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2.4 Recommendations

The scope of this study was not intended to include in-depth analysis of many issues that should be explored before final conclusions are reached. Additional studies of the performance of WTC 1 and WTC 2 during the events of September 11, 2001, and of related building performance issues should be conducted. These include the following:

• During the course of this study, it was not possible to determine the condition of the interior structure of the two towers, after aircraft impact and before collapse. Detailed modeling of the aircraft impacts into the buildings should be conducted in order to provide understanding of the probable damage state immediately following the impacts.

• Preliminary studies of the growth and heat flux produced by the fires were conducted. Although these studies provided useful insight into the buildings' behavior, they were not of sufficient detail to permit an understanding of the probable distribution of temperatures in the buildings at various stages of the event and the resulting stress state of the structures as the fires progressed. Detailed modeling of the fires should be conducted and combined with structural modeling to develop specific failure modes likely to have occurred.

• The floor framing system for the two towers was complex and substantially more redundant than typical bar joist floor systems. Detailed modeling of these floor systems and their connections should be conducted to understand the effects of localized overloads and failures to determine ultimate failure modes. Other types of common building framing should also be examined for these effects.

• The fire-performance of steel trusses with spray-applied fire protection, and with end restraint conditions similar to those present in the two towers, is not well understood, but is likely critical to the building collapse. Studies of the fire-performance of this structural system should be conducted.

• Observation of the debris generated by the collapse of the towers and of damaged adjacent structures suggests that spray-applied fire proofing may be vulnerable to mechanical damage from blasts and impacts. This vulnerability is not well understood. Tests of these materials should be conducted to understand how well they withstand such mechanical damage and to determine whether it is appropriate and feasible to improve their resistance to such damage.

• In the past, tall buildings have occasionally been damaged, typically by earthquakes, and experienced collapse within the damaged zones. Those structures were able to arrest collapse before they progressed to a state of total collapse. The two WTC towers were able to arrest collapse from the impact damage, but not from the resulting fires when combined with the impact effects of the aircraft attacks. Studies should be conducted to determine, given the great size and weight of the two towers, whether there are feasible design and construction features that would permit such buildings to arrest or limit a collapse, once it began.

2.3 Observations and Findings | 11 сентября 2001 | 2.5 References