A splendid turnout in Fitzroy Square for Arup veteran Ron Marsh's retirement bash was a reminder of just what an array of talent has passed through (and remained with) the firm. As if to make the point, the rapid and impressive response of Arup to the New York disaster has presented knowledgeable, considered and disinterested comment. The firm has created an Extreme Events Mitigation Task Force, with Tony Fitzpatrick, who heads the US operation, to the fore. It is producing guides to how we might proceed in the light of the terrorist attacks, not least by posing 'what if ' questions to see if there are additional measures we could take in relation to building tall structures.
Apart from the question of increased fire resistance, Arup also poses the possibility of 'collapse floors' every 10 storeys, which would prevent total progressive collapse. Another idea to be investigated is reinforced concrete cores which could provide stability after the loss of floors and perimeter frame, ie dual-stability structures. Future work on this will be made generally available. This is what professions are about.