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RE: FW: Fire ratings to UBC 1997

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Full scale fire tests were carried out by Melbourne Research Laboratories in Australia in 80s.  THe data has been published and incorporated in the Australian Version of the UBC
The original author is Ian Bennetts el al [Publisher AISC (Australia)]
Given the data,  I would think that it should be readily available from AISC
Mark Hickey
Brisbane,  Australia
-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Geoghegan [mailto:structuraltech.vsl(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 4:53 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: FW: Fire ratings to UBC 1997

Hi Gail,
An old paper by RICHARD GEWAIN of the American Iron and Steel Institute entitled "Fire Experience and Fire Tests in Automobile Parking Structures" from the July 1973 FIRE JOURNAL gives an overview of this topic.
It presents some statistical data on damage to such structures over a period of 60 years. The loss stats were very low.
The fire test building was a structural steel frame and PT decks. The fires tests were conducted in 15 to 20 mph winds blowing across the test site and this did indeed increased the intensity of the fire, yet there was no structural damage, and adjacent cars to the burning test vehicles only received minor fire and heat damage. Temperatures on the bottom flange over the gas tank was 440 F at 41 minutes, for a period of 5 minutes. For the most part the temperatures on the beam remained below 350F.
This paper also has some brief comments on automatic extinguisher systems too, as it pertains to open parking structures.
Mark Geoghegan
Honolulu, HI
-----Original Message-----
From: GSKWY(--nospam--at) [mailto:GSKWY(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 4:02 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: FW: Fire ratings to UBC 1997

My specific question on parking garages was related to the post:

"Please note that these liberal limits are in recognition of the very low fire hazard levels in open parking structures, mainly due to good ventilation. These rules do not apply to closed parking strucutres".

I can't see how ventilation necessarily reduces the fire hazard.  

There is nominally no difference in the combustibility or fuel availability of an open versus a closed parking garage, if they are both built of the same material.  

Also, I'm not sure temperature is an issue - at 700 F, the yield strength of rebar is still about 80% of its initial value.  The strength is regained when the steel cools.

It is not a requirement to have sprinklers in open structures,  per the IBC  (or at least per my understanding of the IBC).  Typically, parking garages do have sprinklers but I think the main reason alot of time is it allows a sizeable decrease in insurance premiums.

With some limited exceptions, open parking structures are restricted to just parking passenger cars.

Gail S. Kelley

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