Full Session with Abstracts
For the past century, project stakeholders have tolerated a strikingly inefficient and amorphous system for protecting structures from uncontrolled fire. Traditionally, the design of fire protection for building structures in the US has been performed using so-called “prescriptive” requirements, by which passive and active fire protection measures are selected according to provisions stated in the building code based on the building’s size, occupancy, and function. These provisions are typically specified by the architect and implemented by a fire protection engineer - structural engineers are often absent from the structural fire protection design process. Bridges have received even less design consideration for fire exposure – although some basic standards exist, the requirements for fire resistance are underdeveloped. Tunnels have several fire safety standards that concentrate on smoke management and egress, but structural safety considerations are still developing. Until recently, little overall guidance has been available to the structural engineering community regarding the available approaches and performance objectives for structural design for fire exposure.
Structural fire engineering represents one of the most promising opportunities for structural engineers to provide value-added services to project stakeholders. In conjunction with new provisions in Appendix E of ASCE/SEI 7-16, a first-of-its-kind ASCE/SEI Manual of Practice has been developed to provide structural engineers a baseline level of guidance to practice structural fire engineering. In this context, a structural system may be appropriately designed for both ambient and fire loads, which presents nearly endless possibilities in terms of design freedom, as well as enhanced intrinsic structural fire safety. It is envisioned that this new Manual will foster best practices in industry, as well as fuel new research to address the compilation of knowledge gaps clearly identified herein.
This presentation will provide a full introduction to the new manual of practice with the intent of promoting its usefulness and significance to both practitioners and educators. Avenues for implementation and value-added design in the current regulatory environment will be highlighted. Opportunities to incorporate the document into structural engineering educational curriculums and continuing professional development programs will also be discussed.