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External Operations Experience Update: Fire Safety and Green Buildings Department of Energy Operating Experience Work Group May 13, 2014 Larry Stirling,

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Presentation on theme: "External Operations Experience Update: Fire Safety and Green Buildings Department of Energy Operating Experience Work Group May 13, 2014 Larry Stirling,"— Presentation transcript:

1 External Operations Experience Update: Fire Safety and Green Buildings Department of Energy Operating Experience Work Group May 13, 2014 Larry Stirling, Office of Analysis (AU-23) 1

2 Fire Safety and Green Buildings US Green Building Council standard for green building: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Buildings are rated on: – Sustainable site – Water efficiency – Energy efficiency – Atmospheric emissions 2

3 Fire Safety and Green Buildings – Materials and resource use – Indoor environmental quality – Innovation and design Buildings can qualify for one of four certifications: – Certified – Silver – Gold – Platinum 3

4 Fire Safety and Green Buildings Fire codes and building codes, such as LEED, have not been developed in a synchronized manner. The focus of green building… has been on reducing the impact on the environment (Wieczorek 2011) Until recently fire safety considerations have not been recognized (Tidwell and Murphy 2010) 4

5 Fire Safety and Green Buildings However, this is changing: “There is a need to ensure integration between regulations that promote sustainable construction and those that promote the safety of building occupants and firefighters.” (Nichols and Stevenson, IGCC 2010) The green movement has the potential to impact the safety of a firefighter’s work environment at a fire scene (Tidwell) 5

6 Fire Safety and Green Buildings Fire Safety Community Developed a Hazard Assessment Tool: identifies attributes of green buildings that should be considered from a fire and safety standpoint (Tidwell and Murphy) Not exhaustive, but helps provide perspective to address risks associated with green building Site Selection and Use – Building orientation – Landscaping 6

7 Fire Safety and Green Buildings – Permeable FD access roads – Traffic calming devices – Urban Village Building Envelope and Design Attributes – Awnings – Insulation – High performance glazing – Lightweight construction – Open design concept 7

8 Fire Safety and Green Buildings – Skylights and solar tubes – Vegetative Roof Systems – Vestibules – Water Conservation Building Systems and Alternate Power Sources – Battery Storage systems – High Volume low Speed Fans – HVAC systems 8

9 Fire Safety and Green Buildings – Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power Systems – Nuclear Generated Power – Photovoltaic Solar Power Systems – Wind Turbine Power Systems Environmental Impact Reductions – Increasing fire safety of green buildings reduces risk to firefighters, increases public safety, and reduces the potential impact on the environment when a fire occurs 9

10 Fire Safety and Green Buildings – Reduced water usage with automatic fire sprinklers – Reduced release of toxin into the air, water and ground water 10

11 Fire Safety and Green Buildings Fires are contributing a significant volume of greenhouse gasses, carbon particulate matter and other pollutants into the atmosphere Manual fire suppression efforts use millions of gallons of treated water annually, which is polluted with fire by-products and runs into watershed 11

12 Fire Safety and Green Buildings Conclusions: Just because a building is green doesn’t’ mean it is safe when a fire occurs Green buildings can have significant environmental impacts in fire situations. A collaborative design process with emergency responders will result in safer and more sustainable buildings. 12

13 Fire Safety and Green Buildings References: – Bridging the Gap: Fire Safety and Green Building, A Fire and Building Safety Guide to Green Construction, Jim Tidwell and Jack J. Murphy, August, 2010 – Fire Safety Challenges of Green Buildings, Brian Meacham, et.al., Worcester Polytechnic Institute and The Fire Protection Research Foundation, November

14 Fire Safety and Green Buildings – Fire Safety: An Integral Part of Sustainability, Christopher J. Wieczorks, Ph.D., Fire Protection Engineering, 2011 – Taking on Fire Safety and Sustainability: A new Green Building Code Debuts, Dave Nichols and Kraig Stevenson, International Green Construction Code,

15 Fire Safety and Green Buildings – BRANZ Study Report 269[2012] Building Sustainability and Fire-Safety Design Interactions: Scoping Study, A.P. Robbins – Impact of fire on the environment and building sustainability, BD 2709, Department of Communities and Local Government (Great Britain) December

16 Fire Safety and Green Buildings – Research Technical Report: The Influence of Risk Factors on Sustainable Development, Louis A. Gritzo, et.al., FM Global Research Division, March 2009 – Fire Safety in Green Buildings, Sean Joyce, et.al., B.S. thesis, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, December 19,

17 Fire Safety and Green Buildings – How Fire Safety Can Improve Sustainability, Natasha Sabin, edc Magazine, February 27, 2013 – Next Generation Building Codes Take on Safety and Sustainability, Kraig Stevenson and David Nichols, Firehouse Magazine, April 14, 2010 – Examining Fire Safety Concerns Raised by Green Building, Homeland Security News Wire, March 11, 2014 – Fire Safety and Sustainability – the Perfect Combination? BRE News, David Charters, no date 17

18 Contact Information: Larry Stirling Office of Analysis (AU-23)


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