alternative methods for verication of re resistance
Tabulated data
prescriptive methods
Simplied calculation
methods
Advanced calculation
methods
Member analysis. The
member is considered
as isolated. Indirect re
actions are not
considered, except
those resulting from
thermal gradients
YES
Tabulated data
provided for composite
beams and composite
columns
YES
Standard re and
parametric re.
Temperature proles
for protected and
unprotected steel
members can be
calculated
YES
Only the principles are
given
Analysis of parts of the
structure. Indirect re
actions within the sub-
assembly are
considered, but no
time-dependent
interaction with other
parts of the structure
NO YES
Standard re and
parametric re. Only
general guidance on
selection of boundary
conditions provided
YES
Only the principles are
given
Global structural
analysis. Analysis of
the entire structure.
Indirect re actions are
considered throughout
the structure
NO NO YES
Only the principles are
given
107
Fire engineering design of composite steel and concrete structures
BS 5950 Part 8 (BSI, 2003) includes a Fire engineering method which is based on earlier
work published by the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE, 1978) related to the
re resistance of reinforced concrete structures. The methodology has been extended to
incorporate the particular characteristics of composite oor slabs and detailed guidance
on the method is available in a Steel Construction Institute (SCI) publication (Newman,
1991). This document also incorporates a Simplied method where informationis provided
in tabular form for re resistance periods up to 120 minutes. The tabulated values are
summarised in Tables 7.3 and 7.4 for trapezoidal and re-entrant proles respectively.
Table 7.2 Temperature distribution through a composite oor slab with proled sheeting
Depth Temperature distribution for a re resistance period of:
into
slab: 30 min 60 min 90 min 120min 180min 240min
mm
NW: LW: NW: LW: NW: LW: NW: LW: NW: LW: NW: LW:
8C 8C 8C 8C 8C 8C 8C 8C 8C 8C 8C 8C
10 470 460 650 620 790 720
*
770
* * * *
20 340 330 530 480 650 580 720 640
*
740
* *
30 250 260 420 380 540 460 610 530 700 630 770 700
40 180 200 330 290 430 360 510 430 600 520 670 600
50 140 160 250 220 370 280 440 340 520 430 600 510
60 110 130 200 170 310 230 370 280 460 380 540 440
70 90 80 170 130 260 170 320 220 410 320 480 380
80 80 60 140 80 220 130 270 180 360 270 430 320
90 70 40 120 70 180 100 240 150 320 230 380 280
100 60 40 100 60 160 80 210 140 280 190 360 270
NWnormal-weight concrete; LWlightweight concrete;
*
temperature 8008C
Table 7.3 Simplied rules for re resistance of composite oor slabstrapezoidal proles
(depth460 mm) (Newman, 1991)
Max. span: Fire rating: Minimum dimensions
m min
Sheet Slab depth: mm Mesh size
thickness:
mm NW LW
2.7 60 0.8 130 120 A142
3.0 60 0.9 130 120 A142
90 0.9 140 130 A142
3.6 60 1.0 130 120 A193
90 1.2 140 130 A193
120 1.2 155 140 A252
108
Structural Fire Engineering
As a conservative assumption, the contribution of the steel decking to the moment
capacity of the section should be neglected. This follows from observations in real re
tests where the decking has been observed to debond.
As with the re parts of the material design codes discussed thus far, the re part of
Eurocode 4 (BSI, 2005) includes data on material properties (mechanical and thermal)
for reinforcing and structural steel and normal-weight and lightweight concrete. This
information is principally of use to those involved in complex calculations incorporating
non-linear behaviour at elevated temperature.
7.2.1 Tabulated data
The tabulated data in BS EN 1994-1-2 (BSI, 1995) covers composite beams comprising
steel beams with partially encased steel sections and a variety of different composite
columns. Verication is carried out with respect to resistance such that:
E
fi.d.t
4R
fi.d.t
where E
,d,t
is the effect of actions at the re limit state and R
,d,t
is the resistance of the
member at the re limit state. The re resistance is related to the load level of the
member.
The use of tabulated data is illustrated using a simple worked example of a web-lled
column.
Design loads at ambient temperature using load case from BS EN 1990:
N
Ed
1.351820.6 1.51377 4523.3 kN
Ground oor column effective length0.7 4430 3101 mm.
Table 7.4 Simplied rules for re resistance of composite oor slabs re-entrant proles (depth
450.9mm) (Newman, 1991)
Max. span: Fire rating: Minimum dimensions
m min
Sheet Slab depth: mm Mesh size
thickness:
mm NW LW
2.5 60 0.8 100 100 A142
90 0.8 110 105 A142
3.0 60 0.9 120 110 A142
90 0.9 130 120 A142
3.6 60 1.0 125 120 A193
90 1.2 135 125 A193
120 1.2 145 130 A252
109
Fire engineering design of composite steel and concrete structures
Try 356 368 153 UC of grade S355 with eight No. 25-mm-diameter bars with an
axis distance of 60 mm. The area of reinforcement 3.4%. The concrete inll has a
characteristic cylinder strength of f
c,k
30 N/mm
2
. See Figure 7.4.
Section classication:

235,355
p
0.81.
Flange: c/t 0.5(370.5 12.3 2 15.2)/20.7 7.9414 class 2 section.
b/t
f
370.5/20.7 17.9444 so local buckling of the steel section may be ignored.
Ninety minutes re resistance is required for an ofce building. The partial factor for the
leading variable action is

0.5.
So load level at the re limit state 1 1820.6 0.5 1377 2509.1 kN.
And reduction factor j

2509.1/4523.3 0.55.
Load level for re design j
,t
E
,d,t
/R
d
.
From ambient temperature design resistance R
d
7400.44 kN.
j
,t
2509.1/7400.44 0.34
From Table 4.6 of BS EN 1994-1-2 (BSI, 2005) based on linear interpolation the
minimum dimensions for 90 minutes re resistance are:
minimum dimension 331 mm
minimum axis distance 56 mm
minimum area of reinforcement 3.3%.
Therefore, column is capable of providing 90 minutes of re resistance.
Concrete lled structural hollow sections provide a number of benets including
g the steel section negates the need for formwork
g the erection schedule is not dependent on concrete curing times
Figure 7.4 Web-lled UC section
110
Structural Fire Engineering
g the section provides good inherent re resistance and therefore it is not always
necessary to incorporate additional passive re protection.
The Eurocode includes tabulated data for structural hollow section (SHS) columns.
More extensive tables covering re resistance periods of 30, 60 and 90 minutes are
included in an SCI publication (Newman and Simms, 2000). The tables are based on
the simple calculation method detailed in Annex H of BS EN 1994-1-2 (BSI, 2005).
Examples of the design tables are shown in Tables 7.5, 7.6 and 7.7 for re resistance
periods of 30, 60 and 90 minutes respectively.
7.2.2 Simple calculation methods
Simple calculation methods are available for composite slabs and composite beams
based on plastic theory, whereby the resistance of the section is assessed from the resis-
tance of the individual components using appropriate reduction factors multiplied by the
distance from the centroid of the composite member. A design method for calculating the
re resistance of unprotected composite slabs exposed to the standard re curve is
provided in Annex D of BS EN 1994-1-2 (BSI, 2005). A model for the calculation of
the sagging and hogging moment resistance of a composite beam is given in Annex E
of BS EN 1994-1-2 (BSI, 2005). Both of these design methods are concerned with veri-
cation in terms of resistance. An alternative approach is to use the critical temperature
model. A simple example of a protected and unprotected composite beam is illustrated
below. See Figures 7.5, 7.6, 7.7 and 7.8.
Span of beam10 m
Secondary beams at 3 m centres
Permanent actions (dead load) (G):
UDL over oor area 3.92 kN/m
2
Beam UDL3.92 3 11.76 kN/m
Table 7.5 Selection from design tables for 30 minutes of re resistance (Newman and Simms,
2000)
Concrete lled hollow section Resistances Stiffness Buckling resistance: kN
Section size Conc. Bar dia.: Axis dist.: Bending: Axial: EI: Effective lengths: mm
grade mm mm kNm kN kN/m
2
2000 3000 4000
Square hollow sections
2002005.0 25 20 40 38.0 1195 1647 978 781 589
3003006.3 35 25 40 114 3185 11488 2966 2680 2366
40040010 25 25 40 199.4 4140 38938 4124 3906 3682
Circular hollow sections
219.15.0 25 20 40 34.9 1226 1415 968 744 541
355.68.0 25 32 50 168.8 3437 14916 3253 2977 2677
45710.0 25 32 50 278.0 4871 43452 4028 3762 3483
111
Fire engineering design of composite steel and concrete structures
Variable actions (live or imposed load) (Q):
UDL over oor area 5 kN/m
2
Beam UDL5 3 15 kN/m
2
Load factors ambient condition:
Partial loading factor for permanent actions 1.35
Partial loading factor for variable actions 1.5
Table 7.7 Selection from design tables for 90 minutes of re resistance (Newman and Simms,
2000)
Concrete lled hollow section Resistances Stiffness Buckling resistance: kN
Section size Conc. Bar dia.: Axis dist.: Bending: Axial: EI: Effective lengths: mm
grade mm mm kNm kN kN/m
2
2000 3000 4000
Square hollow sections
200200 5 25 20 40 8.4 536 433 386 270 184
300300 6.3 35 25 40 32.6 2137 4447 1870 1598 1305
400400 10 25 25 40 61.6 2976 18320 2891 2694 2487
Circular hollow sections
219.1 5.0 25 20 40 17.8 716 561 510 355 240
355.6 8.0 25 32 50 146.3 3105 10138 2864 2568 2241
45710.0 25 32 50 233.2 4341 31865 4264 4003 3732
Table 7.6 Selection from design tables for 60 minutes of re resistance (Newman and Simms,
2000)
Concrete lled hollow section Resistances Stiffness Buckling resistance: kN
Section size Conc. Bar dia.: Axis dist.: Bending: Axial: EI: Effective lengths: mm
grade mm mm kNm kN kN/m
2
2677 3000 4000
Square hollow sections
200200 5.0 25 20 40 38.0 1195 1647 978 781 589
300300 6.3 35 25 40 114 3185 11488 2966 2680 2366
400400 10 25 25 40 199.4 4140 38938 4124 3906 3682
Circular hollow sections
219.1 5.0 25 20 40 34.9 1226 1415 968 744 541
355.6 8.0 25 32 50 168.8 3437 14916 3253 2977
45710.0 25 32 50 278.0 4871 43452 4028 3762
112
Structural Fire Engineering
Load factors re condition:
Partial loading factor for permanent actions 1.0
Partial loading factor for variable actions 0.5
Ambient temperature design value of actions:
Design UDL(1.35 11.76) (1.5 15) 38.38 kN/m
Design moment 38.38 100/8 479.7 kNm
Figure 7.5 Floor layout
3 m
3 m
3 m
3 m
3 m
3 m
10 m
Composite
deck span
H H
H H
H H
H H
Figure 7.6 Simply supported composite beam
Uniformly distributed load
10 m
406 178 60 UB (grade S355)
113
Fire engineering design of composite steel and concrete structures
Fire limit state design value of actions:
Design UDL(1.0 11.76) (0.5 15) 19.26 kN/m
Design moment re limit state 19.26 100/8 240.75 kNm
Section classication as in Figure 7.7.
Section is classied as Class 1
Design strength f
y
355 N/mm
2
C25/30 concrete cylinder strength f
ck
25 N/mm
2
Ambient temperature moment resistance:
Compressive resistance of slab N
c,f
0.85 f
c,k
b
eff
h
c
/
c
2797.92 kN.
Tensile resistance of steel section N
pl,a
f
yd
A
a
2716.41 kN.
Figure 7.7 Dimensions for section classication
d 406
130
t
f
t
w
r
b
178
1000
h
z
z
y y
7.9
12.8
(All dimensions in mm)
Section UB 406 178 60
h = 406.4 mm b = 177.9 mm d = 360.4 mm
t
w
= 7.9 mm t
f
= 12.8 mm r = 10.2 mm
Figure 7.8 Cross-section through composite slab
Mesh reinforcement
Rib centres = 153 mm
b
o
, average trough
width = 140 mm
h
c
= 51 mm
h
c
= 79 mm
h

=

1
3
0

m
m
114
Structural Fire Engineering
As N
pl,a
<N
c,f
the plastic neutral axis lies within the concrete slab. Therefore the moment
resistance of the composite beam assuming full shear interaction is given by:
M
pl,Rd
N
pl,a
[(h
a
/2) h
c
h
p
(N
pl,a
h
c
)/(N
c,f
2)] 800.94 kNm
Note that no detailed guidance is provided on the calculation above as this is part of the
ambient temperature design procedure.
Fire limit state critical temperature model:
When using the critical temperature model the temperature of the steel section is
assumed to be uniform.
Check the limits of the model:
Depth of steel cross-section h 406.4 mm<500 mm
Depth of concrete h
c
130 mm120 mm
Beam is simply supported and subject only to sagging bending moments therefore
the critical temperature method can be used.
The critical temperature is related to the load level and the strength of the steel at
elevated temperature by the relationship:
1.0j
,t
f
ay,0cr
/f
ay
(for re resistance periods other than 30 minutes)
where
f
ay,0cr
is the strength of the steel section at the critical temperature
f
ay
is the strength of the steel section at ambient temperature
j
,t
E
,d,t
/R
d
(as dened in Clause 4.1(7)P of BS EN 1994-1-2)
E
,d,t
is the design effect of actions in the re situation at time t (E
,d,t
j

