AISC


11.5. Codes and Specifications

11.5.1. Which document specifies the fire resistance requirements for the structural system?

Such a document is the building code of the jurisdiction, which is usually based upon (or refers to) the IBC 2003 or NFPA 5000 model building code (or one of the older model codes).

last modified 1 January 2006

11.5.2. Which ASTM Specifications relate to fire-protection and engineering?

There are many ASTM standards related to fire engineering. Those of most direct relevance are specifications pertaining to combustibility, ignition and flammability characteristics, heat and smoke release parameters, and fire resistance. ASTM E119 specifies standard test procedures to establish the fire resistance (endurance) ratings for construction elements (beams, columns) and assemblies (walls, floors, roofs). There are several other ASTM tests that establish fire resistance ratings for windows, doors, fire-stops, etc. Many ASTM specifications ensure the quality performance of relevant products. For example, spray-applied fire resistive materials, commonly used to protect structural steel, would be tested for:

  • ASTM E 84 "Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials"
  • ASTM E 605 "Standard Test Methods for Thickness and Density of Sprayed Fire-Resistive Material (SFRM) Applied to Structural Members"
  • ASTM E 736 "Standard Test Method for Cohesion/Adhesion of Sprayed Fire-Resistive Materials (SFRM) Applied to Structural Members"
  • ASTM E 759 "Standard Test Method for Effect of Deflection on Sprayed Fire-Resistive Material (SFRM) Applied to Structural Members"
  • ASTM E 760 "Standard Test Method for Effect of Impact on Bonding of Sprayed Fire-Resistive Material (SFRM) Applied to Structural Members"
  • ASTM E 761 "Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Sprayed Fire-Resistive Material (SFRM) Applied to Structural Members"
  • ASTM E 859 "Standard Test Method for Air Erosion of Sprayed Fire-Resistive Materials (SFRM) Applied to Structural Members"
  • ASTM E 937 "Standard Test Method for Corrosion of Steel by Sprayed Fire-Resistive Material (SFRM) Applied to Structural Members"

last modified 1 January 2006

11.5.3. I have heard that the ASTM fire specifications are undergoing revision. Is this because of the World Trade Center?

ASTM specifications are revised routinely every few years. Like many codes and standards, revisions are promulgated on a periodic basis to recognize new technologies and methods as well as new materials. It is not a sign of “problems”.

last modified 25 March 2003

11.5.4. I have heard that the 2005 AISC Specification is going to address fire-protection and engineering. What kinds of issues is the Specification going to address?

The Specification will provide a general outline of procedures for engineered structural fire-protection design that will include steel properties at elevated temperatures, expected fire exposures, heat transfer calculations, load combinations for fire limit states, analysis of heated structures, etc.

last modified 25 March 2003

11.5.5. What is performance-based design with respect to fire?

Performance-based design consists in part of well-defined set of performance goals, objectives and criteria for an expected fire event. Thereafter, a corresponding set of systems is designed to achieve these performance objectives and criteria. In many cases, performance-based designs include evaluations of candidate designs against a series of fire design scenarios.

last modified 25 March 2003

11.5.6. How prevalent has performance-based designs become in fire protection?

It is still a design option that is typically reserved for use on certain high profile projects. At this point, it is best described as a design alternative rather than a prevalent design methodology.

last modified 25 March 2003

11.5.7. What is AISC currently doing to help people to design effectively for fire resistance?

AISC has developed a single source Design Guide #19, for engineers and architects, on the fire resistance of structural steel. AISC is also undertaking research to add the routine capability to engineer structural fire resistance for steel structures as an alternative to current prescriptive solutions.

last modified 1 January 2006