No. There are alternative explanations for observed characteristics of the collapse consistent with a fire induced collapse.
Why the collapse resembled a controlled demolition
When discussing the similarity of the collapse of WTC7 to a controlled demolition, 3 points are often raised.
Symmetry: The building was asymmetric. The damage was asymmetric. So how does the collapse become symmetric?
Speed: Building 7 fell at freefall for 8 storeys. How is it possible to completely lose support over 8 storeys due to a fire?
Totality: The collapse supposedly started with the failure of just one of 81 columns. So, how does such a failure bring down the whole building?
And as a bonus, if the NIST version true, then how is any building safe?
There are a number of factors that made the very natural collapse of Building 7 resemble a controlled demolition as above.
The building collapsed from the inside out
As you can see above, the penthouses begin falling before the roofline. If you look closer, you can see daylight through windows on the top left.
The building was at least partially hollowed out over 6 seconds; a process that may have had substantial asymmetry. The walls survived all this because they were very strong; they had to brace the building against typhoons.
The damage was kind of symmetric
- The collapse of the Twin Towers damaged the southwest side of the building.
NCSTAR 1-9 page 161
- The fire-induced collapse started in the northeast.
- Building 7 at moment of global collapse
With impact and fire damage [NCSTAR 1-9 page 588]
With only fire damage [page 594]
The building was severely damaged at the bottom before the global collapse began
- The fires caused substantial damage to the floor beams, vital to column stability, as they marched across the building. An example of progression of damage on floor 13 is shown below.
NCSTAR 1-9 page 529
- When the collapse started, the falling debris hit and damaged the adjacent parts of the building. This caused the already fire-damaged flooring near the bottom of the building to collapse in rapid succession, leaving the interior columns and outer walls without bracing.
NIST model [Source]
- As a result, first the interior columns buckled, and the middle of the building stared falling:
- And then the walls crumpled and fell at freefall for around 8 storeys.
NCSTAR 1-9 page 589
The picture that emerges is of several independent relatively small failures that accumulated all over the building over a span of several hours due to debris and fires, rapidly growing in size over seconds in response to a large localised failure.
In other words, an uncontrolled event with somewhat similar mechanisms to a controlled demolition.
Returning to those 4 points I mentioned above:
the illusion of symmetry was created by the outer wall, which was the last component to collapse. The interior of the building collapsed in a highly disordered fashion. Adding to this was the symmetry created by the debris impact damage and fire-induced collapse being on the other side.
Multiple storeys of freefall was enabled by internal collapses hollowing out the bottom of the building, followed by the hollowed out section crumpling.
The totality of the collapse was due simply to the building misbehaving as if it was a 47 storey building standing too close to another collapsing 47 storey building. This was compounded by damage sustained over the past seven hours.
And finally, such failures are rare, as there are few things that could cause them. A bomb could not be planted inside a skyscraper without someone noticing. A sufficiently large plane can no longer be flown into a building without substantial difficulty. And finally, a normal office fire would give hours of advance warning before a collapse.
Why the collapse did NOT resemble a controlled demolition
There are however some pretty clear differences between the appearance of this collapse and a controlled demolition
I don't know how to stress this enough. Go on Youtube and watch a controlled demolition. Odds are you'll hear:
A serious of loud, sharp and sometimes quite annoying BANGs before the building even moves
A (relatively) soft and gentle roar as the building slides down
#1 was completely absent at Building 7. A vivid example of this can be seen in this video
(Ironically, this is the clip that conspiracy theorists plaster around the web)
The time delay for sound from WTC7 to arrive in this video is 2 seconds. But 7 seconds after the east side of the building implodes, we can't hear anything.
It's only after the roofline begins falling that we hear the cameramen shouting "whoa, whoa, whoa!"
The building fell over
From this angle, you can see the building clearly fall over to the south.
Therefore, the claim that the building fell symmetrically straight down onto it's footprint is not accurate
Moreover, look at this picture of the ruins. You can see a wall draped over everything else.
MIT lost it's Fiterman Hall in the collapse
The Verizon Building was also heavily damaged by the fall of WTC7
Not a very "controlled" demolition.
Other steel framed buildings that fell due to fire
The Plasco in Tehran
On 19 January 2017, the 19 storey Plasco Building pancaked following a several hours long fire.
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth went so far as to claim that this could also be a demolition!
Madrid Windsor Tower
This was a 32 storey building with steel walls and a concrete core
On 12 February 2005, a fire broke out, causing the steel portions, and the steel portions only, on the upper floors, to collapse.
It's possible that the collapse would have been even more destructive but an extra-strong mechanical floor at the middle of the building arrested Twin Towers style pancaking.
Appendix I: The University of Alaska Fairbanks study
Though not directly referenced in the question, this study is one of the strongest arguments used to claim that Building 7 was brought down by controlled demolition. Therefore, examination of this study is relevant to the question. The study concludes:
The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST and private engineering firms that studied the collapse. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.
But the study has fatal flaws. Some of the greater examples are touched upon below.
Treating the building like infinitely strong rubber
To see how plausible NIST's progressive collapse model was, UAF ran a simulation with the NIST damage model.
From their figures 4.8 to 4.16, which shows the results of their analysis of the NIST scenario, we learn that they used a linear static analysis. What does this mean?
A linear static analysis is an analysis where a linear relation holds between applied forces and displacements. In practice, this is applicable to structural problems where stresses remain in the linear elastic range of the used material. In a linear static analysis the model’s stiffness matrix is constant, and the solving process is relatively short
That means they neglected plasticity in a simulation of something being destroyed. The result: Their building was indestructible; they needed to remove columns manually at each step to keep the collapse going, as shown by the captions to their figures.
Violating Newton's first law
From the above, we can see that they used a "linear static analysis". The "static" in there is particularly damning.
Linear static analysis has two main assumptions:....
- The loading is static.
- Magnitude and direction do not change with time.
- All loads are applied slowly and gradually until they reach their full magnitudes. Inertial and damping properties are ignored due to negligibly small accelerations and velocities.
- Time variant loads that induce considerable inertial and/or damping forces may warrant dynamic analysis.
By using this static model, they are ignoring all that momentum in the falling building, which would play a pivotal role in the collapse.
Figure 4.15 Visualization of linear static analysis, from the southwest, showing the building tipping to the southeast after the hypothetical failure of Columns 76 to 81. The movement shown
is highly amplified for clarity. The actual scale of the displacements are presented to the right.
Even when we account for their displacements being highly amplified, the above is ridiculous. Comparing the image with the scale tells us that the building is displaced 600 inches, or 15 meters. This can only occur from a collapse in progress. Yet if that building were to suddenly appear in Manhattan, it would not collapse - at least according to the laws of physics in their "simulation"!
The above is not exhaustive. But it is enough to see that this "study" has no basis to conclude that "fire did not bring down WTC7".