Conference Year



Supertall building, compartment fire, flashover


The trend in building supertall residential buildings with large glass pane and window openings has becoming a modern building design. It is well understood that with this design, better views and borrowing more light from the outside environmental are well known and accepted by people living in metropolitan city like Hong Kong. However, there is no report specifically on the fire safety issues related to this kind of building feature. The study aims to look for the trend and associate fire risks for large window pane and opening area and the gross floor area of each unit on the floor as well as the relationship between these two design features. These specific features will be studied separately using statistical method to ascertain the general trend in the latest building designs. In this study, the floor layouts of thirty-one supertall residential blocks from the same number of building developments will be studied. The study involves a building survey to take measurement from approved building plans on one typical floor of each block. Two sets of data, one on the total window and glass pane areas of each unit and the other on the gross floor area of the same unit will be taken. All the units on the floor will be taken into consideration. In general, larger area of the window pane will mean wider the window pane since the floor height is fixed. It is understood that the height of the window pane will not exceed the height of the floor. In the case of Hong Kong the clear height of each floor is around 2.8 meters. It has been reported that wider the window, the closer against the wall will be the flame to rise in fire situation causing fire spreading to the immediate floor/s above. The trajectory of the flame from fire below normally requires the breakage or falling-out of window pane of the affected floor and the floor/s above; as such a report on the performance of glass under the effect of fire will also be included in this study. Finally, a fire safety studies on the heat release rate in a fire compartment with references to the window openings and the floor areas will also be conducted by adopting the derived results from sophisticated studies on flashover fire in compartments. Co-relation of the results will be discussed and analyzed.

3156_presentation.pdf (1429 kB)
A Study on the Fire Safety Issues for Large Window Openings in Supertall Residential Buildings in Hong Kong