Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building

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Re: Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Build

Postby admin » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:32 pm

Chapter 3: DERIVING THE PROBABLE COLLAPSE SEQUENCE

3.1 GATHERING OF EVIDENCE


Similar to the investigation into the collapse of the WTC towers, data for WTC 7 were collected from a number of sources and reviewed. Much of the information on WTC 7 was gathered and published during the reconstruction of the collapses of the towers. Comparison of the various building codes in use at the time of construction was the subject of NIST NCSTAR 1-1E. Details of the fire safety provisions and systems were published in NIST NCSTAR reports 1-1D, 1-1G, 1-1I, 1-4B, 1-4C, and 1-4D. The emergency power systems were described in NIST NCSTAR 1-1J. Properties of the structural steels used in the construction were the subject of NIST NCSTAR 1-3D and NIST NCSTAR 1-3E. The SFRM properties were presented in NCSTAR 1-6A. Much of the activities of the emergency responders was reported in NIST NCSTAR 1-8. A description of the collection and cataloguing of the photographic and videographic evidence appeared in NIST NCSTAR 1-5A. This included visuals of debris impact damage and fire spread subsequent to collapse of the WTC towers. Additional imagery was collected subsequent to the previously reported library. While not as plentiful as the imagery for the WTC towers, the cumulative WTC 7 evidence was sufficient to guide the reconstruction of the day's events.

As with the WTC towers, much of the information specific to the WTC 7 building construction was lost with the destruction of the WTC site. Nonetheless, copious information was obtained from drawings and specifications, reports, and available records from The Port Authority, Silverstein Properties, and a number of contractors that had worked on the design, construction, or modifications of WTC 7. The documents included erection and fabrication shop drawings of the building, which provided detailed information about the floor and column connections. Information and documents regarding the layout of the building interior were obtained from WTC 7 tenants. Staff of the occupying organizations and Silverstein Properties staff were also interviewed to gain additional insights into the layout, furnishing, and overall fuel loads. Additional interviews with emergency responders and building officials, along with tapes of radio transmissions from September 11, 2001, provided accounts of the human activity inside the building and around the WTC site.

3.2 THE LEADING HYPOTHESIS

Based on observations and analyses of photographic and video records, critical study of steel framing, and simplified and detailed analyses to investigate possible failure modes that could lead to an initiating event, NIST developed the following collapse hypothesis:

• The conditions that led to the collapse of WTC 7 arose from fires, perhaps combined with structural damage that followed the impact of debris from the collapse of WTC I. The fires were fed by ordinary office combustibles.

• The fires on Floors 7 through 13 heated the building structure. Being lighter than the columns and with thinner SFRM, the floor beams, floor slabs, and connections heated more quickly and to higher temperatures than the columns. The elevated temperatures in the floor elements led to their thermal expansion, sagging, and weakening, which resulted in failure of floor connections and/or buckling of floor beams.

Sufficient breakdown of connections and/or beams resulted in loss of lateral support and buckling of at least one of the critical columns supporting a large-span floor bay on the eastern side of the building on or below Floor 13. This was the initiating event of the collapse.

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• The initial local failure progressed upward to the east penthouse. As the large floor bays became unable to redistribute the loads, the interior structure below the east penthouse collapsed into WTC 7.

• Triggered by damage due to the falling debris and loss of lateral support to adjacent interior columns, the failure progressed westward in the region of Floors 7 through 14, where the floors had been weakened by fires. This ultimately resulted in the collapse of the entire structure.

The Investigation Team then proceeded to examine this hypothesis more closely and to consider possible alternative collapse initiating processes.

3.3 HYPOTHETICAL BLAST SCENARIOS

Considerable effort was expended to compile evidence and to determine whether intentionally set explosives might have caused the collapse of WTC 7 (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Appendix D). As a minimum, the explosive material would have had to cause sufficient damage to a critical column or truss that it became unable to carry its service load or that a lateral deflection would cause it to buckle.

Six combinations of explosive location and column/truss sections and two implementation scenarios were considered. In the first scenario, there was ample time for optimized preparation of the structure (including possible preliminary cutting of structural members) and use of the minimum mass of explosives. In the second scenario, the explosive charge was to be placed in the shortest possible time, which was to be no more than a 7 h to 8 h time frame.

SHAMRC, a software program that is used for analysis of explosive detonations, shock propagation and structure loads due to blast and fragments, was used to simulate pressure histories from hypothetical blasts. The pressure histories were then used to determine whether windows would have broken, which would have provided visible evidence of a charge detonation to observers outside the building. SHAMRC has a proven record of accuracy for explosive weights of less than 500 g (1 lb) to more than 4 x 10[6] kg (4,000 tons). A validated Shard Fly-Out Model (SFOM) was used to predict window breakage. Simulations were performed for differing degrees of partitioning of a tenant floor.

Attention focused on a single hypothetical blast scenario. This scenario involved preliminary cutting of Column 79 and the use of 4 kg (9 lb) of RDX explosives in linear shaped charges. The other scenarios would have required more explosives, or were considered infeasible to accomplish without detection. Calculations were also performed for a lesser charge size of 1 kg (2 lb) to evaluate threshold explosive requirements for window fragility.

Preparations for a blast scenario would have been almost impossible to carry out on any floor in the building without detection. Preparations would have included removal of column enclosures or walls, weld torches to cut column sections, and placement of wires for detonation. Occupants, support staff, and visitors would have noticed such activities, particularly since they likely would have occurred around more than one column.

Figure 3-1 shows the results for the two shaped charges applied to Column 79 on a tenant floor that was highly partitioned, such as Floor 12. Nearly all the windows on the northeast section of the floor subjected to a blast would have been broken, even by the smaller charge. Simulations for a floor that was not highly partitioned led to more extensive window breakage.

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Top: 9 lb shaped charge; bottom: 2 lb charge.
Figure 3-1. Peak overpressure and broken window locations.


The actual window breakage pattern on the visible floors on September 11, 2001 (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 5) was not at all like that expected from a blast that was even 20 percent of that needed to damage a critical column in WTC 7. The visual evidence did not show such a breakage pattern on any floor of WTC 7 as late as about 4:00 p.m. or above the 25th floor at the time of the building collapse initiation. Views of the northeast corner of WTC 7 at the time of the collapse were obstructed by other buildings.

The window breakage would have allowed the sound of a blast to propagate outward from the building. NLAWS, a validated acoustic wave propagation software program, was used to predict the propagation of the sound of the hypothetical blasts. The calculations showed that all the hypothetical blast scenarios and charge sizes would have broadcast significant sound levels from all of the building faces. For instance, if propagation were unobstructed by other buildings, the sound level emanating from the WTC 7 perimeter openings would have been approximately 130 dB to 140 dB at a distance of 1 km (0.6 mile) from WTC 7. This sound level is consistent with standing next to a jet plane engine and more than 10 times louder than being in front of the speakers at a rock concert. The sound from such a blast in an urban setting would have been reflected and channeled down streets with minimum attenuation. The hard building exteriors would have acted as nearly perfect reflectors, with little to no absorption. The sound would have been attenuated behind buildings, but this would also have generated multiple echoes. These echoes could have extended the time period over which the sound could have been detected and could possibly have had an additive effect if multiple in-phase reflections met. However, soundtracks from videos being recorded at the time of the collapse did not contain any sound as intense as would have accompanied such a blast (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 5). Therefore, the Investigation Team concluded that there was no demolition-type blast that would have been intense enough to lead to the collapse of WTC 7 on September 11, 2001.

3.4 THE FOUR-STEP SIMULATION PROCESS

3.4.1 Technical Approach


To test the working hypothesis and to reconstruct the probable collapse sequence for WTC 7, the Investigation Team supplemented the information available from the photographic and videographic evidence, eyewitness accounts, and personal interviews with computer simulations. The analyses accounted for the debris-impact damage, the growth and spread of fires, the heating and thermal expansion and weakening of structural components, and the progression of local structural failures that led to the collapse of the building.

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Figure 3-2 is a flow chart of the sequence and inter-dependencies of the analyses for the reconstruction of the WTC 7 collapse. Four models were used, as described in Sections 3.4.2 through 3.4.5.

Similar to the analyses conducted for the WTC towers, the analyses of WTC 7 continued to advance the current state of the art and tested the limits of computational capabilities. The unprecedented complexity and sophistication of these analyses required the use of various strategies for managing the computational demands while adequately capturing the essential physics of the problem. The uncertainties, the assumptions made, and the testing of these assumptions are documented in NIST NCSTAR 1-9. Beyond the assumptions that were considered in the collapse analysis of the WTC towers, four additional significant areas of uncertainty influenced the collapse analysis of WTC 7. These areas included fire growth and spread, debris impact damage due to the collapse of WTC 1, transitioning from the structural fire response to the collapse analysis, and the analysis progression from initiation to global collapse.

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Figure 3-2. WTC 7 analysis sequence and interdependencies.

Fires Simulated

The visual evidence indicated that the only fires of significant duration and intensity were on Floors 7 through 9 and 11 through 13.

• By 1:00 p.m., there was no visual evidence that the small, early fires on Floors 19, 22, 29, and 30 were still burning (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 5). Therefore, these fires were not included in the four-step analysis sequence.

• There was no confirmed evidence of fires on other floors of WTC 7. The layout of the other tenant spaces (Floors 15 and above) indicated that, had there been fires of the duration and intensity of those on Floors 7 through 9 and 11 through 13, they would have been recorded in at least some of the photographic images or videos.

• There were no signs of fires on the 5th and 6th mechanical floors. There was little combustible material on the 6th floor, making a sustained and intense fire unlikely.

Hypothetically, there might have been fires on the 5th floor, since external views of the interior of these floors were inhibited by air intake and exhaust plenums, louvers, and/or transformer vault walls on the north, east and west faces (Figure 3-3 and Figure 3-4, reproduced from NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 3). Therefore, NIST performed simulations of the potentially severe pool fires that might have resulted from ignition of spillage (e.g., from a ruptured fuel supply line) of the diesel fuel present on the 5th floor or that might have been pumped to that floor. Four types of fires resulting from fuel line rupture in the northeast section of the 5th floor were analyzed (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 9).

• An over-ventilated fire, in which the fuel burning could have been sustained for approximately seven hours between the collapse of WTC 1 and the collapse of WTC 7. Result: The gas temperatures around all nine diesel generators would have quickly exceeded the generator operating limit, and there would have been no power to continue pumping fuel. Thus, the fire could not have been sustained.

• An over-ventilated fire, in which the burning rate was doubled, representing a higher intensity fire of shorter duration. Result: The fire could not have been sustained for the same reason as in the previous case.

• An under-ventilated fire, in which the air handling system was turned off and the louvers were closed. The initial fuel burning rate was fit to the air availability. Result: The sustained air temperatures were not high enough to compromise the structure.

• An under-ventilated fire, in which the air handling system was turned off, but the louvers were open. Result: Smoke would have exhausted through the east louvers, and the imagery showed no such effluent.

An additional simulation was performed of an over-ventilated fire near the breach in the south wall. Result: The fire might have been able to damage the nearby columns, especially if their thermal insulation had been damaged by the debris from WTC 1. However, as will be seen later, the collapse of WTC 7 originated on the east side of the building, and there was no path for the hot gases to reach and weaken the structure on that side.

The diesel fuel in the day tank on Floor 5 was only equivalent to a few percent of the combustible furnishings on a tenant floor. It was unlikely that the tank would have been re-supplied because of multiple safeguards in the fuel delivery system.

NIST determined that a spray fire of the diesel fuel would have been less damaging than a pool fire, even though the spray fire temperature would have been a few hundred degrees higher. A fuel spray would have resulted from a small leak in the fuel supply piping, so the fuel escape rate would have been far less than in the over-ventilated pool fire scenarios. Had this small building spray hit Column 79 directly, it would only have heated a small area of the column. NIST calculations (NIST NCSTAR 1-9. Chapter 4) showed that even if the entire column had been immersed in a 1400 °C (2550 °F) flame, it would have taken 6 h to heat the column to the point of significant loss of strength and stiffness.

NIST also evaluated the possible contribution of diesel fuel from the day tanks on Floors 7 and 9 to the fires on those floors. The amount of fuel available within the day tanks was insignificant compared to the mass of other combustibles on those floors. Nearly all the diesel fuel in the tanks that supplied the day tank on the 9th floor was recovered months after the WTC 7 collapse. The diesel fuel could have contributed to the initial ignition and spread of the fire on the south side of Floor 7 and on the west side of Floor 9, but these fires would have been far removed from the critical structural systems on the east side of WTC 7.

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Figure 3-3. Schematic of the layout of the 6th floor of WTC 7. [1]

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Figure 3-4. Schematic layout of the 5th floor of WTC 7 showing the locations of the emergency power system components. [1]

Based on these analyses and review of the numerous interview transcripts [2], NIST concluded that it was highly unlikely that any fires on the 5th or 6th floors contributed to the collapse of WTC 7.

NIST concluded that the only fires that could have led to structural weakening of WTC 7 were those on the 7th through 9th and 11th through 13th floors.

3.4.3 Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS)

The major fires on Floors 7 through 9 and 11 though 13 in WTC 7 were simulated using the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS), version 4, in a manner similar to the simulations conducted for WTC 1 and WTC 2 (NIST NCSTAR 1-5F). There were far fewer photographs and videos of WTC 7 than of the towers; and, thus, the details of the WTC 7 fires were not as precise as for the fires in the towers. However, the imagery was sufficient to guide the WTC 7 fire simulations. Unlike the computations for WTC 1 and WTC 2, the fire simulations for WTC 7 were conducted for each floor individually, as there were no obvious pathways for the flames and heat to pass from one floor to another, aside from the debris-damaged area in the southwest corner of the building (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 9). The fires on Floors 7, 8, and 12 were simulated using input from the visual imagery and established fire physics. The fire on Floor 9 was similar to that on Floor 8, and the simulation was derived from it. For the same reason, the fires on Floors 11 and 13 were derived from the fire on Floor 12. While use was made of the appearance of flames and window breakage in photographs and videos in formulating the simulations, the Investigation Team realized that the absolute timing of the simulations might not align exactly with the timing of the fires on September 11, 2001. A typical single floor fire simulation took up to two days on a Linux cluster with 8 processors.

