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Guide to the Advanced Fire Safety Engineering of Structures (2007)

This Guide provides an overview of the available advanced methods for designing structures for fire resistance and should be read in conjunction with the previous publication Introduction to the fire safety engineering of structures, which presented a range of simple design approaches and useful background information. Structural fire design brings together the disciplines of structural engineering and fire engineering, to allow a performance-based design approach to be carried out which can allow more economic, robust, innovative and complex buildings to be constructed. In Guide to the advanced fire safety engineering of structures each stage of the advanced design process (modelling the fire, determining the heat transfer to the structure and high temperature structural analysis) is discussed, with guidance on the various approaches which can be adopted. Case studies are included to show how the methods presented within the Guide can be applied to obtain a better understanding of the structural behaviour during a fire. The advantages of adopting advanced design approaches are:

· Generally more economical designs, compared to the simple prescriptive approaches, whilst still maintaining acceptable levels of life safety.
· The construction of more innovative and complex buildings which were not possible due to the restrictive nature of the simple prescriptive rules.
· A better understanding of the actual structural behaviour of the building during a possible fire.
· The construction of more robust buildings due to the advanced design approach allowing identification, and strengthening, of any 'weak' links within the structure.
· An increase in the levels of safety offered by the simple prescriptive design approaches, by incorporating advanced structural fire design within a global fire strategy.

This Guide is aimed at the structural engineer and approving bodies. For the structural engineer, guidance is presented enabling the selection of a suitable advanced design approach, together with identifying the detailed procedures and corresponding tools, which can be used at each stage of the design. An understanding of the important characteristics and parameters, which need to be included within the chosen design approach, is also discussed. By providing guidance on a suitable framework for the design process, together with a simple design checklist, the Guide is also of benefit to approving bodies enabling the right questions to be asked, and informed decisions to be made.

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