Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Structural Response of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2 and 7 to Impact and Fire Damage



Therese P. McAllister, John L. Gross, Fahim Sadek, Steven W. Kirkpatrick, Robert S. MacNeill, Mehdi S. Zarghamee, Omer O. Erbay, Andrew T. Sarawit


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted an extensive investigation of the collapse of World Trade Center towers (WTC 1 and WTC 2) and the WTC 7 building. This paper describes the component, subsystem, and global analyses performed for the reconstruction of the structural response of WTC buildings 1, 2, and 7 to impact and fire damage. To illustrate the component and subsystem analyses, the approach taken for simulating the performance of concrete slabs and shear stud connectors in composite floors subject to fire conditions are presented, as well as steel floor framing connections for beams and girders. The development of the global models from the component and subsystem analyses is briefly described, including the sets of input data used to bound the probable conditions of impact and fire damage. The final analysis results that were used to develop the probable collapse hypotheses, and a comparison of the results against observed events, are presented for each building. A review of research activities focused on improving understanding of structural system response to multi-floor fires following the WTC disaster is also provided.
Fire Technology


World Trade Center, Structural fire effects, Impact damage, Structural analysis, Failure analysis, Global collapse


McAllister, T. , Gross, J. , Sadek, F. , Kirkpatrick, S. , MacNeill, R. , Zarghamee, M. , Erbay, O. and Sarawit, A. (2012), Structural Response of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2 and 7 to Impact and Fire Damage, Fire Technology, [online], (Accessed May 28, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created October 18, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017