Figure 3-5 shows hourly snapshots of the computed temperatures near the ceiling of the 8th floor. The general clockwise movement of the fires is in agreement with the visual images. Figure 3-6 is a similar visualization of the temperatures resulting from the computed fires on the 12th floor. The general counterclockwise movement of the fires is evident.

3.4.4 Fire Structure Interface (FSI)

The Fire Structure Interface (FSI) was used to impose the gas temperatures from the FDS simulations on the structural components of WTC 7 to predict the evolving thermal state of the building (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 10). The thermal analysis approach was similar to that used to simulate the fire induced thermal loads on WTC 1 and WTC 2 described in NCSTAR 1-5G. The FDS temperature data for use in the structural analysis were sampled at 30 min intervals. For each time step, a set of thermal data files was generated that specified the thermal state of the lower 16 stories of the building. Three different thermal response computations were used. Case A used the temperature data as obtained from the FDS simulation. Case B increased the Case A gas temperatures by 10 percent and Case C decreased the Case A gas temperatures by 10 percent. Given the limited visual evidence, the Investigation Team estimated, using engineering judgment, that a 10 percent change in temperatures was within the range of reasonable and realistic values for the fires in WTC 7 on September 11, 2001. The computational time for each Case was approximately one to two days on a single processor desktop computer.

Figure 3-7 shows the calculated heating of the structural steel on the lower 16 floors of WTC 7 for the Case B temperatures from the fire simulation. The floor slabs have been removed from the figure for clarity. Figure 3- 8 is a typical rendition of the calculated heating of the top of a floor slab as a result of the Case 8 fire.

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Figure 3-5. Progression of simulated fire on Floor 8 of WTC 7 showing gas temperatures near the ceiling.

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Figure 3-6. Progression of simulated fire on Floor 12 of WTC 7 showing gas temperatures near the ceiling.

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Figure 3-7. Computed temperature distribution (°C) of Floor 13 steel framing at five different instants in time.

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Figure 3-8. Computed temperature distribution (°C) in the top layer of the concrete slab of Floor 12 at five different instants in time.
Grey shading indicates temperatures >675 °C


3.4.5 Structural Analysis of the Initial Failure Event using ANSYS

The structural response of the lower 16 stories of WTC 7 to the heating from the fires on Floors 7 through 9 and 11 through 13 was simulated using ANSYS, a finite element computational model that allowed including the temperature-varying properties of the structural materials. This analysis was used to determine the sequence of events that led to the collapse initiation (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 11). In addition to the temperature-time histories from the FSI results, the structural model used temperature- dependent mechanical properties of the steels, welds, and bolts used in the construction of WTC 7, including elastic, plastic, and creep properties. The description of the building structure was based on architectural and structural drawings of the original building and subsequent building alterations, as well as erection and shop fabrication drawings.

Component structural analyses were conducted to identify critical behavior and failure mechanisms that could have contributed to the global structural response of the building. These component analyses included (1) buckling of a core column, (2) beam-to-girder connections under thermal loading, and (3) girder-to-column connections under thermal loading. Subsystem analyses were then performed that incorporated the behavior and failure mechanisms identified in the component studies. The subsystems analyses included (1) the northeast corner of a typical floor and (2) a full tenant floor, both under gravity and fire loads. Modifications were made to reduce the model size and complexity and to enhance computational performance, but without adversely affecting the accuracy of the results. Whenever modeling modifications were used, they were validated against the detailed component model results.

Due to the nonlinearities in the analysis, as well as fire-induced damage, a 30 min analysis could take a few weeks to complete. Due to the range of time steps that were required to reach equilibrium (e.g., from 10-6 seconds to 10s of seconds), a complete ANSYS analysis for a given thermal case took approximately six months to complete on a 64 bit workstation with quad-core, 3.0 gigahertz (GHz) processor, and 64 gigabyte (GB) of Random Access Memory (RAM). The use of user-defined elements prevented the use of parallel processing on a Linux cluster.

The three different thermal response cases (A, B, and C) were used in the ANSYS analysis. Based on the ANSYS model results, it became apparent that the calculated fire-induced damage to connections and beams were occurring at essentially the same locations and with similar failure mechanisms, but shifted in time. (Case C failures occurred at a later time than the same failures in Case A, and Case A failures occurred at a later time than Case B failures.) As a result, only the fire-induced damage produced by Case B temperatures was carried forward as the initial condition for the building collapse analysis, since the damage occurred in the least computational time (i.e., 6 months).

Figure 3-9 shows an example of the extent of structural damage from the fires, in this case for the 13th floor. At both 3.5 h and 4.0 h, connections, floor beams, and girders were damaged or had failed at steel temperatures that were approximately 400 °C (750 °F) or less, primarily due to the effects of thermal expansion. After 4.0 h of heating, there was substantially more damage and failures in the WTC 7 structural floor systems than at 3.5 h of heating.

The ANSYS results were input to the LS-DYNA analysis when it appeared that an initial failure event might be imminent. Damage diagrams for the 16 floors modeled in ANSYS, such as those shown in Figure 3-9, indicated some degree of uncertainty in selecting the time and damage state for the transition. However, it appeared likely the critical damage state occurred between 3.5 h and 4 h. Accordingly, as shown in the next section, LS-DYNA analyses were performed for both of these damage states.

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Figure 3-9. Damage state of connections in Floor 13 for Case B temperatures. a: at 3.5 h; b: at 4.0 h

3.4.6 Global Collapse Analysis using LS-DYNA

A global finite element model of the WTC 7 building was developed in LS-DYNA to study its structural response to an initial failure event due to fire and to determine the sequence of events that led to collapse propagation and, ultimately, global collapse. LS-DYNA was capable of explicitly modeling failures, falling debris, and debris impact on other structural components. It could also model nonlinear and dynamic processes, including nonlinear material properties, nonlinear geometric deformations, material failures, contact between the collapsing structural components, and element erosion based on a defined failure criterion. In addition, LS-DYNA had capabilities to include thermal expansion and softening of materials. (For more detail, see NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 12, and NIST NCSTAR 1-9A.)

The description of the building structure was based on architectural and structural drawings of the original building and subsequent building alterations, as well as erection and shop fabrication drawings. Other input data required by the global LS-DYNA model were presented in the following sections of NIST NCSTAR 1-9:

• Extent of damage to the building by debris impact from the collapse of WTC 1 (Chapter 5).

• Temperature-dependent mechanical properties of steel (Appendix E) and concrete (NIST NCSTAR 1-6A) used in the construction of WTC 7.

• Fire-induced damage to floor beams, girders, and their connections from the 16 story ANSYS analysis (Chapter 11).

• Temperatures for structural components and connections, at the time the ANSYS analysis transferred data to the LS-DYNA analysis (Chapter 10).

Due to the nonlinearities in the analysis, as well as sequential local failures, a 25 s analysis took up to 8 weeks to complete. The analyses were run on a Linux cluster with a head node with two 64 bit, 2.4 GHz processors and 4 GB of RAM and eight compute nodes with two 64 bit, 2.6 GHz processors. Six of the compute nodes had 8 GB of RAM and the remaining two nodes had 16 GB RAM.

Four simulations were performed with the global LS-DYNA model.

• The first was based on NIST's best estimate of both the debris impact damage from WTC 1 and the fire-induced damage as developed using the ANSYS modeling. This occurred at 4 h in the ANSYS computation.

• The second simulation differed only in the input of a lesser degree of fire-induced damage, which occurred at 3.5 h in the ANSYS computation. The purpose of this LS-DYNA simulation was to determine whether a lesser degree of fire-induced damage could lead to the collapse of WTC 7.

• The third simulation was the same as the first, except that no debris impact damage was included. The purpose of this analysis was to determine the contribution of debris impact to the WTC 7 global collapse sequence and whether WTC 7 would have collapsed solely due to the effects of the fires.

• In the fourth simulation, the building experienced no debris or fire-induced damage. A section of Column 79 between Floors 11 and 13 was removed. The purpose of this analysis was to determine the potential for a classic progressive collapse, i.e., disproportionate structural damage from a single failure, regardless of the cause of that failure.

The LS-DYNA model was initiated as follows to minimize any spurious dynamic effects associated with the loading sequence. First, gravity was applied slowly to the 47 floor structure, taking 4.5 s of elapsed simulation time. Then, the debris impact damage from the collapse of WTC 1 was applied to the structure instantaneously by removing from the model the damaged elements that were no longer capable of bearing their loads. The structure was then allowed to damp residual vibrations for 2 s. Over the next 2 s, the structural temperatures were ramped up to the levels from the ANSYS simulation. Last, the fire-induced damage obtained from the 16 story ANSYS analysis, including damage to floor beams, girders, and connections, was applied instantaneously. The damage was from the computation of Case B at 4 h after the initiation of the fires in FDS. The heated, damaged structure was then free to react. The time at which the east penthouse began to descend was defined as 0.0 s, i.e., the beginning of the collapse of WTC 7.

Figure 2-2 shows the structural response of WTC 7 to the fire-induced damage on the east side. Floor 13 collapsed onto the floors below, causing a cascade of floor failures down to Floor 5. The floor failures left Column 79 laterally unsupported and it buckled, which was quickly followed by the buckling of Columns 80 and 81. The buckling of Column 79 was the initiating event that led to the collapse of WTC 7, not the floor failures. If Column 79 had not buckled, due to a larger section or bracing, for instance, the floor failures would not have been sufficient to initiate a progression of failure that would result in global collapse.

The global analysis with fire-induced damage at 4.0 h most closely matched the observed collapse events, and the following discussion begins with the results from this analysis.

Figure 3-10 through Figure 3-14 depict the state of the WTC 7 structure at various times as the structure collapsed. The first four figures are views of the lowest 18 floors of the WTC 7 building core from the south. In these graphics, the exterior columns and some of the tenant floor structure spanning between the core and the exterior have been removed for an unobstructed view of the core. The scale on the right side shows the absolute (i.e., without any indication of direction) lateral displacement of each structural element. Displacements greater than 0.15 m (6 in.) are also shown in red.

Figure 3-10 shows the beginning of upper floor failures on the east side of the building at 0.5 s, following the buckling of Columns 79, 80, and 81. The east penthouse, which was supported by these three columns, had just begun to descend. About 2 s later, as shown in Figure 3-11 , the collapse of all the east sections of all the floors had occurred, the upper floors had moved southward, Truss 2 had been damaged, and the westward progression of the building failure was underway. Figure 3-12 and Figure 3-13, only 2 s apart, indicate the speed with which the westward column failures proceeded between Floors 7 and 14.

In Figure 3-14, the total collapse of the building is underway. The two views cover the lower half of the building. The purple area at the bottom is the Con Edison substation. With no fires on the west side of Floors 10 through 14, the intact floor framing pulled the exterior columns inward as the interior columns fell downward. Loads from the buckled interior columns were redistributed to the exterior columns, which, in turn, buckled the exterior columns between Floors 7 and 14 within approximately 2 s. At that point, the entire building above the buckled-column region moved downward as a single unit, resulting in the global collapse of WTC 7.

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Figure 3-10. Vertical progression of failures on the east side of the building at 0.5 s following the initiation of the collapse.

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Figure 3-11. Failure of Columns 77 and 78 due to failure of Truss 2 fails from debris impact at 2.5 s following the initiation of the collapse.

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Figure 3-12. Failure of Columns 73 to 75 from the load redistribution and debris impact at 4.5 s following the initiation of the collapse.

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Figure 3-13. Buckling of all interior columns at 6.5 s following the initiation of the collapse.

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Figure 3-14. Buckling of the lower exterior columns within 1 s of Figure 3-13.

The second LS-DYNA analysis (lesser degree of fire-induced damage) did not lead to a collapse-initiating event, despite the extensive damage shown in Figure 3-9a.

The third LS-DYNA analysis demonstrated that the fire-induced damage led to the collapse of WTC 7, even without any structural damage from the debris impact. However, the mechanism of the collapse differed from the first analysis. This is discussed further in the next section.

The fourth LS-DYNA analysis showed that, following the removal of Column 79 between Floors 11 and 13, vertical and horizontal progression of failure occurred. This was followed by downward movement at the roofline due to buckling of exterior columns, which led to the collapse of the entire building. This analysis showed that WTC 7 was prone to classic progressive collapse associated with the local failure of Column 79.

3.5 ACCURACY OF THE PROBABLE COLLAPSE SEQUENCE

Independent assessment of the validity of the key steps in the collapse of WTC 7 was a challenging task. Some of the photographic information had been used to direct the simulations. For example, the timing of the appearance of broken windows was an input to the fire growth modeling. However, there were significant observables that were usable as corroborating evidence, as shown in Table 3-1 . The "Observation Times" were determined from examinations of photographs and videos shot on September 11, 2001. The times in the second and third columns are from the two global analyses with and without debris impact damage for Case B temperatures at 4.0 h. Time "zero" was set as the start of the descent of the east penthouse.

3.5.1 Aspects prior to the Global Collapse

Analysis of a video shot prior to and during the collapse showed an east-west vibration of the building prior to its collapse (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 5 and Appendix C). The horizontal motion (± 2 in.) began 6 s before the east penthouse began to move downward. The horizontal building motion started at nearly the same time as the cascading floor failures started in the LS-DYNA analysis (-6.5 s), winch preceded the buckling failure of Colulmn 79. A seismic signal approximately 10 s prior to the onset of collapse was likely due to the falling of debris from the collapse (NIST NCSTAR 1-9 Appendix 8 ). It is consistent that the falling debris (on the east side of the building) imparted some momentum in the east west direction as it descended.

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Table 3-1. Comparison of global structural model predictions and observations for WTC 7, Case B

The two calculated times and the observed time for the descent of the east penthouse below the roofline were quite similar, independent of the debris impact damage. At this point, the two computations were also similar to each other in the manner in which the vertical progression of the collapse was proceeding.

The horizontal progression of buckling core columns was interior to the building and could not have been observed from the street. The process occurred over a longer duration of 10.3 s (13.5 s minus 3.2 s) for the analysis without debris impact damage than for the duration of 2.6 s (6.1 s minus 3.5 s) for the analysis with impact damage. In the analysis without debris impact damage, the lack of core framing damage on the lower west side resulted in a sequence of interior column failures from east to west that occurred at a more uniform rate. In the analysis with debris impact damage, the core framing damage on the west side resulted in a more rapid failure of the west interior columns in the last stages of the horizontal progression.
The initial downward movement of the north face from the northeast corner to the east side of the screenwall was observed at 6.9 s after the initial downward motion of the east penthouse. The LS-DYNA analyses with and without impact damage bracketed that value.

