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


AMERICA'S LEAD investigator into the World Trade Center (WTC) collapses was has become 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 month 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.

But associate director at UK 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 $40M.

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

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

'It will not prevent fi re 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 office fi re.

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

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