E
d
)
E
d
is the design effect of actions at ambient temperature.
Therefore:
j

F
Ed,
/((
G
G
k
) (
Q
Q
k
)) 0.502
E
,d,t
j

M
Ed
240.75 kNm
j
,t
E
,d,t
/M
Rd
0.301
Therefore the strength of the steel section at the critical temperature is:
f
ay0cr
j

f
ay
106.71 N/mm
2
The strength reduction coefcient at time t is:
k
y0max
f
ay0cr
/f
ay
0.301
The critical temperature at which the yield strength will reduce to a value of 106.71 N/
mm
2
must be determined and compared to the temperature of the steel at the required
re resistance period (60 minutes).
115
Fire engineering design of composite steel and concrete structures
From Table 3.2 of BS EN 1994-1-2:
Steel temperature 0
a
6008C k
y.0
0.47
Steel temperature 0
a
7008C k
y.0
0.23
From interpolation when k
y.0
k
y.0.max
0.301
0
a.max
600 (100 (0.47 0.301))/(0.47 0.23) 6708C
The increase in temperature of the various parts of an unprotected steel beam during the
time interval
t
is given by:
0
a.t
k
shadow
1,c
a
,
a
A
i
,V
i

_
hh
net
t
where
k
shadow
is the correction factor for the shadow effect
c
a
is the specic heat of steel (600 J/kgK)
,
a
is the density of steel (700 kg/m
3
)
A
i
is the exposed surface area of the part I of the steel cross-section per unit length
(m
2
/m)
A
i
/V
i
is the section factor of the part I of the steel cross-section (m
1
)
V
i
is the volume of the part I of the steel cross-section per unit length (m
3
/m)
t is the time interval (seconds)
_
hh
net
is the design value of the net heat ux per unit area (W/m
2
) (obtained from
BS EN 1991-1-2)
_
hh
net

_
hh
net.c

_
hh
net.r
_
hh
net.r

m

f
5.67 10
8
0
t
273
4
0
a.t
273
4

where
5.67 10
8
is the StefanBoltzmann constant
0
t
is the ambient gas temperature at time t (8C)
0
a.t
is the steel temperature at time t (assumed uniform in each part of the
cross-section) (8C)

m
is the emissivity of the material (0.7)

f
is the emissivity of the re (1.0)
_
hh
net.c
c
c
0
g
0
m

k
shadow
0.9 e
1
e
2
b
1
,2
p
h
2
w
b
1
b
2

2
,4,
h
w
b
1
b
2
,2 e
1
e
2
e
w

where the relevant dimensions are given in Figure 4.3 of BS EN 1994-1-2.


Here the correction factor for the shadow effect is 0.736 and the section factor assuming
four sided exposure is 167.5 m
1
.
An iterative method using an Excel spreadsheet is used to calculate the temperature
increase of the unprotected steel section. The timetemperature response is illustrated
in Figure 7.9.
116
Structural Fire Engineering
From Figure 7.9, it can be seen that the critical temperature of 6708C corresponding to
a reduction in the effective yield stress to a value of 106.5 N/mm
2
occurs after approxi-
mately 16 minutes. Therefore the section will require protection to achieve the 60-minute
re resistance period required. This can be achieved by applying a protective coating
(spray, board or intumescent coating) or by providing partial protection by lling
in between the anges with reinforced concrete. In this example, a sprayed applied
passive re protection is used. As with the steel beam example in the previous chapter,
the iterative calculation procedure for determining the rise in steel temperature of the
protected section needs to be carried out taking into account the properties of the re
protection material. For protected members, the relevant formula is:
0
a.t
`
p
,d
p
,c
a
,
a
A
p.i
,V
i
1,1 w,3
0
g.t
0
a.t
t e
w,10
1 0
t

where
w 0.419 c
p
,,
p
,c
a
,
a
d
p
A
p.i
,V
i

`
p
is the thermal conductivity of the re protection material (0.174 W/mK)
d
p
is the thickness of the re protection material (0.025 m)
A
pi
is the area of the inner surface of the re protection material per unit length of
the relevant part of the steel member
c
p
is the specic heat of the re protection material (1200 J/kgK)
0
a.t
is the increase in the ambient gas temperature during time interval t (8C)
,
p
is the density of the re protection material (430 kg/m
3
).
therefore: w0.419.
Figure 7.9 Timetemperature response for unprotected composite beam
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Furnace Steel
117
Fire engineering design of composite steel and concrete structures
As a sprayed protection is applied directly to the surface of the member, the section
factor remains unchanged at 167.5 m
1
.
As with the unprotected member, the temperature rise of the protected member is
calculated using a spreadsheet. The results are illustrated in Figure 7.10.
In this example, the temperature at 60 minutes is just over 4508C and the critical tem-
perature is not exceeded even for a 90-minute re resistance period. Consequently, the
design is acceptable for the required re resistance period. However, the solution is
not particularly efcient and the designer may wish to rationalise the protection
specication or consider using a smaller beam.
REFERENCES
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2003) BS 5950-8:2003. Structural use of steelwork in
building Part 8: Code of practice for re resistant design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005) BS EN 1994-1-2:2005. Eurocode 4: Design of
composite steel and concrete structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design.
BSI, London.
IStructE (Institution of Structural Engineers) (1978) Design and Detailing of Concrete
Structures for Fire Resistance. IStructE, London.
Newman GM (1991) The Fire Resistance of Composite Floors with Steel Decking, 2nd edn.
Steel Construction Institute Publication 056. SCI, Ascot.
Newman GM and Simms WI (2000) The Fire Resistance of Concrete Filled Tubes to Euro-
code 4. Steel Construction Institute Technical Report P259. SCI, Ascot.
Figure 7.10 Timetemperature response for protected beam
Furnace Steel temperature
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
118
Structural Fire Engineering
Chapter 8
Fire engineering design of timber,
masonry and aluminium structures
8.1. Introduction
To a large extent, research into the development of performance-based structural re
engineering design techniques has been initiated and supported by the European steel
industry. This is a reection both of the costs associated with the provision of passive re
protection to steel structures and the homogeneous nature of the material. However, the
publication of the Eurocodes has provided a database of material data including thermal
andmechanical properties at elevatedtemperature that will promote a better understanding
of the behaviour of all the structures covered by the re parts of the structural Eurocodes.
8.2. Fire engineering design of timber structures
Every construction material has particular characteristics that make it more or less
suitable for specic applications. In terms of performance in re, reinforced concrete
design must take due account of the likelihood and consequences of spalling as well as
the effects of material degradation. Structural steel experiences a reduction in both
strength and stiffness at elevated temperature and often requires additional passive re
protection in order to achieve the specied re resistance to full its functional require-
ments for the design re resistance period. Timber is a combustible material and relies
either on the insulation properties provided by a char layer for large section timber,
on protective layers of board material, the modication of reaction to re properties
through re retardants or some combination of all of these methods to provide the
required performance in the event of a re.
Charred timber is an extremely good insulator, providing protection to the residual
section below the advancing pyrolysis layer. The predictable nature of the charring
process provides the basis for the re engineering of timber structures. When the residual
cross-section is insufcient to resist the applied stresses due to load, additional protection
can be provided by a variety of passive re protection products. Compared with the other
commonly used construction materials, calculation procedures for timber are relatively
straightforward. The resistance is a function of the residual undamaged section of the
timber and therefore there is no need to evaluate the temperature within the structural
member or to reduce the properties (in terms of strength and stiffness) of the residual
section. There are similarities between the design methods for timber structures and
some of the simple calculation methods for concrete structures such as the 5008C
isotherm method which relies on an undamaged central core to resist the loads in
place at the re limit state.
119
Structural Fire Engineering
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
ICE Publishing: All rights reserved
doi: 10.1680/sfe.41417.119
8.2.1 Fire exposed timber structures
Large section timber has been shown to perform extremely well in a re scenario. Both
the national (BS 5268:4.1 [BSI, 1990a]) and European (EN 1995-1-2 [BSI, 2006]) codes
adopt charring rates as the basis for calculations. The notional charring rates from
BS 5268:4.1 are summarised in Table 8.1. Linear extrapolation is allowed between re
resistance periods of 15 and 90 minutes.
The rates in Table 8.1 also apply to glued laminate members where thermosetting
adhesives are used.
In order to assess the residual section for the purposes of re resistance, it is necessary to
subtract the notional amount of charring, making due allowance for rounding of
exposed arises as appropriate. For compression and tension members exposed to re
on all sides, the notional rates of charring are increased by 25%.
The Eurocode (BSI, 1994) also gives charring rates where the position of the char line
corresponds to the 3008C isotherm. Rates are given for both one-dimensional charring
and notional charring. The latter incorporates the effect of corner rounding and ssures.
The charring rates for various types of timber products are shown in Table 8.2.
For more detailed analysis the designer must take into account the reduction in
material properties at elevated temperature as with other construction materials. Due
to the nature of the material, these properties are only relevant up to 3008C. However,
thermal analysis must take into account the residual thermal properties of the
char layer. Information is provided in the Eurocode (BSI, 2006) and summarised in
Figure 8.1.
8.2.2 Composite systems for walls and oors
While BS 5268:4.1 (BSI, 1990a) deals with the re resistance of individual timber
members, composite systems for walls and oors are covered in Part 4.2 (BSI, 1990b),
which sets out tabulated data in the form of indices which are aggregated to give the
re resistance period for the construction including the contribution of linings and
insulation, and includes worked examples in an appendix.
The Eurocode (BSI, 2006) allows for the concept of charring rates to be applied to
members initially protected, with different charring rates applying for periods where
the protection remains intact and prevents charring and for periods where charring
Table 8.1 Charring rate from BS 5269:4.1 (BSI, 1990a)
Species Extent of charring after
30 minutes: mm
Extent of charring after
60 minutes: mm
All structural species (other than below) 20 40
Western red cedar 25 50
Hardwood 15 30
120
Structural Fire Engineering
occurs before removal of the protection. Once the protection has been removed, charring
continues at the same rate as in Table 8.2.
8.2.3 Simple calculation methods
The simplest method of evaluating the re resistance of a timber construction is using the
tabulated data in BS 5268:4-2 (BSI, 1990b) referred to above. The design example below
Table 8.2 Charring rates from Eurocode (BSI, 1995)

0
:
mm/min

n
:
mm/min
Softwood and beech
Glued laminated timber with a characteristic density of 5290kg/m
3
0.65 0.7
Solid timber with a characteristic density of 5290kg/m
3
0.65 0.8
Hardwood
Solid or glued laminated hardwood with a characteristic density of 290kg/m
3
0.65 0.7
Solid or glued laminated hardwood with a characteristic density of 5450kg/m
3
0.65 0.55
Laminated veneer lumber (LVL)
With a characteristic density 5480kg/m
3
0.65 0.7
Panels (density 450kg/m
3
thickness 20 mm)
Wood panelling 0.9
Plywood 1.0
Wood based panels other than plywood 0.9
Figure 8.1 Reduction factors for timber strength at elevated temperature
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350
Temperature: C
S
t
r
e
n
g
t
h

r
e
d
u
c
t
i
o
n

f
a
c
t
o
r
Compression
Tension
Shear
121
Fire engineering design of timber, masonry and aluminium structures
evaluates the re resistance of a oor constructed from timber oor joists (45 220 mm)
spanning 4 m at 400 centres, protected with one layer of 19 mm and one layer of 12.5 mm
plasterboard, with an upper surface of 22 mm tongue and grooved chipboard and stone
wool insulation solidly xed to joists.
The oor is required to provide a re resistance of 60 minutes in terms of stability,
integrity and insulation.
From Table 9 of BSI 5268 Part 4 Section 4.2 (BSI, 1990b), the timber oor joists provide
a contribution of:
Stability Integrity Insulation
16 0 0
From Table 9 BSI 5268 Part 4: Section 4.2 (BSI, 1990b), the plasterboard provides a
contribution of:
Stability Integrity Insulation
88 88 88
From Table 9 ref. 6.7 the chipboard provides a contribution of:
Stability Integrity Insulation
0 30 30
Providing a total of:
Stability Integrity Insulation
104 118 118
The requirement for 60 minutes is:
Stability Integrity Insulation
100 100 100
Therefore the oor system is capable of providing 60 minutes of re resistance in terms of
stability, integrity and insulation.
Note that BS 5268 Part 4: Section 4.2 (BSI, 1990b) is not capable of taking adequate
account of the enhanced performance achievable using Type F(re resistant) plasterboard.
Two methods are presented in the Eurocode (BSI, 2006) to calculate capacity at the re
limit state, the effective cross-section method, and the reduced strength and stiffness
method. The effective (or reduced) cross-section method considers not only the depth
of the char layer but also the depth of the ineffective timber in the pyrolysis layer
immediately below the char so that the residual section may be calculated from:
d
eff
d
char
k
0
d
0
122
Structural Fire Engineering
where
d
char

n,t
k
0
adjustment factor for surface protection
d
0
7 mm.
The reduced properties method is used for rectangular cross-sections of softwood
exposed to re on three or four sides and circular cross-sections exposed along the
whole perimeter. It requires a calculation of the residual section based on charring
depth and relates reduction in bending, compressive and tensile strength to the ratio
of the heated perimeter to the area of the residual section, as shown in Figure 8.2.
Charring rates and depths are therefore the basis of all calculation methods to establish
the re resistance of timber structures. Tabulated values have been published based on
a large body of test data. However, all of this data are related to the standard re
test. Annex A of EN 1995-1-2 (BSI, 2006) includes a method for calculating the charring
rate for unprotected softwood for any specic re scenario and is based on the
parametric re design of EN 1991-1-2 (BSI, 2002). This method is currently not valid
for design in the UK due to restrictions in the UK National Annex.
The charring rate during the heating phase of a parametric re is assumed to be constant
and is given by:

par

0:2

p
0:04
0:16

p
0:08
Figure 8.2 Modication factor k
mod,
for compressive, tensile and bending strength
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 20 40 60 80 100
p/A
M
o
d
i
f
i
c
a
t
i
o
n

f
a
c
t
o
r
Bending
Compression
Tension
123
Fire engineering design of timber, masonry and aluminium structures
with