3.5.2 Aspects following the Global Collapse Initiation

Once simulation of the global collapse of WTC 7 was underway, there was a great increase in the uncertainty in the progression of the collapse sequence, due to the random nature of the interaction, break up, disintegration, and falling debris. The uncertainties deriving from these random processes increasingly influenced the deterministic physics-based collapse process, and the details of the progression of the horizontal failure and final global collapse were increasingly less precise.

Thus, while the two predictions of the time of descent of the west penthouse also straddled the observed time, the mechanisms of building collapse were quite different. In the analysis without debris impact damage, the exterior columns buckled near mid-height of the building, approximately between Floors 17 and 29. In the analysis with debris impact damage, the exterior columns buckled between Floors 7 to 14, due to the influence of the exterior damage near the southwest corner. In both analyses, the eastern exterior wall deflected inward at the roof level as the structure became unsupported after the vertical collapse event. The western wall also deflected inward in the analysis without debris impact damage, as it was pulled inward as the last line of core columns failed.

There was another observable feature that occurred after the global collapse was underway. After the exterior facade began to fall downward at 6.9 s, the north face developed a line or "kink" near the end of the core at Column 76. As shown in Figure 5-205, the northeast corner began to displace to the north at about 8.8 s, and the kink was visible at 9.3 s. The kink in the north face and rotation of the northeast facade occurred 2 s to 3 s after the exterior facade had begun to move downward, as a result of the global collapse. The simulations do show the formation of the kink, but any subsequent movement of the building is beyond the reliability of the physics in the model.

3.5.3 Accuracy Appraisal

Given the complexity of the modeled behavior, the global collapse analyses matched the observed behavior reasonably well. The close similarity of the timing and the nature of the events up to the initiation of global collapse is strong confirmation of the extent and nature of the structural failures in the interior of the building and the accuracy of the four-step simulation process. The overall simulation of the collapsing building with damage better matched the video observations of the global collapse. The global collapse analysis confirmed the leading collapse hypothesis, which was based on the available evidence.

3.6 TIMING OF COLLAPSE INITIATION AND PROGRESSION

The timing of global collapse of WTC 7, as indicated by downward motion of the north exterior face, was investigated using a video of the collapse taken from the vantage point of West Street near Harrison Street (Camera No. 3, Figure 5-183 of NIST NCSTAR 1-9). An initial analysis compared the observed time it took for the roofline to fall approximately 18 stories to the free fall time under the force of gravity. A more detailed analysis examined the vertical displacement, velocity, and acceleration through different stages of the collapse process. (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 12)

The time that the roofline took to fall 18 stories or 73.8 m (242 ft) was approximately 5.4 s. The theoretical time for free fall (i.e., at gravitational acceleration) was computed from t = square√ 2h/g.

Image

where t = time, s: h = distance, m (ft); and g = gravitational acceleration, 9.81 m/s[2] (32.2 ft/s[2]). This time was approximately 3.9 s. Thus, the average time for the upper 18 stories to collapse, based on video evidence, was approximately 40 percent longer than the computed free fall time.

A more detailed examination of the same video led to a better understanding of the vertical motion of the building in the first several seconds of descent. NIST tracked the downward displacement of a point near the center of the roofline, fitting the data using a smooth function. [3] (The time at which motion of the roofline was first perceived was taken as time zero.) The fitted displacement function was then differentiated to estimate the downward velocity as a function of time, shown as a solid curve in Figure 3- 15. Velocity data points (solid circles) were also determined from the displacement data using a central difference approximation. [4] The slope of the velocity curve is approximately constant between about 1.75 s and 4.0 s, and a good straight line fit to the points in this range (open-circles in Figure 3-15) allowed estimation of a constant downward acceleration during this time interval. This acceleration was 32.2 ft/s[2] (9.81 m/s[2]), equivalent to the acceleration of gravity g.

For discussion purposes, three stages were defined, as denoted in Figure 3-15:

• In Stage 1, the descent was slow and the acceleration was less than that of gravity. This stage corresponds to the initial buckling of the exterior columns in the lower stories of the north face. By 1.75 s, the north face had descended approximately 2.2 m (7 ft).

• In Stage 2, the north face descended at gravitational acceleration, as the buckled columns provided negligible support to the upper portion of the north face. This free fall drop continued for approximately 8 stories or 32.0 m (105 ft), the distance traveled between times t = 1.75 s and t =4.0s.

• In Stage 3, the acceleration decreased somewhat as the upper portion of the north face encountered increased resistance from the collapsed structure and the debris pile below. Between 4.0 s and 5.4 s, the north face corner fell an additional 39.6 m (130 ft).

As noted above, the collapse time was approximately 40 percent longer than that of free fall for the first 18 stories of descent. The detailed analysis shows that this increase in time is due primarily to Stage 1. The three stages of collapse progression described above are consistent with the results of the global collapse analyses discussed in Chapter 12 of NIST NCSTAR 1-9.

Image
Figure 3-15. Downward velocity of north face roofline as WTC 7 began to collapse.

3.7 REFERENCES

Cantor 1985. Irwin G. Cantor P.C., Structural Engineers, Structural Drawings, 7 World Trade Center.

Flack and Kurtz 1988. Flack and Kurtz Mechanical Engineers, Mechanical and Electrical Drawings for Salomon Brothers 7 World Trade Center Headquarters.

Roth 1985. Emery Roth & Sons P.C., Architects, Architectural Drawings, 7 World Trade Center.

Syska & Hennessy 1985. Syska & Hennessy Engineers, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Drawings, 7 World Trade Center.

_______________

Notes:

1. The descriptions of the 5th and 6th floors were derived from architectural and mechanical design drawings provided by Emery Roth & Sons (Roth 1985), Irwin, Cantor (Cantor 1985), Syska & Hennessy (1985), and Flack & Kurtz (1988). Some of the details may differ from the actual layout on September 11, 2001.

2. For instance, sometime after 1:00 p.m., OEM and FDNY staff climbed the east stairway of WTC 7 and did not see much damage on the 4th, 5th, or 6th floors from their viewing location. They made no mention of fire, heat or smoke.

3 A function of the form Image was assumed, which satisfies the initial conditions of zero displacement, zero velocity, and zero acceleration. The constants A, Image, and k were determined using least squares fitting.

4 The central difference approximation is given by Image where z[1] and z[i+1] denote the displacement at time t[1] and t[i+1] respectively.
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Re: Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Build

Postby admin » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:55 pm

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Re: Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Build

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Chapter 4: PRINCIPAL FINDINGS

4.1 INTRODUCTION

This chapter presents the findings of the NIST Technical Investigation, organized according to the first three of the four Investigation objectives for Building 7 of the New York World Trade Center (WTC). The fourth objective ("Identify areas in current building and fire codes, standards, and practices that warrant revision") is the subject of Section 4.5. The findings were derived from the extensive documentation summarized in the preceding chapters and described in detail in the accompanying reports (NIST NCSTAR 1-9 and 1-9A). While NIST was not able to compile complete documentation of the history of WTC 7, due to the loss of records over time and due to the collapses, the investigators were able to acquire information adequate to arrive at and firmly support the findings and recommendations compiled in this chapter and the next. The chapter begins with summary statements and continues with the listing of the full set of principal findings.

4.2 SUMMARY

Objective 1: Determine why and how WTC 7 collapsed.


• WTC 7 withstood debris impact damage that resulted in seven exterior columns being severed and subsequently withstood fires involving typical office combustibles on several floors for almost seven hours.

• The collapse of WTC 7 represents the first known instance of the total collapse of a tall building primarily due to fires. The collapse could not have been prevented without controlling the fires before most of the combustible building contents were consumed.

• WTC 7 collapsed due to uncontrolled fires with characteristics similar to previous fires in tall buildings. The fires in WTC 7 were similar to those that have occurred previously in several tall buildings (One New York Plaza, 1970, First Interstate Bank, 1988, and One Meridian Plaza, 1991) where the automatic sprinklers did not function or were not present. However, because of differences between their structural designs and that of WTC 7, these three buildings did not collapse. Fires for the range of combustible contents in WTC 7 - 20 kg/m[2] (4.0 lb/ft[2]) on Floors 7 to 9 and 32 kg/m[2] (6.4 lb/ft[2]) on Floors 11 to 13 - persisted in any given location for approximately 20 min to 30 min. Had a water supply for the automatic sprinkler system been available and had the sprinkler system operated as designed, it is likely that fires in WTC 7 would have been controlled and the collapse prevented.

• The probable collapse sequence that caused the global collapse of WTC 7 was initiated by the buckling of Column 79, which was unsupported over nine stories, after local fire-induced damage led to a cascade of floor failures. The buckling of Column 79 led to a vertical progression of floor failures up to the east penthouse and to the buckling of Columns 80 and 81. An east-to-west horizontal progression of interior column buckling followed, due to loss of lateral support to adjacent columns, forces exerted by falling debris, and load redistribution from other buckled columns. The exterior columns then buckled as the failed building core moved downward, redistributing its loads to the exterior columns. Global collapse occurred as the entire building above the buckled region moved downward as a single unit.

• The collapse of WTC 7 was a fire-induced progressive collapse. The American Society of Civil Engineers defines progressive collapse -- also known as disproportionate collapse -- as the spread of local damage, from an initiating event, from element to element, eventually resulting in the collapse of an entire structure or a disproportionately large part of it (ASCE 7-05). Despite extensive thermal weakening of connections and buckled floor beams of Floors 8 to 14, fire-induced damage in the floor framing surrounding column 79 over nine stories was the determining factor causing the buckling of column 79 and, thereby, initiating progressive collapse. This is the first known instance where fire-induced local damage (i.e., buckling failure of Column 79; one of 82 columns in WTC 7) led to the collapse of an entire tall building.

• WTC 7 was prone to classic progressive collapse in the absence of debris impact and fire-induced damage when a section of column 79 between Floors 11 and 13 was removed. The collapse sequence demonstrated a vertical and horizontal progression of failure upon the removal of the Column 79 section, followed by buckling of exterior columns, which led to the collapse of the entire building.

• Neither the transfer elements (trusses, girders, and cantilever overhangs) nor the "strong" floors (Floors 5 and 7) played a significant role in the collapse of WTC 7. Neither did the Con Edison substation play a significant role in the collapse of WTC 7.

• There was no evidence to suggest that there was damage to the SFRM that was applied to the steel columns, girders, and beams, except in the vicinity of the structural damage from the collapse of WTC 1, which was near the west side of the south face of the building.

• Even without the initial structural damage caused by debris impact from the collapse of WTC 1, WTC 7 would have collapsed from fires having the same characteristics as those experienced on September 11, 2001.

• Early fires in the southwest region of the building did not play a role in the collapse of WTC 7. The fires in this region were not severe enough to heat the structure significantly; and, unlike the northeast region where collapse initiated, there were no columns supporting long span floors in the southwest region.

• The observed descent time of the upper 18 stories of the north face of WTC 7 (the floors clearly visible in the video evidence) was 40 percent greater than the computed free fall time. A more detailed analysis of the descent of the north face found three stages: (1) a slow descent with acceleration less than that of gravity that corresponded to the buckling of the exterior columns at the lower floors, (2) a freefall descent over approximately eight stories at gravitational acceleration for approximately 2.25 s, and (3) a decreasing acceleration as the north face encountered resistance from the structure below.

• Diesel fuel fires did not play a role in the collapse of WTC 7. The worst-case scenarios associated with fires being fed by the ruptured fuel lines (a) could not have been sustained long enough, or could not have generated sufficient heat, to raise the temperature of a critical column (i.e., Column 79) to the point of significant loss of strength or stiffness, or (b) would have produced large amounts of visible smoke that would have emanated from the exhaust louvers. No such smoke discharge was observed.

• Blast events did not play a role in the collapse of WTC 7. Based on visual and audio evidence and the use of specialized computer modeling to simulate hypothetical blast events, NIST concluded that blast events did not occur, and found no evidence whose explanation required invocation of a blast event. Blast from the smallest charge capable of failing a critical column (i.e., Column 79) would have resulted in a sound level of 130 dB to 140 dB at a distance of at least half a mile if unobstructed by surrounding buildings (such as along Greenwich Street or West Broadway). This sound level is consistent with standing next to a jet plane engine and more than 10 times louder than being in front of the speakers at a rock concert. There were no witness reports of such a loud noise, nor was such a noise heard on the audio tracks of video recordings of the WTC 7 collapse.

Objective 2: Determine why the injuries and fatalities were so high or low depending on location, including all technical aspects of fire protection, occupant behavior, evacuation, and emergency response.

• There were no serious injuries or fatalities because the estimated 4,000 occupants of WTC 7 reacted to the airplane impacts on the two WTC towers and began evacuating before there was significant damage to WTC 7. Evacuation of the building took just over an hour.

• The occupants were able to use both the elevators and the stairs, which were as yet not damaged, obstructed, or smoke-filled.

• Building management personnel held the occupants in the building lobby until they identified an exit path that was safe from the debris falling from WTC 1 across the street.

• The decision not to continue evaluating and fighting the fires was made hours before the building collapsed, so no emergency responders were in or near the building when the collapse occurred.

Objective 3: Determine what procedures and practices were used in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of WTC 7.

• The design of WTC 7 was generally consistent [1] with the NYCBC.

• Consistent with the NYCBC, there was no redundancy in the source of water supply for the sprinkler system in the lower 20 floors of WTC 7. Since there was no gravity-fed overhead tank supplying these floors, the sprinkler system could not function when the only source of water, which was from the street mains, was not available.

• The passive fire resistance design of the WTC 7 structural system was based on catalogued ASTM E 119 test data. Practice today (and in the 1980s) for the fire resistance design of structures, based on the use of ASTM E 119 standard test method, is deficient since the method was not designed to include key fire effects that are critical to structural safety. Specifically, such practice does not capture: (a) important thermally-induced interactions between structural subsystems, elements, and connections -- especially restraint conditions; (b) system-level interactions -- especially those due to thermal expansion -- since columns, girders, and floor subassemblies are tested separately; (c) the performance of connections under both gravity and thermal effects; and (d) scale effects in buildings with long span floor systems.

