Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

David A. Lucht, Department Head

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Robert W. Fitzgerald, Reader

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Jonathan R. Barnett, Advisor




"As jurisdictions throughout the world progress toward performance based building codes, it is important that the proper tools be made available to the engineering profession in order that they may take full advantage of these new codes. There is currently a large body of work written on the subject of performance based or engineered structural fire safety. Unfortunately, most of this information is scattered throughout technical journals from different countries and organizations, and not easily accessible to the practicing engineer. Under the current prescriptive code regime there is generally no requirement to undertake an engineering approach to structural fire safety, since the required fire resistance ratings are prescribed and the fire resistance ratings of materials/assemblies are determined through standard tests. However, these methods have been shown to be both unnecessary and expensive in some cases. A method will be developed that can be used to determine required fire resistance ratings for fire exposed structural steel based on a realistic engineering approach. A procedure is summarized for calculating time-temperature curves from a real fire in a typical compartment. With this time-temperature relationship a realistic time to failure for structural steel members can be determined. The method is summarized. Comments regarding important considerations and a worked example are provided to demonstrate the utility of the method."


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Fire Protection Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Performance Based, Structural Steel, Fire Conditions, Steel, Structural, Effect of fires on, Fire resistance rating, Building laws