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The Challenges of Predicting Structural Performance in Fires

Buchanan, A., 2008. The Challenges of Predicting Structural Performance in Fires. Fire Safety Science 9: 79-90. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.9-79


This paper describes the challenges of predicting structural performance in fires, with a view to the past, the present and the future. Despite the huge advances in computational capability for both fire modelling and structural analysis, it remains very difficult to give accurate predictions of structural performance in a single building with a known fire. Most designers grapple with a known building and an unknown possible fire (or fires), and code writers valiantly attempt to give rules or guidelines for whole classes of unknown buildings which could be exposed to any kind of unknown fires.

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