• Determination of the actual fire performance of the WTC 7 structural system was not the responsibility of any of the design professionals associated with the design, construction, or maintenance of WTC 7. This was typical of practice in the 1980s, and continues to be the practice today. Current practice also does not require design professionals to possess the qualifications necessary to ensure adequate passive fire resistance of the structural system. In current practice, architects typically rely on catalogued ASTM E 119 test data to specify the required passive fire protection that is needed for the structure to comply with the building code. They are not required to explicitly evaluate the fire performance of the structure as a system (such as analyzing the effect of the thermal expansion or sagging of floor beams on girders, connections, and/or columns). Structural engineers are not required to consider fire as a load condition in structural design. Fire protection engineers may or may not be called upon to assist the architect in specifying the required passive fire protection. Thus, none of these professionals has been assigned the responsibility to ensure the adequate fire performance of the structural system.

• The design of WTC 7 did not include any specific analysis of how the structural system might perform in a real fire. There is a critical gap in knowledge about how structures perform in real fires, particularly considering: the effects of the fire on the entire structural system; the interactions between the subsystems, elements, and connections; and scaling of fire test results to full-scale structures (especially for structures with long span floor systems).

4.3 THE MECHANISMS OF BUILDING COLLAPSE

4.3.1 Debris Impact Damage from the Collapse of WTC 1


• WTC 7 was damaged by debris from the collapse of WTC 1, which occurred at 10:28:22 a.m. However, WTC 7 collapsed at 5:20:52 p.m., nearly seven hours later.

• The structural damage to WTC 7 was primarily located at the southwest corner and adjacent areas of the west and south faces, on Floors 5 through 17. Severed columns were located between Floors 7 and 17 on the south face (six columns) and the west face (one column) near the southwest corner. Cladding damage extended over much of the south face, and ranged from broken windows to removal of granite panels and windows.

4.3.2 Reconstruction of the Fires

• There were fewer photographs and videos of the WTC 7 fires than there were of the fires in the WTC towers. This resulted in intermittent coverage of the building exterior from about 11:00 a.m. until just after the collapse at 5:20:52 p.m. Nonetheless, the visual evidence was sufficient to guide the reconstruction of the growth patterns of the fires.

• Fires were observed on multiple floors of WTC 7 following the collapse of WTC 1. The fires were likely to have started at locations facing WTC 1, caused by flaming debris, induced electrical failures, etc.

o Early fires were seen on the southwest corner of Floors 19, 22, 29, and 30 shortly after noon. These were short-lived. Firefighters reported seeing fires on the south and west faces of WTC 7 as soon as visibility allowed (estimated to be 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.).

o Sustained fires occurred on Floors 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 13. The fires on these six floors were fed by combustibles (e.g., desks, chairs, papers, carpet) that were ordinary for commercial occupancies.

o Unlike the situation in the WTC towers, there was no widespread spraying of jet fuel to ignite numerous workstations simultaneously. Rather, in the earlier hours of the fires, the flames spread from one workstation to another, which is a much slower process.

• On each floor, the local fire origin likely occurred at a single workstation component or office furnishing item.

o On Floors 7 through 9 (open landscaping), the initial fire was likely spread by flame contact with an adjacent workstation and then radiative ignition of a workstation cluster across an aisle. By the time this second cluster was fully involved, the prior cluster burned out. Eventually the upper gas layer over enough of the huge open space was likely hot enough for radiatively enhanced ignition of multiple workstations, i.e., non-linear growth.

o On Floors 11 through 13 (enclosed offices), the fire likely grew within an office, reaching flashover in several minutes. After about 5 to 15 minutes, the ceiling tile system likely failed and the hot gases created a local hot upper layer. Thermal radiation from this layer ignited adjacent offices. Offices across a corridor likely ignited more slowly.

• The collapse of WTC 7 was not caused by diesel fuel fires or by fire-induced failure of the transfer trusses on Floors 5 and 6.

o Simulation of hypothetical, worst-case fire scenarios on these floors showed that pool fires, associated with ruptured diesel fuel lines, (a) would have raised the temperatures near the generators to the point where they all would have failed, cutting off the electrical power to the fuel pumps, (b) could not be sustained long enough, or generated too little heat, to raise the temperatures of the steel and concrete structure to the point of significant loss of strength or stiffness, and/or (c) would have exhausted smoke from the exhaust louvers, which was not observed.

o A diesel fuel spray fire on Floor 5 would have been less damaging than a pool fire. To be a spray, the fuel escape rate would have been too small to heat Column 79, even if it hit it directly.

o The day tanks on Floors 7, 8, and 9 contained diesel fuel equivalent to only a few percent of the office combustibles on those floors. Safeguards in the fuel delivery system would have prevented the tanks being re-supplied. The supply tanks for the day tanks on Floors 8 and 9 were found to be nearly full several months after the collapse of WTC 7. The heat from a day tank fire on Floor 7 would not have reached the transfer trusses or Column 79.

o The absence of diesel fuel fires on Floor 5 was consistent with the information from interviews that sometime after 1:00 p.m., OEM and FDNY staff climbed the east stairway of WTC 7 and did not see much damage on Floors 4, 5, or 6 from their viewing location. They made no mention of fire, heat or smoke.

o The transfer trusses and a girder were isolated from the diesel fuel lines and the generators by masonry walls. No mechanism for indirect heating of Transfer Truss 1 or 2 was found.

• There was no evidence that the fires spread from floor to floor, except, perhaps, just prior to the collapse of the building.

• The fires on Floors 7 through 9 generally spread clockwise from the southwest corner of the floor. The fires on Floors 11 through 13 generally spread counterclockwise. All the fires were burning in the northeast region at around mid-afternoon.

• Simulations of the fires using the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) generated air temperatures comparable to those in large-room fire tests of office workstations. Compared to the actual fires, the simulated fires followed the same general paths. The simulations of the Floor 12 fires (and thus the derivative Floor 11 and 13 fires) may have overestimated the duration of the fires and the fraction of the building near the north face windows, relative to the fraction of burning in the interior of the tenant space.

• Doubling the estimated combustible fuel load on the open-landscaped Floor 8 from 20 kg/m[2] (4 lb/ft[2]) to 40 kg/m[2] (8 lb/ft[2]) led to a predicted fire spread rate that was slower than actually observed. Decreasing the combustible fuel load on the highly partitioned Floor 12 from 32 kg/m[2] (6.4 lb/ft[2]) to the estimated load on Floor 8 had no significant effect on the fire spread rate. This indicated that the overestimation of burning duration was less likely due to overestimation of the fuel load and more likely due to excess burning (of combustible vapors from fire-heated office furnishings) near the windows relative to the burning in the building interior.

4.3.3 Fire-induced Thermal Effects

• Calculated fire-elevated temperatures in the interior columns, including Columns 79, 80, and 81, stayed below 200 °C on all of the floors. The exterior column temperatures were below 150 °C (300 °F), except on Floors 12 and 13, where the east and south exterior columns reached 300 °C (570 °F). At these temperatures, structural steel experiences relatively little loss of strength or stiffness. Thus, WTC 7 did not collapse due to fire-induced weakening of critical columns.

• The simulated fires on Floors 7, 12, and 13 heated portions of the tops of the floor slabs to over 900 °C (1650 °F). In all cases, significant temperature gradients were observed through the thickness of the slab. The temperatures of some sections of the beams supporting Floors 8, 12, 13, and 14 exceeded 600 °C (1100 °F). The temperatures of some sections of the floor beams at Floors 9 and 10 reached 400 °C (750 °F).

• Raising the fire-generated air temperatures by 10 percent, which was within the range of reasonable and realistic fires, raised the peak temperatures in the floor beams and slabs by about 70 °C (170 °F). Additionally, the areas over which the temperatures of the floor beams exceeded 600 °C (1100 °F) increased. A 10 percent increase in temperature resulted in a roughly 30 percent increase in the heat flux to structural members. Comparable changes in the opposite direction resulted from lowering the fire-generated air temperatures (Case A).

Structural Response and Collapse

Initiating Event


• The buckling failure of Column 79 between Floor 5 and Floor 14 was the initiating event that led to the global collapse of WTC 7. This resulted from thermal expansion and failures of connections, beams, and girders in the adjacent floor systems.

• The connection, beam, and girder failures in the floor systems, and the resulting structural responses, occurred primarily at temperatures below approximately 400 °C (750 °F), well below the temperatures at which structural steel loses significant strength and stiffness.

• Thermal expansion was particularly significant in causing the connection, beam, and girder failures, since the floor beams had long spans on the north and east sides (approximately 15 m, 50 ft).

o Heating of the long beams resulted in proportionately large thermal elongation relative to the other components of the floor system, in effect, compressing the beams along their length. This led to distortion of the beams and breaking of the connections of the beams to the floor slabs. Furthermore, the simple shear connections used in the typical floor framing were not able to resist these axial compressive forces that developed as the floor framing was heated.

o At Column 79, heating and expansion of the floor beams in the northeast corner caused the loss of connection between the column and the key girder. Additional factors that contributed to the failure of the critical north-south girder were (1) the absence of shear studs that would have provided lateral restraint and (2) the one-sided framing of the east floor beams that allowed the beams to push laterally on the girders, due to thermal expansion of the beams.

o The fires thermally weakened Floors 8 to 14. As Floor 13 fell onto the floor below, a cascade of floor failures continued until the damage reached the massive Floor 5 slab, leaving Column 79 without lateral support for nine floors. The long unsupported length of Column 79 led to its buckling failure.

• Blast events did not play a role in the collapse of WTC 7. NIST concluded that blast events could not have occurred, and found no evidence whose explanation required invocation of a blast event. Blast from the smallest charge capable of failing a critical column (i.e., Column 79) would have resulted in a sound level of 130 dB to 140 dB at a distance of at least half a mile if unobstructed by surrounding buildings (such as along Greenwich Street and West Broadway). This sound level is comparable to a gunshot blast, standing next to a jet plane engine, and more than 10 times louder than being in front of the speakers at a rock concert. The sound from such a blast in an urban setting would have been reflected and channeled down streets with minimum attenuation. However, the soundtracks from videos being recorded at the time of the collapse did not contain any sound as intense as would have accompanied such a blast.

Vertical Progression of Collapse

• Once Column 79 buckled, there was a vertical progression of floor system failures up to the east penthouse, followed by the buckling of Columns 80 and 81.

o The buckling of column 79 at the lower floors led to downward movement of the upper section of Column 79. The adjacent floor framing was pulled downward, leading to the observed kink in the east penthouse roof framing.

o As the lower floors surrounding column 79 fell downward, Column 80 and column 81 had increased unsupported lengths as well as falling debris impacts and loads being redistributed from adjacent columns. This led to buckling of columns 80 and 81, and resulted in a vertical progression of failure of the floor systems up to the roof level across the entire east side of WTC 7.

• Columns 79, 80, and 81 were the only interior support for the gravity loads in the eastern region of the building. Once these three columns buckled and their upper sections began to descend, there was insufficient support for the floors, up to the east penthouse.

• None of these columns was significantly weakened by elevated temperatures; temperatures did not exceed 300 °C (570 °F) in the core or perimeter columns in WTC 7.

Horizontal Progression of Collapse

• Columns 76 through 78 were the next line of columns to buckle, due to loss of lateral support, impact by falling debris, and load redistribution from Columns 79 through 81. The failure of Truss 2 was not essential to the failure of Columns 77 and 78, as they would have buckled like the other columns.

• The remaining interior columns buckled in succession from east to west in the lower floors due to loss of lateral support from floor system failures, forces exerted by falling debris impact, and load redistributed to them from other buckled columns.

• The initial westward progression and the overall speed of the collapse was not sensitive to the extent of the estimated structural damage to WTC 7 due to the debris from the collapse of WTC 1. When the global collapse was nearly complete, there was some small sensitivity to the extent of the initial damage in the southwest portion of the building.

Global Collapse

• The exterior columns buckled at the lower floors (between Floors 7 and 14) due to load redistribution to the exterior columns from the building core as the interior columns buckled and the building core moved downward. The entire building above the buckled-column region then moved downward in a single unit, as observed, completing the global collapse sequence.

• Computer simulations of the fires, the thermal heating of the structure, the thermally induced damage to the structure, and the structural collapse can be used to predict a complex degradation and collapse of a building. The overall features and timing of the prediction were consistent with the videographic evidence.

• It was recognized that uncertainties existed in the fire simulations, thermal analyses, analyses of the structural response to fires, and the analyses of global collapse, including assumptions made where data were not available. The propagation of uncertainties in the inter-dependent analyses was minimized by conducting sensitivity studies and multiple analyses with a range of values for critical parameters, and by determining the best fit between the analysis results and observed events from photographic and videographic evidence. The occurrence and timing of the analytical results closely matched the observed events (e.g., east penthouse descent, followed by global collapse), which demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach for the interdependent analyses.

• The uncertainties in predicting the precise progression of the collapse sequence increased as the analysis proceeded due to the random nature of the interaction, break up, disintegration, and falling of the debris. The uncertainties deriving from these random processes increasingly influenced the deterministic physics-based collapse process. Thus, the details of the progression of horizontal failure and final global collapse were sensitive to the uncertainties in how the building materials (steel, concrete) and building systems and contents interacted, broke up, and disintegrated.

• These computational models comprise a set of research tools that can take months (eight months in this case) for a complete simulation. Their adaptation for engineering practice would forestall future disasters, while reducing the potential for structural overdesign.

4.4 LIFE SAFETY FACTORS

4.4.1 Evacuation of WTC 7


• By the conventional measure of life safety, the evacuation of WTC 7 was successful, as NIST identified no life-threatening injuries or fatalities among the estimated 4,000 building occupants on September 11, 2001.

• Most of the occupants initiated their own evacuation shortly after WTC 1 was attacked.

• Evacuation of the building took just over an hour to complete, which was about 30 min longer than the estimated minimum time if the elevators and stairs had been used to maximum advantage. Nonetheless, the building was safely evacuated prior to the collapse of WTC 2. Some of the additional evacuation time was due to the considerable crowding in the lobby. Occupants arrived in the lobby from both stairwells, from the elevators, and from other WTC buildings, and were held in the lobby until a safe exterior exit was identified by emergency management officials.

