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Major Fire Ongoing at the 63 Storey "Address Hotel" Dubai


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Salty Dog

Sprinklers or not, you have to admire their ability to get everyone out without a single death.

 

Imagine if that were a highrise hotel in Manila or Cebu. 

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Vulle Vuojas

what is fueling that fire ???

 

a gas leak ??

When I was living there, there was no gas  in my rented condo.  But might be different in other places....   I think this place burning is a rather new built (might be wrong)......

 

I see you are Danish.... my best friend in Dubai was a Dane from Århus.....   (surname: Panum)

Edited by Vulle Vuojas
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I see you are Danish.... my best friend in Dubai was a Dane from Århus.....   (surname: Panum) Like This

 

I am not living in aarhus, never did, but info is close enough for here

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what is fueling that fire ???

 

a gas leak ??

seeing this made me change my mine to not use the EVG panels on my next build.

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to_dave007

Experts query quality of cladding on Dubai buildings
======================
 
DUBAI // The fires that have erupted in Dubai landmarks have raised concerns about the quality of material used to clad the emirate’s buildings.

 

After a fire at The Torch in February last year, experts believed that a majority of Dubai’s approximately 250 high-rises use cladding panels with a thermoplastic core for insulation, to improve rigidity and for cosmetic purposes.

 

Flammable cladding materials, comprising plastic or polyurethane fillings – called a thermoplastic core – sandwiched between aluminium panels, have been blamed for spreading fires at both the Al Baker Tower 4 and the Al Tayer Tower in Sharjah in 2012.

 

“On some fires that we’ve seen, clearly the facade itself contributed to the way that the flames have spread. But I don’t know if that’s the case with Thursday night’s incident,” said Andy Dean, head of facade engineering for consultancy firm WSP yesterday.

 

“The design process starts with a fire-safety strategy and just needs to be implemented properly and maintained.”

 

His comments followed a blaze in The Address in Downtown Dubai hours before the New Year’s Eve fireworks at Burj Khalifa.

 

Mr Dean, who has more than 25 years experience in the field of building and construction, said it was too early to speculate about the cause of the blaze and the reasons why it spread quickly.

“Any fire from an ignition source will propagate fuel and that fuel can be anything that will burn so that’s just applying the obvious,” he said. “Let information come out first, and let’s not speculate.”

 

In the first half of last year, Dubai Civil Defence responded to 193 incidents, an increase from 158 in the same period in 2014, director Maj Gen Rashid Thani Al Matroushi said in September.

 

Eighty-two of those incidents took place in homes, he said.

 

Of the 193 incidents, 34 were caused by short circuits, 10 were from cigarettes, nine from unattended candles and five from burning incense.

 

On November 23, more than 100 people were forced out of their homes by a blaze in an apartment building on Salahuddin Road. The rush-hour incident caused chaos for many as strong winds fuelled the flames, forcing an evacuation of the adjacent Movenpick hotel.

 

The cause of the blaze hass yet to be determined.

 

Two days later, a fire erupted on the balcony of the 26th floor of the 32-storey Regal Tower on Business Bay. It spread to the 28th floor but did not affect the building’s interior. Again, the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

 

Other notable fires include The Torch, one of the tallest residential towers in the world at 86 storeys, that left more than 100 apartments severely damaged.

In 2012, a large fire gutted the 34-storey Tamweel Tower in JLT after a cigarette was dropped in a pile of rubbish.

 

In June, Dubai Civil Defence said more than 40,000 buildings across the emirate had connected to the Dubai Life Safety Dashboard. This allowed the authority, government departments, building owners and residents to see on smart devices whether sprinkler systems were working correctly.

 

http://www.thenational.ae/uae/experts-query-quality-of-cladding-on-dubai-buildings

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to_dave007

Fire hazard associated with installation of non-compliant external cladding on high-rise buildings
=================================================================================================
 
22 July 2015
 by Rebecca Hosking, Gavin Creighton, Landis Michaels

In brief - Cheap external cladding materials from China pose fire risk

 

Some types of cladding materials imported from China fail to comply with Australian standards and lack the fire-retardant qualities of compliant products. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) could exacerbate this problem.

 

Combustible external cladding allows Docklands fire to spread

 

In November 2014 the Lacrosse Residential Apartment Building in Docklands, Melbourne caught fire, suffering extensive damage. The fire was sparked by a cigarette on an eighth floor balcony. The building's combustible external cladding enabled the fire to race up to the 21st floor.

 

It was subsequently found that the cladding material was imported from China and was not tested to Australian standards. (See Simon King's article Fire-risk cladding a legal minefield, apartment owners warned, The Australian (online), 5 May 2015.)

 

Cheaper imported cladding materials fail to meet Australian standards

 

The use of cladding materials in the last ten years has been widespread due both to the demand for high-rise buildings and to the product's multifaceted use for insulation, improved rigidity and cosmetic purposes.

 

The Fire Protection Association Australia has warned that builders across the country are importing Chinese cladding material which has not been tested to Australian standards. The cladding is comprised of a plastic core compressed between aluminium panels and it is the cheaper imported material that is less fire-retardant than compliant products.

Insurers advised to request proof that building materials are compliant

 

Strata insurers accept in good faith that buildings are being constructed safely, but this may not always be the case. To manage this risk, insurers may consider requesting certified documents to show that the material being used is compliant.

 

Insurers may also turn their mind to conducting assessments of existing and newly constructed strata buildings to determine the extent of use of cladding or other materials which do not meet Australian standards.

 

As the defect in the materials is not readily apparent until, for example, a fire ignites, there may be limited or no recourse to the builders, developers and certifiers if they are long gone by the time such an event occurs.