O=b
2

0:04
1160

2
O
A
v
A
t

h
eq
q
b

&
p
h
eq

X
A
i
h
i
A
where
O is the opening factor (m
1/2
)

n
is the notional charring rate in mm/min
A
v
is the total area of openings (m
2
)
A
t
is the total area of oors, walls and ceilings (m
2
)
A
i
is the area of vertical opening I (m
2
)
h
eq
is the weighted average height of all openings (m)
h
i
is the height of vertical opening i (m)
is a factor accounting for the relationship between the thermal properties of the
linings and the opening factor
b is the absorptivity of the compartment boundary (J/m
2
s
1/2
K)
is the thermal conductivity of the compartment boundary (Wm
1
K
1
)
is the density of the compartment boundary (kg/m
3
)
c is the specic heat of the compartment boundary (J/kgK)
The relationship between the charring depth should be taken as:
for t4t
0
d
char

par
t
for t
0
4t43t
0
d
char

par
1:5t
0

t
2
4t
0

t
0
4
" #
for 3t
0
4t45t
0
d
char
2
par
t
0
with
t
0
0:009
q
t;d
O
124
Structural Fire Engineering
where
t
0
is the time period with a constant charring rate, in minutes
q
t,d
is the design re load density related to total surface area of linings
The method should only be used for cases where:
t
0
440 min
d
char
4b/4
d
char
4h/4
where b and h are the width and depth of the cross section respectively.
An example of the charring rates for the full period of re development is shown in
Figure 8.3.
8.3. Fire engineering design of masonry structures
Masonry is inherently re resistant. As a refractory product it has already undergone a
heat treatment process. Its thermal properties are such that it is often used as a protective
barrier to other forms of construction such as timber or steel. All masonry materials are
sufciently refractory to prevent wholesale melting or signicant softening when subject
to normal building res. Most masonry materials are inherently inammable. Where
masonry products incorporate more then 1% of organic aggregates, their reaction to
re characteristics should be determined using harmonised EN standards. Most
masonry materials of more than 100 mm thickness are capable of providing the required
insulation performance for the most common applications. The incorporation of
moisture within the material results in a time lag during which the temperature of the
component is limited to 1008C until the moisture has been driven off.
Figure 8.3 Relationship between charring rate and time
Time
C
h
a
r
r
i
n
g

r
a
t
e
:

m
m
/
m
i
n
t
0
2t
0

par
125
Fire engineering design of timber, masonry and aluminium structures
As with other forms of construction, design of masonry structures for re is based on the
performance of single elements and largely based on the results from standard tests.
Information is presented on the material properties of common forms of masonry
construction in BS EN 1996-1-2 (BSI, 2005a). The relationship between strength
and temperature taken from the stressstrain relationship at elevated temperatures is
illustrated in Figure 8.4.
The most common design method utilises tabulated data from standard re tests to
establish minimum dimensions to meet regulatory requirements in relation to the
principal failure criteria of the standard re test (see Chapter 3). In general, this data
are restricted to imperforated wall panels. Figures 8.5 and 8.6 provide a graphical
illustration for the performance of different types of wall, based on the values set out
in BS 5268-3 (BSI, 2001).
Tabulated values take into account
g loading condition
g material type (e.g. concrete)
g geometrical form of the units (e.g. hollow blocks)
g thickness of the wall
g presence of lining materials (e.g. plasterboard)
g slenderness ratio.
Figure 8.4 Relationship between strength and temperature for masonry units fromBS EN 1996-1-2
(BSI, 2005a) based on stressstrain relationship
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800
Temperature: C
R
e
d
u
c
t
i
o
n

f
a
c
t
o
r

f
o
r

u
l
t
i
m
a
t
e

s
t
r
e
n
g
t
h
Clay units
(density 9001200 kg/m
3
, strength 1220 N/mm
2
)
Calcium silicate units
(density 16002000 kg/m
3
, strength1220 N/mm
2
)
Lightweight aggregate concrete blocks
(density 6001000 kg/m
3
, strength 46 N/mm
2
)
126
Structural Fire Engineering
Design, in this case, consists of choosing a suitable combination of thickness, material,
geometrical form and lining that meets the regulatory requirement in terms of the
specied period of re resistance.
In many cases, existing tabulated data may not cover the specic circumstances in terms
of materials and boundary conditions. In recent years, increasing levels of thermal
Figure 8.5 Performance of different types of clay brickwork
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
200
Notional fire resistance of loadbearing walls of fired clay brickwork
Plastered perforated,
60% solid
Bare perforated,
75% solid
Vermiculite plastered
perforated, 75% solid
Bare solid
Vermiculite plastered
solid
M
i
n
i
m
u
m

w
a
l
l

t
h
i
c
k
n
e
s
s
:

m
m
Fire period: hr
6 4 3 2 1.5 1 0.5
Figure 8.6 Performance of different types of masonry walls
Fire period: hr
Notional fire resistance of unplastered non-loadbearing walls
Hollow block
(dense aggregate)
Solid brick
(clay, calcil or concrete)
Hollow block
(lightweight aggregate)
Solid block
(dense aggregate)
Solid block
(lightweight aggregate)
Solid AAC block
0
50
100
150
200
250
M
i
n
i
m
u
m

w
a
l
l

t
h
i
c
k
n
e
s
s
:

m
m
6 4 3 2 1.5 1 0.5
127
Fire engineering design of timber, masonry and aluminium structures
insulation have led to an increase in the use of combustible material in cavities, an
increase in units with a high proportion of perforations and an increasing use of
polymeric materials and recycled materials. In such cases, a test on the specic
product may be required.
The new generation of codes includes simplied calculation methods that interpolate
between test results to increase the scope and application of the existing database of
tests and more complex methods that attempt to model the complete re development
process for specic applications.
8.3.1 Boundary conditions and thermal bowing
Masonry structural elements may be used as the primary loadbearing elements for a
building, as exterior cladding walls or as internal partitions or inll walls in frames.
The vast majority of standard re tests do not accurately reect the boundary conditions
found in practice. Non-loadbearing walls are often tested with no top restraint and
therefore the inuence of thermal expansion on the surrounding structure is not taken
into account. A loadbearing wall panel will be tested with a simple lateral support at
the top with load applied either at the top or bottom of the specimen. There is generally
no support along the vertical edges. Again, such a situation would very rarely be
encountered in real buildings. In many cases, failure in re of masonry units is governed
by thermal insulation. As such, it is very difcult to rely directly on data from re tests to
develop structural models.
Differential thermal gradients will cause the wall to deform towards the re as shown in
Figure 8.7. The magnitude and nature of the thermal bowing will be dictated by the
boundary conditions as shown.
Guidance on the impact of thermal bowing is available (Cooke, 1988). For masonry
materials with a low thermal conductivity, the thermal gradient is highly non-linear.
Large thermal bowing deections can occur in unrestrained masonry walls. Wherever
possible edge support should be provided and cantilever walls avoided, as the mid-
span deection of a simply supported member is a quarter of that for the same
element with a free end.
8.4. Fire engineering design of aluminium structures
Although not readily associated with re resistant structural design, BS EN 1999-1-2
(BSI, 2007) provides guidance on the use of simple and advanced calculation models
for aluminium structures subject to re. The code effectively utilises many of the
procedures set out in BS EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005b) in terms of the calculation of heat
transfer to external members (Annex B), and in the verication methods related to
aluminium temperature development and calculation of the resistance of cross-sections.
The most signicant difference between the two codes is that the thermal and structural
material property data only extend up to 5008C at which point the strength and stiffness
of aluminium is zero. The reduction in strength with temperature for aluminium depends
on the specic alloy adopted. Figure 8.8 illustrates the lower range of values for the 0.2%
proof strength ratios for the alloys covered in the Eurocode.
128
Structural Fire Engineering
Figure 8.7 Inuence of end restraint on loadbearing walls: (a) top and bottom restraint;
(b) four-sided restraint
Restraint all
around the wall
Bowing
deformation in
two directions
Crack
Applied load
Wall
Slab
Crossing wall
(a)
(b)
Wall
Top and bottom restraint
Bowing
deformation in
one direction
Figure 8.8 0.2% strength ratios (lower limits) for aluminium alloys
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500
Temperature: C
0
.
2
%