• The calculated stairwell capacity was insufficient to meet the requirements of the NYCBC in effect during the design and construction period, if the building were occupied at the calculated maximum level (≈ 14,000 people). [2] The capacity was sufficient for the normal occupancy of the building (≈ 8,000 workers plus visitors), estimated by NIST, and was more than sufficient for the occupancy on September 11, 2001 (≈ 4,000 people), also estimated by NIST. The stairwell capacity met the requirement of the (subsequent) 2000 edition of the IBC, but not the 2003 edition of NFPA 5000.

• The separation of the stairwell doors met the requirement of the 1968 NYCBC. On some floors, the separation of the stairwell doors was below the remoteness requirements in the (current) 2000 IBC and the 2003 NFPA 5000.

• Evacuation management at every level did not provide prompt evacuation instructions to building occupants during the event. NIST was not able to determine whether specific guidance was delivered to the occupants via the public address system.

• In addition to the length of time that WTC 7 withstood the internal fires, some specific human actions likely contributed to the speed and overall success of the evacuation.

o Evacuation drills had been conducted every six months.

o The decision to prevent occupants from exiting the stairwells out into the streets where they could be impacted by debris from WTC I and WTC 2 likely prevented injuries and deaths.

o Using the loading dock exit to provide overhead protection, combined with the scaffolding protection along the other side of Washington Street, was an example of spontaneous decision-making on the part of the building management personnel which likely contributed to the positive outcome.

4.4.2 Emergency Response

• Faced with a disaster of an unprecedented nature, the involvement of the emergency management personnel with regard to WTC 7 was limited. Nonetheless, no lives were lost as a result of the collapse of WTC 7.

• The loss of numerous firefighters, company officers, and chief officers in the collapses of WTC 1 and WTC 2 led to a changing command structure for the rest of the morning, as new command posts were established and several different chief officers took command and relinquished command of operations at the WTC site.

• Due to the focus on rescuing people trapped in the debris field, providing aid to the injured, and the loss of water in the hydrant system, FDNY was not able to consider the possibility of fighting the fires in WTC 7 until approximately 1:00 p.m. At approximately 2:30 p.m., FDNY gave the order to forego firefighting activity and for personnel to withdraw to a safe distance from the building.

• Con Edison shut off all power to the substation under WTC 7 at 4:33 p.m.

4.5 CODES, STANDARDS, AND PRACTICES

4.5.1 General


• WTC 7 was designed and constructed as a "tenant alteration project" of The Port Authority. Its design and construction were based on the 1984 edition of the Tenant Construction Review Manual.

• Although the PANYNJ was not subject to the NYCBC, the 1968 NYCBC, including amendments to January 1, 1985, appears to have been used for the design and construction provisions of WTC 7, based on citations in the construction documents.

• The type of building classification used to design and construct the building was not clear from the available documents. Based on the height, area, primary occupancy classification, and installation of a fire sprinkler and standpipe system, the minimum construction type (permitted by NYCBC) was type 1-C (2 h protected) classification. However, some documentation, including some building drawings and specifications for bidders on the contract for applying SFRM to the structural steel, indicate a type 1-B (3 h protected) classification.

4.5.2 Building Design and Structural Safety

• NIST found no evidence to suggest that WTC 7 was not designed in a manner generally consistent with applicable building codes and standards in effect at the time of construction.

• WTC 7 was adequately designed for vertical loads due to gravity and lateral loads due to wind.

o The vertical (gravity) load resisting system comprised the core and exterior columns, which received gravity loads from the floor framing. Of particular note were the three core columns on the east side of the building (Columns 79, 80, and 81), which supported large span floor areas with approximately 15 m (50 ft) spans on at least one side.

o Above Floor 7, the lateral load resisting system comprised the exterior moment frame with a perimeter belt truss at Floors 22 through 24. There were also a perimeter belt truss between Floors 5 and 7, diaphragms at Floors 5 and 7 that transferred lateral wind loads to the core columns, and bracing in the core below Floor 7 that transferred lateral loads to the foundation. However, this system was not able to provide a secondary load path for gravity loads.

o Above Floor 7, there was no bracing, or other load redistribution mechanism, to transfer gravity loads between interior columns. The floor framing, which was the only load path between columns, could not redistribute loads between columns because the shear connections from the interior floor beams to columns were only designed for transferring vertical shear loads.

o Transfer girders, trusses, and cantilever overlays were used to transfer column loads above Floor 7 to a different column layout below Floor 5.

• The structural design did not explicitly evaluate fire effects, which was typical for engineering practice at that time and continues to remain so today. Many of the shear connections in WTC 7 were not capable of resisting lateral loads resulting from thermal expansion effects in the steel floor framing when the floor beams were heated.

4.5.3 SFRM Requirements and Application

• It is likely that the Monokote MK-5 SFRM, applied to the steel framing and metal decks, was undamaged by the impact of the debris from the collapse of WTC 1, except in the area where direct structural damage to WTC 7 occurred.

• NIST simulations showed that, for the heaviest columns in WTC 7, when properly insulated, it would have taken an exposure of about 7 h at post-flashover upper layer gas temperatures to raise the steel temperature to 600 °C (1100 °F), the point at which the steel strength would have been reduced by half. A similar calculation indicated it would have taken about 4 h to reach this temperature for an insulated lighter column. These times are both far longer than the time over which post-flashover gas temperatures were sustained in the computed WTC 7 fires. For comparison, this steel temperature would have been reached in under one-half hour if the insulation were not applied.

• It is unlikely that the collapse of WTC 7 would have been prevented had the insulation thickness on the floor beams been increased by 50 percent, from 13 mm ( 1/2 in.) to 19 mm (3/4 in.). NIST calculations indicated that the time to reach the steel temperature of 649 °C (1200 °F) would have increased by about 10 min to 20 min.

• The ASTM E 119 test does not capture critical behavior of structural systems. e.g., the effect of thermal expansion or sagging of floor beams on girders, connections, and/or columns. The thermal expansion of the WTC 7 floor beams that initiated the probable collapse sequence occurred primarily at temperatures below approximately 400 °C (750 °F). Thus, to the extent that thermal expansion, rather than loss of structural strength, precipitates an unsafe condition, thermal expansion effects need to be evaluated. The current fire resistance rating system, which does not include thermal expansion effects, is not conservative.

4.5.4 Fire Safety and Fire Protection Systems

• WTC 7 had the following active fire protection systems: fire alarms, smoke and heat detectors, manual pull stations, smoke control systems, and automatic sprinklers. Each was designed, constructed, and apparently maintained consistent with applicable building codes and standards.

• The standpipe and automatic sprinkler systems were divided into three zones. As prescribed by the NYCBC, each zone had a primary and secondary water supply.

o The primary water supply for fire protection for the high zone (Floors 40 through 47) and mid-level zone (Floors 21 through 39) was from two water storage tanks on the 46th floor. The secondary supply was pumped from the city water main.

o The primary water supply for fire protection for the low zone, floors 1 through 20, was a direct connection to the city water mains. The secondary supply was from an automatic fire pump, which was connected to the city water main as well.

• Since the city water main had been compromised as a result of the collapses of the two towers, there was no water supply to control the fires on the 7th through 13th floors. By contrast, the early fires on the 22nd, 29th, and 30th floors may have been limited by the sprinkler system on the upper floors, whose primary water supply was from the storage tanks on the 46th floor.

• The architectural drawings indicated that there were fire-rated walls between tenant spaces on the same floor and between tenant spaces and the building core. Spaces housing mechanical equipment, power transformers, emergency power generators, and other such equipment were enclosed in fire-rated partitions. While the partitions between offices, conferences rooms, etc. were not required to be fire-rated, there was evidence from both the visual evidence and the fire simulations that some of these partitions did retard the spread of the fires.

• There was no evidence of floor-to-floor fire spread until perhaps just before the WTC 7 collapse. Thus, the fire-rated floors were successful as fire penetration barriers.

4.6 FUTURE FACTORS THAT COULD HAVE MITIGATED STRUCTURAL COLLAPSE

In the course of the Investigation, NIST and its contractors were aware that there were existing, emerging, or even anticipated capabilities that could have prevented the collapse of WTC 7, had they been in place on September 11, 200l. NIST did not conduct studies to evaluate the degree to which building performance could have been improved on September 11, 2001, had the capabilities been available. These include:

• More robust connections and framing systems to better resist the effects of thermal expansion on the structural system, which is not currently considered in design practice.

• Structural systems expressly designed to prevent progressive collapse. The current model building codes [3] do not require that buildings be designed to resist progressive collapse.

• Better thermal insulation (i.e., reduced conductivity and/or increased thickness) to limit heating of structural steel and to minimize both thermal expansion and weakening effects. Currently, insulation is used to protect steel strength, but it could also be used to maintain a lower temperature in the steel framing to limit thermal expansion.

• Automatic fire sprinkler systems with independent and reliable sources for the primary and secondary water supply

• Improved compartmentation in tenant areas to limit the spread of fires.

• Thermally resistant window assemblies which limit breakage, reduce air supply, and retard fire growth.

4.7 HUMAN PERFORMANCE FACTORS

Human performance factors contributed to the outcome of no loss of life at WTC 7:

• Reduced number of people in WTC 7 at the times of airplane impact on the towers.

• Shortness of delay in starting to evacuate.

• Evacuation assistance provided by emergency responders to evacuees.

• Participation of the building occupants in recent fire drills.

• Decision not to continue reconnaissance of the building and not to fight the fires within.

Other human performance factors did not play a life safety role in WTC 7 on September 11, 2001, but could have been important had the fires been more widespread, the building damage more severe, or the building occupancy at full capacity:

• Accuracy and reliability of communications among emergency responders and building occupants.

• Efficiency of management of large-scale emergency incidents.

_______________

Notes:

1. NIST did not conduct an exhaustive review of the plans and specifications for WTC 7 to determine compliance with the NYCBC, for the reasons stated in Disclaimer No. 4 (see page ii).

2. When WTC 7 was being designed, many details of tenant spaces were unknown. Therefore, NIST used a conservative calculation of net floor area which does not account for tenant spaces which are normally unoccupied. While the NYCBC in effect at the time of design allowed for these reductions to net floor area calculations (spaces such as columns, fixed cabinets, furred-in spaces, equipment and accessory spaces would be subtracted from gross area), this calculation would require specific knowledge of tenant layout details and would preclude future changes to the floor layouts after stairwell construction.

3. For an explanation of model building codes, see Section 5.1 of NIST NCSTAR 1.
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Re: Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Build

Postby admin » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:03 am

Chapter 5: RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 GENERAL


In its final report on the collapse of the World Trade Center towers (NIST NCSTAR 1), NIST made 30 recommendations for improving the safety of buildings, occupants, and emergency responders. These encompass increased structural integrity, enhanced fire endurance of structures, new methods for fire resistant design of structures, improved active fire protection, improved building evacuation, improved emergency response, improved procedures and practices, and education and training.

WTC 7 was unlike the WTC towers in many respects. It was a more typical tall building [1] in the design of its structural system. It was not struck by an airplane. The fires in WTC 7 were quite different from those in the towers. Since WTC 7 was not doused with thousands of gallons of jet fuel, large areas of any floor were not ignited simultaneously. Instead, the fires in WTC 7 were similar to those that have occurred previously in several tall buildings where the sprinklers did not function or were not present. These buildings did not succumb to the fires and collapse because they were of structural designs that differed from that of WTC 7.

The Investigation Team has compiled a list of key factors that enabled ordinary fires to result in an extraordinary outcome. In so doing, the Team recognized that there were additional aspects to be included in the content of some of the 30 earlier recommendations.

Based on the findings of this Investigation, NIST has identified one new recommendation and has reiterated 12 recommendations from the Investigation of the WTC towers.

The urgency of the prior recommendations is substantially reinforced by their pertinence to the collapse of WTC 7, a tall building that is based on a structural system design that is in widespread use. A few of the prior recommendations have been modified to reflect the findings of this Investigation.

The partial or total collapse of a building due to fires is an infrequent event. This is particularly true for buildings with a reliably operating active fire protection system such as an automatic fire sprinkler system. A properly designed and operating automatic sprinkler system will contain fires while they are small and, in most instances, prevent them from growing and spreading to threaten structural integrity. Fires that have spread and grown can also be extinguished by fire fighters when they are smaller than 10,000 sq ft.

The intent of current practice, based on prescriptive standards and codes, is to achieve life safety, not collapse prevention. However, the key premise of NIST's recommendations is that buildings should not collapse in infrequent fires that may occur when active fire protection systems are rendered ineffective, e.g., when sprinklers do not exist, are not functional, or are overwhelmed by the fire.

Fire scenarios for structural design based on single compartment or single floor fires are not appropriate representations of infrequent fire events. Such events have occurred in several tall buildings resulting in unexpected substantial losses. Instead, historical data suggests that infrequent fires which should be considered in structural design involve: ordinary combustibles and combustible load levels, local fire origin on any given floor, no widespread use of accelerants, consecutive fire spread from combustible to combustible, fire-induced window breakage providing ventilation for continued fire spread and accelerated fire growth, concurrent fires on multiple floors, and active fire protection systems rendered ineffective. The fires in WTC 7 involved all of these.

NIST believes the recommendations are realistic, appropriate, and achievable within a reasonable period of time. NIST strongly urges that immediate and serious consideration be given to these recommendations by the building and fire safety communities in order to achieve appropriate improvements in the way buildings are designed, constructed, maintained, and used -- with the goal of making buildings safer in future emergencies. The scope of the WTC Investigation does not include supporting analyses of the recommendations, such as alternative factors or design options.

A complete listing of all 13 recommendations (Recommendations A through L) based on this Investigation follows. Under a few of the recommendations, the pertinent lesson from the reconstruction of the WTC 7 collapse is reflected in the form of a modification. For the 12 reiterated recommendations, the pertinent codes, standards, and organizations were listed in Table 9-1 and Tables 9-2a through 9-2c of NIST NCSTAR 1 and are not repeated here. For the one new recommendation, B, this information is provided in the text below.

5.2 NIST'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE SAFETY OF BUILDINGS, OCCUPANTS, AND EMERGENCY RESPONDERS

5.2.1 Group 1. Increased Structural Integrity


The standards for estimating the load effects of potential hazards (e.g., progressive collapse, wind) and the design of structural systems to mitigate the effects of those hazards should be improved to enhance structural integrity.

Recommendation A (NIST NCSTAR 1 Recommendation 1). NIST recommends that: (1) progressive collapse be prevented in buildings through the development and nationwide adoption of consensus standards and code provisions, along with the tools and guidelines needed for their use in practice; and (2) a standard methodology be developed -- supported by analytical design tools and practical design guidance -- to reliably predict the potential for complex failures in structural systems subjected to multiple hazards.

