Building Construction and Fire Resistance Term Paper by Nicky

A review of building design and construction standards and their role in preventing building collapses during a fire.
# 150821 | 1,517 words | 5 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Apr 26, 2012 in Engineering (Construction) , Hot Topics (Terror and 9/11)

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The paper discusses the lack of consensus as to what measures should be taken to make structures less apt to collapse during a fire and examines the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC). The paper identifies the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)'s recommendation for future code adjustments and concludes with this writer's agreement with the NIST recommendation for the development of a centralized database that would contain a wealth of specific information about building collapses due to fire.

From the Paper:

"The matter of code changes and structural safety is hotly debated among experts and engineers, and there is no apparent consensus as to what measures should be taken to make structures less apt to collapse during a fire. For example, at a workshop of safety design and retrofit of structures in Bethesda, Maryland, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), it was acknowledged that there "is no standard practice for the design of structures to resist failure under extreme fire loads" (Post, 2003). Writing in the journal Engineering News-Record, Post said there were "as many opinions" as to what role structure plays in fire resistance "as there were building research and practice disciplines represented" (Post, 2003).
"Jonathan C. Siu, an engineer with Seattle's Department of Design, Construction and Land Use, who gave the keynote speech, said that design that is "performance-based" in terms of structural fire protection "does not rise to the level of importance one might think" (Post). In fact Siu went on, engineered solutions for buildings that are being constructed with fire protection in mind represent "less than 1% of the volume" of all buildings constructed in America (Post)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Beitel, Jesse, and Iwankiw, Nestor. (2005). Historical Survey of Multistory BuildingCollapses Due to Fire. Fire Protection Engineering, 158(6).
  • Post, Nadine M. (2003). Experts Debate Using Structure To Resist Fire Loads. ENR:Engineering News-Record, 251(15), 14-14.
  • Post, Nadine M. (2004). Performance-Based Design Tops Research Wish List. ENR:Engineering News-Record, 252(7), 15-14.
  • Professional Safety. (2007). NIST Research Examines Structural Collapse Hazards.Retrieved October 15, 2009, from
  • Stein, Ben, and Newman, Michael. (2008). NIST WTC 7 Investigation Finds BuildingFires Caused Damage. NIST News Release. Retrieved Oct. 15, 2009, from

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Building Construction and Fire Resistance (2012, April 26) Retrieved November 30, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Building Construction and Fire Resistance" 26 April 2012. Web. 30 November. 2022. <>