Michael Hazell

New Research Foundation projects address green technologies

Blog Post created by Michael Hazell Employee on Mar 18, 2013

The Foundation has initiated two projects whose focus is on the impact of green technology on fire safety.

The first, on high rise timber structures, will explore this emerging global construction technique and available data on fire safety considerations. Recent architectural trends include the design and construction of increasingly tall buildings with structural components comprised of laminated wood.  Construction is currently underway on a 10‐story apartment building in Melbourne, Australia, with taller structures up to 30 stories under design in Norway, Austria and Vancouver.  These buildings are cited for their advantages in sustainability resulting from the use of wood as a renewable construction material.

The Foundation has initiated a Phase 1 project on this topic that includes a literature review to collect information on high rise timber framed buildings and a gap analysis. Read the project summary.

The second project, on exterior walls with combustible insulation, will explore common fire scenarios and appropriate fire test methods. Many combustible materials are used today in commercial wall assemblies to improve energy performance, reduce water and air infiltration, and allow for aesthetic design flexibility. These assemblies include Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS), metal composite claddings, high-pressure laminates, and weather-resistive barriers (WRB). The combustibility of the assembly components directly impacts the fire hazard.  There have been a number of documented fire incidents involving combustible exterior walls, but a better understanding is needed of the specific scenarios leading to these incidents to inform current test methods and potential mitigating strategies. Read the project summary.

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