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IFE AGM and Conference: "Green Fire Engineering Solutions to Preserve the Built Environment" Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa, Cardiff, UK Wednesday.

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Presentation on theme: "IFE AGM and Conference: "Green Fire Engineering Solutions to Preserve the Built Environment" Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa, Cardiff, UK Wednesday."— Presentation transcript:

1 IFE AGM and Conference: "Green Fire Engineering Solutions to Preserve the Built Environment" Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa, Cardiff, UK Wednesday 6th - Thursday 7th July 2011 The impact of fire on the environment and building sustainability Corinne Williams Principal Consultant, Fire Safety BRE Global

2 Contents Introduction –About BRE The Project –Impact of fire on the environment and building sustainability –Background, aims, objectives, work programme –Some principles –Identification of relevant issues for review –Consideration of calculation tools for assessing impacts –Findings –Potential further research Concluding remarks

3 About BRE Group

4 BRE Group structure BRE Privatised 1997

5 BRE services Commissioned research BRE Innovation Park - Green housing Construction - methods, materials etc. Acoustics, thermal properties, durability Weather tightness Wind-loading Structural performance and integrity Publications, education and training

6 BRE Global services Physical security Electronic security Passive fire protection Fire detection Fire suppression Construction products Installation, service and maintenance Environmental profiles Inspection services Quality systems evaluation Environmental management H & S management Commissioned research Consultancy Product testing Product certification CE Marking Education and training Publications

7 The Project Impact of fire on the environment and building sustainability Commissioned by Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Sustainable Buildings Division Scoping study Desk-based One year, completed August 2009

8 Report Report published December 2010 Can be downloaded from the DCLG website s/planningandbuilding/pdf/ pdf

9 Background - Building Act Power to make building regulations (1)The Secretary of State may, for any of the purposes of (a)securing the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in or about buildings and of others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings, (b)furthering the conservation of fuel and power, and (c)preventing waste, undue consumption, misuse or contamination of water, 1 Power to make building regulations (1)The Secretary of State may, for any of the purposes of (a)securing the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in or about buildings and of others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings, (b)furthering the conservation of fuel and power, and (c)preventing waste, undue consumption, misuse or contamination of water,

10 Background - Sustainable and Secure Buildings Act 2004 Purposes of building regulations (1) In subsection (1) of section 1 of the Building Act 1984 (c. 55) (which sets out the purposes for which building regulations may be made), for paragraphs (b) and (c) substitute (b) furthering the conservation of fuel and power, (c) preventing waste, undue consumption, misuse or contamination of water, (d) furthering the protection or enhancement of the environment, (e) facilitating sustainable development, or (f) furthering the prevention or detection of crime. Purposes of building regulations (1) In subsection (1) of section 1 of the Building Act 1984 (c. 55) (which sets out the purposes for which building regulations may be made), for paragraphs (b) and (c) substitute (b) furthering the conservation of fuel and power, (c) preventing waste, undue consumption, misuse or contamination of water, (d) furthering the protection or enhancement of the environment, (e) facilitating sustainable development, or (f) furthering the prevention or detection of crime. Introduced changes to the 1984 Building Act which meant the scope of Approved Document B could be extended beyond life safety to cover issues relating to environmental protection, sustainability and security

11 Need for scoping study Conclusions and recommendations of project needed: –To provide clear information to assist DCLG in developing their priorities for future research on how (or whether) to include environmental protection and sustainability in Approved Document B (Fire safety) and how (or whether) to include the impacts of fire in DCLG wider sustainability agenda for buildings and construction.

12 Aims and objectives Aims to examine the issues surrounding the environmental impact of fire and the environmental impact of fire protection and the scope for addressing these through the Building Regulations (or another suitable vehicle) Specific objectives to: –Identify the potential impact of a building fire on the environment and the broader objectives of sustainable construction –Consider the specification for the development of a Cost Benefit Analysis model for assessing these impacts –Identify implications for DCLG in terms of the Building Regulations or other mechanisms for change –Identify potential areas for further work Note. Scoping study did not include consideration of assessment of the innovative materials used in meeting the sustainability agenda and their potential performance

13 Work programme Work involved: –Identify issues and collect relevant information –Review the potential impacts –Consider specification for cost benefit tool for assessing impacts –Consider inclusion of fire safety in environmental/sustainability tools –Identify implications for UK Building Regulations and potential areas for further work –Produce report BRE Global project team: –Comprised specialists: Fire Safety Group Sustainability Group (BREEAM, Materials)

14 Some principles - Potential changes to Approved Document B Potential changes to AD B include: –cost benefit analysis carried out as part of Regulatory Impact Assessment, generic for each building type

15 Some principles – Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Full life cycle approach LCA is a tool that can be used to assess the environmental impact of building or product through key stages in its whole life cycle from cradle to grave e.g. construction through occupation to demolition and disposal Examples of BRE LCA software tools –Envest2 –IMPACT

16 Some principles - Normal life cycle of a building without fire BuildLiveDemolish CO 2 etc

17 Some principles – Difference between no fire and with fire event Fire CO 2 etc Rebuild CO 2 etc The environmental impacts of a fire event/fire event(s) can then be incorporated as extra stages into the buildings life cycle, i.e. construction, occupation, fire event, rebuild, second use, demolition.

