THE NEW ENGINEERS
British Steel's Jef Robinson believes that the Cardington tests will revolutionise the way engineers design structures in steel. 'When engineers design for wind loading they design for it as a natural part of the structural synthesis. They don't design the structure and then wrap it in a whole lot of wind breaks. But that's exactly what they do for fire: design the structure and wrap the elements in insulation designed to stop fire heating them up. The new engineering will incorporate the fact that fire protection for steel beams may not be necessary - although beam strengths do decrease in the fire state, stresses in the affected section move elsewhere in the structure and it retains its overall integrity.'