Lessons from two fires at Glasgow School of Art

KINCAID, Simon (2022). Lessons from two fires at Glasgow School of Art. Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal & Valuation.

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    Fires have occurred in many high-profile historic buildings, including several in recent years. The Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art however is unique in having suffered two fires in recent years, the second of which was highly destructive and impacted the whole building. The comprehensive level of documentation about the building, ironically far more complete in the aftermath of the first fire, as a consequence of the fine detail needed to facilitate a reconstruction project (at an advanced stage at the time of the second fire), means that there remains the potential for reconstruction. This in fact is the preferred option for the future of the building. There are a number of important lessons to come out of the fires, which have wide applicability for other historic buildings. The first, alluded to above, is that strenuous efforts should be made to ensure that documentation of the building is as complete as possible, this likely a combination of safe storage of archival material and new digital recording. Secondly, the fires have emphasised the importance of early warning of fire, and consequently detection and alarm systems must be of high quality and failsafe; they must also remain at this standard when construction work is occurring, at which time care must also be taken not to compromise passive fire protection. Thirdly, since fast and effective intervention is critical, the fire and rescue service should be well acquainted with the building, with planning and cooperation to this end being prioritised. Conversely, where location means that early response is unlikely, independent action by the building staff and other fixed measures may be required. Finally, the possibility of there being a future for a historic building following a destructive fire may often depend on suitable and adequate insurance cover being in place.

    Item Type: Article
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2022 17:16
    Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 17:16
    URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30970

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