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9/11 investigators in row over use of fi re-resistant glass

News

AMERICA'S LEAD investigator into the World Trade Center (WTC) collapses was this week embroiled in a dispute over his call for thermallyresistant glass to be used in tall buildings.

America's National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) last week indicated that using thermally-resistant glass was one way of improving the performance of burning buildings.

The conclusions were drafted by NIST acting deputy director Dr Shyam Sunder, who spoke to NCE this week.

But associate director at consultant Arup, Dr Barbara Lane, doubted the effectiveness of thermally-resistant glass.

She said that normal glass would shatter in a fire, allowing cool air to reduce blaze temperatures.

She also claimed that glazing a 50-storey building of 1,600m 2 fl r area with thermallyresistant windows would cost an extra £22M.

But Sunder said that hattered windows would fuel fi res by allowing oxygen into burning buildings.

Sunder was due to speak at NCE's fi e engineering conference on Tuesday but was too ill to attend.

He told NCE that thermallyresistant glass lasted longer than normal glass under the WTC fire conditions in tests performed by NIST.

'It will not prevent fire spreading, but it will delay it, ' said Sunder.

'No one [here] is talking about making all buildings fire resistant in any scenario. The threat of terrorism is different to arson which is different to an offi ce fire.

'Only a few buildings will be subject to terrorist threat, ' said Sunder.

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