p
r
o
o
f

s
t
r
e
n
g
t
h

r
a
t
i
o
129
Fire engineering design of timber, masonry and aluminium structures
REFERENCES
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1990a) BS 5268 Part 4: Section 4.1:1990. Structural
use of timber Part 4. Fire resistance of timber structures Section 4.1. Recommendations
for calculating re resistance of timber members. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1990b) BS 5268: Part 4: Section 4.2:1990. Structural
use of timber, Part 4: Fire resistance of timber structures, Section 4.2. Recommendations
for calculating re resistance of timber stud walls and joisted oor constructions. BSI,
London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2001) BS 5268-3:2001. Code of practice for use of
masonry Part 3: materials and components, design and workmanship. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2002) BS EN 1991-1-2:2002, Eurocode 1: Actions on
structures Part 1-2: General actions actions on structures exposed to re. BSI,
London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005a) BS EN 1996-1-2:2005, Eurocode 6: Design of
masonry structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005b) BS EN 1993-1-2:2005, Eurocode 3: Design of
steel structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2006) BS EN 1995-1-2, Eurocode 5: Design of timber
structures Part 1-2: General structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2007) BS EN 1999-1-2:2007, Eurocode 9: Design of
aluminium structures Part 1-2: Structural re design. BSI, London.
Cooke GME (1988) Thermal Bowing and How it Affects Building Design. BRE Information
Paper IP 21/88. BRE, Garston.
130
Structural Fire Engineering
Chapter 9
Fire engineering design of connections
9.1. Introduction
Research over the last 15 years into the behaviour of whole buildings subject to res and
evidence from terrorist attacks have highlighted the important role that connections play
in maintaining global stability in the event of a re. The maintenance of structural
stability is the primary functional requirement of the Building Regulations (see
Chapter 2) and essential to maintaining the compartmentation necessary to ensure the
life safety of building occupants in a re situation.
However, this crucial role is not reected in the current system of test and assessment for
determining the re resistance of elements of construction (see Chapter 3). Fire test
standards and procedures are concerned with the performance of individual elements
(oors, walls, beams, columns) and do not consider the interaction between such
elements. The approach to ensuring the integrity of connections in a re situation
varies depending on the material used. Depending on the state of knowledge with
regard to specic materials and types of connection, design ranges from validated
calculation procedures to a reliance on methods which have proved successful in the
past. With the advent of new forms of construction characterised by lightweight
construction, connection behaviour in re is likely to become increasingly important
and should become a focus for further research.
Because connection behaviour is generally not explicitly covered in relation to re resis-
tance, much of the information covered in this chapter is based on research projects.
9.2. Timber connections
Timber members are generally connected using fasteners such as nails, bolts, screws and
dowels. These are often used in conjunction with metal gang plates or joist hangers. The
reduction of strength and stiffness of steel when subject to elevated temperatures,
together with the relatively high thermal conductivity (approximately 500 times that of
timber), means that these areas may constitute a weak point leading to premature
failure. For this reason, connection elements are often protected either by additional
timber or sacricial linings.
The re part of Eurocode 5 (BSI, 2006) includes a chapter on connections which provides
re resistance periods for specic unprotected and protected connections. The rules are
primarily designed to ensure embedment within the un-burnt wood (i.e. below the char
131
Structural Fire Engineering
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
ICE Publishing: All rights reserved
doi: 10.1680/sfe.41417.131
line) for the required period of re resistance. Figure 9.1 shows an engineered oor joist
where the steel web connecting the top and bottom anges has come away from the lower
ange of the timber joist in a re due to the effect of charring.
The re part of the Eurocode for timber structures (BSI, 2006) includes (section 6) a
method for designing timber connections subject to a standard re exposure for re
resistance periods up to 60 minutes. Design rules are provided for connections made
using nails, screws, bolts, dowels, shear-plate connectors, toothed plate connectors
and split-ring connectors.
Simplied rules are provided where end and edge distances comply with the requirements
of BS EN 1995-1-1 (BSI, 2003) for unprotected connections depending on the diameter
of the xing or the thickness of the side member. Additional simplied rules are provided
for connections protected with either wood panelling or plasterboard. A reduced load
method is also presented for unprotected and protected connections. For timber frame
construction, oor joists may be supported directly on timber panels or may be xed
to panels or masonry construction via joist hangers. Figure 9.2 shows a timber oor
joist supported by a masonry joist hanger following a large-scale re test. Evidence
from such tests suggests that the connection performs well under re conditions in
Figure 9.1 Localised failure of connection between steel web and lower ange of engineered oor
joist (photo courtesy of BRE)
132
Structural Fire Engineering
part due to the fact that it is shielded from direct ame impingement by the ceiling
linings.
9.3. Concrete connections
Unlike other forms of construction, connections between concrete elements do not
generally require additional passive re protection. However, the importance of
correct detailing for the re situation cannot be overemphasised. In particular
g all main reinforcing bars should be properly anchored
g the top and bottom reinforcement in continuous beams and slabs should be carried
through to the connections and effectively overlapped
g service ducts and penetrations through a compartment wall or oor should be re
stopped.
Fire causes large deformations and it is therefore necessary for connections to provide
both sufcient strength to accommodate moment redistribution and sufcient ductility
to accommodate the movement of the structure.
In general, the principles and rules applicable to structural elements will also be sufcient
to ensure adequate performance from the connections. In particular, it is important to
ensure that adequate cover to the reinforcement is provided to minimise the temperature
Figure 9.2 Engineered oor joist condition of masonry joist hanger following re test (photo
courtesy of BRE)
133
Fire engineering design of connections
rise of the structural steel and minimum dimensions are maintained in order to reduce the
temperatures on the unexposed face of the connection.
Where at slabs are subject to a re from below, curtailment lengths of reinforcement are
very important. As the re develops, the free bending moment diagram will shift upwards
with an increase in the hogging moment at the supports and a consequent reduction in
the mid-span moment. Therefore the length of steel required for hogging moment
should be increased in proportion to the amount of redistribution likely to occur as a
consequence of the re. This situation is covered by existing guidance on design and
detailing (IStructE 1978).
Work has been undertaken to investigate the potential for premature shear failure of
hollow core slabs where they sit directly on supporting steel beams. Such a failure
mechanism had been observed in a series of standard re tests (Andersen and Lauridsen,
1999). A number of peripheral tying details had been proposed (Van Acker, 2003),
including reinforcing bars in the cast open cores and reinforcement in the longitudinal
joints between units, to prevent such a situation occurring in practice. Initial re tests
were undertaken at BRE Cardington (Lennon, 2003) to demonstrate the effectiveness
of the proposed tying details and to investigate spalling of precast slabs. However,
recent large-scale re tests have demonstrated adequate re resistance with or without
the additional tying details and have demonstrated that standard furnace tests ignore
the benecial aspects of interaction between structural members (Bailey and Lennon,
2008).
Connections in concrete may not only be between structural elements but may also relate
to fastenings used as holding-down bolts, for instance. In re tests, the most common
mode of failure for fasteners is failure of the steel fastener rather than pull out failure
or concrete failure. However, for small embedment lengths or anchors made from
high-strength steel, concrete cone or edge failure cannot be ruled out. Fasteners made
from stainless steel exhibit higher resistance at elevated temperature than similar
fasteners made from normal carbon steel.
Secondary effects such as increased compression due to restrained thermal expansion or
additional moments arising from movement of columns at slab edges have been observed
in large-scale tests (Bailey, 2002) (see Figure 9.3). Although such complex behaviour can
only be properly addressed through advanced numerical techniques, an informed
approach to detailing will mitigate against the most serious effects arising from
secondary actions.
9.4. Steel connections
Although extensive research has been undertaken on the performance of steel (and
composite) connections in re, over a number of years the actual behaviour of connec-
tions is largely ignored and the most common design approach is to simply protect the
connections to the same standard as the connected members. In many cases such a
simplistic approach will be adequate. However, it does not address fundamental
behaviour.
134
Structural Fire Engineering
A series of re tests undertaken in the 1980s (Lawson, 1990) had shown that connections
designed as simply supported at ambient temperature were capable of transferring
moment at the re limit state. The consequent reduction in the mid-span moment of
the connected beam could be used to enhance the capacity of the member in a re
situation.
Connection behaviour in re is a complex process dependent on the utilisation (i.e. load
ratio) and the relative temperature of the connection compared with the connected
members. Information is available in Annex D of BS EN 1993-1-2 on elevated
temperature reduction factors for bolts and welds. These values are summarised in
Table 9.1 and are supported by the results from a number of large-scale tests including
tests on unprotected connections (Wald et al., 2006).
Figure 9.3 Lateral displacement of external columns (photo courtesy of BRE)
135
Fire engineering design of connections
When designing connections it is important to avoid brittle modes of failure such as
bolt fracture or weld failure. Ideally, the dimensions of the various components of the
connection (column ange, end plate, etc.) should ensure a ductile failure mode with
sufcient deformation capacity to provide adequate warning of failure.
Modes of failure observed in laboratory tests include yielding of the end plate, yielding of
the column ange, bolt (thread) stripping, bolt fracture, fracture of the end plate and slab
cracking and pull out of shear studs for composite connections. A common and ductile
mode of failure is illustrated in Figure 9.4.
The behaviour of the connection is very much dependent on the boundary conditions.
The series of large-scale re tests undertaken on the eight-storey steel framed building
at Cardington (Newman et al., 2000) demonstrated behaviour that had not been seen
on tests on isolated connections. This included local buckling of the beams caused by
high compressive forces induced by restraint to thermal expansion from the surrounding
cold structure (Figure 9.5).
Modes of failure observed under the realistic conditions of the large-scale tests include
fracture of end plates (Figure 9.6), shear failure of bolts in beam to beam connections
and the fracture of the beam web (Figure 9.7). The large-scale tests have highlighted
the need to maintain shear capacity in the event of a connection failure and to ensure
that connections have sufcient strength and ductility to accommodate the large defor-
mations typical of a re situation including the generation of large tensile forces in the
cooling phase of the re. Fracture of the end plate as illustrated in Figure 9.6 generally
occurs only on one side of the connection and enables the connection to accept large
movements and to maintain the connection between the beam and column. Clearly
the failure mechanism shown in Figure 9.7 is to be avoided.
Table 9.1 Strength reduction factors for bolts and welds
Temperature: 8C Reduction factor for bolts
(tension and shear)
Reduction factor for welds
20 1.000 1.000
100 0.968 1.000
150 0.952 1.000
200 0.935 1.000
300 0.903 1.000
400 0.775 0.876
500 0.550 0.627
600 0.220 0.378
700 0.100 0.130
800 0.067 0.074
900 0.033 0.018
1000 0.000 0.000
136
Structural Fire Engineering
Figure 9.4 Yielding of partial depth exible end plate: (a) plan; (b) elevation (photos courtesy of
BRE)
(a) (b)
Figure 9.5 Local buckling of beam lower ange (photo courtesy of BRE)
137
Fire engineering design of connections
Figure 9.6 Two examples of fracture of end plate on one side (photos courtesy of BRE)
Figure 9.7 Fracture of beam web (photo courtesy of BRE)
138
Structural Fire Engineering
In recent years, cold formed structural steel has been used to construct light gauge steel
buildings and to produce modular systems particularly suited to mass produced units for
residential or commercial use. As with other forms of construction, compliance with the
requirements of the building regulations in terms of performance in re is generally
assessed with reference to the results from standard re tests on individual structural
elements. Connections between oor and wall panels in light gauge steel structures are
generally formed using self-drill self-tapping screws, rivets or spot welds. The ductility
of such connections may be insufcient to accommodate the large deections which
typify structural behaviour in re. The anticipated performance of the connections in
re should be considered at the design stage.
9.4.1 Simple worked example of connection design at elevated
temperature
Consider the major axis beam to column connection illustrated in Figure 9.8.
In EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005), two methods are presented for bolted or welded joints. The
rst is based on ensuring that the re resistance of the joint is greater than or equal to that
Figure 9.8 Details of major axis beam to column connection
30 30 90
(mm)
b
p
= 150
p
11
= 60
p
12
= 60
p
13
= 60
t
b
= 11.5
w
b
= 7.4
t
p
= 8
t
c
= 31.4
h
b
= 353.0 h
c
= 339.9
b
c

=

3
1
4
.
5
b
b

=

1
7
1
.
5
40
40
20
260
356 171 51UB
356 171 51UB
3
0
5


3
0
5


1
9
8
U
C

6FW all round
Bolts: M20 8.8
Primary beam: S355; Column: S355
Plate: A43 (=S275)
w
c
= 19.1
139
Fire engineering design of connections
of the connected members. In general, this is a conservative method as the temperature of
the connection is generally less than that of the beams. However, it is also necessary to
consider the utilisation of the joint compared with the utilisation of the member. As a
simplication, the utilisation of the joint and the connected member may be related to
the loading and the resistance at ambient temperature.
Alternatively, the resistance of the joint may be assessed according to Annex D of
EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005) whereby the temperature of the components are calculated
and reduction factors used to determine the resistance of the joint.
Consider the connection at location E1 on Figure 9.9.
The values of the actions at the re limit state are given in Table 9.2.
Figure 9.9 Floor layout
A B
C
D E F
4
3
2
1
9000 9000 9000 9000 9000
6
0
0
0
9
0
0
0
6
0
0
0
Table 9.2 Actions at the re limit state
Nature of loading Value: kN/m
2
Composite slab 2.06
Steel sections 0.25
Raised oor 0.4
Services 0.25
Ceiling 0.15
Partitions 1.0
Imposed 2.5
140
Structural Fire Engineering
For ambient design the partition load is classed as imposed, to account for demountable
partitions. For the re limit state the partition load is included in the dead load.
Permanent actions (dead load) (G):
G
k
3.11 kN/m
2
for ambient temperature design
G
k,
4.11 kN/m
2
for the re limit state.
Variable actions (imposed load) (Q):
Q
k
3.5 kN/m
2
(ambient temperature design)
Q
k,
2.5 kN/m
2
(re limit state).
Ambient temperature load factors:

G
1.35,
Q
1.50
load factors for re limit state.
For the re limit state, partial loading factors are not applied to either permanent actions
or variable actions. The combination coefcient for variable actions for ofces

0.50.
Ambient temperature design value of actions:
Design UDL F
Ed
(1.35 3.11) (1.5 3.5) 9.45 kN/m
2
The design moment on the primary beam(Rl)/4 where R is the end reactions from
the secondary beams framing into the primary beam between gridlines E1 and E2.
R(l/2) LF
Ed
3 9 9.45 255.1 kN
and design moment M
Ed
(255.1 6)/4 382.65 kNm.
The design shear force V
Ed
is equal to the end reaction on the primary beamR/2
127.6 kN.
Fire limit state design value of actions:
Design UDL F
E,d
G
k,
(

Q
k,
) 4.11 (0.5 2.5) 5.36 kN/m
2
The design moment on the primary beamM
Ed,
(R

l)/4
where R

is the end reaction from the secondary beams framing into the primary beam
between gridlines E1 and E2.
R

(l/2) LF
Ed,
3 9 5.36 144.72 kN
and M
Ed,
(144.72 6)/4 217.08 kNm
The design shear force V
Ed,
is equal to the end reaction on the primary beamR

/2
72.36 kN.
141
Fire engineering design of connections
Method 1
d
f
=
f

c
5d
f
=
f

m
where (d
f
/
f
)
c
is the relationship between the thickness and the thermal conductivity
of the re protection material for the connection and (d
f
/
f
)
m
is the relationship
between the thickness and the thermal conductivity of the re protection material for
the connected member.
Resistance of connection ambient temperature design
The connection at E1 is designed as simply supported at ambient temperature and it is
acceptable to carry out the utilisation check at ambient temperature. The shear capacity
of the connection is assessed using the method detailed in the SCI/BCSA Green Book
on simple connections (Newman et al., 2000). The shear capacity of the connection based
on the shear capacity of the bolt group, the shear capacity of the end plate, the block
shear capacity and the bearing capacity of the end plate are summarised in Table 9.3.
As the column ange is much thicker than the end plate there is no need to consider
the resistance of the column ange in bearing.
Therefore the utilisation of the connection is (V
Ed
/2)/270 0.236.
This value needs to be compared with the degree of utilisation of the beam connected to
the column.
Resistance of primary beams ambient temperature design
From the ambient temperature design, the moment capacity of the composite beam
M
c,Rd
515 kNm.
Therefore the utilisation of the beam is M
Ed
/M
cRd
0.74.
The utilisation of the beam is greater than the utilisation of the connection, therefore it is
sufcient to ensure that the re protection applied to the connection is at least equivalent
Table 9.3 End plate shear and bearing capacity
Resistance check Formula Resistance:
kN
Green Book
(Newman et al., 2000)
Shear capacity of bolt
group (F
v
4P
s
)
p
s
A
s
(or 0.5k
bs
.e
1
.t
p
.p
bs
)
for top bolt rows
699 93
Plain shear capacity of
end plate (F
v
/24P
v
)
Min (0.6p
y
A
v
, 0.7p
y
.K
e
.A
vnet
) 270 94
Block shear (F
v
/24P
r
) 0.6p
y
.t
p
(L
v
K
e
(L
f
k.D
h
)) 320 94
Bearing (F
v
/24P
bs
) k
bs
.d.t
p
.p
bs
294 94
142
Structural Fire Engineering
to that used for the beam. The selection of the appropriate beam protection thickness
and thermal conductivity can be made following the procedure described in the
chapter dealing with structural steel re design.
Method 2
Annex D of BS EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005) provides a method for determining the tempera-
ture prole within the connection. This can then be used to derive reduction factors
corresponding to the position of the individual components.
The rst step is to calculate the temperature rise of the bottom ange (at mid-span) of the
connected beam. For this example, it is assumed that the required period of re resistance
is 60 minutes and that the applied passive re protection to be used is 20-mm gypsum
board applied to three sides of the beam.
The relevant formula for protected steel members (see Chapter 6) is:

a;t

p
A
p
=V
d
p
c
a

g;t

a;t
1

3
t e

10
1
g;t

a;t
50
and

c
p

p
c
a

a
d
p
A
p
V
where
A
p
/V is the section factor for protected steel member (136 m
1
)
c
a
is the specic heat of the steel (600 J/kgK)
c
p
is the specic heat of the protective material (1700 J/kgK)
d
p
is the thickness of re protection (0.02 m)

a,t
is the temperature of the steel at time t (8C)

g,t
is the temperature of the gas at time t (8C)

g,t
is the increase in gas temperature over the time step t (8C)

p
is the thermal conductivity of the re protection material (0.2 W/mK)

a
is the density of the steel (7850 kg/m
3
)

p
is the density of the protection material (800 kg/m
3
)
0.7854.
For the standard re exposure and the specied protection material, the temperature of
the steel beam is calculated as 4458C. The timetemperature relationship is illustrated in
Figure 9.10.
Note that this is not a particularly efcient design solution. The designer may wish to
consider rationalising the re protection (by using a 15-mm board, for example) to
increase the maximum temperature in the steel beam.
143
Fire engineering design of connections
Here the depth of the beam is less than or equal to 400 mm therefore:

h
0.88
o
[1 0.3(h/D)]
where

h
is the temperature at height h (mm) of the steel beam

o
is the bottom ange temperature of the steel beam at mid-span (4458C)
h is the height of the component being considered above the bottom of the beam (mm)
D is the depth of the beam (355 mm)
The temperature of the critical components is illustrated graphically in Figure 9.11. The
values are summarised in Table 9.4.
The temperatures at each location are used to derive reduction factors for the individual
components either from Table D.1 of BS EN 1993-1-2 (BSI, 2005) or from Table 3.1 of
the code for the end plate and column.
The original checks are then repeated using the reduction factors for elevated tempera-
ture and compared with the reduced load applied at the re limit state. In this case, the
design shear force is reduced according to the re limit state load factors.
The reduction factors for the individual components are summarised in Table 9.5 and the
corresponding resistance checks are summarised in Table 9.6.
Figure 9.10 Temperature of primary beam (356 171UB51)
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Time: min
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
:

