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Fire: The Latest Architecture and News

From Australia to AEC Industry Action

Unless you’re living in a news or social media bubble, it’s unlikely you’ve missed seeing the devastating effects Australia’s climate change exacerbated wildfires and drought have had on the continent. One of the images that still sticks with me is that of the young boy, mask over his face, steering his family’s boat as they flee a large bushfire – flames and smoke enveloping the entire scene within an apocalyptic reddish-orange glow.

The loss of life (humans and wildlife), the destruction of property, infrastructure and habitat, the negative impacts on air quality, biodiversity and access to water, and the resulting refugees will have long term impacts on Australia’s economy and general well-being. What’s worse, these negative impacts have been, and will continue to be, inequitably distributed among the continent’s populations. Not surprisingly, the resulting stress already placed on individuals and social institutions has weakened community cohesion through anti-social actions like water theft.

Timber Takes the Heat: What Every Architect Should Know About Wood Construction and Fire Protection

Since immemorial time, humans have constructed their shelter and homes using wood. Gradually these structures grew more complex, but wood has continued to play a fundamental role in architecture and construction. Today, especially due to growing concerns about climate change and carbon emissions, wood has been regaining significance as an important building material for the future, if used consciously and sustainably. Wood’s structural performance capabilities make it appropriate for a broad range of applications—from the light-duty repetitive framing common in low and mid-rise structures to the larger and heavier, often hybrid systems, used to build arenas, offices, universities and other buildings where long spans and tall walls are required.

Fire Doors: How to Incorporate Them Into an Architecture Project

Fire doors are doors that meet fire resistance standards and can prevent fire (or smoke) from spreading through the floors or living spaces of a building, allowing people to evacuate safely from a fire.

Cortesia de PexelsCortesia de PexelsSede Instituto BioCruces / IDOM. Image © Aitor Ortizvia Shutterstock, User: Pair Srinrat+ 11

Reaction And Fire Resistance: How Are Materials Classified In The Event Of A Fire?

In case of fire, protecting the lives of people is the most important. All occupants of the building should have the opportunity to evacuate on time, and the time available depends largely on the materials chosen and their behavior during fire exposure.

In order to facilitate and optimize this process, the European Union has adopted the Standard EN 13501 [1], introduced in the 2000s, which specifies a series of classes that determines the anti-fire properties of different materials. Their classifications are unified and compared based on the same test methods, and are currently used as a reference in many countries around the world.

Because of the architect’s role in choosing materials for projects, we have compiled the most important nomenclature to better understand the level of security of our built environment.

Notre-Dame and the Questions It Raises About Sacred Space

© Flickr user la_bretagne_a_paris licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
© Flickr user la_bretagne_a_paris licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This article was originally published on CommonEdge as "Notre-Dame and the Questions It Raises About Sacred Space."

Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque Catches Fire During Notre Dame Blaze

While French firefighters were putting out the destructive blaze at the Notre Dame Cathedral, another holistic site was also up in flames. Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is among the holiest sites in Islam and was built almost 1,300 years ago, was struck by blaze while the monumental Catholic Church was also devastated with fire.

The fire is said to have started in the Al-Marwani Prayer Hall - also known as Solomon's Stables - part of the same compound as Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Fortunately, firemen of the Islamic Waqf department of the city were able to control the fire before any harm was done to the individuals or the other prayer halls. While the cause remains unknown, sources claim that the fire could have been ignited accidentally by children who were near the prayer hall at the time.

Why the Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire was So Difficult to Tackle

© Erieta Attali
© Erieta Attali

For almost a millennium, Notre-Dame Cathedral has stood proudly on Paris’ central Île de la Cité, a symbol of the city’s history, culture, and romanticism. On Monday, April 15th, 2019, thousands who lined the banks of the Seine and millions more across the world watched on in a mixture of disbelief, heartbreak, and helplessness as the Gothic masterpiece burned before their eyes.

The fire has fortunately not claimed any lives but has robbed the landmark of its 19th-century spire, roof, and potentially priceless stained glass windows and interior ornamentation and artwork. At the time of writing, it appears that the main structure of Notre-Dame Cathedral has been saved and preserved, owed to the efforts of 500 firefighters deployed to the disaster.

© Erieta Attali© Erieta Attali© Erieta Attali© Erieta Attali+ 9

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire: What Happened, and What Happens Next?

© Erieta Attali
© Erieta Attali

One day after the fire that partially destroyed the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, we are left to look back at the night of unfolding devastation, and forward at plans to renovate and restore the structure back to its former glory. The 856-year-old structure, which has survived riots, wars, and revolutions, sustained major damage as fire destroyed its central spire, 66% of its roof, and parts of its vaulted interior. Despite the alarming images and videos of the Gothic masterpiece ablaze, it appears that the main structure, and much of the interior, has escaped destruction.

