Structural Firefighting

WTC: LIGHTWEIGHT STEEL AND HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS

Issue 4 and Volume 155.

BY FRANCIS L. BRANNIGAN, SFPE (Fellow) My brain probably resembles a hard drive that is heavily loaded and has not been defragged. A number of people have said they’d like to pick my brain about the World Trade Center (WTC) and high-rise buildings in general. Here are the pickings. SOME HISTORY The Port Authority (PA) of New York and New Jersey is a bistate agency that operates like a foreign government-it is not subject to New York City building codes. The WTC buildings were built unsprinklered, as were almost all high-rise office buildings in New York City in the early 1970s. For many years, the only sprinklered office building was 85 John Street, the headquarters of the National Board of Fire Underwriters. Scores of high-rise loft buildings in the clothing-related industries in midtown were sprinklered as a result of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. The New York code emphasized “compartmentation.”…

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