 

Victorian Building Authority auditing high-rise buildings in inner Melbourne

 

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade in Melbourne has recently asked the coroner to investigate the root cause of the fire and whether the national and state regulatory frameworks ensure risks are adequately addressed. (See Tom Nightingale's article Victorian coroner asked to investigate Docklands high-rise apartment fire involving substandard cladding, ABC News (online), 1 June 2015.)

 

Further, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has recently taken action by commencing an audit of some 170 high-rise buildings in inner Melbourne to ascertain whether there has been non-compliant use of cladding, as well as commencing an investigation into the conduct of the builder and surveyor in relation to the Lacrosse building. (See Lacrosse Docklands fire - VBA to investigate, VBA media release, 27 April 2015.)

 

The VBA is progressively publishing its findings as these audits are conducted. (See VBA website, Audit of cladding on high rise buildings, 17 June 2015.)

ChAFTA predicted to increase influx of falsely labelled products

 

Housing Industry Association senior executive director, building development and environment, Kristin Brookfield, recently said that the new free trade agreement with China will result in an increase in products entering the country and without an appropriate checking framework, the current problems stemming from falsely labelled building products will be exacerbated. (See Michael Bleby's article Dodgy building products could increase under China FTA, industry players warn, The Australian Financial Review (online), 17 June 2015.)

 

Building professionals, owners, managers and their insurers need to be aware of risks

 

Body corporates, strata managers and owner organisations could engage technical experts to undertake inspections of their buildings to determine whether the cladding and other materials used are appropriate and conform to relevant standards.

 

Regulatory and compliance professionals including builders, surveyors, technical assessors and building compliance officers also need to be aware of these risks, as do their professional indemnity insurers.

 

The consequences of using defective materials are potentially grave in terms of injury, fatality and rectification costs. Underwriters should be aware of those potential hazards when considering whether to accept a risk.

 

 

[source http://www.cbp.com.au/publications/2015/july/fire-hazard-associated-with-installation-of-non-co  ]

 

See also:

http://www.cookeonfire.com/pdfs/eurisolgreenreport.pdf

http://risktech.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/No.10-Composite-Panels.pdf

 

IMHO, this will be found to be the modern day equivalent of a contractor using substandard concrete to construct the building.  Except this time, they are installing a sub standard (and no doubt cheaper) cladding (without the required fire retardant features) around the building to keep all the residents cozy, while providing a ready means for fires to jump from floor to floor past the floor plate, and from the exterior to the interior.  However, since no one died, the results of the investigation will likely never be made public.  From what I read, I do feel that insurance companies already KNOW the risks associated with this substandard cladding, and it's highly likely that the insurer will demand a higher standard cladding on this Dubai building as they clean it up.

Edited by to_dave007
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Davaoeno

There was a time in Canada when a foam insulation called UFFI was used to insulate homes.  Some people claimed that toxic fumes from the UFFI caused them problems. If your house contained UFFI it became impossible to use it to get a mortgage or to sell it, so many homes had the walls torn apart so as to remove the foam.

 

It would be interesting to see if Australia and other countries pass laws ordering that all such materials to not only be disallowed but also to  be removed. 

 

 

btw in the end it turned out that UFFI was not toxic but by then many people had lost their homes or their life savings.

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to_dave007

There was a time in Canada when a foam insulation called UFFI was used to insulate homes.  Some people claimed that toxic fumes from the UFFI caused them problems. If your house contained UFFI it became impossible to use it to get a mortgage or to sell it, so many homes had the walls torn apart so as to remove the foam.

 

It would be interesting to see if Australia and other countries pass laws ordering that all such materials to not only be disallowed but also to  be removed. 

 

 

btw in the end it turned out that UFFI was not toxic but by then many people had lost their homes or their life savings.

 

I don't think it's UFFI..  I think it's a polystyrene plastic laminated between 0.5MM aluminum cladding on both sides.  From what I read (some other Aussie documents) the fire retardant properties of the cladding have a lot to do with certain additives to the polystyrene which apparently are not present in some of the cheap China imports.  Seems that the construction industry is already aware of this in Australia as testing has already determined some claddings to be non-compliant to Aussie standards.

 

In this case it's not the toxicity of the burning insulation that's at issue.  Note that there were no significant complaints in the news reports of death or injury due to toxic fumes.  In this case the issue is about the fire retardant properties of the foam.  In fact if you watch the second video in the initial post, you can see that the flames climb 20 stories in about 180 seconds.  This matches very closely to the November 2014 incident (in my previous post) in the Lacrosse Residential Apartment Building in Docklands, Melbourne.  To me it seems like the cladding is more of a fire accelerant than a fire retardant.

 

It's even more scary when you read the last section of the Risktech report above, which gives guidance on how a building owner can avoid fire risk in the interim.  Things like "don't weld or have an ignition source" when repairing panels, or maintain panel joints properly to keep combustible materials sealed inside properly, or don't stack combustible materials within 15 meters of wall panels, or don't charge forklift battery near the panels, or clean restaurant vents to prevent building up of combustibles inside the vents all rely on the local building maintenance staff having knowledge of what  to do and not to do..  which in reality is just not going to happen in most cases.  For Christ's sake in the case of the Dubai fire, the building was going to be near the epicentre of a world class fireworks display..  which ..  duh.. is incendiary.  It's a bloody hotel, and the guests smoke on the balconies, so fire is an inevitable risk.

Edited by to_dave007
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Davaoeno

 

 

I don't think it's UFFI.

 

sorry - i didnt mean to suggest that it was. I was just using it as an example of using a new product without sufficient prior testing. 

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