Considering the safety factors of the construction industry the fire protection is the most important element. Fire has been found to damage the buildings at high levels and one of the chief threats (Pickard 1994). The outbreak of fires in construction industry has been controlled by the fire protection strategies. These strategies are also been developed to stop the spread of fire within the given structure or building (Staniforth and Hayes 1989). The older buildings are not equipped with the fire protection services so it is always difficult to deal with eth fire protection when one of these buildings is subjected to such situations. The buildings are difficult to be fired proof as they are not structured to be altered due to prevailing regulations (Taylor 2004). Therefore a creative thinking and innovative methodology is required to make the buildings fire proof. The dissertation deals with the development and maintenance of the fire protection services for the new and older buildings. The basic methodologies used in this dissertation include case studies and literature review. The older buildings are discussed in the form of case studies and recommendations are presented for the effective fire protection services in new buildings. The basic aim of the dissertation is to preserve the authenticity of the building by introducing new technologies of fire protection in older buildings (Pickard 1994). The restrictions placed to make alteration to a given building have made the process more difficult rather than introducing applications into new buildings (Dunn. 2002). By making the alteration to the existing buildings means to change the external structure of the building with its internal fiber which has made the incorporation of the fire protection services very difficult (Pickard 1994). The creative and innovative thinking is important to have by the contractors and architects for the implementation of the fire protection services (Wilson 2006; Wahab 2007).
The buildings in UK are mostly made up of timber or the materials that are more vulnerable to the fire and need more protection with higher safety standards. The problem has been regarded as a biggest issue among contractors as the fire can destroy a whole building heritage of a country (Adams 1997). The problem arises due to fire in buildings can be handled by creative ideas of civil engineers and architects by considering the building regulations strictly. Considering the heritage of UK, the buildings are important to be protected from fire and related elements. The precautions are important to take as to avoid the catastrophic damage to the buildings. For the case of fire damaging high profile buildings in short durations i.e. Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle and the Savoy Theatre can be considered as examples (Salisbury 2008).
The use of interventions in buildings is preferred to be used to prevent fire explosion and damages. These interventions include the use of special types of windows and doors with a highly fire proofed material of construction. Such interventions will help to delay or reduce the fire effects in subjected buildings (English 2004; Balfours 2002). The in situ assessment of the building and performance testing can be performed by using the respective data of all interventions used (Adams 1997; BAFSA 2002). The existing buildings have the major problem of not constructed with the materials that meet the prevailing standards of the fire resistance and thus the building protection (BBC 1992; 2008). The additional interventions may include construction of sprinklers and compartments within a building. The up gradation of the fiber material has always been important so that the prevailing standards and ratings can be met (Pickard, 1994). The preservation of the architecture and original structure is the basic job with the introduction of the fire proofing services (Adams 1997; English 2004). The issue has been found to be very complex and need a comprehensive investigation and has been done in this dissertation.
Fire has been considered as a greatest threat to the building heritage of any nation as the fire can destroy a structure in few minutes (Kidd 2003; Read and Morris 1993). The destruction of the buildings can be repaired to the some extent by the building conservationists but the authenticity and potential loss cannot be regained (Kidd 2003; Pickard 1994; PACE 2000). The engineers have found the ways to recreate the destroyed buildings and original parts of the buildings thus the cultural heritage can be restored (Kidd 2003; Read and Morris 1993). It is therefore recommended to fulfill all the legal requirements related to the statutory obligations of the fire services. The cultural heritage can be retained by presenting effective fire free services (Kidd 2003; Clark 2001). The need of protecting buildings from fire requires a comprehensive understanding of the relevant employees so that the issues can be solved significantly (Kidd 1998). The appropriate and adequate fire protections are required to be highlighted in order to prevent fire spreading. The solutions must be flexible enough to fit in any situation and any size of the building (Kidd 1998; Gibbon and Forbes 2001). The currently implemented fire protection methods along with the future recommendations for better fire controlling services will be discussed through the case studies. The existing buildings are important to be preserved so the cultural heritage can be ensured to be authentic and safe for future generations.
