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ARCH 2614/5614 Lecture notes

Jonathan Ochshorn

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Fire safety overview, sprinklers


Proposition: Many important things about architecture are in motion.

A. Historical context.

1. Urban conflagrations were common, devastating entire sections of cities.

2. Trend in fire safety strategy has been shift from limiting fire to:

B. Concerns.

1. life safety

2. protection of property

graphic showing thermal vs. non-thermal impact

C. Strategies.

1. alert occupants (fire detecting devices, call boxes, alarms). Based on smoke or heat.

2. provide protected means of egress.

3. compartmentation: provide barriers to keep fire isolated. Concept shows up in numerous ways, at different scales:

4. ventilation: vent smoke, toxic gases.

Windows, skylights, mechanical equipment, roof hatches, etc.

5. Suppression:

6. site planning issues:

Concluding images and videos:

But can real architecture catch on fire?

2015 fire, 50th floor Hancock Tower in Chicago
Fire on 50th floor of the John Hancock Building in Chicago (S.O.M. architects), 2015