The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire represented one of the most significant accidental fires in American history. The problems with the building were myriad. There were over 500 employees at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory; in the end 146 died. The fire occurred on March 25, 1911, and spurred the development of enhanced building codes and standards that continue to protect building occupants today.
Our presentation begins with a view of the tragedy from the perspective of a descendant of one of the victims. We then explore the building code requirements and investigate the building’s compliance with those standards; the results may surprise you. Next, we discuss the fire's impact on building code development and specific code requirements.
Our presentation concludes with a computer simulation of the fire using a side-by-side comparison of how the building performed at the time versus how today's version of the building would fare.
Understand how some of the shortcomings of building operations shaped the results of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, and the impact that building operations still have on building safety today.
Describe the deficiencies inherent in occupant life safety requirements from the early 20th century and how modern building codes have evolved to improve this aspect of building design.
Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between achieving building code compliance and building life safety, and understanding the difference.
Describe the limitations of the basic applications of computer fire and smoke modeling, and when these tools can be applied as a tool for design and analysis.