Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Youssef, Maged A.


Façade and glazing elements constitute the skin of buildings. They are the interface between the inside and outside environment. Glass has low fire resistance and can quickly break during fire events. This creates new vents, which increase the oxygen supply and promote the flashover phenomenon. Existing methods for evaluating the structural fire safety of glass require expensive experimental tests or extensive knowledge of finite element (FE) modeling. This research provides simplified, rational, and reliable methods to assess the behavior of ordinary and laminated glass panels during fire exposure. The proposed methods provide the means to determine the glass temperature and its maximum thermal stress during fire exposure. These methods can be utilized by structural engineers, while designing buildings using performance-based design criteria.

Summary for Lay Audience

Façade and glazing elements are essential elements of any building, that provide a natural source of light and oxygen, while having high aesthetic value. These elements are mainly composed of glass, which has low fire resistance and can quickly break during fire events. This breakage increases the severity of the fire by creating a continuous supply of fresh oxygen. Therefore, it is crucial to address this issue by improving our understanding of glass behavior during fire events. Several types of glass products are available in the market. The two main types are ordinary and laminated glass panels. Ordinary glass is the one commonly used in buildings, while the laminated is composed of two glass panels with an interlayer in-between. This research investigates the problem of glass breakage during fire exposure and proposes simple yet reliable methods for engineers to ensure the safety of the building’s occupants during fire exposure.