Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

NILIM Conducted Third Full Scale Wooden School Building Fire Test

Hidehiko Fumoto

By Hidehiko Fumoto

Deputy Director and Manager Technical Services, Canada Wood Japan

October 31, 2013

On October 20th, the National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management (NILIM) conducted the third fire test for a full scale wooden 3-storey school building.  This test is positioned as the final test among the three tests fully paid for the by the national government.  The final test alone cost about 100 million yen or approximately one million dollars.  The building was ignited at 8:00 am at a remotely located site in Gifu prefecture, approximately 40 km away from Nagoya City.  This 3-storey full scale specimen was built by post & beam method, with a total floor area of 850 m2 and with the specification of 1-hour quasi fire resistive construction.  The exterior finishing was ceramic-type siding while the interior ceilings and walls was cladded with gypsum boards but the beams and columns were partially exposed.  Unlike the second test, no eaves and balconies were installed.  The objectives of the final test were 1) to verify the performance of the fire wall (a wood-framed fire wall assuming quasi-fire resistive performance) 2) to confirm the fire compartment performance when ceilings are covered by incombustible materials.  The test went almost the same manner as what had been written in the scenario.  The columns of the first floor level lost the bearing performance against the vertical loads 87 minutes after the flashover.  Upon finishing the test, Dr. Hasemi of Waseda University commented that the test will allow them to start the revision work for Articles 21 and 27 of Building Standard Law, which are restricting the fire resistive specification for the building exceeding 3,000 m2 and the specifications for the main structural parts of school buildings, respectively.  Dr. Hasemi has been supervising the three full-scale tests.  He also has been the chair for the fire sub-committee where COFI sits as a member of the 3-year Building Research Institute large wooden building project.