Structural Fire Protection Levels for Industrial Buildings


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Title: Structural Fire Protection Levels for Industrial Buildings

Author(s): U. Schneider, H. Bub, and M. Kersken-Bradley

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 80


Appears on pages(s): 201-218

Keywords: fire protection; fire resistance; industrial buildings; prodability theory; safety factor; structural design.

Date: 7/1/1983

Traditionally, requirements concerning structural fire protection are established from safety considerations based on an empirical or intuitive approach. Long years' experience generally results in acknowledged and presumably sound requirements for buildings with normal use. When assessing industrial buildings, however, the range of experience is often exceeded. Eventually, de-cisions on structural measures to be provided may be made on the expense of economy. This presentation introduces a probabilistic concept for expressing safety considerations in terms of tolerable failure probabilities applying to structural members subject to fire exposure. These probabilities are derived regarding the contribution of structural measures as well as fire fighting measures to the general reliability of structures liable to be exposed to fire. Eventually, the significance of structural measures - especially member design -vanishes, if fire fighting measures reduce the probability for se-vere fires to a negligible level. Two different design methods for proving compliance with reliability requirements derived on these premises are proposed. Application of the first method - based on heat balance calculations - is pref-erably confined to special structures and scientific studies. The second method - based on the equivalent fire duration - allows a simple individual appraisal of industrial projects with respect to the required fire resistance of structural members. Within this contribution, special reference is made to industrial buildings. However, application of this approach to other types of buildings is apparent.