TIL that wood/timber can be safer than steel in a structural fire because it burns from the outside in, whereas steel conducts heat to its center and is therefore more likely to fail catastrophically at high temperatures

Read more: https://www.internationaltimber.com/resources/how-does-timber-handle-fire-compared-to-steel-and-concrete/

What do you think?

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  1. That’s one of the reasons there are new multi story timber buildings in some countries. They are all prefabricated in a factory. They go up very rapidly because there are no concrete floors to pour. Floors are large cross laminated wood panels. I think some are 8 to 10 stories tall.

  2. Typically you design in redundancy so that catastrophic failure doesn’t occur in such situations–at least not until there is time to evacuate etc. That’s actually one if the first things they impress on engineers and architects–no single-point-of-failure modes.

    Obviously there are unanticipated circumstances and failure modes that come up on rare occasions.

    Basically, the report cited is more like a marketing team looking for things they can call a benefit “after the fact” in the literature than an actual benefit chosen as an intentional material improvement from the get-go.

    “Since we’re painting it a boring cheap white color, how can we market that?”

    “I know…we’ll call it high-visibility coating and charge a little more!”

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