CROSS Contributions to Structural and Fire Safety

In this episode, we talk to Alastair Soane, BSc, Ph.D., CEng, FICE, FIStructE, Principal Consultant at Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures (CROSS), about some of the latest developments of CROSS, including its expansion into fire safety.  

Engineering Quotes:


Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Alastair:

  • What is CROSS and what motivated you to get involved with the CROSS program?
  • Is CROSS now fully operational in the US?
  • CROSS has recently expanded into fire safety. What are some of the benefits that this will bring to the fire safety sector?
  • What does the future hold for CROSS and building safety?
  • How can CROSS help prevent structural failures?
  • Do you have any advice for engineers?

Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About CROSS Contributions to Structural and Fire Safety:

  • Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures (CROSS) collects reports from structural engineers about safety concerns or experiences which they experienced. All the personal information is removed from the reports and then reviewed by volunteer experts, providing advice that can be used by others if a similar occurrence or problem is experienced. The information is then published on the CROSS website or in the CROSS newsletters, which anyone can access.
  • CROSS is now firmly established in the U.S. Many of the issues reported are common to both CROSS UK and CROSS US. The database contains all the data that has been received from all the CROSS regions.
  • One of the worst fires in recent years was in London when the Grenfell Tower burned down in 2017. A legal inquiry of what and why it went wrong was completed, and a report published as to what should be done to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. Flammable insulation and highly flammable cladding were used to better the outward appearance of the tower. It caused a small kitchen fire to expand rapidly on the outside of the building, engulfing it. The report recommended that CROSS be expanded in terms of structural safety and also expanded into fire safety. Now, fire safety is conducted in the same manner as structural safety.
  • CROSS is helping to advise what the safety case regime should be for assessing private structures in the U.K., and is working closely with the regulator on these systems. One of the themes for the future is looking at older concrete buildings and finding what safety issues might exist within them.
  • To get involved with CROSS, you must log in to their website. CROSS is free and no payments are needed to get involved. To prevent structural failures, CROSS will be providing evidence-based advice backed by expert commentary to improve the culture of safety.
  • Structural engineers must look after the public and themselves. It is not only the victims of failures who experience great suffering, but even those who are involved as engineers or others. It is important to take precautions against being on the wrong side of a court case. It is to your benefit as an engineer to take care of your own well-being to ensure that what you have done, within your limitations, is to the best of your ability.

More Details in This Episode…

About the Guest: Alastair Soane, BSc, Ph.D., CEng, FICE, FIStructE

CROSSAlastair has extensive experience in U.K. and international construction projects. He is a former member of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee for England and chair of the advisory panel on Part A Structures. He is also a member of the Ethics Committee of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Advisory Group on Temporary Structures, FIStructE Committees. Alastair is also the visiting professor of civil engineering at Liverpool University. 

About the Host: Mathew Picardal, P.E.

The Structural Engineering ChannelMathew is a licensed engineer, practicing on structural projects in California, with an undergraduate degree from Cal Poly Pomona and an M.S. in Structural Engineering from UC San Diego. He has designed and managed various types of building structures, including residential wood apartment buildings, commercial steel buildings, and concrete parking structures and towers. He also hosts the new YouTube channel “Structural Engineering Life,” through which he promotes the structural engineering profession to engineering students who are not familiar with the industry perspective.


Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures (CROSS)
TSEC 08: CROSS (Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety) Is Now Here in the United States
Connect with Alastair Soane, C.Eng, Ph.D., FICE, FIStructE, on LinkedIn

This Episode Is Brought to You by PPI

PPI has helped engineers achieve their licensing goals since 1975. Passing the FE and PE exams can open doors to career advancement and new opportunities. Check out PPI’s wide range of prep options, including Live Online courses, OnDemand courses, and digital study tools to help prepare you to pass your licensing exam. Check out PPI today at to see all the options available for FE and PE exam prep.

Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on CROSS contributions to structural and fire safety.

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To your success,

Mathew Picardal, P.E.
Co-Host of The Structural Engineering Podcast

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