Industry News




 

03/18/2014

Green Building and Fire Safety Hazards

 
Fire in Green Building

Could green building practices pose unanticipated life-safety hazards?

Researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are investigating the fire safety risks associated with green construction, thanks to a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The grant will support the three-year project aimed at identifying and reducing the potential for firefighter and occupant injuries and deaths that could be associated with hazards posed by green building elements.

This research will begin to quantify the fire hazards and risks associated with green building features, identify ways to mitigate those hazards and risks, and prepare the fire service to fight fires in buildings with green features and elements. These are all needs identified by the National Association of State Fire Marshals, the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and the National Fire Service Research Agenda.

In 2012, Brian Meacham, associate professor of fire protection engineering at WPI, co-authored Fire Safety Challenges of Green Buildings, a report commissioned by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the research arm of the National Fire Protection Association.

For the report, Meacham and his team conducted a global literature search and surveyed agencies around the world to assemble a list of 78 green building features and construction elements that could have implications for fire safety. They then derived a list of potential hazards associated with the features and elements, including greater flammability, faster burn rate, and increased hindrance to firefighters, as compared with conventional construction.

For example, while lightweight engineered lumber (LEL) uses less material, LEL flooring could present risks to firefighters because of a propensity to collapse under fire conditions more quickly than conventional timber construction. Photovoltaic panels generate green electricity, but a rooftop solar array may pose an ignition hazard, can readily burn once ignited, and may continue to produce electricity as long as the sun is out, posing an electrocution hazard.

The research project funded by Homeland Security will enable Meacham, who is principal investigator, to explore further some of the potential risks and hazards identified in the report.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

 


 
09/26/2014

Survey shows people more careful, less satisfied in public washrooms.

09/25/2014

A new study shows that switching natural gas for coal will not significantly reduce the amount of CO2 emissions being produced. 

09/24/2014

A new study shows the carbon emission reduction policies individual states have adopted are yielding results.

09/23/2014

A recent survey of industry professionals indicates that investment in energy efficiency projects will increase over the next year.

09/22/2014

Fort Carson in Colorado is well on its way to reaching the goal of net-zero energy by 2020. 

09/19/2014

New regulations from the DOE would improve commercial air conditioner efficiency by as much as 30%. 

09/18/2014

A new study suggests that the installed cost of photovoltaic solar power continues to drop in the U.S.

09/17/2014

A new technology developed at Rice University effectively deices glass surfaces while remaining transparent for radio frequency transmission.

09/16/2014

The USGBC and American Chemistry Council have put aside their differences to work together on new improvements to the LEED certification system. 

09/15/2014

Researchers have developed a new process to help cloud computing systems use less energy while continuing to provide high levels of data services.

09/12/2014

Researchers have found the main factors that influence the amount and type of building damage caused by various types of salts. 

09/11/2014

A new study has demonstrated that proactive ergonomic training can decrease worker discomfort and increase productivity. 

09/10/2014

The University of Utah has upgraded its historic Dumke Health Professions Education building to save an impressive 40% on energy costs.

09/09/2014

Hoping to build on LEED's success, PEER evaulates the performance and modernization of electric grids. 

09/08/2014

The USGBC has developed a new tool to help streamline the LEED certification process. 

09/05/2014

Researchers have developed a fluorescent lamp that emits Wi-Fi signals to allow connectivity throughout buildings.

09/04/2014

Tests show effective measures for reducing earthquake damage to computer servers. 

09/03/2014

Health costs drop by half as a result of environmental regulations.

09/02/2014

A new study challenges the idea that sparse workplaces produce happier, more productive employees.

08/29/2014

New tool from FEMA helps facility managers prepare for and mitigate the effects of nonstructural earthquake damage. 

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