C
Atmosphere temperature
Steel temperature
144
Structural Fire Engineering
Note that the symbols used in Table 9.6 are taken from the SCI/BCSA Green Book
(Steel Construction Institute and British Constructional Steelwork Association, 2002).
F
v
is the design shear force, which equals V
Ed,
given in the Eurocode.
The utilisation of the connection at the re limit state is:
(V
Ed,
/2)/270 0.14
Figure 9.11 Temperature distributions through connection
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
250 270 290 310 330 350 370 390 410
Temperature: C
D
i
s
t
a
n
c
e

f
r
o
m

b
o
t
t
o
m

f
l
a
n
g
e

o
f

b
e
a
m
:

m
m
Bottom flange
Bottom edge of end plate
Bottom bolt row
2nd bolt row from bottom
3rd bolt row from bottom
Top bolt row
Top edge of end plate
Table 9.4 Temperature of critical components
Description Distance from bottom ange: mm Temperature: 8C
Bottom ange of steel beam at mid-span 0 445
Bottom ange of the steel beam in the
vicinity of the connection
0 392
Bottom edge of end plate 75 367
Bottom bolt row 115 354
2nd bolt row from bottom 175 334
3rd bolt row from bottom 235 314
Top bolt row 295 294
Top edge of end plate 335 281
145
Fire engineering design of connections
In this example, the connection is utilised less at the re limit state than at ambient
temperature. This is because the reduction in the applied load at the re limit state is
greater than the reduction in material properties of the components of the connection.
It should be noted that for moment connections it is more likely that the utilisation of the
connection would be higher than that of the connected beam and that for unprotected
connections the reduction in the strength of the components of the connection would
be much greater.
REFERENCES
Andersen NE and Lauridsen DH (1999) Danish Institute of Fire Technology, Technical
Report X52650 Part 2. Hollow Core Concrete Slabs. Basismiddel project X52650, April.
Bailey CG (2002) Holistic behaviour of concrete buildings in re, Structures and Buildings.
Proceedings ICE 152(3): 199212.
Bailey CG and Lennon T (2008) Full-scale re tests on hollowcore oors. The Structural
Engineer 86(6): 3339.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2003) BS EN 1995-1-1:2003, Eurocode 5: Design of
timber structures Part 1-1: General common rules and rules for buildings. BSI,
London.
BSI (British Standards Institution (2005) BS EN 1993-1-2:2005, Eurocode 3: Design of
steel structures Part 1-2: General rules structural re design. BSI, London.
BSI (British Standard Institution) (2006) BS EN 1995-1-2:2004, Eurocode 5: Design of
timber structures Part 1-2: General structural re design. BSI, London.
Table 9.5 Reduction factors
Component Reduction factor
End plate (based on bottom temperature) 1.0
Bottom bolt row 0.83
2nd bolt row from bottom 0.885
3rd bolt row from bottom 0.86
Top bolt row 0.933
Table 9.6 Resistance at elevated temperature
Resistance check Formula Resistance: kN
Shear capacity of bolt group (F
v
4P
s
).k
b
p
s
A
s
k
b
(or k
b
0.5k
bs
.e
1
.t
p
.p
bs
)
for top bolt rows
611
Plainshear capacity of endplate (F
v
/24P
v
)k
y
Min (k
y,
0.6p
y
.A
v
, k
y,
0.7p
y
.K
e
.A
vnet
) 270
Block shear (F
v
/24P
r
)k
y
k
y,
0.6p
y
.t
p
(L
v
K
e
(L
t
k.D
h
)) 320
Bearing (F
v
/24P
bs
)k
b
k
b
k
bs
.d.t
p
.p
bs
258
146
Structural Fire Engineering
IStructE (Institution of Structural Engineers) (1978) Design and Detailing of Concrete
Structures for Fire Resistance. Interim guidance by a Joint Committee of the Institution
of Structural Engineers and the Concrete Society. IStructE, London.
Lawson M (1990) Behaviour of steel beam-to-column connections in re. The Structural
Engineer 68(14): 263271.
Lennon T (2003) Precast Hollowcore Slabs in Fire. BRE Information Paper IP 5/03. BRE,
Garston.
Newman GM, Robinson JT and Bailey CG (2000) Fire Safe Design: A New Approach to
Multi-storey Steel-framed Buildings. Steel Construction Institute Publication 288. SCI,
Ascot.
SCI/BCSA (Steel Construction Institute and British Constructional Steelwork Association)
(2002) Joints in Steel Construction Simple Connections. Publication P212. SCI, Ascot.
Van Acker A (2003) Shear resistance of prestressed hollow core oors exposed to re.
Structural Concrete 4(2): 6574.
Wald F, Chaldna M, Moore D, Santiago A and Lennon T (2006) Temperature distribution
in a full-scale steel framed building subject to a natural re. Journal of Steel and Compo-
site Structures 6(2): 159182.
147
Fire engineering design of connections
Chapter 10
Whole building behaviour and
large-scale testing
10.1. Introduction
Whole building behaviour has already been discussed in relation to the performance of
connections in the previous chapter. This chapter presents information on a series of
large-scale re tests undertaken at BREs Large Building Test Facility at Cardington
over a period of approximately ten years from 1993 to 2003. It also attempts to
summarise the lessons learned from the large-scale re tests and identies future
priorities for research and development in this area.
The interaction between structural members in the re situation, the ability of structural
frames to mobilise alternative load carrying mechanisms at the re limit state and the
crucial role of connections in ensuring overall stability during, and immediately
following, a severe re were among the many issues identied through full-scale re
testing. Such issues were brought into sharp focus following the terrorist attacks on
the World Trade Centre and other prominent buildings. For engineers, the complete
collapse of the Twin Towers and the manner in which it happened has led to much
reection on the nature and purpose of the design and regulatory process.
Structural engineering codes and standards are based on engineering principles and the
results of tests on isolated structural elements. The complex interactions between
structural elements and between structural and non-structural elements when connected
to form a complete building cannot be understood from such tests. Simplifying
assumptions are used to model the continuity and restraint present when elements are
connected together. The disproportionate collapse of the Ronan Point residential
tower block in east London in 1968 caused many engineers to question this reliance
on the performance of individual elements and led to the incorporation of robustness
requirements into the UK Building Regulations.
If traditional test methods for evaluating structural performance suffer from a number of
drawbacks then there are even greater problems associated with extrapolating perfor-
mance from tests at elevated temperature. Despite moves in recent years towards
performance-based regulations and performance-based design solutions, there is still a
general reliance on prescriptive methods of demonstrating compliance with the regula-
tory requirements. The structural performance of the buildings involved in the terrorist
attacks on the World Trade Center has focused attention on whole building behaviour
and the performance of buildings subject to severe res. There remains an urgent need
149
Structural Fire Engineering
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
ICE Publishing: All rights reserved
doi: 10.1680/sfe.41417.149
to carry out full-scale tests to improve our understanding of how buildings respond to
extreme events and enable researchers to develop validated analytical tools for the
prediction of structural response to such events as re and explosion. The work
carried out at Cardington has improved our understanding of how buildings respond
to realistic re scenarios. Alternative load-carrying mechanisms and alternative modes
of failure have been identied from those considered as part of the design process.
New design guidance for buildings has been produced as a consequence of the work
carried out at Cardington (Newman et al., 2000).
10.2. Cardington re tests
Structural integrity and stability during and immediately following a re are traditionally
maintained through a reliance on the performance of individual elements (beams,
columns, walls, etc.) subject to idealised loading conditions during a standard re test
(see Chapter 3). A number of large-scale natural re tests have taken place in a facility
purpose built to investigate whole building behaviour. The complex interactions
between structural members within a real building subject to a real re have been inves-
tigated using an eight-storey steel framed building, a seven-storey concrete building and
a ve-story timber framed building. The tests have shown the importance of whole
building behaviour through identication of modes of failure and support mechanisms
that are a function of the building rather than the individual members. The results
from the full-scale tests are presented briey here to encourage a holistic approach to
the subject of structural re engineering.
The need for full-scale testing was identied in a report produced by the Institution of
Civil Engineers in 1986 (ICE, 1987). In response to this demand, BRE, in collaboration
with the UK government and industrial partners, developed the Large Building Test
Facility inside a disused airship hangar at Cardington near Bedford. The philosophy
behind this initiative is discussed in a paper by Armer and Moore (1994), who set out
the principles underpinning the development of the facility and go on to describe the
rst test building to be erected. Although full-scale re tests have formed a major part
of the research undertaken within the facility, tests to investigate vertical and horizontal
load-carrying capacity, dynamic response, resistance to blast loading and the ability to
resist disproportionate collapse have also been carried out. Each of the large buildings
constructed within the hangar are shown in Figures 10.110.3.
10.2.1 Steel framed building
An extensive collaborative programme of re tests has been undertaken within the
eight-storey steel framed building. The research projects were funded by the UK
government, the UK steel industry and the European Coal and Steel Community.
Tests ranged from the use of purpose-built furnaces xed to individual elements,
through to large-scale natural res in realistic compartments with realistic levels of
imposed load and re load. The extent and nature of the re testing undertaken on
the steel building, together with some key results in terms of maximum temperature
and deformation, are described in Table 10.1. Figure 10.4 is from the nal test
undertaken on the steel framed building in 2003.
150
Structural Fire Engineering
Figure 10.1 Steel framed building (photo courtesy of BRE)
Figure 10.2 Concrete framed building (photo courtesy of BRE)
151
Whole building behaviour and large-scale testing
10.2.2 Concrete building
A large-scale re test was carried out on the ground oor of the seven-storey concrete
building (Figure 10.9). The test took place within a compartment measuring
15 m15 m in plan. The purpose of the test was to investigate the response of a
modern concrete building to a large-scale natural re. In particular, the test focused
on the inuence of restraint from the surrounding cold structure and the impact of spal-
ling on the effectiveness of the load-carrying members. Overall stability was maintained
despite signicant deformation of the perimeter columns and signicant spalling to the
underside of the oor slab (see Chapters 5 and 9).
10.2.3 Timber frame building
A number of tests were carried out on the timber frame building at Cardington as part of
the Timber Frame 2000 (TF2000) research project. TF2000 was a collaborative project
between the UK government, BRE, TRADA Technology Ltd and the UK timber
industry, which focused on exploiting the UKs potential to become world leader in
the provision of medium-rise timber frame buildings. The project differed signicantly
from the work described above in that the timber building was designed for residential
accommodation as opposed to the ofce applications for the steel and concrete buildings.
For this reason, life safety and maintenance of tenability conditions was a particular
focus of the programme of work. The most signicant test involved a full-scale
natural re within one apartment on the second oor of the building. The purpose of
the test was to show that a modern timber frame building could meet the requirements
of the regulations in terms of re performance and maintain the integrity of the means of
Figure 10.3 Timber framed building (photo courtesy of BRE)
152
Structural Fire Engineering
Table 10.1 Description of re tests carried out on the steel framed building at Cardington
Test description (and ref.) Comments
Furnace tests on internal and external columns
ground oor, third oor and seventh oor. Tests
took place at different stages in the
construction of the building, i.e. before and
after the concrete oors were cast (Lennon,
1995)
Temperatures limited to 5008C to prevent
plastic deformation. Objective of the work was
to provide information on the levels of restraint
present at various times and at various
locations. Used to provide input to boundary
conditions to be assumed in numerical models
Furnace test of restrained beam on 6th oor of
building (Moore and Lennon, 1997)
Maximum steel temperature 9008C, time to
maximum temperature 170 minutes, maximum
deection 230mm
Furnace test across width of building on 3rd
oor (Moore and Lennon, 1997)
Maximum steel temperature 8008C, time to
maximum temperature 125 minutes, maximum
deection 445mm. Resulted in localised
buckling of 3rd oor columns (Figure 10.5)
Natural re test on 2nd oor of building (Moore
and Lennon, 1997)
Maximum steel temperature 9038C, time to
maximum temperature 114 minutes, maximum
deection 270mm
Natural re test on 1st oor of building (Moore
and Lennon, 1997)
Maximum steel temperature 10208C, time to
maximum temperature 75 minutes, maximum
oor deection 430mm
Natural re test in large compartment on 2nd
oor. Floor area approximately 21 m18m in
plan. Ventilation provided on both sides of
compartment (Moore and Lennon, 1997)
Maximum steel temperature 6918C, time to
maximum temperature 70 minutes, maximum
deection 557mm. Resulted in collapse of
compartment wall (Figure 10.6)
Demonstration re test on 1st oor. Fuel load
provided by ofce furniture including plastics
(Moore and Lennon, 1997)
Maximum steel temperature 10608C, time to
maximum temperature 40 minutes, maximum
deection 610mm (Figure 10.7)
Isolated column tests on ground oor Data used for validation of boundary conditions
for European column furnace test facility
Furnace tests on individual beams to investigate
inuence of thermal expansion of unprotected
beams on the stability of protected columns
(Bailey et al., 1999)
Isolated column tests on ground oor Data used for development of numerical
model
Natural re test to investigate robustness of
steel framed building (Wald et al., 1996)
Maximum steel temperature 10888C, time to
maximum temperature 55 minutes,
maximum deection approximately 1200 mm
(Figure 10.8)
153
Whole building behaviour and large-scale testing
Figure 10.4 Fire test on steel framed building (photo courtesy of BRE)
Figure 10.5 Localised failure of internal column (photo courtesy of BRE)
154
Structural Fire Engineering
Figure 10.6 Failure of compartment wall BRE large compartment re test (photo courtesy of BRE)
Figure 10.7 Deformation of oor slab demonstration re test (photo courtesy of BRE)
155
Whole building behaviour and large-scale testing
escape for re ghters and building occupants. In particular, the effectiveness of
compartmentation between the re at and the adjacent occupancies and common
areas was investigated. The main re-related research projects are described in Table
10.2. The compartment re test is illustrated in Figure 10.10.
Figure 10.8 Deformation of beamand oor slab European robustness test (photo courtesy of BRE)
Figure 10.9 Concrete building re test (photo courtesy of BRE)
156
Structural Fire Engineering
Table 10.2 Description of re-related projects undertaken on timber framed building at
Cardington
Test description (and ref.) Comments
Compartment re test on 2nd oor. Objectives
were to consider re spread outside the roomof
origin and to investigate tenability conditions
for means of escape (Lennon et al., 2000)
Atmosphere temperatures in excess of 10008C
inside compartment. No re spread outside
compartment of origin for duration of test.
Tenability conditions maintained in common
areas
Stair re tests (Lennon et al., 2000) Single protected timber stair capable of
surviving design re scenario and continuing to
function as means of escape
Reinstatement of re damaged timber building Investigation of tools and techniques for
inspection and repair of re-damaged timber
frame buildings
Understanding re risks in combustible cavities Investigate concealed re spread within cavities.
Produced guidance for the industry on the
correct procedures for the installation of re
stopping and cavity barriers. Provided training
for the Fire and Rescue Service on tools and
techniques needed to locate res within
concealed spaces
Figure 10.10 TF2000 compartment re test (photo courtesy of BRE)
157
Whole building behaviour and large-scale testing
10.2.4 Other full-scale tests
The work described above has stimulated interest in the response of complete structures
to re and in the behaviour of fully developed, post-ashover natural res. A number of
tests other than those described above have been carried out on realistic structures
subject to natural res. These include precast concrete ooring units, composite
steelconcrete ooring systems, temporary site accommodation and lightweight steel
residential units. As part of a collaborative European research project called the
Natural Fire Safety Concept, a number of fully developed re tests were carried out in
a purpose built compartment measuring 12 m12 m in plan. The tests investigated
the impact of the parameters that inuence fully developed re behaviour within a
large compartment. A typical test is illustrated in Figure 10.11. Some of the signicant
results from the large-scale tests are summarised in Table 10.3.
Figure 10.11 Natural re safety concept tests to investigate fully developed re behaviour (photo
courtesy of BRE)
Table 10.3 Signicant results from full scale tests
Test description (and ref.) Comments
Hollow core slabs (Lennon,
2003)
Maximum compartment temperature 11308C, time to maximum
temperature 21 minutes, maximum oor deection 115mm
Steel frame housing Maximum compartment temperature 11198C, time to maximum
temperature 31 minutes
Natural re safety concept
(Lennon and Moore, 2003)
Series of eight full-scale tests. Maximum compartment
temperature of 12278C. Work was used in the development and
validation of EN 1991-1-2
158
Structural Fire Engineering
10.3. Discussion
The large-scale re tests undertaken by BRE and others in recent years has done much
to improve our understanding of the complex interaction between structural elements at
the re limit state and to stimulate interest in the subject of structural re engineering.
Initially, the early re tests were designed to provide validation for numerical models
attempting to predict the response of individual structural elements to a re situation.
As our understanding of the interaction between structural elements at elevated
temperature improved, the test scenarios became more complex. The tests have identied
alternative load-carrying mechanisms. The identication of tensile membrane action in
thin slabs at large deections has enabled new design guidance to be issued based on
the observed behaviour. Indications from the re test on the concrete building are that
compressive membrane action may have played a signicant role in supporting the
applied load during and immediately after the re. The full-scale re tests have also
identied modes of failure (such as connection failure on cooling) which are a function
of the structure rather than the individual elements.
Great advances in the understanding of whole building behaviour have been achieved
in the UK over the last 15 years through the programme of large-scale testing under-
taken at BREs Large Building Test Facility at Cardington. It is essential that this
work is continued. The terrorist threat does not apply to individual beams, columns,
slabs or walls but to complex buildings where the interaction between re protection,
detection and suppression systems impact on the structural response of the building
and, ultimately, on global structural stability. The new generation of performance-
based codes for re engineering design provide an opportunity for a more rational
approach to the subject. However, it is important to ensure that their use does not
result in a reduction in overall levels of safety in order to achieve economies in the
construction process.
Fortunately the closure of Cardington in 2003 as a large-scale test facility did not mean
the end of large-scale re tests. Recent large-scale tests on hollow core slabs (Bailey and
Lennon, 2008) and structural insulated panel systems (Lennon and Hopkin, 2010) have
been undertaken by BRE at a test location in the north of England.
REFERENCES
Armer GST and Moore DB (1994) Full-scale testing on complete multistorey structures.
The Structural Engineer 72(2): 3031.
Bailey CG and Lennon T (2008) Full-scale re tests on hollowcore oors. The Structural
Engineer 86: 3339.
Bailey CG, Moore DB and Lennon T (1999) The structural behaviour of steel columns
during a compartment re in a multi-storey braced steel frame. Journal of Constructional
Steel Research 52: 137157.
ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) (1987) Report of the ICE Research Sub-committee,
Construction Research and Development, London.
Lennon T (1995) Fire engineering portable furnaces. New Steel Construction 3(1): 2124.
Lennon T (2003) Precast Hollowcore Slabs in Fire. BRE Information Paper IP 5/03. BRE,
Garston.
159
Whole building behaviour and large-scale testing
Lennon T and Moore DB (2003) The natural re safety concept full-scale tests at
Cardington. Fire Safety Journal 38: 623643.
Lennon T and Hopkin D (2010) Fire Performance of Structural Insulated Panel Systems.
BRE Information Paper IP 21/10. IHS BRE, Garston.
Lennon T, Bullock MJ and Enjily V (2000) The re resistance of medium-rise timber frame
buildings. Proceedings of the World Conference on Timber Engineering (WCTE), Univer-
sity of British Columbia, Whistler, Canada.
Moore DB and Lennon T (1997) Fire engineering design of steel structures. Progress in
Structural Engineering and Materials 1(1): 410.
Newman GM, Robinson JT and Bailey CG (2000) Fire Safe Design, A New Approach to
Multi-storey Steel Framed Buildings. SCI P-288. Steel Construction Institute, Ascot.
Wald F, Simoes da Silva L, Moore DB, Lennon T, Chaldna M, Santiago A, Benes M and
Borges L (1996) Experimental behaviour of a steel structure under natural re. Fire
Safety Journal 41: 509522.
160
Structural Fire Engineering
Chapter 11
Current and future issues
11.1. Modern methods of construction
11.1.1 Introduction
The term modern methods of construction (MMC) is used to describe the systems and
products developed to meet the particular challenges faced by the construction industry
as it entered and moved forward into the new millennium. The term itself is somewhat
nebulous as it is often used to describe systems of construction that have been used
for many years and covers forms of construction and products that have nothing in
common with each other except for this cover-all description.
The systems, products and processes covered by the general term MMC are simply an
industry response to a number of commercial drivers relating to cost, environmental
impact, regulatory change and societal and cultural change. Specically they are a
means of addressing a housing shortage, a shortage of skilled labour and the need to
reduce waste, conserve energy and reduce emissions harmful to the planet.
There will be very few buildings erected over the last ten years or under construction (or
even refurbishment) that do not incorporate some form of innovative MMC. The
development of many of these systems, products and techniques has been in response
to increasing demand for improved thermal and acoustic performance. There is little
evidence that performance in re has been considered explicitly, other than nding the
means to meet the minimum regulatory requirement for life safety purposes. In
general, this would involve the product meeting the requirements in terms of reaction
to re properties and the structural elements meeting the requirements in terms of re
resistance as set out in the guidance contained in Approved Document B (AD-B).
In general, the guidance contained in AD-B relates to product performance rather than
system performance. Traditional forms of construction, such as brick and block, were
not as sensitive to system behaviour. There is recognition, even for traditional forms
of construction, that current assessment methods do not necessarily address relevant
modes of failure (Newman et al., 2000). There are a number of specic issues of
