The Windsor Tower

1. Read the Windsor Tower Case HistoryWrite a three-page paper on the research Reply to each question and: What is unprotected steel? What is insulating material? Do you think it is possible for a similar fire to occur now? Why or why not?Case History: The Windsor TowerThe Windsor Tower in Madrid, Spain was a 32-story concrete building with a reinforced concrete central core. A typical floor included a concrete slab supported by internal columns with additional steel I-beams, and steel perimeter columns. The building featured two heavily reinforced concrete transfer structures between the 2nd and 3rd floors, and between the 16th and 17th floors respectively. The perimeter columns were supported by the transfer structures at the 17th and 3rd floor levels.When the fire occurred on February 12th, 2005, the building was partially through a three year refurbishment with the goal of adding a sprinkler system, and fire protection to perimeter steel columns and internal steel beams. Fire protection elements were added systematically, floor by floor, starting from the bottom floor. At the time of the fire, the fire protection had been completed through the 17th floor. No sprinklers were operable at the time of the fire. Originally, the perimeter columns and internal steel beams were left unprotected in accordance with the Spanish building code at the time of construction.The fire started at 11:00 p.m. at the 21st floor. Within one hour, all floors above the 21st floor were on fire. A large number of the floor slabs above the 17th floor progressively collapsed during the fire when unprotected steel perimeter columns on the upper levels buckled and collapsed. The reinforced concrete of the 17th floor was able to sustain the impact and, as a result, the collapse did not continue below this floor. Fire continued below to the 4th floor without collapse until extinguishment. Among other lessons learned, this fire demonstrated the differences in buildings with protected and nonprotected concrete supports.

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