Advances in fire engineering design of steel structures

Colin G. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Owing to its high thermal conductivity, exposed structural steel will increase in temperature very quickly during a fire, losing strength and stiffness. Designers must ensure that steel-framed buildings maintain sufficient stability, for a reasonable period of time, should a fire occur. A number of design approaches are available, of varying complexity, to ensure adequate fire safety. This paper explains the available design methods, including recent innovative approaches, ranging from the simple prescriptive approach of 'blindly' covering all exposed areas of steel with fire protection to carrying out a performance-based approach where the likely fire severity, heat transfer and structural response are considered. The advantages and disadvantages are summarised for each of the design methods described, allowing the optimum solution for individual projects to be determined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Structures and Buildings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


  • Design methods & aids
  • Steel structures
  • Thermal effects/


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