particular relevance to modern forms of construction and these are considered below.
11.1.2 Use of thermal insulation
Many of the construction systems associated with MMC and off-site manufacture such
as light steel frame, light timber frame, structural insulated panel systems (SIPSs) and
161
Structural Fire Engineering
ISBN 978-0-7277-4141-7
ICE Publishing: All rights reserved
doi: 10.1680/sfe.41417.161
insulated concrete formwork (ICF) are characterised by their use of thermal insulation
materials such as polyurethane (PUR), polystyrene (EPS or XPS), and polyisocyanurate
(PIR). Examples of such systems are shown in Figures 11.111.4. These materials have
excellent insulation properties and often contribute to improved acoustic performance.
However, they are combustible materials and, in the event of exposure to a sustained
ignition source will either ignite, char or melt. In terms of re performance, this has a
number of implications. First, it increases the amount of combustible material within
the building and therefore could act as an additional re load. Second, it may result in
large quantities of noxious black smoke that could seriously impede the ability of
occupants to exit safely in the event of a re. One nal aspect which is often overlooked
is the potential for unseen re spread to occur where the insulation is continuous through
compartment boundaries, such as at oor level or between adjacent occupancies. Where
cavities are present such as between rain-screen masonry cladding and the structural
frame, it is normal practice to install re stopping in the form of cavity barriers along
the lines of compartmentation to prevent or delay the passage of re, smoke and hot
gases between different re compartments. However, in many cases there will be no
re stopping present in the thermal insulation at this level as, until a re occurs, there
is no cavity. However, melting material may create unstopped voids during the early
stages of a fully developed re, providing a potential passage for smoke, re and hot
gases to circumvent the re stopping. This issue can be addressed by suitable detailing
but would not be identied in single-element re tests of the kind universally adopted
to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations. A
recent study commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government
(CLG, 2008) identied a number of incidents where re had spread through unstopped
Figure 11.1 Light steel frame construction (photo courtesy of BRE)
162
Structural Fire Engineering
Figure 11.2 Dwelling under construction using structural insulated panels (photo courtesy of BRE)
Figure 11.3 Building under construction with light timber frame (incorporating engineered oor
joists) (photo courtesy of BRE)
163
Current and future issues
voids and cavities leading to substantial damage disproportionate to what would be
expected from the initial ignition source.
The thermal inertia of a re compartment, dened as the product of the thermal con-
ductivity, density and specic heat of the boundary enclosure, has a signicant inuence
on re development both in the pre- and post-ashover phases. In general, an increase in
the insulation properties of the compartment boundaries (in particular, the innermost
layer of the walls and ceiling) will reduce the thermal inertia (b
p
(c)) and lead to
an increase in the maximum temperature and faster re growth rates. The effect in
terms of peak temperature for a xed re load and ventilation condition is illustrated
in Table 11.1, which is based on the parametric approach set out in the re part of
Eurocode 1 (BSI, 2002).
Figure 11.4 Dwelling constructed using insulated concrete formwork (ICF) (photo courtesy of
Insulating Concrete Formwork Association)
Table 11.1 Impact of thermal inertia on peak temperature
b (
p
(c): J/m
2
s
1/2
K 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500
Max. temperature: 8C 1122 1083 1052 1027 1007 994 979 968 960
164
Structural Fire Engineering
11.1.3 Fire spread in cavities
As mentioned above, re spread may occur in cavities formed during the re through
melting of thermal insulation materials. It may also occur in cavities present before
the re starts. A number of lightweight systems require ventilated and drained cavities
between the structural frame and the rain-screen cladding. For systems such as timber
frame or SIPS, the material immediately behind the cladding is combustible. This
represents a particular risk should the initial re source be external rather than an
internal re within the compartment.
The statutory guidance for England and Wales (CLG, 2007) recognises the specic risk
associated with res in cavities:
Concealed spaces or cavities in the construction of a building provide a ready route for
smoke and ame spread . . . As any spread is concealed, it presents a greater danger than
would a more obvious weakness in the fabric of the building.
With regard to the external wall construction, AD-B states that:
The external envelope of a building should not provide a medium for re spread if it is
likely to be a risk to health and safety. The use of combustible materials in the cladding
system may present such a risk in tall buildings.
The issue of combustible material immediately behind the cladding system is not
specically covered by this requirement. A typical detail for a timber frame building is
shown in Figure 11.5.
Figure 11.5 Timber frame detail showing location of ventilated cavity and (combustible) sheathing
Internal lining
Vapour control layer
Insulation
Timber stud
Sheathing to stud framework
Breather membrane
Cladding
Ventilated cavity
165
Current and future issues
The cavity barriers located between the sheathing and the brickwork will certainly limit
the spread of smoke or ame should the re start within the room. The statutory
guidance calls for cavity barriers to have a minimum of 30-minutes re resistance but
there is no specic guidance on how this 30 minutes should be assessed. Cavity barriers
are often tested as penetration seals in ad-hoc re resistance testing in accordance with
the criteria and procedures of BS 476-Part 20:1987 (BSI, 1987) generally using non-
combustible cover slabs between the barrier. Such a test does not adequately represent
the orientation or xity present in vertical cavities, nor is the standard re exposure a
representative re scenario for a re originating in the cavity or spreading into the
cavity though a smouldering seat of combustion within the building.
Research undertaken as part of the Timber Frame 2000 project at BREs Cardington
large-scale test facility investigated the issue of re spread in combustible cavities
where the initial re source was within the cavity (Chiltern International Fire, 2011).
This could occur either through hot working on the external face of the building, an
arson event on the external (ventilated) wall or through a hidden seat of smouldering
combustion following an internal re. The research looked at the performance of a
range of different cavity barriers (mineral wool bags, solid timber, intumescent barriers)
subject to a realistic re source within the cavity itself. The research reached the following
conclusions.
g Cavity barriers are often installed incorrectly with large gaps between adjacent
barriers and between vertical and horizontal barriers. In some cases, cavity barriers
stapled to the timber frame are removed during construction of the external
masonry cladding (Figure 11.6).
Figure 11.6 Remains of a cavity barrier removed during the construction phase
166
Structural Fire Engineering
g A small ignition source can lead to extensive re spread in combustible cavities.
Fire development may take place some hours after the initial ignition, following a
prolonged period of smouldering.
g Fires in cavities cause specic difculties to the Fire and Rescue Service as it is
difcult to identify the seat of combustion and difcult to gain access to instigate
suppression. Thermal imaging cameras are an important tool in such instances.
g Current methods of test and assessment for cavity barriers do not take account of
a re within the cavity.
There is a need for a test and assessment methodology for cavity barriers that takes into
account a realistic re scenario within the cavity.
Tests have shown that where cavity barriers are designed and installed correctly they will
act as a barrier to the unseen spread of re and smoke, as required by the regulations.
11.1.4 System performance
Many modern forms of construction maximise off-site manufacturing processes to
provide modular systems which may be volumetric (complete volumes delivered to
site) or panellised (walls and oors supplied as complete units). Such systems have the
advantage of reducing the amount of time spent on site and also increasing quality
control.
The method of test and assessment for modular and panellised forms of construction in
re is still based on the concept of individual structural elements. Such a methodology
takes no account of the interaction between structural elements and, in particular,
does not take into account any failure mode that is a function of the connections
between the structural elements. Structural response to re, regardless of the framing
material, is characterised by large deection behaviour. For lightweight framing
systems, such as thin gauge cold formed steelwork, deections at the re limit state
will be very large and will lead to the development of signicant forces and rotations
in the connections. For oor systems, if the connections cannot accommodate this
level of deformation then there is a signicant risk of collapse.
For forms of construction where there is no existing database of test results or real re
incidents on which to draw conclusions and behaviour in re is determined by the perfor-
mance of the system rather than individual structural elements then alternative methods
of test and assessment should be considered. A number of options are available ranging
from large-scale demonstration tests to standards designed to demonstrate a level of
performance over and above that required by the Building Regulations (BRE Global,
2010). An example of such a test scenario is shown in Figure 11.7.
11.2. Fires during construction
11.2.1 Introduction
Over recent years a number of high-prole res on construction sites have occurred. In
particular, res on timber frame residential developments have recently received a lot of
adverse publicity. The incidents have led to a review of existing guidance in this area and,
167
Current and future issues
where required, the development of new guidance. The purpose of this section is to
consider the potential risks from res in construction sites through a review of a
recent high prole incident. In particular, the discussion will be concerned with large
res in partially completed timber frame buildings and will highlight some of the
issues arising from these incidents.
Clearly, res on construction sites are not limited to timber frame buildings and issues
concerning unprotected steelwork or inadequately cured concrete should also be taken
into account.
11.2.2 Beaufort Park, Colindale, North London
A re took place on 12 July 2006 in a large residential development consisting of a
number of blocks with the ground oor built in concrete and the remaining oors
constructed from timber frame. The re occurred during the construction phase with
Figure 11.7 Fire test to assess system performance (photo courtesy of BRE)
168
Structural Fire Engineering
the buildings involved in various stages of completion. The upper storeys were of
platform timber frame construction consisting of wall panels and cassette oors. The
oor cassettes used engineered oor joists consisting of parallel chord members joined
by a metal web to provide lightweight long-span oor systems with provision for services
through the open web. The external cladding was a mixture of solid blocks to rst-oor
level and then a mixture of masonry rain-screen cladding and render xed to a cement
particle board on the oors above. The re affected four separate blocks within the
development (B2B5). The re started on the lower oors of block B4. Blocks 3, 4
and 5 consisted only of the timber frame and the lower-storey masonry/concrete
structure. There were no internal or external protective linings in place and no cavity
barriers or re stopping present at this stage of the construction.
Fire development was extremely rapid and blocks 3, 4 and 5 were completely engulfed in
re and all the timber was consumed within a very short period of time. The resulting re
was very intense (Figure 11.8) and the radiated heat was sufcient to ignite the roofs of
the adjacent student accommodation outside the site boundary. Blocks 35 were effec-
tively the same structure. The re spread to block B2 and then subsequently to block
B1. At the time of the re, block B2 was largely complete but was still awaiting nal
xing and sealing of the compartment. Block B1 was complete and ready for handover
and occupation. Figure 11.9 shows the aftermath of the re in blocks 3, 4 and 5 with only
the concrete and masonry ground to rst oor remaining and the distorted scaffolding
which has bowed in towards the re.
Figure 11.8 Fully developed re (photo courtesy of London Fire Brigade)
169
Current and future issues
11.2.3 Published guidance
The incident described above, together with a number of other similar incidents, led to a
review of the available guidance for res in construction sites, with a particular emphasis
on large timber framed residential developments. Although re safety of completed
buildings is a Building Regulations issue covered by the guidance in Approved Docu-
ment B and subject to the requirements of the Regulatory Reform Order (RRO),
construction site re safety comes under the auspices of the Health and Safety Executive.
The principal guidance document in this respect is HSG 168 (HSE, 1997a), Fire Safety in
Construction Work. At the time of writing this document had recently been revised and
updated. The document is concerned largely with management and general house-
keeping records. It includes a owchart to identify the appropriate enforcing agency
for particular circumstances and a series of checklists covering the main responsibilities
of the key players clients, designers, principal contractors, other contractors and
planning supervisors. A shorter HSE information sheet (HSE, 1997b) is also available.
The other principal guidance document covering this area is Fire Prevention on Construc-
tion Sites (Construction Confederation and Fire Protection Association, 2009) (often
referred to as the Joint Code of Practice) published by the Construction Confederation
and the Fire Protection Association (FPA). This document has been substantially
updated in the light of recent events and includes a separate annex covering the construc-
tion of large timber framed buildings. A revised (seventh) edition was published in May
2009. The FPA has also produced a checklist (FPA, 1994) to be used alongside the Joint
Code of Practice.
Figure 11.9 Blocks 3, 4 and 5 the following day (photo courtesy of BRE)
170
Structural Fire Engineering
As a direct response to recent large-scale res on timber framed construction sites, the
UK Timber Frame Association in association with Wood for Good have produced
best practice guidance in, Fire Safety on Timber Frame Construction Sites (2008) and
16 Steps to Fire Safety (2007).
11.2.4 Issues arising
In part, the frequency and extent of the damage associated with incidents, such as
described above, are a function of the success of the timber frame industry. According
to information published by the UK Timber Frame Association, timber frame now
accounts for over a quarter of the housing market for the UK and over three-quarters
of the market in Scotland. Clearly, with a larger market share there will be more incidents
involving timber frame buildings. However, there are certain specic characteristics of
timber frame construction that make it particularly vulnerable to re damage during
the construction phase. The majority of timber frame projects, particularly medium-
rise buildings, are constructed using open panel platform frame construction where
the timber structural frame is built oor by oor with the preceding oor forming the
platform for subsequent construction. This technique produces fast construction
times and minimises the amount of time following trades have to be on site. However,
such a system means that the internal linings and associated insulation are not generally
installed until the structural frame is complete. At this stage, the frame is particularly
vulnerable to damage by re. The studs and oor joists used in modern UK timber
frame construction are generally formed from small section timber with typical stud
sizes for external wall frames of 89 mm38 mm. Such small section timber has negligible
re resistance based on standard charring rates. It would appear from the available
information that a number of recent construction site res have been as a result of
arson. Under such circumstances a relatively small ignition source can lead to very
rapid re spread and signicant damage. The incidents above, and a large number of
similar incidents over recent years, have highlighted a number of issues related to res
during construction particularly where the structural frame is combustible. These
issues include
g Site management practices. Issues such as security on site, storage of ammable
materials, enforcement of no smoking policy and control of hot working are
covered in the guidance listed above.
g Damage to adjacent properties. Separation distances and maximum allowable
unprotected areas for facades are included in the guidance to the Building Regula-
tions for completed buildings to prevent re spread to adjacent properties. For
large developments in urban areas, where the structural frame is combustible,
consideration should be given to the likely effect of a re during the construction
stage before any form of re protection or cladding is present.
g Partial occupation of incomplete buildings. Where partial occupation of incomplete
buildings takes place, the area under occupation should be fully compliant with the
requirements of the Building Regulations and subject to the requirements of the
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order with respect to the re risk assessment
process. The remaining parts of the building remain under the jurisdiction of
the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It is important that communication is
171
Current and future issues
maintained between the bodies responsible for ensuring that the different parts of
the building are compliant with the relevant legislation. Guidance on roles and
responsibilities in this instance has been produced by the HSE (2006).
g Consideration should be given to either pre-fabrication where wall/oor panels can
be delivered to site with the re protection already installed or installation of the
internal linings as work proceeds.
REFERENCES
BRE Global (2010) Fire Test and Performance Requirements for Innovative Methods of
Building Construction, Loss Prevention Standard LPS 1501 Issue 1.0. BRE Global,
Watford.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (1987) BS 476-20:1987. Fire tests on building materials
and structures Part 20: Method for determination of the re resistance of elements of
construction (general principles). BSI, London.
BSI (British Standards Institution) (2002) BS EN 1991-1-2:2002, Eurocode 1: Actions on
structures Part 1-2: General actions actions on structures exposed to re. BSI,
London.
Chiltern International Fire (2011) http://www.chilternre.co.uk/ (accessesd 25/01/2011).
Construction Confederation and Fire Protection Association (2009) Fire Prevention on
Construction Sites, The Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construction
Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovation, 7th edn. Construction Industry Publications,
Moreton in the Marsh.
CLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) (2007) Approved Document
B Buildings other than dwellinghouses. The Building Regulations 2000. CLG, London.
CLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) (2008) Innovative Construction
Products and Techniques. BD 2503. (See http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/
planningandbuilding/innovativeconstruction (accessed 25 January 2011).
FPA (Fire Protection Association) (1994) Construction Site Fire Prevention Check List.
Fire Protection Association, Moreton-in-Marsh.
HSE (Health and Safety Executive) (1997a) Fire Safety in Construction Work. HSG 168.
HMSO, London.
HSE (Health and Safety Executive) (1997b) Construction Fire Safety. Construction Informa-
tion Sheet 51. HMSO, London.
HSE (Health and Safety Executive) (2006) Fire Precautions and Liaison between HSE/LA
Inspectors and Fire and Rescue Authorities. Health and Safety Executive Operational
Circular OC 217/06. See http://www.hse.gov.uk (accessed 25 January 2011).
Newman GM, Robinson JT and Bailey CG (2000) Fire Safe Design: A New Approach to
Multi-storey Steel-framed Buildings. SCI Publication P288. SCI, Ascot.
UKTFA and Wood for Good (2007) 16 Steps to Fire Safety on Timber Frame Construction
Sites. UKTFA Guidelines and Recommendations. See http://www.prestoplan.co.uk/
Downloads/UKTFA%20Fire%20Safety.pdf (accessed 25 January 2011).
UKTFA and Wood for Good (2008) July. See http://www.uktfa.com/#/timber-frame-re-
and-safety/4538893010 (accessed 25 January 2011).
172
Structural Fire Engineering
Acknowledgements
I have been very fortunate in my career to date to work for an
organisation for which I have the utmost respect and alongside a
number of gifted and inspirational colleagues. Whilst it is
difcult to single out individuals, I would particularly like to
thank Dr David Moore, formerly of BRE and currently with the
British Constructional Steelwork Association, for providing the
support and advice required to develop my career and for having
the condence to allow me to set re to some very expensive
buildings.
ix
This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
INDEX
Locators in italics refer to illustrations separate from the corresponding text.
Index Terms Links
#
16 Steps to Fire Safety (2007) 171
300C isotherm methods 120 121
500C isotherm methods 8588
A
adhesives 120
adjacent property damage 171
aggregates 80 89 105106
108
alloys 128 129
aluminium structures 119 128 129
ambient temperature
composite steel 109110
concrete 78 80 83
87 109110
steel connections 135 141 142143
146
steel structures 98
structural steel 61
ancillary products 67
assessment procedures 1537
external wall constructions 3235
fire resistance 2532
reaction to fire 1525
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
assessment procedures (Cont.)
regulatory requirements 13
see also Cardington fire tests
Association for Specialist Fire Protection 62
axis bending moment 87
axis distances 7778 79 83
85
B
beams
Cardington fire tests 150 156
loadbearing capacity 28
lower flanges 136 137
steel connections 142143
steel structures 9697
web fractures 136 138
bearing capacities 142
see also loadbearing capacities
Beaufort Park (Colindale, North London) 168169 170
bending moment 87 99 134
bending strength 123
bolts 135 136 139140
bottom wall panel restraint 128 129
boundary conditions 128 129
boxed protection 99100
braced columns 8182 8485
BRE see Cardington fire tests
BS 476 1619 20 2730
31
BS 5950 6869 9497
BS8110 69 7680 82
BS 8414 3335
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
BS EN 1991-1-2 5354 5556
BS EN 1992-1-2 75 76 77
8288
BS EN 1993-1-2 97101
BSENISO 11925-2 25
buckling 136 137
building behaviour 149160
building regulations 810 11 12
burner zones 24
burning see combustion
C
calcareous aggregates 80
carbon steel 94
Cardington fire tests 150159
cavity fire spreads 166
concrete structures 8088 89 91
156157
other test procedures 157159
steel framed buildings 150 151 152153
152 154156
steel structures 101102
timber frame buildings 157 158
cavity fire spreads 165167
ceiling linings 1718
CFD (computational fluid dynamics) 46
charring 66 119 120121
123125
circular cross-sections 62
cladding systems 3335
coefficients of heat transfer 100
cold formed structural steel 139
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
collapse resistance 25
columns
Cardington fire tests 150 154
concrete structures 8486 89 90
design processes 64
load effects 72
loadbearing capacity 28 30
steel connections 139
structural steel 63
combustible building materials 1617
combustible sheathing 165
combustion 41 4649 51
compartment fire tests 150 155 157
158
compartment time-temperature responses 4056 57
composite cladding panels 22
composite steel 105118
available options 105118
design processes 6366
tabulated data 108 109111 112
composite systems 120121
compression members 120
compression reinforcement 8586
compressive strength 15 16 123
computational fluid dynamics (CFD) 46
concrete
available options 105118
connections 133134 135
design processes 6366
heat transfer 5860
tabulated data 108 109111 112

Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
concrete structures 7592
available options 7576
Cardington fire tests 150 151 156157
simplified calculation methods 76 8588
spalling 8892
worked example 8088
connections 131147
concrete 133134 135
steel 134146
timber 131133
worked example 139146
construction fires 167172
construction materials see concrete; steel
cooling phases 41 42 42
5556 57
corner spalling 89
cover distances 7778 79
critical components 144 145 145
critical temperature 6162 99 111117
cross-sections
composite steel 114
concrete 8586 114
steel structures 9798
structural steel 6162
timber structures 122123
D
dead loads 71 141
decay fire phases 41 42 42
decking coefficients 6366
deformations 150 155 156
demonstration fire tests 150 155
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
design fire 4056 42 4346
57
design loads 109110
design temperature 9697 98
differential thermal gradients 128 129
dwellings 161162 163 164
E
ECB (European Concrete Building) project 8088
ECCS (European Convention for
Constructional Steelwork) 49 6061
effective cross-section methods 122123
effective yield stresses 116117
elastic moduli 86
elevated temperature
composite steel 115
concrete 76 115
steel connections 135 136 139146
steel structures 94 98 102
structural steel 60
timber structures 120 121
empirical relationships 6162
EN 1991-1-2 5354 5556
EN 1992-1-2 75 76 77
8288
EN 1993-1-2 97101
end plates 136 137 138
142
end restraint 128 129
energy release 4641


Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
Eurocodes
composite steel 111112
concrete 7677 8485 91
92 111112
design fire 45 5051
heat transfer 57 58
masonry design 6667 68
structural steal 63 64
timber connections 132
timber design 6667 68
timber structures 120121 122123
Europe
fire resistance tests 3132
reaction to fire tests 1925 26
robustness tests 150 156
European Concrete Building (ECB) project 8088
European Convention for Constructional
Steelwork (ECCS) 49 6061
European standards
concrete structures 7680 91
steel structures 9596
structural steel 6061
Excel method see spreadsheet-based methods
excessive heat transfer resistance 26
explosive spalling 89 91 92
exposed insulated column sections 63 64
external cladding systems 3335
external fire curves 45 46
external surface provision 10 12
external wall constructions 3235

Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
F
fasteners 134
fire growth rate indices (FIGRAs) 22 23
fire limit states
concrete structures 80
design processes 6872
partial safety factors 6971
steel connections 140 141 145
146
steel structures 98 99 102
timber structures 122123
Fire Offices Committee 8
Fire Prevention on Construction Sites (2009) 170
Fire Safety in Construction Work (1997) 170
Fire Safety Order 10 1314
Fire Safety on Timber Frame Construction
Sites (2008) 171
flashover fire phases 41 42 42
flexible end plates 136 137
floor joists 132133
floors
Cardington fire tests 150 155 156
insulation 2930
integrity 29
loadbearing capacity 28 29
modern methods of construction 167
steel connections 139 140
timber structures 120121
four-sided wall panel restraint 128 129
fuel 4749 54
full lateral restraint 97101
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
full-scale testing see large-scale testing
fully developed fire phases 41 42 42
fully exposed insulated column sections 63 64
fundamental design fire approaches 4656 57
furnaces
fire resistance tests 28 29 30
3132 31
natural fire models 4849
nominal fire curves 44
G
gas temperature 58 100
generic material/product performance ratings 13 1819 20
glued laminate members 120
gravel aggregate 105106 108
growth fire phases 41 42 42
guidance documents 13 170171
H
Harmathy, TZ 50
heat damaged zones 85
heat evolution 1617
heat release 23 4647
heat release rate (HRR) 23
heat transfer 26 5668 64
100 101
heating phases 123125
high-profile tunnel fires 4546
high-strength concrete (HSC) 82 86 89
90 91 92
hollow core slabs 89 90 134
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
hollow masonry blocks 67
HRR (heat release rate) 23
hydrocarbon fire exposure 45 46
I
ICFs (insulated concrete frameworks) 161162 164
imperforated wall panels 126 127
imposed loads 6970 71 141
incomplete building partial occupation 171172
insulated column sections 63 64
insulated concrete frameworks (ICFs) 161162 164
insulation
concrete structures 85 86
fire resistance tests 2930
masonry design 67
masonry structures 127128
modern methods of construction 161165
steel structures 101
timber design 67
integrity (resistance tests) 29
internal columns 150 154
internal fire spread 25
internal linings see linings
Ireland 10
isotherm methods 8588 120 121
J
Joint Committee of the Building Research
Board 8
joints see connections

Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
L
laminate members 120
Large Building Test Facility 150 151 152153
152 154156
concrete structures 8088
steel structures 101102
large-scale cladding systems 33 34
large-scale testing 149160 166
lateral restraint 97101
Law, M 4748 49
legislation 714
building regulations 810 11 12
Fire Safety Order 10 1314
historical background 78
light gauge steel structures 139
light steel frame construction 161162
light timber frame construction 161162 163
lightweight aggregate 105106 108
lightweight framing systems 167
limiting temperature methods 7172 9597
see also critical temperature
linearly decreasing cooling phases 55
linings
assessments/tests 10 15 1718
classification 10
concrete structures 91 92
surface spreads 1718
thermal properties 53
loadbearing capacities 28 29 86
loadbearing wall panels 128
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
loads 6872 78 80
99
composite steel 109110 115
concrete 109110 115
degrees of utilisation 7172 80 99
design fire 45
natural fire models 50
partial safety factors 6971
prescriptive design 78 80
steel structures 102
local buckling 136 137
localised failure 132 150 154
Lytag aggregate 105106 108
M
major axis beams 139
major axis bending moment 87
management practices 171
masonry 6668 119 125128
129 133134
mass transfers 58
mechanical reinforcement ratios 85
Milke (National Fire Protection Association) 6162
minor axis bending moment 87
modern methods of construction (MMC) 161167 168
cavity fire spreads 165167
system performance 167 168
thermal insulation 161165
modes of failure 136 137 138
modification factors 123
modular construction 167
moisture migration 58
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
moment
capacity methods 9596
concrete structures 8788
steel structures 9596 98 99
N
National Annexes 5156 57 78
83
National Fire Protection Association 6162
national standards
concrete structures 7680 91
steel structures 9596
structural steel 6061
natural fire models 4656 57
design fire 41
heat transfer 5657
time equivalence 4854
Natural Fire Safety Concept 157158
NCCI (non-contradictory complementary
information) 52 53 55
56
net heat flux 100
nominal fire curves 41 42 4346
nominal standard mixes 59
non-contradictory complementary information
(NCCI) 52 53 55
56
non-flat products 25
non-reactive fire protection systems 63
non-sway frames 72
normal aggregate 105106 108
normal weight concrete 59 63 64
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
normalised heat loads 50
numerical indices 1617
O
occupancy classes 10 15
off-site manufacture see modern methods of
construction
P
panellised construction 167
parametric design fire approaches 5456 57
parametric fires 123125
partial depth flexible end plates 136 137
partial factors
composite steel 110
concrete 80 110
steel structures 98
partial safety factors 6971
partition loads 141
passive fire protection 101 117118
penetration resistance 26
performance ratings 13 1819 20
petrol tankers 4546
Pettersson, O 49
plate thermometers 32
polypropylene fibres 89 90 91
92
post-flashover fire models see natural fire
models; nominal fire curves
pre-flashover fire phases 41 42 42
prefix usage 19 20
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
premature shear failure 134
prescriptive concrete structure design 78 80
primary beam resistance 142143
profile protection 99100
profiled sheeting 106 108
propagation for products 1617
protection
composite beams 111118
design fire 45
steel members 143
steel structures 99100 101
structural steel 63
Public Health Act (1936) 7
purpose classes 10 15
R
RABT curves 46
radiant panels 1718
radiative heat flux 100
re-entrant profiles 105106 108 109
reaction to fire tests 1525 26
reactive fire protection products 45
rectangular cross-sections 62
rectangular stress blocks 8788
reduced properties methods 122123
reduction factors 7071
bolts/welds 136
concrete structures 15 16
steel connections 144 146
steel structures 94 98
structural steel 60
timber structures 120 121
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
regulatory requirements 714
building regulations 810 11 12
Fire Safety Order 10 1314
historical background 78
reinforcement 78 8586 87
89 133134
reinforcing bars 6366
rib geometry factor design 65
risk-based approaches 9192
robustness tests 150 156
Royal Commission 7
RWS curves 4546
S
safety risk assessments 13
SBI (single burning item) tests 2124
SCI (Steel Construction Institute) 108 111 112
section factors 99100
shadow effect 62 116
shear failure 134
shear forces 142
shear interactions 114115
sheathing 165
SHSs (structural hollow sections) 110111 112
siliceous aggregates 80
simplified methods
composite steel 108 109
concrete 76 8588 108
109
timber structures 121125
simply supported beams 97101 113
simply supported concrete connections 135
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
single burning item (SBI) tests 2124
single-flame source tests 21 25 26
site management practices 171
slenderness 87
slow heating curves 45
smoke exhaust systems 2124
smoke growth rates (SMOGRAs) 22 2324
smoke production rates (SPRs) 2324
soffit 89 90
spalling 8892
sprayed-applied passive fire protection 117118
spreadsheet-based methods
composite steel 116118
concrete 116118
steel structures 100101
structural steel 6263
SPRs (smoke production rates) 2324
standard fire curves see nominal fire curves
standard fire tests 89
standard time-temperature curves 2728
steady states 41 42 42
steel 105118
Cardington fire tests 150 151 152153
152 154156
concrete structures 8182
connections 134146
design processes 6366
heat transfer 6063 64
Steel Construction Institute (SCI) 108 111 112
steel structures 93103
available options 94
design guidance 101102
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
steel structures (Cont.)
modern methods of construction 161162
worked example 96101
strength reduction
bolts/welds 135 136
composite steel 115
concrete 8586 115
see also reduction factors
strength-temperature relationships 126
stress distributions 87 88 117
stressstrain relationships 94 126
structural hollow sections (SHSs) 110111 112
structural steel 6063 64 139
suffix usage 19 20
surface area 6162
surface spalling 89
surface spreads 1719 20
surface temperature 5860
sway frames 72
T
tabulated data
composite steel 108 109111 112
concrete 7679 8285 108
109111 112
design fire 45 51
masonry structures 126128
timber structures 121122 123
temperature
composite steel 109110 115117
concrete 8587 115117
critical temperature 6162 99 111117
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
temperature (Cont.)
design fire 4056 57
design temperature 9697 98
fire resistance tests 2728
gas temperature 58 100
limiting temperature methods 7172 9597
masonry 6667 126
steel connections 135 136 139146
steel structures 94 98 102
strengthtemperature relationships 126
structural steel 60 61
surface temperature 5860
timber 6667 120 121
timetemperature responses 2728 4057 6667
116117 143144
see also ambient temperature; elevated
temperature
tensile membrane action 102
tensile strength 123
tension members 72 120
test procedures 1537
external wall constructions 3235
fire resistance 2532
large-scale testing 149160
reaction to fire 1525
see also Cardington fire tests
TF2000 (Timber Frame 2000) project 157 158 166
thermal bowing 128
thermal gradients 128 129
thermal inertia 50 164
thermal insulation 127128 161165
thermal modelling 57 58
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
thermocouples 34
thermometers 32
thermosetting adhesives 120
THR (total heat release) 22 23
three-phase fire behaviour 41 42 43
timber 6668 119125
Cardington fire tests 150 152 157
158
composite systems 120121
connections 131133
fire exposed 120
floors 120121
modern methods of construction 16116 163
simple calculation methods 121125
walls 120121
Timber Frame 2000 (TF2000) project 157 158 166
time equivalence 4854
timecharring relationships 125
timetemperature relationships
composite steel 116117
concrete 116117
design fire 4056 57
fire resistance tests 2728
masonry 6667
steel connections 143144
timber 6667
top wall panel restraint 128 129
total heat release (THR) 22 23
total smoke production (TSP) 22 2324
trapezoidal profiles 105106 108 109
tunnel fires 4546
tunnel lining segments 91 92
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
tying details 134
U
United Kingdom (UK)
building regulations 9 10
fire resistance tests 2630 31
reaction to fire tests 1519 20
unprotected composite beams 111117
unprotected steel beams 9697
V
ventilation 4647 4952 54
165
verification steps
composite steel 105 107 109
concrete 75 77 105
107 109
steel structures 94 95 98
99
volume 6162
W
walls
Cardington fire tests 150 155
cladding systems 3335
external constructions 3235
insulation 2930
integrity 29
loadbearing capacity 28 31
masonry structures 126 127 128
steel connections 139
Index Terms Links

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.
walls (Cont.)
surface spreads 1718
timber structures 120121
web-filled columns 109110
welds 135 136 139140
whole building behaviour 149160
Wickstrom, U 54 58
Y
yielding 117 136 137