Hypermedia, workshop on configuration and communication of the architectural project, is an interdepartmental research group of The Polytechnic University of Madrid, located at ETSAM.

Architectural design and protection in case of fire: Spanish normative development in the field of evacuation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (2016)

TESIS: (Thesis)

Title: Architectural design and protection in case of fire: Spanish regulatory development regarding evacuation in the 19th and 20th centuries. (2016)

  • Author(s): Angel Díaz Caro.
  • Director(s): Javier Raposo Grau.
  • Summary: This is the search for answers to that constant doubt: Where we come from and which we have been leaving along the way. Is everything clear in this journey or have we acted by accumulating errors inherited from previous processes? It is research through the discovery of our past, of our origins in the field of fire protection safety, and above all of the execution of an architecture designed to be toured with greater safety and to be evacuated in a time Reasonable. The work investigates, at the national level, the evolution of society and its effects on how to interpret the problem of fire safety in buildings. The main interest is to make clear all those aspects that affect the evacuation of people. To this end, the main milestones of action have been studied, the main concerns arising at all times and the solutions adopted. Its application or delay has been verified until the next major event has resulted in a further review of design and control procedures. First, trying to link the fundamental fires that have influenced the way we approach the problem at different times in the history of Spain. Secondly, taking a tour of the figure of the architect and his participation in the means of control and legislation on how to intervene in the fire service or to solve buildings in relation to fire protection or evacuation of occupants. In short, discovering the writings of some specialists, fundamental to understanding our way of addressing the problem of protection in buildings, throughout history. It has been reviewed as the most significant claims have occurred in theaters and other public premises. Analyzing how the architects involved have sought to address potential deficiencies in the face of risk. This is the building typology where, for the first time, concern arises about adopting safety measures and procedures in case of fire. They are local with an important accident, where the main playful activity of the moment takes place, and that because of the significant number of people they house, are a source of concern between the public and the authorities. Other issues in such a broad issue, which are simply outlined in this research work, are the procedures of the extinguishing systems, the organizational structure of the city, the first fire insurance companies, the emergence of patents from 19th-century industrial development. All this, with the common thread of the regulations that have been developed in this regard. At the beginning, on public performances, at the starting point in terms of our regulation. Anticipating construction systems and dimensional evacuation data. Arrived in the mid-20th century, addressing other uses. Monitoring the modernization of building processes and sectoral regulation. Gathering information from professional organizations that are beginning to demand national coordination of preventive systems and that leads to the draft fire prevention regulation that will never be published. All this stage, full of documents of a voluntary or mandatory nature, local and national, define the dimensional criteria with which the architectural elements capable of serving for evacuation must be solved. This is an intense stage in documentation, changing, subject to the criteria established by the most advanced countries of the environment in this area. The last two decades of the century, bound by political transition and several sinisters of serious consequences, define the normative process that culminates with the technical code of the building that we know today. It is a period of learning and assimilation of the chapter of security, where the methods are varied. Where the ultimate intention is to move a prescriptive system to a maturity-specific benefit model in the analysis of the subject and in the currents of the countries of the environment.
  • Abstract: This is the search for answers to that constant question: Where do we come from and what have left along the way? Has everything been clear ed on this journey, or have we acted as a result of learned from prior processes? This has been research through exploration of our past, of our origins regarding fire protection safety, and, above all, of the endeavour to use architecture at aimed at offering the highest level of safety and evacuation in a reasonable time. This project has researched society's change nationwide and its effects on how to interpret the difficulty of fire protection safety in buildings. Its focus has fundamentally been to clarify those aspects that affect the evacuation of people. To this end, the main milestones of action, the main concerns that have arisen at each step, and the solutions taken have all been studied. A check was performed on their application; or their delay until a significant event occurred that prompted a new revision of design and control procedures. Firstly, this was done by attempting to connect the main fires that have influenced how we handle the problem at different times in Spain's history. Secondly, an examination was done on the figure of the architect and his participation in the means of control and legislation on how to intercede in fire services, or how the architect finds solutions for in terms of fire protection, or the evacuation of their occupants. In short, the written works of certain specialists, who are essential to our understanding of how to deal with the problem of protection in buildings, were explored throughout history. A study was done on the most significant disasters in theaters and other public establishments. This was done by analysing the way the architects involved have aimed to solve points liable to risk. It is a classification of building where, for the first time, the concern arose to adopt safety measures and procedures in the event of fires. Public establishments with considerable accident rates emerged. Here the main entertainment activities of the time took place. These spaces were a source of worry among the public and authorities due to the high number of persons they accommodated. Other issues in such an extensive subject, which are only outlined in this research study, are procedures in extinguishing systems, the structure of cities, the first fire insurance companies, and the appearance of patents after the industrial development of the 19th century. All of these aspects are joined by the common thread of regulations that have been created in this matter. At the beginning, these regulations were for public shows, thus defining the starting point for our regulations. This was done in anticipation of structural systems and size data of evacuations. With the arrival of the mid-20th century, different uses were addressed. A modernization of construction processes and the industry regulations were tracked. Information was gathered from professional organizations that began to demand a national coordination of prevention systems which led to the Regulation Project on fire prevention which will never be published. Throughout this stage, replete with voluntary and compulsory documents, both on the local and national level, the dimensional criteria to be used in the resolution of architectural elements open to use in were defined. This was a period that was filled with documentation, change, and subject to the criteria that the most advanced countries in the field established in this regard. The final two decades of the century, marked by political transition and several accidents with grave consequences, defined the regulation process that culminated with the building technical code known today. This was a period of learning and understanding in the chapter of safety, where the methods are varied. In this chapter, the ultimate goal is to insert a prescriptive-based standard into a performance-based code suitable for cultivated experience in analysis of the subject and the tendencies in countries dealing with this field.
  • Link: http://oa.upm.es/40072/

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