Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

The Third Full Scale Fire Test Planned for Wooden School Building

Hidehiko Fumoto

By Hidehiko Fumoto

Deputy Director and Manager Technical Services, Canada Wood Japan

June 3, 2013

Picture1Subsequent to full scale fire tests for wooden school building in February and November 2012, the third test is being planned  between July and September of this year.  These tests are fully paid for by the Japanese government in view of relaxing the fire code in order that 3-storey wooden school buildings can be built as quasi fire resistive structures.  In Japan, 3-storey school buildings are more typically built than those with 1 or 2 storeys.  The current building code only allows for 3-storey school buildings to be built by fire resistive structures where all wooden structural members must be covered by incombustible materials.  Under the quasi fire resistive concept, wooden structural elements can be visually exposed if char margin design is implemented.  There has been a strong desire amongst the building designers to facilitate school buildings where wooden materials can give visual attractiveness and tactile warmth to students.  If the third test is successful, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport Picture2and Tourism (MLIT) is planning on the code amendment.  The first test monitored the fire spread between window openings.  The second test indicated that the fire spread can be significantly delayed if balconies and eves are installed.  The administrating research group is planning the third test that can be witnessed by those who are pre-registered.  COFI Tokyo is participating in this project as a fire subcommittee member of Mid-rise and Large Scale Wooden Structure Project conducted by Building Research Institute.