To research the effective methods of fire protection that can be applied to the existing buildings without affecting their integrity is the basic aim of this dissertation. The better levels of building fire protection are required to be assessed for existing and new buildings. The chances of the destruction of existing buildings can be reduced by improving fire protection services through innovative and creative technologies.
The basic aim of the dissertation can be met only by fulfilling the following research objectives.
The methodology used for the survey presents few limitations for the present case study. A relevant data is important to be collected by studying various modes of research during survey which has presented a complex form of research methodology. A questionnaire has been developed to collect the data from respondents and considered as a close ended communicational mode. The respondents are allowed to answer the questions of their choice and according to their will. According to the background knowledge, situation, and mind frame of the respondents the meanings of the answers are not always easy to understand. The collection of additional data has imposed limitations to the researchers due to the limited available time and to keep the prevailing regulations of the existing buildings.
Total time allocated to complete dissertation is one year from January to December. Total work plan has been presented in the following Gantt chart
The methodologies used to gather the data and relevant information in this dissertation are outlined in this chapter. The basis of the dissertation is made up with these methodologies along with case studies and literature review. Fire protection is believed to be important in existing and new buildings as discussed in the introduction section. The fires are necessary to avoid in existing building so that the cultural heritage can be maintained and preserved. Considering the building regulations and requirement to make amendments has suggested the installation of fire protection services a very complex and hectic practice. The prevailing regulations of the buildings don’t allow the builders to change the structure of the building so that the authenticity of it can be maintained (Adams 1997).
Various types of the fires that can occur in the buildings are required to be asses as a first step of fire protection techniques. The assessment requires the presentation of many relevant case studies. The information can be collected with the view to increase the knowledge of fire spreading with the passage of time and the current practices being used in the existing buildings for controlling fires.
The above explanation has presented the introduction to the research methodologies. The two basic approaches have been identified to carry out the research for the fire protection services in existing buildings of UK.
Descriptive research is very important in analyzing the effect the fire explosions in existing buildings without affecting their structural integrity. Moreover, the research will also provide us an opportunity to have deep insight into immediate as well futuristic fire planning strategies.
The aforementioned methods of research are going to serve as handy tools and will equip us with the relevant data, statistics, trends, as well as with the public demand and requirements in fast growing construction industry of UK. Later on, it will help in analytical research and making a critical evaluation of proposed methods and statements.
The data is generated and produced in quantitative form in the research approach is called quantitative approach. The data obtained in this way is used in more meticulous and extensive way through formal and rigid analysis of the British cultural heritage. Inferential approach has been adopted in this dissertation to infer the relationship and characteristics of the sample population which has been selected to conduct surveys.
The subjective assessment of opinions, attitudes and behavior is called as qualitative approach. Research is considered as a function of impressions, insights of a researcher and his impersonations. The qualitative approach of research is different from quantitative approach as generated results are more qualitative in nature. The results are not usually subjected to the rigorous or more extensive ways to quantify the data which requires techniques including projective interviews, group interviews and focused surveys.
Numerous existing buildings of UK are taken as case studies to conduct a comprehensive research in this dissertation. The research will follow a qualitative approach since in this research design the data to be generated/ obtained is mostly qualitative by nature. Moreover, the intended research is going to be exploratory and will cover actual real life situations in UK. The research would be direct and analytically organized, which will be built from factual to conclusions/ finding drawn in a logical sequence by dividing the study into various parts. Each part will be addressed completely before moving on to the next part using qualitative approach.
The data will be analyzed graphically which will be examined with detailed explanations of responses while having built in relevance with all sections.
The information of the case studies that is related to the fire protection has been collected by using internet that has enabled the researchers to search relevant papers and journals. The database of the university library was consulted to gather data from recommended books. The collected data has helped to understand the phenomenon of fire beginning, spreading and controlling. The results of the data collected for case studies will be presented in chapter 3 of this dissertation.
The solution to tackle the fire problems in existing buildings are collected by conducting effective literature review. The literature review has enabled the researcher to understand the need of the fire resistance techniques for the protection of the buildings and public. For fire resistance, possible solutions were understood by undertaking literature review. Various sources were consulted to gather the information regarding fire protection as part of the literature review. These resources include journal articles, textbooks, internet and newspaper and magazine articles. The brochures of various organizations which have provided enough information for fire resistance are consulted.
