Fire Safety Facade Design

The case study of an office tower in Milan

Overview

Authors

Photo of Rigone Paolo

Rigone Paolo

Politecnico di Milano, Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction

paolo.rigone@polimi.it

Photo of Mazzucchelli Enrico Sergio

Mazzucchelli Enrico Sergio

Associate Professor

Politecnico di Milano, Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction

enrico.mazzucchelli@polimi.it

Photo of De la Fuente Ceja Blanca Judith

De la Fuente Ceja Blanca Judith

Politecnico di Milano, Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction

blancajudith.delafuente@mail.polimi.it


Abstract

Nowadays the construction industry is characterised by high multifunctional and complex buildings with innovative façade systems. Unlike a simple prescriptive approach according to standards and codes, a performance-based design allows to define safety levels and goals, to evaluate heat transfer to the structure and the structure response based on fire behaviour, to model different fire scenarios by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software and to personalize the design according to a specific project in order to reach the required level of safety. Through a significant case study, the paper describes the performance-based design approach in the Fire Safety Engineering field (FSE). The analysis demonstrates consistent results between the CFD fire modelling output and the laboratory test results on a real scale façade mock-up. Moreover, a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) performed on a section of the façade mullion allows to identify and to highlight the façade system critical issues in different fire scenarios.

Introduction

Nowadays the construction industry is characterised by high multifunctional and complex buildings with innovative façade systems. Moreover, new materials and façade systems are continuously introduced into the market, calling for

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Background

In the construction field, fire events in façades are the less likely to occur. Nevertheless, in Europe there are many national guidelines (Rukavina et al., 2017; Mazzucchelli et al., 2019)

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CASE STUDY: THE LIBESKIND TOWER IN MILAN

The office tower case study is located in the City Life district in Milan (Italy). The main highlighted issues of the building are the concave bending of its elevations and

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DATA

The overall behaviour of the room proofs the benefit of a sprinkler system. The temperature distribution at the façade (Fig. 6) present the highest values reached at 600 seconds of

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Explanation

Different analyses have been performed to assess the real behaviour of the mullion in case of fire. To understand the accuracy between the model and the experimental test, a comparison

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Conclusion and Future Work

FSE is part of the building design, but seldom it is properly considered in detail. Relevant considerations, as well as decisions, must be taken in regards of which kind of

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank CMB (Cooperativa Muratori e Braccianti di Carpi), FSC Engineering Srl, UNICMI (Unione Nazionale delle Industrie delle Costruzioni Metalliche dell'Involucro e dei serramenti) and EFN (European Façade Network) for the fruitful and stimulating collaboration.

Rights and Permissions

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