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‘Fire risk’ warning for new Suvarnabhumi terminal design

BANGKOK: The Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) has warned that the winning design for the new passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport poses a huge fire risk with its huge wooden structures.

By Bangkok Post

Friday 7 September 2018, 09:16AM

The winning design for the planned new passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport. Photo: Supplied to Bangkok Post

The winning design for the planned new passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport. Photo: Supplied to Bangkok Post

EIT executives held a media conference at the institute in Bangkok yesterday (Sept 6) to issue the warning.

Vice president Kecha Thirakomen said the winning design requires a lot of wood and the use of timber pillars and ceiling support beams increased the risk in the event of a fire.

“They would catch fire quickly. The fire would be extensive and fierce. High-level wooden beams would be engulfed in rising heat that would be trapped under the ceiling. Standard fire-fighting systems like sprinklers and hoses would not be able to cope,” he said.

“A passenger terminal could contain tens of thousands of people at any time,” he added.

Mr Kecha said the designer had already confirmed that the new terminal would use wood and that would pose problems with fire-proofing.

The intricate pattern of the wooden beams would also cause cleaning problems.

Chuchai Sujivorskul, EIT member on building standards, also said the use of so much wood would result in a low level of fire resistance for the new terminal.

If Airports of Thailand (AoT) decided to look for a new design, it should let engineering representatives have their say, he said.

EIT president Thanes Weerasiri said the design of an airport passenger terminal should focus not only on beauty but also on factors such as safety and environmental friendliness.

The news conference was called based on information the EIT received through the media and it had not seen the details of the actual design. The EIT had not been invited to participate in the design process, he said.

The designer is DBALP Consortium, headed by renowned architect Duangrit Bunnag.

The consortium came second in the area of technical scores, but won the contest last month because the AoT disqualified the top scorer, SA Group, for failing to use the AoT’s own tendering form, which detailed important conditions.

AoT expects the second terminal to double Suvarnabhumi airport’s capacity, from handling 30 million passengers a year to 60mn. The construction cost was estimated at B42 billion.

Read original story here.



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