While a full investigation into the cause of the fire will likely take some time, new details continue to emerge on the course of the blaze, and initiatives from the public and private sector to fund the cathedral’s restoration. Below, we recap the timeline that unfolded on the evening of April 15th, before detailing the plans to recover a building emblematic of the history of its city and country.

© Erieta Attali© Erieta Attali© Erieta Attali© Erieta Attali+ 9

35 Fireplaces that Spark Architectural Interest

© Ralph Feiner© Adam Gibson© Lars Petter Pettersen© Thomas Heimann+ 36

From the beginning of time, human beings have gathered around the fire. The first settlements and huts included in their interior a small bonfire to cook and maintain the heat of its inhabitants. This tradition has continued to the present, and chimneys and fireplaces have developed into the most varied designs and forms, providing possibilities both inside and outside a home.

To give you ideas for materials, structures, and spatial configurations, we present 35 remarkable meeting places around the fire.

Massive Fire Destroys Brazil's 200-Year-Old National Museum and Its Collection

Embed from Getty Images

Brazil's National Museum, one of Latin America's most important museums, was completely destroyed by a fire that started at 7:30 pm on Sunday evening. It housed over 20 million items related to the history of the Americas, many if not all of which were lost.

A report in the Rio Times indicates that the museum had operated normally on Sunday and closed its doors at 5:00 pm, two and a half hours before the blaze began. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art Is Burning Again

Image <a href='https://twitter.com/81Rocco/status/1007755133336346626'>via Twitter user @81Rocco</a>
Image via Twitter user @81Rocco

For the second time in 4 years, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art Building is ablaze. The BBC reports that the fire began at 23:00 BST and it has engulfed a large portion of the building. Thankfully no casualites have been reported, but one eye-witness said the building is ”going up like a tinderbox.”

UK Announces Plans to Work with Survivors and Families to Create Memorial on Grenfell Tower Site

Nearly 8 months after the devastating fire at London’s Grenfell Tower resulted in the loss of 71 lives, the UK government has announced that they will be working together with the tower’s survivors, families and community to determine the future of the Grenfell Tower site.

A government document released with the announcement outlines the guiding principles for handling the future of the site and its memory. According to the document, the most likely results will be an on-site memorial and the renaming of the nearby Latimer Road station of the London Underground:

Eco-Friendly Insulation Offers Thermal Performance, Sound Absorption and Fire Resistance at the Same Time

With the aim of promoting more efficient ways to isolate and protect building envelopes, the Chilean team Rootman has developed Thermoroot; a biodegradable and 100% natural insulation made from roots without genetic modifications or chemical additives. These roots make up what the company is calling a Radicular Mattress which, in addition to thermally and acoustically insulating the walls, floors, and ceilings of buildings, it is fire resistant.

Cortesía de Rootman SpACortesía de Rootman SpACortesía de Rootman SpACortesía de Rootman SpA+ 13

Open Call: 24H Competition 22nd Edition - Fire

ideasforward wants to give young creative people from around the world the opportunity to express their views on the future of societies through their innovative and visionary proposals.
We are an experimental platform seeking progressive ideas that reflect on emerging themes.
The eco design, sustainable architecture, new materials, concepts and technologies are compelling issues in the societies of the future and the involvement of the whole community is imperative. In an era of globalization where communication was dominated by the technological revolution, there is the need to rethink the cities and how Man relates in a global World as well as rethink

The Science Behind the Next Generation of Wood Buildings

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At a time when engineers, designers, and builders must find solutions for a resource-constrained environment, new wood technology, materials, and science are accelerating efforts to enhance safety and structural performance.

International Building Code requires all building systems, regardless of materials used, to perform to the same level of health and safety standards. These codes have long recognized wood’s performance capabilities and allow its use in a wide range of low- to mid-rise residential and non-residential building types. Moreover, wood often surpasses steel and concrete in terms of strength, durability, fire safety, seismic performance, and sustainability – among other qualities.

Dubai’s Torch Tower Catches Fire for Second Time in Two Years

One of the world’s tallest residential towers, Dubai’s Torch Tower, caught ablaze in the early hours of the morning, causing the evacuation of the building’s 676 units and leaving lasting damage to the building and its immediately vicinity

This is the second fire to affect the 79-story building in just two years, raising more questions about safety standards of materials used in highrise construction.

As Central London Residential Tower is Subject to Devastating Fire and Loss of Life, Questions Raised About Recent Refurbishment

A 24-storey residential tower—Grenfell House—in North Kensington, London, has been subject to a devastating fire and extensive subsequent loss of life. 200 firefighters in 45 fire engines attended the scene following reports of fire at around 0100 local time. The building, originally constructed in 1974, underwent a restoration by Studio E [at this time their website is not responding] "less than two years ago," reports the Architects' Journal.