Relevance to WTC 7: Had contemporaneous standards and practices been available to expressly design WTC 7 for prevention of fire-induced progressive collapse, it would have been sufficiently robust to withstand local failure due to the fires without suffering total collapse.

5.2.2 Group 2. Enhanced Fire Endurance of Structures

The procedures and practices used to ensure the fire endurance of structures should be enhanced by improving the technical basis for construction classifications and fire resistance ratings, improving the technical basis for standard fire resistance testing methods, use of the "structural frame" approach to fire resistance ratings, and developing in-service performance requirements and conformance criteria for sprayed fire-resistive materials.

Recommendation B (New), NIST recommends that buildings be explicitly evaluated to ensure the adequate performance of the structural system under maximum credible (infrequent) design fires with any active fire protection system rendered ineffective. Of particular concern are the effects of thermal expansion in buildings with one or more of the following features: (1) long-span floor systems [2] which experience significant thermal expansion and sagging effects, (2) connection designs (especially shear connections) that cannot accommodate thermal effects, (3) floor framing that induces asymmetric thermally-induced (i.e., net lateral) forces on girders, (4) shear studs that could fail due to differential thermal expansion in composite floor systems, and (5) lack of shear studs on girders. Careful consideration should also be given to the possibility of other design features that may adversely affect the performance of the structural system under fire conditions.

Building owners, operators, and designers are strongly urged to act upon this recommendation. Engineers should be able to design cost-effective fixes to address any areas of concern that are identified by these evaluations. Several existing, emerging, or even anticipated capabilities could have helped prevent the collapse of WTC 7. The degree to which these capabilities improve performance remains to be evaluated. Possible options for developing cost-effective fixes include:

• More robust connections and framing systems to better resist the effects of thermal expansion on the structural system.

• Structural systems expressly designed to prevent progressive collapse. The current model building codes do not require that buildings be designed to resist progressive collapse.

• Better thermal insulation (i.e., reduced conductivity and/or increased thickness) to limit heating of structural steel and to minimize both thermal expansion and weakening effects. Currently, insulation is used to protect steel strength, but it could also be used to maintain a lower temperature in the steel framing to limit thermal expansion.

• Improved compartmentation in tenant areas to limit the spread of fires.

• Thermally resistant window assemblies which limit breakage, reduce air supply, and retard fire growth.

Industry should partner with the research community to fill critical gaps in knowledge about how structures perform in real fires, particularly considering: the effects of fire on the entire structural system; the interactions between subsystems, elements, and connections; and scaling of fire test results to full-scale structures, especially for structures with long span floor systems.

Affected Standards: ASCE 7, ASCE/SFPE 29, AISC Specifications, ACI 318. Development of performance objectives, design criteria, evaluation methods, design guidance, and computational tools should begin promptly, leading to new standards.

Model Building Codes: The new standard should be adopted in model building codes (IBC, NFPA 5000) by mandatory reference to, or incorporation of, the latest edition of the standard.

Relevance to WTC 7: The effects of restraint of free thermal expansion on the steel framing systems, especially for the long spans on the east side of WTC 7, were not considered in the structural design and led to the initiation of the building collapse.

Recommendation C (NIST NCSTAR 1 Recommendation 4). NIST recommends evaluating, and where needed improving, the technical basis for determining appropriate construction classification and fire rating requirements (especially for tall buildings) -- and making related code changes now as much as possible -- by explicitly considering factors including: [3]

• timely access by emergency responders and full evacuation of occupants, or the time required for burnout without partial collapse;

• the extent to which redundancy in active fire protection (sprinkler and standpipe, fire alarm, and smoke management) systems should be credited for occupant life safety; [4]

• the need for redundancy in fire protection systems that are critical to structural integrity; [5]

• the ability of the structure and local floor systems to withstand a maximum credible fire scenario [6] without collapse, recognizing that sprinklers could be compromised, not operational, or non-existent;

• compartmentation requirements (e.g., 12,000 ft2 ([7])) to protect the structure, including fire rated doors and automatic enclosures, and limiting air supply (e.g., thermally resistant window assemblies) to retard fire spread in buildings with large, open floor plans;

• the effect of spaces containing unusually large fuel concentrations for the expected occupancy of the building; and

• the extent to which fire control systems, including suppression by automatic or manual means, should be credited as part of the prevention of fire spread.

Relevance to WTC 7: The floor systems in WTC 7 failed because thermal effects within the structural system, especially thermal expansion, were not considered in setting the fire rating requirements in the construction classification, which are determined using the ASTM E 119 or equivalent testing standard. Such evaluation is not required under current codes and standards.

Recommendation D (NIST NCSTAR 1 Recommendation 5). NIST recommends that the technical basis for the century-old standard for fire resistance, testing of components, assemblies, and systems be improved through a national effort. Necessary guidance also should be developed for extrapolating the results of tested assemblies to prototypical building systems. A key step in fulfilling this recommendation is to establish a capability for studying and testing the components, assemblies, and systems under realistic fire and load conditions.

Of particular concern is that the Standard Fire Resistance Test does not adequately capture important thermally-induced interactions between structural subsystems, elements, and connections that are critical to structural integrity. System-level interactions, especially due to thermal expansion, are not considered in the standard test method since columns, girders, and floor subassemblies are tested separately. Also, the performance of connections under both gravity and thermal effects is not considered. The United States currently does not have the capability for studying and testing these important fire-induced phenomena critical to structural safety.

Relevance to WTC 7: The floor systems failed in WTC 7 at shorter fire exposure times than the specified fire rating (two hours) and at temperatures lower than the endpoint temperature (593 ◦ C, 1100 ◦ F) because thermal effects within the structural system, especially thermal expansion, were not considered in setting the endpoint criteria when using the ASTM E 119 or equivalent testing standard. The structural breakdowns that led to the initiating event and the eventual collapse of WTC 7 occurred at temperatures that were hundreds of degrees below the criteria that determine structural fire resistance ratings.

Recommendation E (NIST NCSTAR 1 Recommendation 7). NIST recommends the adoption and use of the "structural frame" approach to fire resistance ratings. This approach requires all members that comprise the primary structural frame (such as columns, girders, beams, trusses, and spandrels) be fire protected to the higher fire resistance rating required for the columns. The definition of the primary structural frame should be expanded to include bracing members that are essential to the vertical stability of the primary structural frame under gravity loading (e.g. girders, diagonal bracing, composite floor systems that provide lateral bracing to the girders) whether or not the bracing members carry gravity loads. Some of these bracing members may not have direct connections to the columns, but provide stability to those members directly connected to the columns. This recommendation modifies the definition of the primary structural frame adopted in the 2007 supplement to the International Building Code (IBC). The IBC considers members of floor or roof construction that are not connected to the columns to not be part of the primary structural frame. This recommendation ensures consistency in the fire protection provided to all of the structural elements that contribute to overall structural stability. State and local jurisdictions should adopt and enforce this requirement.

Relevance to WTC 7: Thermally-induced breakdown of the floor system in WTC 7 was a determining step in causing collapse initiation and progression. Therefore, the floor system should be considered as an integral part of the primary structural frame.

5.2.3 Group 3. New Methods for Fire Resistant Design of Structures

The procedures and practices used in the fire resistant design of structures should be enhanced by requiring an objective that uncontrolled fires result in burnout without partial or global (total) collapse. Performance based methods are an alternative to prescriptive design methods. This effort should include the development and evaluation of new fire-resistive coating materials and technologies and evaluation of the fire performance of convention and high-performance structural materials.

Recommendation F (NCSTAR Recommendation 8), NIST recommends that the fire resistance of structures be enhanced by requiring a performance objective that uncontrolled building fires result in burnout without partial or global (total) collapse. Such a provision should recognize that sprinklers could be compromised, non-operational, or nonexistent. Current methods for determining the fire resistance rating of structural assemblies do not explicitly specify a performance objective. The rating resulting from current test methods indicates that the assembly (component or subsystem) continued to support its superimposed load (simulating a maximum load condition) during the test exposure without collapse. Model Building Codes: This recommendation should be included in the national model codes as an objective and adopted as an integral part of fire resistance design for structures. The issue of non-operational sprinklers could be addressed using the existing concept of Design Scenario 8 of NFPA 5000, where such compromise is assumed and the result is required to be acceptable to the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

Relevance to WTC 7: Large, uncontrolled fires led to failure of a critical column and consequently the complete collapse of WTC 7. In the region of the collapse initiation (i.e., on the east side of Floor 13), the fire had not consumed the combustible building contents, yet collapse occurred.

Recommendation G (NIST NCSTAR 1 Recommendation 9). NIST recommends the development of: (1) performance-based standards and code provisions, as an alternative to current prescriptive design methods, to enable the design and retrofit of structures to resist real building fire conditions, including their ability to achieve the performance objective of burnout without structural or local floor collapse': and (2) the tools, guidelines, and test methods necessary to evaluate the fire performance of the structure as a whole system. Standards development organizations, including the American Institute of Steel Construction, have already begun developing performance-based provisions to consider the effects of fire in structural design.

This performance-based capability should include the development of, but not be limited to:

a. Standard methodology, supported by performance criteria, analytical design tools, and practical design guidance; related building standards and codes for fire resistance design and retrofit of structures, working through the consensus process for nationwide adoption: comprehensive design rules and guidelines; methodology for evaluating thermostructural performance of structures; and computational models and analysis procedures for use in routine design practice.

b. Standard methodology for specifying multi-compartment, multi-floor fire scenarios for use in the design and analysis of structures to resist fires, accounting for building-specific conditions such as geometry, compartmentation, fuel load (e.g., building contents and any flammable fuels such as oil and gas), fire spread, and ventilation; and methodology for rating the fire resistance of structural systems and barriers under realistic design-basis fire scenarios.

c. Publicly available computational software to predict the effects of fires in buildings -- developed, validated, and maintained through a national effort -- for use in the design of fire protection systems and the analysis of building response to fires. Improvements should include the fire behavior and contribution of real combustibles; the performance of openings, including door openings and window breakage, that controls the amount of oxygen available to support the growth and spread of fires and whether the fire is fuel-controlled or ventilation-controlled; the floor-to-floor flame spread; the temperature rise in both insulated and uninsulated structural members and fire barriers; and the structural response of components, subsystems, and the total building system due to the fire.

d. Temperature-dependent thermal and mechanical property data for conventional and innovative construction materials

e. New test methods, together with associated conformance assessment criteria, to support the performance-based methods for fire resistance design and retrofit of structures. The performance objective of burnout without collapse will require the development of standard fire exposures that differ from those currently used.

There is a critical gap in knowledge about how structures perform in real fires, particularly considering: the effects of the fire on the entire structural system (including thermal expansion effects at lower temperatures); the interaction between the subsystems, elements, and connections; and scaling of fire test results to full-scale structures (especially for structures with long span floor system). The performance standards should be adopted as an alternative method in model building codes by mandatory reference to, or incorporation of, the latest edition of the standard.

Relevance to WIC 7: A performance-based assessment of the effects of fire on WTC 7, had it considered all of the relevant thermal effects (e.g., thermal expansion effects that occur at lower temperatures), would have identified the vulnerability of the building to fire-induced collapse and allowed alternative designs for the structural system.

5.2.4 Group 4. Improved Active Fire Protection

Active fire protection systems (i.e., sprinklers, standpipes/hoses, fire alarms, and smoke management systems) should be enhanced through improvements to design, performance, reliability, and redundancy of such systems.

Recommendation H (NIST NCSTAR 1 Recommendation 12). NIST recommends that the performance and possibly the redundancy and reliability of active fire protection systems (sprinklers, standpipes/hoses, fire alarms, and smoke management systems) in buildings be enhanced to accommodate the greater risks associated with increasing building height and population, increased use of open spaces, high-risk building activities, fire department response limits, transient fuel loads, and higher threat profile.

Reliability is affected by (a) the redundancy such that when one water supply is out of service (usually for maintenance) the other interconnected water supply can continue to protect the building and its occupants, (b) automatic operation of water supply systems (not only for starting fire pumps but also for testing and tank replenishment with appropriate remote alarms to the fire department and local alarms for notifying emergency personnel), ( c) the use of suitable equipment and techniques to regulate unusual pressure considerations.

Relevance to WTC 7: No water was available for the automatic suppression system on the lower 20 stories of WTC 7 once water from street-level mains was disrupted. This lack of reliability in the source of the primary and secondary water supplies allowed the growth and spread of fires that ultimately resulted in collapse of the building.

5.2.5 Group 6. Improved Emergency Response

Technologies and procedures for emergency response should be improved to enable better access to buildings, response operations, emergency communications, and command and control in large-scale emergencies.

Recommendation I (NlST NCSTAR 1 Recommendation 24). NIST recommends the establishment and implementation of codes and protocols for ensuring effective and uninterrupted operation of the command and control system for large-scale building emergencies.

a. State, local, and federal jurisdictions should implement the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The jurisdictions should work with the Department of Homeland Security to review, test, evaluate, and implement an effective unified command and control system. NIMS addresses interagency coordination and establishes a response matrix -- assigning lead agency responsibilities for different types of emergencies and functions. At a minimum, each supporting agency should assign an individual to provide coordination with the lead agency at each incident command post.

b. State, local, and federal emergency operations centers (EOCs) should be located, designed, built, and operated with security and operational integrity as a key consideration.

c. Command posts should be established outside the potential collapse footprint of any building which shows evidence of large multi-floor fires or has serious structural damage. A continual assessment of building stability and safety should be made in such emergencies to guide ongoing operations and enhance emergency responder safety. The information necessary to make these assessments should be made available to those assigned responsibility (see related Recommendations 15 and 23 in NIST NCSTAR 1).

d. An effective command system should be established and operating before a large number of emergency responders and apparatus are dispatched and deployed. Through training and drills, emergency responders and ambulances should be required to await dispatch requests from the incident command system and not to self-dispatch in large-scale emergencies.

e. Actions should be taken via training and drills to ensure a coordinated and effective emergency response at all levels of the incident command chain by requiring all emergency responders that are given an assignment to immediately adopt and execute the assignment objectives.

f. Command post information and incident operations data should be managed and broadcast to command and control centers at remote locations so that information is secure and accessible by all personnel needing the information. Methods should be developed and implemented so that any information that is available at an interior information center is transmitted to an emergency responder vehicle or command post outside the building.

