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Numerical characterisation of fire growth in external facades and other vertical spaces (FACADE FIRE)

Funded by the European Commission, 2016 to 2018
Lead academics: Professor Jennifer X Wen and Dr Jianping Zhang (FireSERT, University of Ulster)

The project is aimed at investigating numerically the behaviour of flames ejected from enclosure fires in external facades and other vertical spaces such as atrium, void spaces and staircases. Full understanding of such external flame behaviour requires insight of the combustion within the enclosure. Hence the scope of the research includes enclosure fires to characterise the ejected flames as well as fire growth in façades. The research will take advantage of the abundant experimental data available for model validation while the validated predictive tool based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques will be applied to conduct parametric studies to formulate recommendations for the update of regulatory guidelines to improve fire safety in facades and other vertical spaces.

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The fire burned up the Aluminum Composite Panels (ACP) panels to the roof parapet, spread
laterally to the next ACP panels and burned upwards as well as downwards.

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Fire working its way up a sheltered corner in the facade, fuelled by flammable cladding on two sides in the Tamweel Towers in Dubai 2012.

Fire involving combustible facade insulation in Sweden 2010.

Fire involving combustible facade insulation in Sweden 2010.