The online catalogue of the library was researched as a first step of the literature review. The relevant key words i.e. fire protection were used to gather data from the database of the library. Other key words may include regulatory measures of existing buildings and fire resistance etc. the selected textbooks were consulted and researched for the
Since questionnaires and interviews relevant to the case studies are the best instruments in such kind of research work where a segment of population is involved, therefore this mode has been selected.
Many of the existing buildings in UK have been found to be built without fire protection services or fire protection services. The absence of the fire protection services and methods has made such building more vulnerable to fire and related damages. Considering the cultural heritage of UK and its value the existing buildings are required to be protected from fire more particularly. The prevailing regulations of the building frameworks are also required to be considered while implementing the particular fire protection services. The building regulations are strict in some cases i.e. existing buildings as it is important to preserve the authenticity of the building and thus the cultural heritage (Adams, 1997). The implementation of the fire protection services are suggested in this section through possible solutions in existing buildings. A comprehensive literature research has been conducted for this purpose.
It was suggested by Napier (2008) that the fires can be allowed to be detected quickly by using risk assessment techniques based on fire safety measures. The particular building can be changed to control fire breakout under few conditions including the preservation of the building authenticity that don’t allow changing the structure of it for the performance of the risk assessment techniques (Adams, 1997). Many building interventions have been identified to protect them against fire rather than just an opportunity for avoiding fires. In the case of fire breakouts these interventions can be used to identify and present solution for controlling fire.
The replacements, checking and implementation of the fire breaks is important in many situations. Considering building interventions, many building are found to be built with the necessary compartments which can help the fire to be delayed. However there are situations which require installation of the compartments without compromising the building regulations. The undertaking of risk assessment of many buildings has suggested adding extra compartments which can be considered as an alternative of fire risks reduction (Napier 2008). The adjustments and amendments to the buildings are found to be unavoidable in some cases when these buildings are important to be ensured as fire resistant in all situations (Gibbon and Forbes, 2001).
Another area of fire contention includes doors which are paneled historically. These doors are used to improve the fire resistant services in buildings as they are made up of hardwoods. The doors are constructed in the form of thin panels and provide fire resistance lower than 30 minutes (Napier 2008; English 2004). The problem has been handled by several solutions. The doors can be fitted with the boards which are made of highly fire resistant materials. The installation of boards may change the door appearance which is not acceptable when the regulatory measures of the building are considered. Such suggestions may be rejected at the earlier stages of the fire protection planning (Napier 2008; Adams 1997). The fire protection can also be installed within the panels of the doors as a solution to deal with the fire explosion. The doors can be replaced with the new paneled doors made of high fire resistant materials (Napier 2008). The original wood can be installed in the form of thick slices that provide more resistance towards fire. The solutions has presented the complexity and delicacy of the situation to protect the buildings from fire and improving its integrity. The identified risks can be handled by using the risk assessment techniques which has to compromise among numerous methods including planning, improvement and implementation of the fire proofing methods. All of these stages can be conducted within the same framework without compromising the costs involved.
The requirements of the fire safety can be met by many options as suggested by Jackson and Passey (1998). These options include safety measures working actively and passively. These options allow the installation of the various fire detection and alarm systems. These options also allowed the easy availability of the equipment of fire fighting i.e. fire extinguishers. The fire suppression systems are also ensured to be provided including sprinklers (Jackson and Passey 1998; Clark 2001).
The fire detection systems are required to be installed as the human lives can be saved effectively. Such installations are required along with the other fire protection systems in order to handle the situation as early as possible. In the presence of the fire, the fire alarms are used to alert public and asked them to evacuate structure as soon as possible. Fire alarms thus play a little role to control the fire and thus protecting building and people within it (Jackson and Passey 1998). The spread of fire can be reduced by joining the function of the sprinklers with the fire alarms. The fire detection and suppression systems will work together and control the situation more effectively. The layout of the building must be matched with the type of fire controlling methods (Jackson and Passey 1998).
