3rd traditional seminar FIRE TAKES NO VACATION: Engineering Methods for Fire Safety Design

Aug 3, 2023

On August 3, 2023, a professional event entitled 'Fire takes no vacation #3 – Engineering Methods for Fire Safety Design' took place in ZAG's Fire laboratory in Logatec. The presentations were all related to the use of performance-based methods, with a particular focus on the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

Fire safety is essential to the built environment. Building fires repeatedly call for further research into building materials, fire safety planning, and knowledge transfer to the stakeholders involved, such as state authorities, fire safety designers, architects, researchers, insurance companies, and firefighters who deal with the fires. In addition to using prescriptive documents based on regulations and guidelines, fire safety measures are often determined using performance-based engineering methods. The event’s main goal, presented by Slovenian and international experts, was sharing experiences and general practices using performance-based methods from an engineering and scientific perspective.

Dr Aleš Jug was the first to speak, and he presented Fire safety planning according to Slovenian regulations and the possibility of using engineering methods. One of the most prominent representatives from abroad was Prof Bart Merci from Ghent University in Belgium, who talked about the use of CFD simulations in Fire Safety Engineering. Two colleagues from the Croatian company Inspekting, d. o. o., Antonina Gaša and Maksim Carević presented a case study of a design fire scenario for the Rimac Campus outside Zagreb. Another case study was then added by prof. Merci, who presented how CFD modelling had assisted in understanding the collapse of an escalator due to a fire. The final presentation – 'Analysis and numerical simulations of multi-compartment fire tests for the fire safety of healthcare facilities' – was given by a senior researcher in the FRISSBE project (ZAG), Dr Andrea Lucherini. After the presentations, the ERA Chair Holder of the FRISSBE project (ZAG), prof. Grunde Jomaas facilitated a panel discussion with all the speakers and provided the conclusions of the day.

In the span of just one year, three events in the series of professional events, "Fire Takes no Vacation", have already taken place. They are prepared by the Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZAG) in cooperation with The Slovenian Fire Protection Association (SZPV) and other organizations. Each one covered different topics in the field of fire: the first event dealt with challenges in planning and extinguishing fires in buildings, while the second event addressed cultural heritage buildings and wooden construction.

The third event was hosted by The Slovenian Fire Protection Association and the Department for Research of Fire-safe and Sustainable Built Environment (FRISSBE) at ZAG. It was attended by more than 40 participants from all over Slovenia and also had some participants from abroad. The content and location of the event also attracted journalist teams from two Slovenian television stations, who took some statements from experts and filmed the Fire Laboratory. Nova24TV aired its recordings the same evening, while POP TV is working on a more significant piece on the topic of fire safety that is expected to be on the screen in the show Inšpektor24 in October.