AUTHOR: Sreenivasan Ranganathan

Green buildings

Research Foundation webinar on “Fire Safety Challenges of ‘Green’ Buildings and Attributes”

In 2012, the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) published a literature review related to fire safety challenges of ‘green’ (sustainable) building materials, systems (technologies) and features. The aim of that work was to: identify documented fire incidents in ‘green’ buildings define a specific set of elements in ‘green’ building design, including configuration and materials, which, without mitigating strategies, increase fire risk, decrease safety or decrease building performance in comparison with ‘traditional’ construction identify and summarize existing best practice case studies in which the risk introduced by specific ‘green’ building design elements has been explicitly addressed and compile research studies related to incorporating building safety, life safety and fire safety as an explicit element in ‘green’ building indices, identifying gaps and specific needed research areas. Since 2012, there have been several major fire events, which involved ‘green’ materials, systems, and features (collectively, ‘green’ attributes) in buildings. Green design features have been associated with photovoltaic panels and roof materials, lightweight timber frame buildings, and combustible insulation materials. This webinar will present highlights from a comprehensive information review of how the landscape of fire safety challenges associated with “green” attributes of buildings has developed since 2012. It is based on a global information search into the following: fire events involving “green” and/or sustainable building materials, systems, and features emerging “green” building materials, systems, and features and research, regulatory changes, engineering approaches, risk mitigation strategies, and firefighting tactics associated with fire challenges with “green” and/or sustainable building materials, systems, and features. While the research is comprehensive in scope, it is not exhaustive in detail, given the extent of advancement in these areas that has occurred since 2012. And, while significant advancements have been made, gaps remain, and strategies for proactively incorporating fire performance into the development of new “green” building materials, systems, and features (product development) are lacking; the tools to proactively assess the fire performance of “green” building materials, systems, and features at the product level (e.g., fire performance testing), and as installed in buildings, are lacking; and a broader building regulatory framework and design philosophy for achieving sustainable and fire resilient (SAFR) buildings are also lacking. The final report from the most recent research effort is available here. Register for this webinar today. Visit www.nfpa.org/webinars for more upcoming NFPA & FPRF webinars and archives. When: Wednesday, April 14, 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenters: Brian Meacham, PhD, PE, Meacham Associates, and Margaret McNamee, PhD, Lund University.  This webinar is supported by the Research Foundation 2021 Webinar Series Sponsors: APA – The Engineered Wood Association AXA XL Risk Consulting Johnson Controls Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc. Telgian Engineering and Consulting The Zurich Services Corporation
Gas

Research Foundation webinar recording on “Combustible Gas Dispersion and Detector Location Analysis in Residential Occupancies” is now available

There have been a handful of fuel gas explosions in the last five years including incidents that occurred in three rowhouses in northwest Baltimore in Aug 2020, in the Merrimack region of Massachusetts in 2018, and in Silver Spring Maryland in 2016. Listed fuel gas detectors and alarms exist, but there is no installation standard. Firm requirements are needed for installation of fuel gas detectors in residences and other occupancies. A new NFPA standard, NFPA 715 Standard for the Installation of Fuel Gases Detection and Warning Equipment is currently under development and will cover the selection, design, application, installation, location, performance, inspection, testing, and maintenance of fuel gas detection and warning equipment in buildings and structures. The Fire Protection Research Foundation facilitated a research project on combustible gas dispersion and detector location analysis in residential occupancies. The project was led by a research team at Gexcon US, and the deliverables from the study were presented in the Research Foundation’s most recent webinar on March 10, 2021. The research included a literature review of the existing guidance for combustible gas detector location and installation in residential occupancies, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to clarify and strengthen the technical basis for combustible gas detector installation criteria in residential occupancies. CFD simulations were conducted to quantitatively evaluate gas detector performance as a function of placement in residential occupancies. Natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas releases were simulated in different residential structures, and gas concentrations are tracked at numerous potential detector locations within these structures to evaluate which locations are most effective for reliable and early detection. The full recording of this webinar is now available here. Visit www.nfpa.org/webinars for more upcoming NFPA and FPRF webinars and archives.  
Gas

FPRF Webinar on “Combustible Gas Dispersion and Detector Location Analysis in Residential Occupancies”

This webinar will present the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s project conducted by the research team at GexCon on combustible gas dispersion and detector location analysis in residential occupancies. The research included a literature review of the existing guidance for combustible gas detector location and installation in residential occupancies, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to clarify and strengthen the technical basis for combustible gas detector installation criteria in residential occupancies. CFD simulations were conducted to quantitatively evaluate gas detector performance as a function of placement in residential occupancies. Natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas releases were simulated in different residential structures, and gas concentrations were tracked at numerous potential detector locations within these structures to evaluate which locations are most effective for reliable and early detection. These research deliverables will support the development of a new NFPA standard, NFPA 715 Standard for the Installation of Fuel Gases Detection and Warning Equipment. The final report from the research effort is available here. Register for this webinar today. Visit www.nfpa.org/webinars for more upcoming NFPA & FPRF webinars and archives. When: Wednesday, March 10, 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenters: Scott G. Davis, Ph.D., P.E., GexCon US and Stephen Olenick, P.E. Combustion Science & Engineering, Inc. This webinar is supported by the Research Foundation 2021 Webinar Series Sponsors: APA – The Engineered Wood Association AXA XL Risk Consulting Johnson Controls Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc. Telgian Engineering and Consulting The Zurich Services Corporation
Obstructions and Early Suppression Fast Response Sprinklers
Storage facility

FPRF Webinar on “Holistic Protection Method of Top-Loading Automatic Storage and Retrieval Systems”

Top-loading automatic storage and retrieval systems (TL-ASRS) create a difficult challenge for traditional fire protection systems. Multiple robots powered by on-board batteries travel simultaneously along rails above tightly spaced stacks of open-top plastic containers, resulting in extremely dense combustible storage without aisle spaces or other means to access the storage area. While sprinkler protection has been effective at suppression, final extinguishment has been difficult due to deep-seated fires that cannot be reached during manual fire protection efforts. This webinar presentation will review recent large-scale testing that evaluated not only sprinkler effectiveness, but also the use of automatic sprinkler protection coupled with manual firefighting strategies targeting final extinguishment. This holistic protection method demonstrates sufficient effectiveness corresponding to the TL-ASRS fire hazards and is now addressed in FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheet 8-34, Automatic Storage and Retrieval Systems. This research effort was completed by FM Global. The Fire Protection Research Foundation is offering this program as a special webinar topic. Register for this webinar today. Visit www.nfpa.org/webinars for more upcoming NFPA & FPRF webinars and archives. When: Wednesday, January 27, 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenters: Benjamin Ditch, Sr. Lead Research Engineer, FM Global. Weston C. Baker Jr., Sr. Engineering Technical Specialist, FM Global.

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