These methods can be used with other methods of fire protection including adding compartments. The building is preferred to be divided into separate zones which have individual and distinct fire resistant facilities. These compartments can limit the fire to the affected area and don’t allow it to spread out and damage the remaining parts of the building (Jackson and Passey 1998). Different zones can be sealed out by compartmenting the building which allows the sections of the building to be protected and safe. The compartmenting of the building use fire proof materials which can protect the building up to 30 minutes (Jackson and Passey 1998). However the compartments made major changes to the building structures which is not acceptable in many situation as they may change the authenticity of the building (Napier 2008; Adams 1997).
The buildings can be changed to make them more resistant towards fire that has required the builders to go against the regulations of the buildings (Forrest 1996). In certain cases the use of passive measures of fire resistance can be considered appropriate to use which suggest changing the building character by going against the building regulations but make it more fire resistant.
The existing buildings showed a great thoroughfare of human activities. The buildings that are recreational units for public are found to require more fire protection facilities so that the human lives can be protected with the building structure. The low level fire protection systems with passive attributes are found to be employed by the private residences. Such systems include fire suppression and fire detection systems which also involve the guidelines of insurance companies. The type and use of the building is a major factor to select a particular type of the fire control practice. Other factors may include the prevailing regulatory conditions of the building and the building preferences that are defined by the owners.
The private owners have been found to prefer the passive measures of fire protection for existing and new buildings. They have preferred the risk assessment techniques by using fire resistance and detection systems. The areas of the building which are potentially dangerous can be identified by conducting a comprehensive fire safety assessment of the building. The problems can be addressed to minimize the risk of fire break out as early as possible (Forrest 1996). The design of fire safety is important to be defined by the efficient identification and quantification of the risks associated with the fire breakout. The issues related to the life safety are always required to be accounted so that the issues of the property protection can be balanced against intruding physically. The solutions are required to be tailored effectively so that the buildings can be protected against fire explosions. There are many fire protection services including active and passive systems. The suggested methods are required to fit the fire situations, safety standards and prevailing building regulations.
Many fire suppression systems including sprinkler systems have been presented by researchers as the best fire controlling techniques in existing and new buildings (Forrest 1996). However the process has been found to be effective only if the time duration between application of the sprinklers system and fire detection is short. The optimal work of the presented methods can be ensured only if the best solution for a particular case has been identified and can be tailored to the exact site of interest. The blanket solutions are also helpful to provide protection from fire which is also effective in few particular cases. For historic and new buildings it is paramount to define the fire risks, priorities and occupiers so that they can be protected immediately. Defining these terms can also be considered as important part to develop the effective strategies of the fire protection (Forrest 1996). There are many contributing elements that made the strategies of the fire protection which may include existing and natural features of the buildings. Other elements may include the offsetting of the more arduous upgrading of passive protection measures through introducing active measures of fire protection.
Analysis of the results obtained from case studies will be presented in this section. Various method statements will be proposed after analyzing the results from case studies and literature review. The planning of fire protection processes will be understood along with the effective solutions for the improvement of the fire protection services.
The effective methods of fire protection that can be implemented to improve the building’s performance have been looked up in this dissertation. The view to improve the practices of fire protection of buildings and decreasing the damages to the existing buildings has been presented through case studies. Fire is found to present a major threat to the cultural heritage of UK as many of the existing buildings are made of the timber and timber like materials. The adequate fire protection measures are discussed in this dissertation by presenting relevant case studies. A high degree of fire protection can be achieved through innovative and modern fire control techniques. The buildings have been assessed in order to control the risks of fire and present possible protection mechanisms from fire according to the respective prevailing regulations and standards of each building. The varied mechanisms of fire protection have been analyzed comprehensively. The consequences of the inadequate fire protection services are presented after assessing each building in case studies. When the fire protection has been found to be not optimal, the results are evaluated to present the possible hazards to the subjected building. The results of the case studies have shown that, it is fatal to have the inadequate fire protection facilities. It has been found that fire can propagate easily and can damage the building completely in the absence of fire protection mechanisms. Thus a comprehensive and innovative fire protection mechanism is recommended by using various presented methods of fire protection. Such mechanisms would help to protect the cultural heritage of UK or of any state.