Our research objective is to promote fire safety in buildings. Our research projects deal with i. e. the fire resistance of load-bearing and/or compartment structures, and other factors of building fire safety and protection.

The Tampere University Fire Laboratory is a part of the Faculty of Built Environment and Metal and Lightweight Structures research group. We have professional experience in fire engineering research and testing since 1992. Master’s level education on the subject has been provided for over 35 years.

Focal research topics

  • Performance-based fire engineering and design of buildings
  • Building fire safety and smart solutions
  • Fire resistance of load-bearing and compartment structures
  • Fire protection of structures
  • Fire damage inspection, assessment and repair strategies

Focal research projects

Reliability of automatic sprinkler systems in buildings

Automatic sprinkler systems are an effective way to reduce the risk of fire events in buildings. The systems have demonstrated very high operational reliability and design regulations have opened up new opportunities to incorporate sprinklers in building design. It has been shown, for example, that in many cases the amount of passive protection of structural members can be reduced significantly or even be left out, if the sprinkler system operates as designed. For robust and fire safe design solutions, it is of great importance that the sprinkler reliability levels and the performance-based design methods used are well justified. The aim of this research is to determine sprinkler system reliability levels in typical building projects in Finland and to estimate the benefits of incorporating system reliability in structural fire design. Case studies have been carried out to demonstrate how the sprinkler reliability can be taken into account in performance based structural fire design and what is the effect of the reliability on the amount of passive fire protection and cost of the structures.

For more information, please contact:
Prof. Mikko Malaska, mikko.malaska@tuni.fi

Fire safety solutions for smart buildings

Smart building technology and operating environments are opening up opportunities for operating surveillance, security and safety of buildings and premises. Digital technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) enable new solutions for proactive fire prevention, fire detection, rescue, fire extinction and the maintenance of the systems and components. The intelligent building environments and technology also create new challenges and risks related to fire safety. The aim of this research is to find out how fire safety has been taken into account in ongoing intelligent large-scale and high-rise construction projects in Finland. It is also investigated how the data generated by sensors used in HVAC systems can be utilized to improve the fire safety of the buildings and premises and to support the operations of fire and rescue services.

For more information, please contact:
Prof. Mikko Malaska, mikko.malaska@tuni.fi

Steel hollow section joint analysis and design at elevated temperatures

Mechanical properties of steel hollow section joints have been extensively studied in the past decades. However, less research has been focused on joint mechanical behaviour and failure mode at elevated temperatures. In this research, the behaviour of steel hollow section T-joints during fire exposure is studied experimentally and numerically. Full-scale fire tests have been carried out on unloaded and loaded T-joints. The experimental research has been supplemented by extensive numerical analysis and parametric studies. The aim of the study is to determine the actual temperature distribution of the joint during the fire and to determine how this distribution affects the performance and resistance of the joint and joint components in a fire situation. The study also examines the failure modes in fire conditions, and investigates weather the failure modes in fire are different from those determined under normal conditions.

For more information, please contact:
Associate Prof. Sami Pajunen, sami.pajunen@tuni.fi
Prof. Mikko Malaska, mikko.malaska@tuni.fi
Doctoral student Jolanta Bączkiewicz, jolanta.baczkiewicz@tuni.fi

Steel cladding systems for stabilization of the steel buildings in fire – STABFI

Previous research has shown that considerable savings can be achieved for structural members, columns, beams and trusses, if sandwich panels and trapezoidal sheeting are used for stabilizing the whole building structure, compared to the case when stability is ensured by other means. Previous research has covered normal conditions only and in fire conditions, an alternative system is still required for stability. This research project intends to identify the behaviour of steel members and frames with sandwich panels and trapezoidal sheeting used for stabilizing subjected to different fire conditions and scenarios of pre-flashover and post-flashover fires. The aim is to develop design methodologies based on the performance of the structural assemblies as a whole rather than individual elements, including exposure to natural fire conditions.

For more information, please contact:
Assistant Prof. Kristo Mela, kristo.mela@tuni.fi
Prof. Mikko Malaska, mikko.malaska@tuni.fi