The aftermath of the Grenfell fire: Are Australian buildings safe?

When: July 4, 4.30pm – 6.30pm
Where: Brown Theatre, Electrical and Electronic Building, Parkville Campus. Map
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The Grenfell Tower fire is a tragic disaster that has touched many lives. The incident resonates particularly with Australian cities, as our population is concentrated in urban centres, and many medium-rise and high-rise buildings have been constructed with non-compliant products.

In London, lives have been lost and many people have been hospitalised, and the burnt tower is leading many to question fire safety and fire protection systems in buildings. It is assured that help is being provided to all the homeless survivors, but this catastrophic fire is a warning for the occupants, developers, architects, engineers and all people involved in the construction industry in Australia and around the world.

Unfortunately, the Grenfell Tower fire was amplified thanks to the combined failure of many critical elements of fire safety.


4.30-6.00 pm Grenfell Tower Fire – Do we need to worry about our façades? – Jonathan Barnett

6.00-6.30 pm Fire and Evacuation Modelling, Behaviour of Construction Materials Under Fire and High-rise structures – Dr Kate Nguyen, Prof Priyan Mendis, A/Prof Tuan Ngo, Innovative Fire Engineering Group, University of Melbourne

6.30 pm Vote of thanks – Dr David Heath, ARC-CAMPH, University of Melbourne

Guest speaker – Dr Jonathan Barnett

Dr Jonathan Barnett is a fire safety expert with a specialty in the analytical modeling of fire dynamics, smoke movement, and occupant egress. He is the Technical Director of RED Fire Engineers. He uses advanced science and engineering principles and techniques to improve survivability of occupants and buildings exposed to fire-related hazards. He applies computer modeling to enhance the design of building structural systems, building envelope systems, and fire protection systems to achieve an overall greater degree of fire safety. This includes the development and application of performance-based design criteria for new building design, integration of fire safety and fire resistance measures in building renovation, and fire protection code consulting for structures of all types.

In accordance with the results of his analyses, Dr Barnett establishes building fire safety specifications that are employed by the owner’s project team to achieve improved fire safety designs.

Dr Barnett has been elected to the grade of Fellow in Engineers Australia and is a Chartered Engineer (CPEng, NER). He is a Registered Building Practitioner (EM and EF) in Victoria, C10 Accredited Certifier, Fire Safety Enginering in NSW, and a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) and a registered professional engineer (PE) in Massachusetts.

Images: Wikimedia Commons.