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Analysis of Needs and Existing Capabilities for Full-Scale Fire Resistance Testing.

pdf icon Analysis of Needs and Existing Capabilities for Full-Scale Fire Resistance Testing. (1860 K)
Beitel, J.; Iwankiw, N.

NIST GCR 02-843-1; 41 p. October 2008.


National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD


fire resistance testing; test facilities; building collapse; questionnaires; high rise buildings; earthquakes; case studies; structural damage; low rise buildings; multi-story buildings


This program was conducted for The National Institute For Standards and Technology under Contact Number NA1341-02-W-0686. Hughes Associates, Inc. performed this work with assistance from Greenhome & O'Mara, Inc. and Thomton-Tomasetti-Cutts, LLC. The study was commissioned to analyze the needs and existing capabilities for full-scale fire resistance testing of structural connections. The Scope of Work consisted of three separate tasks. The tasks were: Task 1. Identification Of Building Collapse Incidents - The objective of this Task was to conduct a survey of historical information on fire occurrences in multi-story (defined as four or more stories) buildings, which resulted in full or partial structural collapse. Task 2. Survey Of Fire Resistance Test Facilities - The objective of this Task was to perform a survey of private and public facilities capable of testing the structural integrity of building elements under fire conditions. Task 3. Needs Assessment - The objective of this Task was to perform an assessment of the need for additional testing and/or experimental facilities to allow the performance of structural assemblies and fire resistance materials to be predicted under extreme fire conditions within actual buildings; and if a need does exist, options for meeting those needs. In Task 1, the search for this data was conducted using three principal sources: news databases, published literature, and direct inquiries to key individuals and organizations. Even though the task objective was to identify multi-story fire-induced collapses, other useful and pertinent information on major multi-story fires without collapses, but with major structural damage was obtained. The results of the world-wide survey indicated that a total of 22 fire-induced collapses were identified spanning from 1970 to the present. The 2001 World Trade Center (WTC) collapses accounted for four of these events. Seven major multi-story fire events were also identified as having significant structural damage due to a fire, but did not exhibit collapse. While this total number of fire events may appear low (average of one/year) these fire events are high consequence events with respect to economic costs and potential for loss of life and/or injuries.