On the Fire at Zaha Hadid's Heydar Aliyev Center

On the Fire at Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center

The Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku is one of Zaha Hadid Architects’ most recent works. It suffered damage from a fire on July 20th. From what we know to date,  the fire started due to a welding “error” according to the government report. It is not clear if this welding was indoors or out but it referred to starting in the “ceiling”. The fire spread to the exterior and appeared to involve the FRP roof panels before it was put out. One thousand square ft of the FRP facade panels were involved although it is unclear at this time if the panels actual caught fire or if the fire was primarily in the waterproofing membrane below this “rain screen”.

We believe the code used for the FRP required that the panels meet the EN 13501 standard which calls for Euro-Class B-s1,d0.  We do not know if the panels actually do meet this standard. Nor do we know for certain that this was the final specification used by the owner.  USA codes would require panels used in this situation meet the NFPA 285 test according to the 2009 IBC section 2612 which governs the use of FRP (Fiber reinforced polymers) in construction. As we learn more we will update this blog, specifically as it relates to the role the FRP panels had.

Photos by AzerTAc.