Relevance to WTC 7: (1) The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was located in WTC 7 and was evacuated early in the day before key fire ground decisions had to be made. The location of OEM in WTC 7 contributed to the loss of robust interagency command and control on September 11, 2001. (2) Due to the collapse of the WTC towers and the loss of responders and fire control resources, there was an evolving site leadership during the morning and afternoon. Key decisions (e.g., decisions not to fight the fires in WTC 7 and to turn off the power to the Con Edison substation) were reasonable and would not have changed the outcome on September 11, 2001, but were not made promptly. Under different circumstances (e.g., if WTC 7 had collapsed sooner and fire fighters were still evaluating the building condition), the outcome could have been very different.

5.2.6 Group 7. Improved Procedures and Practices

The procedures and practices used in the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of buildings should be improved to include encouraging code compliance by nongovernmental and quasi-governmental entities, adoption and application of egress and sprinkler requirements in codes for existing buildings, and retention and availability of building documents over the life of a building.

Recommendation J (NIST NCSTAR 1 Recommendation 27). NIST recommends that building codes incorporate a provision that requires building owners to retain documents, including supporting calculations and test data, related to building design, construction, maintenance and modifications over the entire life of the building. [8] Means should be developed for offsite storage and maintenance of the documents. In addition, NIST recommends that relevant building information be made available in suitably designed hard copy or electronic format for use by emergency responders. Such information should be easily accessible by responders during emergencies.

Relevance to WTC 7: The efforts required in locating and acquiring drawings, specifications, tenant layouts, and material certifications, and especially shop fabrication drawings, significantly lengthened the investigation into the collapse of WTC 7.

Recommendation K (NIST NCSTAR 1 Recommendation 28). NIST recommends that the role of the "Design Professional in Responsible Charge'" be clarified to ensure that: (1) all appropriate design professionals (including, e.g., the fire protection engineer) are part of the design team providing the standard of care when designing buildings employing innovative or unusual fire safety systems, and (2) all appropriate design professionals (including, e.g., the structural engineer and the fire protection engineer) are part of the design team providing the standard of care when designing the structure to resist fires, in buildings that employ innovative or unusual structural and fire safety systems.

Relevance to WTC 7: Following typical practice, none of the design professionals in charge of the WTC 7 project (i.e., architect, structural engineer, and fire protection engineer) was assigned the responsibility to explicitly evaluate the fire performance of the structural system. Holistic consideration of thermal and structural factors during the design or review stage could have identified the potential for the failure and might have prevented the collapse of the building.

5.2.7 Group 8. Education and Training

The professional skills of building and fin safety professionals should be upgraded through a national education and training effort for fire protection engineers, structural engineers, and architects. The skills of the building regulatory and fire service personnel should also be upgraded to provide sufficient understanding and the necessary skills to conduct the review, inspection, and approval tasks for which they are responsible.

Recommendation L (NIST NCSTAR 1 Recommendation 29). NIST recommends that continuing education curricula be developed and programs be implemented for (1) training fire protection engineers and architects in structural engineering principles and design, and (2) training structural engineers, architects, fire protection engineers, and code enforcement officials in modern fire protection principles and technologies, including fire-resistance design of structures, and (3) training building regulatory and fire service personnel to upgrade their understanding and skills to conduct the review, inspection, and approval tasks for which they are responsible. The outcome would further the integration of the disciplines in effective fire-safe design of buildings.

Relevance to WTC 7: Discerning the fire-structure interactions that led to the collapse of WTC 7 required research professionals with expertise in both disciplines. Assuring the safety of future buildings will require that participants in the design and review processes possess a combined knowledge of fire science, materials science, heat transfer, and structural engineering and design.

Recommnendation M (NIST NCSTAR 1 Recommendation 30). NIST recommends that academic, professional short-course, and web-based training materials in the use of computational fire dynamics and thermostructural analysis tools be developed and delivered to strengthen the base of available technical capabilities and human resources.

Relevance to WTC 7: NIST stretched the state-of-the-art in the computational tools needed to reconstruct a fire-induced building collapse. This enabled identification of the critical processes that led to that collapse. Making these expanded tools and derivative, validated, and simplified modeling approaches usable by practitioners could prevent future disasters.

_______________

Notes:

1. The term " tall building" is used by architects and structural engineers to indicate buildings that are taller than surrounding buildings, slender in their proportions, and/or require technologies such as wind bracing to carry loads, and are nominally taller than 15 to 20 stories. For fire protection engineers, the term "high-rise building" is used to indicate buildings that are nominally taller than 25 ml (75 ft), and external rescue from fires is no longer possible. Both terms apply to WTC 7.

2. Typical floor span lengths in tall office buildings are in the range of 40 ft to 50 ft; this range is considered to represent long-span floor systems. Thermal effects (e.g., thermal expansion) that may be significant in long-span buildings may also be present in buildings with shorter span lengths, depending on the design of the structural system.

3. The construction classification and fire rating requirements should be risk-consistent with respect to the design-basis hazards and the consequences of those hazards. The fire rating requirements, which were originally developed based on experience with buildings fewer than 20 stories in height, have generally decreased over the past 80 years since historical fire data for buildings suggests considerable conservatism in those requirements. For tall buildings, the likely consequences of a given threat to an occupant on the upper floors are more severe than the consequences to an occupant on the first floor or the lower floors. For example, with non-functioning elevators, both the time requirements are much greater for full building evacuation from upper floors and emergency responder access to those floors. The current height and area tables in building codes do not provide the technical basis for the progressively increasing risk to an occupant on the upper floors of tall buildings that are much greater than 20 stories in height.

4. Occupant life safety, prevention of fire spread, and structural integrity are considered separate safety objectives.

5. The passive fire protection system (including the application of SFRM, compartmentation, and firestopping) and the active sprinkler system each provide redundancy for maintaining structural integrity in a building fire, should one of the systems fail to perform its intended function.

6. A maximum credible fire scenario includes conditions that are severe, but reasonable to anticipate, conditions related to building construction, occupancy, fire loads, ignition sources, compartment geometry, fire control methods, etc., as well as adverse, but reasonable to anticipate operating conditions.

7. Or a more appropriate limit, which represents a reasonable area for active firefighting operations.

8. The availability of inexpensive electronic storage media and tools for creating large searchable databases make this feasible.

9. In projects involving a design team, the "Design Professional in Responsible Charge" -- usually the lead architect -- ensures that the team members use consistent design data and assumptions, coordinates overlapping specifications, and serves as the liaison to the enforcement and reviewing officials and to the owner. The term is defined in the International Building Code and in the ICC Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities (where it is the Principal Design Professional).
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Re: Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Build

Postby admin » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:48 am

Appendix A: NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION SAFETY TEAM ACT

PUBLIC LAW 107–231—OCT. 1, 2002

116 STAT. 1471

Public Law 107–231

107th Congress

An Act

To provide for the establishment of investigative teams to assess building performance and emergency response and evacuation procedures in the wake of any building failure that has resulted in substantial loss of life or that posed significant potential of substantial loss of life. [1]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘National Construction Safety Team Act’’. [2]

SEC. 2. NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION SAFETY TEAMS. [3]

(a) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (in this Act referred to as the ‘‘Director’’) is authorized to establish National Construction Safety Teams (in this Act referred to as a ‘‘Team’’) for deployment after events causing the failure of a building or buildings that has resulted in substantial loss of life or that posed significant potential for substantial loss of life. To the maximum extent practicable, the Director shall establish and deploy a Team within 48 hours after such an event. The Director shall promptly publish in the Federal Register notice of the establishment of each Team. [4]

(b) PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATION; DUTIES.—

(1) PURPOSE.—The purpose of investigations by Teams is to improve the safety and structural integrity of buildings in the United States.

(2) DUTIES.—A Team shall—

(A) establish the likely technical cause or causes of the building failure;

(B) evaluate the technical aspects of evacuation and emergency response procedures;

(C) recommend, as necessary, specific improvements to building standards, codes, and practices based on the findings made pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B); and

(D) recommend any research and other appropriate actions needed to improve the structural safety of buildings, and improve evacuation and emergency response procedures, based on the findings of the investigation.

(c) PROCEDURES.—

(1) DEVELOPMENT.—Not later than 3 months after the date [5]of the enactment of this Act, the Director, in consultation with the United States Fire Administration and other appropriate Federal agencies, shall develop procedures for the establishment and deployment of Teams. The Director shall update such procedures as appropriate. Such procedures shall include provisions—

(A) regarding conflicts of interest related to service on the Team;

(B) defining the circumstances under which the Director will establish and deploy a Team;

(C) prescribing the appropriate size of Teams;

(D) guiding the disclosure of information under section 8;

(E) guiding the conduct of investigations under this Act, including procedures for providing written notice of inspection authority under section 4(a) and for ensuring compliance with any other applicable law;

(F) identifying and prescribing appropriate conditions for the provision by the Director of additional resources and services Teams may need;

(G) to ensure that investigations under this Act do not impede and are coordinated with any search and rescue efforts being undertaken at the site of the building failure;

(H) for regular briefings of the public on the status of the investigative proceedings and findings;

(I) guiding the Teams in moving and preserving evidence as described in section 4 (a)(4), (b)(2), and (d)(4);

(J) providing for coordination with Federal, State, and local entities that may sponsor research or investigations of building failures, including research conducted under the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977; and

(K) regarding such other issues as the Director considers appropriate.

(2) PUBLICATION.—The Director shall publish promptly in the Federal Register final procedures, and subsequent updates thereof, developed under paragraph (1). [6]

SEC. 3. COMPOSITION OF TEAMS. [7]

Each Team shall be composed of individuals selected by the Director and led by an individual designated by the Director. Team members shall include at least 1 employee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and shall include other experts who are not employees of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, who may include private sector experts, university experts, representatives of professional organizations with appropriate expertise, and appropriate Federal, State, or local officials. Team members who are not Federal employees shall be considered Federal Government contractors.

SEC. 4. AUTHORITIES. [8]

(a) ENTRY AND INSPECTION.—In investigating a building failure under this Act, members of a Team, and any other person authorized by the Director to support a Team, on display of appropriate credentials provided by the Director and written notice of inspection authority, may—

(1) enter property where a building failure being investigated has occurred, or where building components, materials, and artifacts with respect to the building failure are located, and take action necessary, appropriate, and reasonable in light of the nature of the property to be inspected to carry out the duties of the Team under section 2(b)(2) (A) and (B);

(2) during reasonable hours, inspect any record (including any design, construction, or maintenance record), process, or facility related to the investigation;

(3) inspect and test any building components, materials, and artifacts related to the building failure; and

(4) move such records, components, materials, and artifacts as provided by the procedures developed under section 2(c)(1).

(b) AVOIDING UNNECESSARY INTERFERENCE AND PRESERVING EVIDENCE.—An inspection, test, or other action taken by a Team under this section shall be conducted in a way that—

(1) does not interfere unnecessarily with services provided by the owner or operator of the building components, materials, or artifacts, property, records, process, or facility; and

(2) to the maximum extent feasible, preserves evidence related to the building failure, consistent with the ongoing needs of the investigation.

(c) COORDINATION.—

(1) WITH SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS.—A Team shall not impede, and shall coordinate its investigation with, any search and rescue efforts being undertaken at the site of the building failure.

(2) WITH OTHER RESEARCH.—A Team shall coordinate its investigation, to the extent practicable, with qualified researchers who are conducting engineering or scientific (including social science) research relating to the building failure.

(3) MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING.—The National Institute of Standards and Technology shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with each Federal agency that may conduct or sponsor a related investigation, providing for coordination of investigations.

(4) WITH STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES.—A Team shall cooperate with State and local authorities carrying out any activities related to a Team’s investigation.

(d) INTERAGENCY PRIORITIES.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), a Team investigation shall have priority over any other investigation of any other Federal agency.

(2) NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD.—If the National Transportation Safety Board is conducting an investigation related to an investigation of a Team, the National Transportation Safety Board investigation shall have priority over the Team investigation. Such priority shall not otherwise affect the authority of the Team to continue its investigation under this Act.

(3) CRIMINAL ACTS.—If the Attorney General, in consultation with the Director, determines, and notifies the Director, that circumstances reasonably indicate that the building failure being investigated by a Team may have been caused by a criminal act, the Team shall relinquish investigative priority to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The relinquishment of investigative priority by the Team shall not otherwise affect the authority of the Team to continue its investigation under this Act.

(4) PRESERVATION OF EVIDENCE.—If a Federal law enforcement agency suspects and notifies the Director that a building failure being investigated by a Team under this Act may have been caused by a criminal act, the Team, in consultation with the Federal law enforcement agency, shall take necessary actions to ensure that evidence of the criminal act is preserved.

SEC. 5. BRIEFINGS, HEARINGS, WITNESSES, AND SUBPOENAS. [9]

(a) GENERAL AUTHORITY.—The Director or his designee, on behalf of a Team, may conduct hearings, administer oaths, and require, by subpoena (pursuant to subsection (e)) and otherwise, necessary witnesses and evidence as necessary to carry out this Act.

(b) BRIEFINGS.—The Director or his designee (who may be the leader or a member of a Team), on behalf of a Team, shall hold regular public briefings on the status of investigative proceedings and findings, including a final briefing after the report required by section 8 is issued.

(c) PUBLIC HEARINGS.—During the course of an investigation by a Team, the National Institute of Standards and Technology may, if the Director considers it to be in the public interest, hold a public hearing for the purposes of—

(1) gathering testimony from witnesses; and

(2) informing the public on the progress of the investigation.

(d) PRODUCTION OF WITNESSES.—A witness or evidence in an investigation under this Act may be summoned or required to be produced from any place in the United States. A witness summoned under this subsection is entitled to the same fee and mileage the witness would have been paid in a court of the United States.

(e) ISSUANCE OF SUBPOENAS.—A subpoena shall be issued only under the signature of the Director but may be served by any person designated by the Director.

(f) FAILURE TO OBEY SUBPOENA.—If a person disobeys a subpoena issued by the Director under this Act, the Attorney General, acting on behalf of the Director, may bring a civil action in a district court of the United States to enforce the subpoena. An action under this subsection may be brought in the judicial district in which the person against whom the action is brought resides, is found, or does business. The court may punish a failure to obey an order of the court to comply with the subpoena as a contempt of court.

