FiRE-TECH PROJECT UNFURTUNATELY, THE WEBSITE OF THIS PROJECT IS CLOSED. The following information is published with the kind permission of Prof. Vandevelde , Co-ordinator of the project 1. Summary of the project : Fire Risk Evaluation to European Cultural Heritage   Quantification of priorities and optimisation of fire protection strategies. Programme funded by European Commission, Research Directorate General, Directorate Environment, Unit "Urban sustainability and Cultural Heritage" Fifth framework program; Environment and Sustainable Development FiRE-TECH was a thematic network of European fire protection experts and practitioners. The aim of the project was to evaluate the risk that fire poses to our cultural heritage and to suggest methods by which that risk can be quantified and managed using the systems and components that are currently available.   The FiRE-TECH Decision Supporting Procedure has been developed to allow decision-makers to choose systems that will have the greatest impact on fire protection, thereby optimising the selection process with regard to the reliability, acceptability and cost of individual fire protection measures. Analyses have been carried out on the current state of EU-wide legislation as it applies to cultural heritage, and on a large number of significant fires that have affected cherised buildings. This provides valuable information to end- users, fire protection professionals and all those involved in the safeguarding of cultural heritage buildings and artefacts; information that must not be ingnored.   Contact person was  Prof. Dr. Ir. P.Vandevelde, Ghent University, Department for flow, heat and combustion mechanics, Laboratory for heat transfer and fuel technology,Gent,Belgium. Project Officer was Michel Chapuis, European Commission, Research Directorate General, Directorate Environment, Unit "Urban sustainability and Cultural Heritage”. PRESENTATION of Prof. Vandevelde Partners were University Ghent (Ugent) , Belgium;  Warrington Fire Research Group Ltd (WFR), United Kingdom; Instituto Superior Téchnico (IST) , Lisboa, Portugal; TNO Centre for Fire Research, The Netherlands; Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB), France; Braunschweig University of Technology (iBMB), Germany; Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Greece. Associated Members were : University of Innsbruck (UIBK) , Instituto Universitario di Architettura Venezia (IUAV) , Fire Safety Nordic (FSN), and and EMI Budapest, Hungary ; 2. Overview of the different working groups   Working group 1: Identification of the existing practices and regulations and the motivation behind them.  In the various EU member states measures are taken to preserve cultural heritage against fire. Information in the field is available within the consortium, but has never been analysed systematically. Also, the backgrounds of the decision process are often hidden. Official fire safety laboratories participating in the consortium have close connections with the national authorities.   With a view to decode the regulations, i.e. to identify the motivation behind the present systems, the existing decision processes in the various member states are described and analysed. This analysis includes the requirements and legal systems on which such requirements are based. The convenor of the working group and the members of the project team have set up a questionnaire. The necessary (national) information have been collected by means of questionnaires and with the help of the members of the consortium. On the basis of the responses received, a selection of the most relevant national approaches has been made which was surveyed in more detail (where appropriate, by means of interviews). The information will be analysed and reviewed by a project team of the consortium assisted by regulators and enforcers.  FINAL REPORT OF WG 1 by TNO Working group 2: Analysis of fires involving cultural heritage. The scope of Work Package 2 (WP2) was drawn as much information as possible from fires in order to identify the causes of fires, the measures provided to reduce their occurrence and their development as well as the damage/loss figures.   The statistical data and report on major fires have been collected from national authorities in charge of the cultural heritage and insurance company trade associations. A series of significant fires has been examined. Detailed information on the selected fires has been collected by questionnaire distributed by WG 1 and the consequences analysed. Relationship between the use of the cultural heritage and the fire scenario will be identified as well as the measures that could have avoided the fire.   From a methodological point of view, the gathering of data was done through national Ministries in charge of the cultural heritage, governmental agencies and insurance company associations, some of which belong to the consortium members, or are in close contact with them.  The working group 2 collected information on fires involving Cultural Heritage Buildings. Four categories of fires were defined Category A: Fires causing great damage to a historical building Category B: Fires causing great damage to several historical buildings Category C: Fires occurring in buildings with no historical meaning, but affecting items with great artistical/historical value Category D: Fires causing great damage both to the building and to the contents with historical value   WG2 final report is a 5 MB pdf file. Working group 3:  Fire performance of ancient materials The main objective of the provisions against fire growth is the reduction of the chance of a fire incident in a building and in case of such an occurrence, the control of the rate of fire growth and spread across the building. The rate of growth of a fire in an enclosure depends upon the fire behaviour of the content and the linings, the compartment size and shape and ventilation conditions.   Fire growth beyond the compartment boundaries depends upon the fire resistance of essential building elements (floors, ceilings, beams, columns, walls, doors, shafts, linings etc.) expressed as ‘fire ratings’. Conventional regulatory requirements prescribe such fire rating through Building Conservation. Documentation of the fire performance of ancient buildings elements, however, is not readily available. The application of engineering judgement in day to day practice is rather difficult because building designers and officials are not always familiar with the materials' fire properties. Subject of this work package was to describe the fire resistance and fire reaction ratings of the ancient materials and assemblies and propose proper tabulated data or analytical methods for the determination of their fire performance.  WG3 final report is a 15.2 MB pdf file. Working group 4:  Existing fire safety technologies and products The state of the art of fire protection techniques and products supporting the various components of fire safety design is reviewed. Information on reliability and costs within the context of protecting cultural heritage is collected, their acceptability and limitations assessed. This work constitues an input into the quantitative decision model/method   The following in particular is collected:  the state of the art of fire protection products (passive and active systems) and components of fire safety design, their extent of use and compatibility in cultural heritage applications; the extent to which existing technologies and products are accepted and the scope for their enhanced applicability through improved design; the reliability, quantified or perceived, of different products or measures within the context of fire protection in cultural heritage;   WG4 final report is a 3 MB pdf file.   (Working group 5: deleted for the original proposal)   Working group 6: Risk Analysis The risk concept is associated both to consequences and to a probability of occurrence of an unwanted event. The goal of this working group was to collect existing risk analysis methods and to select suitable methods of cultural heritage building. WG6 final report deals also with FRAME   Working group 7: Development of a quantitative decision model/method. The main objective of this work package was to select a method and a practical tool able to help in the decision making process. A mathematical method of optimisation has been established. The advantages and limits of basic existing optimisation methods of different kinds (functional optimisation, multivariance analysis, hierachy analysis...) have been examined and a hierarcy method chosen.   Two programmes, ALADIN and IST-Cost/Efficiency sheet have been elaborated. A users guide provides the description of the retained methoes and gives the information necessary for practical utilisation of the computer programme. WG7 final report is a 0.6 MB pdf file. Working group 8:  Case studies The numerical methods have been applied on 11 different cases, selected in a way to cover well-defined categories of cultural heritage. A realistic coverage over the various EU-members states pursued. Each of the cases was evaluated on the basis of the developed numerical methods. WG8 final report is a 0.8 MB pdf file.   Working group 9:  Guidance document and final report Guidance document : The prime purpose of this document was to provide the potential user of the results of this project with users guide.   Final Report: The final report will contain the individual reports of the different WG’s, together with a comprehensive summary of the work carried out in this project.  The results of the FiRE-TECH project have been published in a book (out of print) and on a CD-ROM PRINT  THIS PAGE  (pdf)