Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Building Code Revisions As A Result of WTC Collapse

Our commenters, even those who disagree with us, certainly give us great food for thought. ImpeachBushNow wrote:

Granted, I don't buy the whole theory behind the movie, but it did raise some interesting questions... like, why did the towers (and building 7) fall? If it was mostly due to poor workmanship in the construction (and not from a pre-planned detonation) then that ought to raise some serious concerns about other buildings from that era. But I haven't heard anyone calling for investigations into the stability of other skyscrapers.

In fact, there are substantial changes going on in building codes as a result of the investigations of the collapse of the two towers and WTC 7.

International Code Council members last year approved a change to the International Building Code (IBC) related to the World Trade Center collapse. The IBC now requires that buildings 420 feet and higher have a minimum three-hour structural fire-resistance rating. The previous requirement was two hours. The change provides increased fire resistance for the structural system leading to enhanced tenability of the structure and gives firefighters additional protection while fighting a fire. The IBC establishes minimum standards for the design and construction of building systems. It addresses issues such as use and occupancy, entry and exit during emergencies, engineering practices and construction technology.

The International Code Council updates its codes every three years through a governmental consensus process. Proposed code changes and comments on the proposals are accepted from anyone and everyone in public hearings. However, the final decision on code changes rests in the hands of the International Code Council's governmental members, building and fire officials, who have no vested interest other than public safety.

As a result of the World Trade Center attacks and proposed code changes to address terrorism-related issues in the built environment, the International Code Council formed an Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism Resistant Buildings. The committee—made up of code officials, engineers, architects and other building professionals—will look at the NIST report and its forthcoming recommendations, and other research.

The International Code Council also participates in an American Society of Mechanical Engineers task force to investigate the use of elevators in fires and other emergencies. This group began meeting following the World Trade Center attacks to examine the use of elevators for occupant exit and firefighter entry into burning buildings.


At 16 May, 2006 18:41, Blogger Dan said...

There is also a difference between the heat generated by a 'conventional' office building fire and one with jet fuel as a source.

Of course increased fire ratings are a good idea anyway.


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