It often seems that advancements in one area end up creating challenges in another. Take green buildings. While they work to make the environment healthier, in a fire situation, green buildings can create unknown or unanticipated fire environments for firefighters, putting them at increased risk to injury and death.
A three-year project, “Quantification of Green Building Features on Firefighter Safety,” is working to reduce those risks.
At the upcoming “Green Buildings’ Impact on Firefighter Safety” session on Monday, June 22, an update on year-two of this project will be provided, focusing on fire performance experiments involving selected 'green' structural systems for U.S. domestic housing, as well as on naturally vs. mechanically ventilated building and envelope systems.
Ultimately, these experiments will inform development of a screening tool for fire risk and hazard assessment of green features in new and existing construction, along with potential modifications to firefighting tactics to safely handle green building technologies. The findings will also support the development of education and training materials associated with fire and firefighting in green buildings.
This session will be held by Michael Gollner, University of Maryland, and WPI’s Brian Meacham and Drew Martin.