Edinburgh University are calling for your help with a 3 year experiment.  Below is the message from Cecilia Abecassis Empis, if you are interested in being able to help then please contact her or Adam Cowlard. Their details are below.



The University of Edinburgh’s BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering is leading a large research project aimed at better understanding the behaviour of fire in modern compartments, with a view to improve design of modern buildings where large compartments (open-plan office space, atria, etc) are becoming commonplace. Part of the project involves running large scale fire tests in an existing building, which will ideally take place at the start of 2014. Therefore, we are currently trying to identify a building suitable to our aims that is scheduled to be vacated by the end of 2013 and to be demolished after the first quarter of 2014.

Desired characteristics of the building we are looking for:

– Building has a large compartment, typical of modern open-plan office space
– No occupied buildings in the close vicinity
– Within 1 hour drive from Edinburgh
– To be vacated by end of 2013
– To be demolished after March 2014

Ideally we would like to have a steel-framed building with a continuous concrete slab or any other type of construction which is more modern than the very structurally redundant concrete buildings that were commonplace a few decades back. However we do realise it is unlikely that a modern-construction building is likely to be scheduled for demolition, so we will consider any building that has the above-mentioned characteristics.

An old office building would be ideal. Buildings with housing occupancy tend to have small compartments, however if there is a large communal area, this might be adequate. We will also consider using schools, community centres, factories, warehouses or any other building which meets the desired characteristics.

We do realise many demolitions are not scheduled this far in advance, however we are eager to ‘get the word out’ early on to maximise our chances of identifying an adequate building. We would be very grateful is you would keep us in mind in and in case any such demolition request comes up.

We can be contacted on:

Cecilia Abecassis Empis: 0131 650 6023 

or [email protected]

Adam Cowlard: 0131 650 7161  or [email protected]

Further Information about the Project

The Real Fires for the Safe Design of Tall Buildings project is EPSRC funded (UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and involves a large consortium of partners which, to date, includes:

– Architects (Foster+Partners, RMJM, SOM, etc)
– Engineering Consultants (ARUP, Buro Happold)
– Insurance Companies (FM Global, AXA, Zurich)
– Fire Brigades (Lothian & Borders, Strathclyde and London)
– Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)
– National Fire Protections Association, USA (NFPA)
– Scottish Building Standards Division
– Communities & Local Government
– Glasgow Housing Association
– Research Institutions (BRE, NIST, SP, VTT)
– Academic institutions (UoE, WPI, etc.)
– …among others.

More Information: www.ctbuh.org/News/PressReleases/NewFireSafetyResearchProject/tabid/2751/language/en-US/Default.aspx

(Project website under development)

Important note: Although the project is entitled “Real Fires for the Safe Design of Tall Buildings” it is geared towards a better understanding of fire behaviour in all modern infrastructure – tall buildings just tend to embody many of the characteristics representative of modern infrastructure. Nevertheless we are not looking for a tall building in particular for these large-scale tests, merely a building that has modern characteristics or at the very least a large compartment.

The University of Edinburgh has previously been involved in conducting large-scale fire tests in an existing building, the research outcomes of which have helped develop a better understanding of compartment fire dynamics and the resultant structural behaviour of buildings exposed to fire.

Please feel free to disseminate this request to anyone else whom you think may know of an adequate building.