SEC. 6. ADDITIONAL POWERS. [10]

In order to support Teams in carrying out this Act, the Director may—

(1) procure the temporary or intermittent services of experts or consultants under section 3109 of title 5, United States Code;

(2) request the use, when appropriate, of available services, equipment, personnel, and facilities of a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government on a reimbursable or other basis;

(3) confer with employees and request the use of services, records, and facilities of State and local governmental authorities;

(4) accept voluntary and uncompensated services;

(5) accept and use gifts of money and other property, to the extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts;

(6) make contracts with nonprofit entities to carry out studies related to purpose, functions, and authorities of the Teams; and

(7) provide nongovernmental members of the Team reasonable compensation for time spent carrying out activities under this Act.

SEC. 7. DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION. [11]

(a) GENERAL RULE.—Except as otherwise provided in this section, [12] a copy of a record, information, or investigation submitted or received by a Team shall be made available to the public on request and at reasonable cost.

(b) EXCEPTIONS.—Subsection (a) does not require the release of—

(1) information described by section 552(b) of title 5, United States Code, or protected from disclosure by any other law of the United States; or

(2) information described in subsection (a) by the National Institute of Standards and Technology or by a Team until the report required by section 8 is issued.

(c) PROTECTION OF VOLUNTARY SUBMISSION OF INFORMATION.—

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a Team, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and any agency receiving information from a Team or the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall not disclose voluntarily provided safety-related information if that information is not directly related to the building failure being investigated and the Director finds that the disclosure of the information would inhibit the voluntary provision of that type of information.

(d) PUBLIC SAFETY INFORMATION.—A Team and the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall not publicly release any information it receives in the course of an investigation under this Act if the Director finds that the disclosure of that information might jeopardize public safety.

SEC. 8. NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION SAFETY TEAM REPORT. [13]

Not later than 90 days after completing an investigation, a [14] Team shall issue a public report which includes—

(1) an analysis of the likely technical cause or causes of the building failure investigated;

(2) any technical recommendations for changes to or the establishment of evacuation and emergency response procedures;

(3) any recommended specific improvements to building standards, codes, and practices; and

(4) recommendations for research and other appropriate actions needed to help prevent future building failures.

SEC. 9. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS. [15]

After the issuance of a public report under section 8, the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall comprehensively review the report and, working with the United States Fire Administration and other appropriate Federal and non-Federal agencies and organizations—

(1) conduct, or enable or encourage the conducting of, appropriate research recommended by the Team; and

(2) promote (consistent with existing procedures for the establishment of building standards, codes, and practices) the appropriate adoption by the Federal Government, and encourage the appropriate adoption by other agencies and organizations, of the recommendations of the Team with respect to—

(A) technical aspects of evacuation and emergency response procedures;

(B) specific improvements to building standards, codes, and practices; and

(C) other actions needed to help prevent future building failures.

SEC. 10. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY ANNUAL REPORT. [16]

Not later than February 15 of each year, the Director shall [17] transmit to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report that includes—

(1) a summary of the investigations conducted by Teams during the prior fiscal year;

(2) a summary of recommendations made by the Teams in reports issued under section 8 during the prior fiscal year and a description of the extent to which those recommendations have been implemented; and

(3) a description of the actions taken to improve building safety and structural integrity by the National Institute of Standards and Technology during the prior fiscal year in response to reports issued under section 8.

SEC. 11. ADVISORY COMMITTEE. [18]

(a) ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTIONS.—The Director, in consultation with the United States Fire Administration and other appropriate Federal agencies, shall establish an advisory committee to advise the Director on carrying out this Act and to review the procedures developed under section 2(c)(1) and the reports issued under section 8.

(b) ANNUAL REPORT.—On January 1 of each year, the advisory [19] committee shall transmit to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report that includes—

(1) an evaluation of Team activities, along with recommendations to improve the operation and effectiveness of Teams; and

(2) an assessment of the implementation of the recommendations of Teams and of the advisory committee.

(c) DURATION OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE.—Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act shall not apply to the advisory committee established under this section.

SEC. 12. ADDITIONAL APPLICABILITY. [20]

The authorities and restrictions applicable under this Act to the Director and to Teams shall apply to the activities of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

SEC. 13. AMENDMENT.

Section 7 of the National Bureau of Standards Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1986 (15 U.S.C. 281a) is amended by inserting ‘‘, or from an investigation under the National Construction Safety Team Act,’’ after ‘‘from such investigation’’.

SEC. 14. CONSTRUCTION. [21]

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to confer any authority on the National Institute of Standards and Technology to require the adoption of building standards, codes, or practices.

SEC. 15. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. [22]

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is authorized to use funds otherwise authorized by law to carry out this Act.

Approved October 1, 2002.

_______________

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY—H.R. 4687:
HOUSE REPORTS: No. 107–530 (Comm. on Science).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 148 (2002):
July 12, considered and passed House.
Sept. 9, considered and passed Senate, amended.
Sept. 17, House concurred in Senate amendment.


 
_______________

Notes:

1. Oct. 1, 2002
[H.R. 4687]

2. National
Construction
Safety Team Act.
15 USC 7301
note.

3. 15 USC 7301.

4. Federal Register,
publication.

5. Deadline.

6. Federal Register,
publication.

7. 15 USC 7302.

8. 15 USC 7303.

9. 15 USC 7304.

10. 15 USC 7305.

11. 15 USC 7306.

12. Records.

13. 15 USC 7307.

14. Deadline.

15. 15 USC 7308.

16. 15 USC 7309.

17. Deadline.

18. 15 USC 7310.

19. Deadline.

20. 15 USC 7311.

21. 15 USC 7312.

22. 15 USC 7313.
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Re: Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Build

Postby admin » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:38 am

Appendix B: WORLD TRADE CENTER INVESTIGATION PUBLICATIONS

This report, NIST NCSTAR 1A, covers WTC 7, with a separate report on the two WTC towers. supporting documentation of the techniques and technologies used in the investigation are in a set of companion reports that provide more details of the Investigation findings and the means by which these technical results were achieved. The titles of the full set of Investigation publications are:

NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. NIST NCSTAR 1. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). 2008. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7. NIST NCSTAR 1A. Gaithersburg, MD, November.

Lew, H. S., R. W. Bukowski, and N. J. Carino. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Design, Construction, and Maintenance of Structural and Life Safety Systems. NIST NCSTAR 1-1. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Fanella, D. A., A. T. Derecho, and S. K. Ghosh. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Design and Construction of Structural Systems. NIST NCSTAR 1-1A. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Ghosh, S. K., and X. Liang. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Comparison of Building Code Structural Requirements. NIST NCSTAR 1-1B. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Fanella, D. A., A. T. Derecho, and S. K. Ghosh. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Maintenance and Modifications to Structural Systems. NIST NCSTAR 1-1C. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Grill, R. A., and D. A. Johnson. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Fire Protection and Life Safety Provisions Applied to the Design and Construction of World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7 and Post-Construction Provisions Applied after Occupancy. NIST NCSTAR 1-1D. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Razza, J. C , and R. A. Grill. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Comparison of Codes, Standards, and Practices in Use at the Time of the Design and Construction of World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7. NIST NCSTAR 1-1E. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Grill, R. A, D. A Johnson, and D. A. Fanella. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Comparison of the 1968 and Current (2003) New York City Building Code Provisions. NIST NCSTAR 1-1F. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Grill, R. A , and D. A. Johnson. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Amendments to the Fire Protection and Life Safety Provisions of the New York City Building Code by Local Laws Adopted While World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7 Were in Use. NIST NCSTAR 1-1G. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Grill, R. A., and D. A. Johnson. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Post-Construction Modifications to Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems of World Trade Center 1 and 2. NIST NCSTAR 1-1H. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Grill, R. A , D. A. Johnson, and D. A. Fanella. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Post-Construction Modifications to Fire Protection, Life Safety, and Structural Systems of World Trade Center 7. NIST NCSTAR 1-1I. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Grill, R. A., and D. A. Johnson. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Design, installation, and Operation of Fuel System for Emergency Power in World Trade Center 7. NIST NCSTAR 1-1J. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Sadek, F. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Baseline Structural Performance and Aircraft impact Damage Analysis of the World Trade Center Towers. NIST NCSTAR 1-2. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Faschan, W. J., and R. B. Garlock. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Reference Structural Models and Baseline Performance Analysis of the World Trade Center Towers. NIST NCSTAR 1-2A National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Kirkpatrick, S. W., R. T. Bocchieli, F. Sadek, R. A MacNeill, S. Holmes, B. D. Peterson, R. W. Cilke, C. Navarro. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Analysis of Aircraft Impacts into the World Trade Center Towers, NIST NCSTAR 1-2B. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Gayle, F. W., R. J. Fields, W. E. Luecke, S. W. Banovic, T. Foecke, C. N. McCowan, T. A. Siewert, and J. D. McColskey. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Mechanical and Metallurgical Analysis of Structural Steel. NIST NCSTAR 1-3. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Luecke, W. E., T. A. Siewert, and F. W. Gayle. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Contemporaneous Structural Steel Specifications. NIST Special Publication 1-3A. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Banovic, S. W. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Steel inventory and identification. NIST NCSTAR 1-3B. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Banovic, S. W., and T. Foecke. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Damage and Failure Modes of Structural Steel Components. NIST NCSTAR 1-3C. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Luecke, W. E., J. D. McColskey, C. N. McCowan, S. W. Banovic, R. J. Fields, T. Foecke, T. A. Siewert, and F. W. Gayle. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Mechanical Properties of Structural Steels. NIST NCSTAR 1-3D. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Banovic, S. W., C. N. McCowan, and W. E. Luecke. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Physical Properties of Structural Steels. NIST NCSTAR 1-3E. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD. September.

Evans, D. D., R. D. Peacock, E. D. Kuligowski, W. S. Dols, and W. L Grosshandler. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Active Fire Protection Systems. NIST NCSTAR 1-4. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Kuligowski, E. D., D. D. Evans, and R. D. Peacock. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Post-Construction Fires Prior to September 11, 2001. NIST NCSTAR 1-4A. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Hopkins, M., J. Schoenrock, and E. Budnick. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Fire Suppression Systems. NIST NCSTAR 1-4B. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Keough, R. J., and R. A. Grill. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Fire Alarm Systems. NIST NCSTAR 1-4C. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Ferreira, M. J., and S. M. Strege. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Smoke Management Systems. NIST NCSTAR 1-4D. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Gann, R. G., A. Hamins, K. B. McGrattan, G. W. Mulholland, H. E. Nelson, T. J. Ohlemiller, W. M. Pitts. and K. R. Prasad. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Reconstruction of the Fires in the World Trade Center Towers. NIST NCSTAR 1-5. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Pitts, W. M., K. M. Butler, and V. Junker. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Visual Evidence, Damage Estimates, and Timeline Analysis. NIST NCSTAR 1-5A National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Hamins, A, A. Maranghides, K. B. McGrattan, E. Johnsson, T. J. Ohlemiller, M. Donnelly, J. Yang, G. Mulholland, K. R. Prasad, S. Kukuck, R. Anleitner and T. McAllister. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Experiments and Modeling of Structural Steel Elements Exposed to Fire. NIST NCSTAR 1-5B. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Ohlemiller, T. J., G. W. Mulholland, A Maranghides, J. J. Filliben, and R. G. Gann. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Fire Tests of Single Office Workstations. NIST NCSTAR 1-5C. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Gann, R G., M. A. Riley, J. M. Repp, A. S. Whittaker, A M. Reinhorn, and P. A. Hough. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Reaction of Ceiling Tile Systems to Shocks. NIST NCSTAR 1-5D. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Hamins, A., A .Maranghides, K. B. McGrattan, T. J. Ohlemiller, and R Anleitner. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Experiments and Modeling of Multiple Workstations Burning in a Compartment. NIST NCSTAR 1-5E. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

McGrattan, K. B., C. Bouldin, and G. Forney. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Computer Simulation of the Fires in the World Trade Center Towers. NIST NCSTAR 1-5F. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Prasad, K. R , and H. R. Baum. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Fire Structure Interface and Thermal Response of the World Trade Center Towers. NIST NCSTAR 1-5G. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Gross, J. L., and T. McAllister. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of the World Trade Center Towers. NIST NCSTAR 1-6. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Carino, N. J., M. A. Starnes, J. L. Gross, J. C. Yang, S. Kukuck, K. R. Prasad, and R. W. Bukowski. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Passive Fire Protection. NIST NCSTAR 1-6A. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Gross, J., F. Hervey, M. Izydorek, J. Mammoser, and J. Treadway. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Fire Resistance Tests of Floor Truss Systems. NIST NCSTAR 1-6B. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Zarghamee, M. S., S. Bolourchi, D. W. Eggers, O. O. Erbay, F. W. Kan, Y. Kitane, A. A. Liepins, M. Mudlock, W. I. Naguib, R. P. Ojdrovic, A. T. Sarawit, P. R. Barrett, J. L. Gross, and T. P. McAllister. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Component, Connection, and Subsystem Structural Analysis. NIST NCSTAR 1-6C. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

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Averill, J. D., D. S. Mileti, R. D. Peacock, E. D. Kuligowski, N. Groner, G. Proulx, P. A. Reneke, and H. E. Nelson. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Occupant Behavior, Egress, and Emergency Communication. NIST NCSTAR 1-7. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Fahy, R., and G. Proulx. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Analysis of Published Accounts of the World Trade Center Evacuation. NIST NCSTAR 1-7A. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Zmud, J. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Technical Documentation for Survey Administration. NIST NCSTAR 1-7B. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

Lawson. J. R. , and R. L. Vettori. 2005. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: The Emergency Response Operations. NIST NCSTAR 1-8. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, September.

McAllister, T. P., R. G. Gann, J. D. Averill, J. L. Gross, W. L. Grosshandler, J. R. Lawson, K. B. McGrattan, H. E. Nelson, W. M. Pitts, K. R. Prasad, F. H. Sadek. 2008. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7. NIST NCSTAR 1-9. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, November.

MacNeill, R., S. Kirkpatrick, B. Peterson, and R. Bocchieri, 2008. Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Global Structural Analysis of the Response of World Trade Center Building 7 to Fires and Debris Impact Damage. NIST NCSTAR 1-9A. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, November.
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