Radiation Analysis

Building on fire

Sometimes it is necessary to analyse whether thermal radiation will cause fire to spread from one building to another.

Typical cases where this is necessary are as follows.

  • The need to prevent fire spread to adjacent buildings is covered by many Building Codes throughout the world

  • When providing kiosks or other similar uses in shopping centres or in atria, it may be necessary to analyse separation distance between kiosks to prevent fire spread.

  • In the UK, for construction sites that use timber construction, under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM Regulations) it is necessary to ensure that a fire during construction will not spread to adjacent buildings. For more information on this topic please follow this link (fire safety in timber construction). 

There are standard techniques to analyse fire spread due to radiation. Some simplified methods are shown in documents such as Approved Document B or BR187. However, those techniques are relatively simplistic and are based on calculations that asssume one flat facade that is parallel to another flat facade. For anything more complex (such as where the facades are not parallel) these techniques will give unnecessarily onerous results.

Direct radiation analysis is a technique that can give a more accurate result and in some situations can give significantly better results for buildings. Using this approach, the benefits of techniques such as radiation barriers (e.g. walls) can be included in the analysis.

The image on the right shows the results of an analysis using in-house software that IFC has developed. The red building in the centre is assumed to be on fire, and the software carries out detailed analyses to calculate the level of radiation received on the facades of the adjacent buildings.

This technique allows the most cost-effective solutions to the problem to be identified.

IFC staff have extensive expertise in the analysis of radiation, as well as in-house computer programs to support those calculations. We can also help in developing methods for reducing the risk to an acceptable level where required. 

Our team of experts will be pleased to discuss any of our services with you.

Please click on this link for our contact details.