Fighting Fire With Concrete

by K. Gene Miller, (F.ASCE), Consulting Structural Engr.; Indianapolis, Ind.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 8, Pg. 81-82


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Fire departments have been required to handle an increasing number of fires in multi-story buildings. A fire department in a rapidly developing suburb of Indianapolis, Ind., undertook construction of a training tower to provide practice for their personnel in attacking fires in an enclosed building environment. The fire tower's purpose dictated a concrete structure; the design called for a 100 ft (30 m) high 40 x 52 ft (12 x 16 m) building. Tower design was influenced by the need to keep smoke out of the atmosphere. Accordingly, the tower is closed, with a smoke shaft vented through an electrostatic filter. It is precast concrete; beams, columns and stairs were factory cast and walls and floor slabs were site cast in stacks up to six panels thick. The precast contractor erected the entire building in one month using a 115-ton mobile crane.

Subject Headings: Fire resistance | Fire safety | Precast concrete | Smoke

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