International Team Advances Structural Fire Engineering
Structural Fire Engineering
Our Performance-Based Philosophy
Holmes Fire brings a customized approach to Structural Fire Engineering, a service that designs a structure to remain standing in the event of a fire. Structural Fire Engineering not only enhances life safety and property protection – it can unlock significant cost-savings and aesthetic benefits as well. From the get-go, we meet with project stakeholders to thoroughly understand a building’s performance goals relative to its specific context: its use, materials, architecture, jurisdiction and project budget. Each building is assessed on a case-by-case basis, on its own terms, to reach an optimum, tailored solution. Our approach deviates from traditional methods of designing structures for fire-resistance, which limit a structure’s response to fire within a contained furnace model. Rather, we look beyond a furnace environment to analyze how a structure would perform in real-world scenarios with the heat turned up. A performance-based fire engineering approach allows us to assess a structure’s resilience in various configurations, leading us to an optimum solution that achieves a required fire rating. By implementing state-of-the-art technology, we design real structures for real fires.
We employ 11 structural fire engineers internationally, seven of whom hold specialized PhDs in the discipline. Our team is led by Dr. Linus Lim, an expert with over 15 years’ experience on innovative structural fire engineering projects worldwide. Cumulatively, we represent vast knowledge and applications of Structural Fire Engineering in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Looking beyond Holmes Fire’s projects, our staff authors technical research articles, sits on code committees for structural fire resistance, and presents at industry conferences (hosted by organizations including the Australian Steel Institute and Wood Solutions). Additionally, we have the capability to tap Holmes’ own structural engineers (from Holmes Structures and Holmes Consulting) for close-knit collaboration on in-depth structural analysis.
Our structural fire engineers are well-versed in advanced structural fire analysis and technologies. Since 2013, we’ve been utilizing non-linear analysis to achieve optimal structural fire solutions. Non-linear [finite element] analysis allows us to closely examine the behavior of a given structure under realistic fire exposure, down to a singular connection detail. We run our analyses through SAFIR, a bespoke finite element software, to model the structural fire performance of the building in various configurations, providing intuitive visuals for our clients and building authorities. Through performance-based engineering, we demonstrate that our designs meet or exceed prescriptive building codes, standards and legislations – justifying highly-tailored performance solutions across jurisdictions.
Graphical Representation of Deformed Structure Following Fire Exposure