For a range or reasons – including its durability, design flexibility, speed of construction, and resistance to rust, rot, and degradation – steel framed construction has emerged as a popular construction method. Its prevalence in large scale, multi-storey projects continues to grow.
However, as several fires over the past decade or so attest, the stakes are high when it comes to projects of this type and care must be taken when constructing them. Though in most of these cases, the use of non-compliant aluminium composite cladding has been cited as the cause of fire, other materials (including structural steel) also pose a fire threat.
When specifying steel framed systems, it is important to always be alert to its fire risks and to know when and how to incorporate fire protection system – including spray applied vermiculite sprays, board encasement systems, and intumescent coatings – to minimize these threats.
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Key Learning Outcomes
At the end of this presentation, you should be able to:
- Outline the risks that fire poses to structural steel used in large multi-storey buildings.
- Identify the regulations that govern the use of structural steel in Australia.
- Outline the basic principles surrounding the specification of structural steel.
- List the minimum requirements for specifying structural steel, including in terms of fire protection.
- Identify passive fire protection systems that are suitable for use with structural steel and the properties and benefits of each.
AACA Competency Standards
Design: Project Briefing 1.2
Design: Conceptual Design 3.4, 3.7
Design: Schematic Design 4.4, 4.5, 4.6
Documentation: Detailed Design 5.3, 5.4, 5.5
Peter Butler, Head of Technical Services and Knowledge Share, Promat Australia
Peter Butler has over 20 years experience at Promat Australia. Part of the global Etex Group, Promat is a worldwide producer of fire protective boards made from calcium silicate, intumescent paints, mortars, fire glazing, fire stopping and a wide variety of products for high performance insulation in industry, transport and energetics.