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 and prepared for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Engineering Laboratory.
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.