UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


Delivering a fire safe heritage

27 April 2023, 5:30 pm–6:30 pm

Delivering a Fire Safe Heritage

Join us for a virtual guest lecture with Prof Jose L. Torero, Head of UCL Department of Civil, Environmental, Geomatic & Environmental Engineering.

Event Information

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UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage

About this lecture

The implementation of fire safety in historic building is a greatly mis-understood discipline. Heritage is generally treated as old versions of new buildings and therefore any protection measures implemented attempt to emulate practises associated to modern building techniques and regulations. The result is intrusive interventions, over reliance on the fire service and many times poor levels of safety. This has been evidenced by many of the large fires that have destroyed patrimony of extraordinary value. This presentation analyses the inherent safety value of historic construction and how fire safety should be implemented to guarantee a safe building with minimum deterioration of cultural value.

Virtual event details

This virtual lecture will consist of a 45 minute presentation from Jose L. Torero, followed by a 15 minute Q&A chaired by Josep Grau-Bove, ISH Associate Professor.


About the Speaker

Prof Jose L. Torero

Professor of Civil Engineering at UCL Department of Civil, Environmental, Geomatic & Environmental Engineering

Professor José L. Torero is Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at University College London. He works in the field of safety where he specializes in complex environments such as heritage buildings, complex urban environments, novel architectures, critical infrastructure, aircraft and spacecraft. He holds a BSc for the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (1989), and an MSc (1991) and PhD (1992) from the University of California, Berkeley. He received a Doctor Honoris Causa by Ghent University (Belgium) in 2016. José is a Chartered Engineer (UK), a Registered Professional Engineer in Queensland, a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (UK), the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences (Australia), the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK), the Institution of Fire Engineers (UK), the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (USA), the Combustion Institute (USA) and the Royal Society of New South Wales (Australia). He is an instructed expert to the Grenfell Public Inquiry and has participated in the investigations of most of the major fires of the last twenty years, including the collapse of the World Trade Centre 1,2 & 7 buildings, the Windsor Tower fire, the Address Building fire, the Buncefield and Texas City explosions as well as the Glasgow School of Art and Notre Dame historic building fires.  The Organization of American States appointed him to the human rights commission that investigated the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, Mexico.

More about Prof Jose L. Torero