Jumeirah Lakes Tower (JLT), High-rise Fire spread due to Flammable Siding

 

JLT Tower Fire“A 34-storey mixed residential and business tower in Dubai is engulfed in flames in the early hours of Sunday. The company that owns the development, Tamweel, has released a statement saying the fire in the mixed-use building was contained with help from the Dubai Civil Defence” – The Guardian [Nov. 18, 2012]

As a result of the fire, a recent article is now re-igniting the debate over the use of flammable sidings in high rise buildings. : http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/editorial/time-to-review-use-of-flammable-siding

While many developed countries have more recently enacted strict regulations on the use of flammable materials on the exterior of buildings, “an estimate 70 per cent of buildings in the UAE have facades made with some form of aluminium sandwiching a combustible thermoplastic core.” This clearly constitutes a serious safety hazard in these high rise buildings.

The consequences of these rapidly upward-propagating fires goes beyond the effects of the fires on the exterior, but also that these fires can propagate from the exterior TO the interior. The basic approach to fire safety for years has been to compartmentalize a building to separate rooms that prevent fire from spreading between them. When this is challenged, such as this situation, it puts additional stresses on the designed fire protection system and perhaps the structural integrity of the building.
Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/editorial/time-to-review-use-of-flammable-siding#ixzz2CtYYjiT5
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Video of the fire:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/nov/18/dubai-skyscraper-fire-video

 

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