Fire Protection Research Foundation releases final needs report for NIST laboratory

Published on April 16, 2012

Agenda includes recommendations to enhance performance-based fire engineering for post 9/11 structures

April 16, 2012 – A research agenda designed to help expedite the implementation of performance-based fire engineering and design methods for structures post 9/11 is the subject of a report, Structural Fire Resistance Experimental Research - Priority Needs of U.S. Industry, released by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (Foundation) and prepared for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Engineering Laboratory. The Foundation is an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

The agenda, which identifies and prioritizes a set of research recommendations for NIST, is the final step of a Foundation project aimed at developing a proposed list of projects for NIST’s new structural fire resistance testing facility based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The facility, scheduled to open later this year, provides the capability to test large scale structural elements, systems and their connections during a fire.

To support the agenda, the Foundation looked to community stakeholders for input, conducted a literature review of large-scale structural fire testing, and a held a one-day research needs workshop in September 2011. Forty representatives from academia, engineering and the materials industry attended the workshop and provided their perspective on the needs that such a unique facility might address.

NIST will utilize this new facility to work on ways to identify which current construction methods and building materials (designed in accordance with current building codes) work best when tested under realistic fire conditions, and evaluate the design performance of each. This type of testing can also inform improved post-fire structural repairs and remediation methods when a building sustains damage from a fire.

More information and the full report are available on the Foundation’s website.

About the Fire Protection Research Foundation
The Fire Protection Research Foundation plans, manages, and communicates research on a broad range of fire safety issues in collaboration with scientists and laboratories around the world. The Foundation is an affiliate of NFPA.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

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