18 Some principles – Normal life cycle of a building with a fire event BuildLive Demolish CO 2 etc Fire CO 2 etc Rebuild CO 2 etc Live CO 2 etc

19 Topics Two key topics: a)The impact of a building fire on the environment b)The impact of fire protection on the environment (i.e. the environmental impact of providing fire safety components and systems in a building)

20 Issues for potential impact of a building fire on the environment Include: Discharge of the gaseous and particulate products of combustion into the atmosphere from uncontrolled fires; especially large ones, and fires controlled by suppression systems Use of water in manual fire-fighting and water based suppression systems Potential contamination of water and land directly from the fire and from fire-fighting run-off from manual fire-fighting and suppression systems Reinstatement (or demolition) of the building and the disposal of fire damaged structure (noting that materials that normally might be reused or recycled may be rendered unusable by the fire) Potential contamination of land from fire residues.

21 Issues for the impact of fire protection on the environment Include: Potential benefit of fire protection, (e.g. sprinkler systems or additional compartmentation) in controlling/limiting the size of fires (and hence, reducing environmental impact) Cost of embodied energy and other environmental impacts from the manufacturing and use of components of fire protection systems (sprinkler systems, fire detection systems and passive fire protection, e.g. compartment walls and built in fire protection) Operational environmental impacts of fire protection systems (i.e. running and maintenance costs)

22 Principles – Environmental impact of fire protection CO 2 etc Incorporate fire protection system e.g. sprinklers This comes with its own environmental cost which includes both embodied energy within the materials and operational energy

23 Principles – Environmental impact of fire protection Build CO 2 etc Provide protection to ALL relevant properties Number of buildings, new constructions, refurbishments, etc, needed for generic analysis for particular building type

24 Principles – Environmental impact of fire versus environmental impact of fire protection ? In complete analysis need to take into account frequency of fires for generic analysis for particular building type.

25 Consideration of specification of Cost Benefit Analysis model for assessing environmental impacts Development of transparent, effective and robust Fire Risk and Cost Benefit (or CO 2 /Benefit) Analysis tool including environmental impact issues could permit a generic analysis for each building type, leading to potential revisions to Approved Document B which offer improved environmental protection (or reduced environmental impact)

26 Fire Risk and Cost Benefit Analysis tool including environmental impact issues (1) Core elements of such a tool exists Current version of BRE Fire risk and CBA tool –Spreadsheet based tool –Consists of a number of interlinked modules –Includes impact of building fire on environment in simple way –Environmental consequences of different fire scenarios are estimated in Ecopoints

27 Fire Risk and Cost Benefit Analysis tool including environmental impact issues (2) Needs to be extended to include environmental impact of providing fire safety components and systems in a building (rather than only the monetary cost of installation and maintenance) Would call on data generated by LCA and potentially by development of existing methodologies, e.g. BREEAM or Code for Sustainable Homes for domestic buildings Further research needed and new input data and monetary conversion factors required

28 Inclusion of fire safety in environmental/ sustainability tools A number of existing relevant sustainability tools were identified –Overall building assessment tools e.g. BREEAM or Code for sustainable homes –Detailed design tools –Early design tools The inclusion of fire safety/fire protection systems was scoped. In principle, environmental impact detailed design tools could be used to model the environmental impact of fire scenarios and fire protection systems. Input data to the models for fire and fire protection systems are needed.

29 Internationally recognised overall building assessment method Tool uses a series of indicators or other tools, to assign credits to a building to rate different aspects of its sustainability, e.g. energy use, materials used, water used, health and well being. Credits then weighted to give an overall score Only reward buildings demonstrating in advance of regulatory minima They are used by a number of users, e.g. building owners, developers and planning authorities to assess the sustainability of various schemes. Ratings Supported by LCA methodology

30 Overall findings Scoping study demonstrated that it was not possible with the current state of knowledge to recommend any particular course of action other than further directed research. Substantial amount of further research is needed to resolve these issues. It follows that it needs to be proven that any particular fire protection or fire prevention measure, considered over whole building stock, has net environmental benefit. But, clearly, any fire protection measure introduced for life safety or property protection will also give an environmental benefit, as bonus.

31 Findings – Potential impact of a building fire on the environment Environmental impact assessment detailed design tools could be used to model environmental impact of fire scenarios and fire protection systems. But input data needed. Some data/information on all of effluents (gas, liquid, solid products) produced in fires. However, large gaps and suitability of available data as input data to environmental impact models to be determined. Energy and water usage associated with manual fire-fighting have been calculated by certain Metropolitan Fire and Rescue Services. Data needs to be collected, organised and reviewed. Data on post-fire refurbishment (repair work that needs to be carried out on buildings damaged by fire) do not appear to exist so means of obtaining these data needs to be determined.

32 Findings – Potential impact of fire protection on the environment Cost of embodied energy and other impacts for manufacturing and use of components of fire protection systems could be determined using existing detailed environmental design tools. Relevant input data needs to be collected and reviewed. Each fire protection system will have different environmental impacts but need to be assessed using Life Cycle Assessment for individual systems. E.g. –Energy and water usage associated with water-based fire suppression systems including maintenance –Long term environmental impact of disposal of passive fire protection systems which have been exposed to fire –Need to be included in any calculations

33 Findings – Specification of a Cost Benefit Analysis tool Current BRE Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) model needs to be extended to include impact of a building fire on environment and environmental impact of providing fire safety components and systems in buildings. New input data and monetary conversion factors required. Insufficient data available on UK building stock, e.g. number of buildings in each purpose group; further work needed to extend CBA tool to broader range of AD B purpose groups. Various relevant international studies have been carried out, e.g. USA, New Zealand and Sweden. Also, cost benefit analysis was carried out for DCLG on the effectiveness of residential sprinklers (excluding environmental impact). Desirable to use these studies as starting point for initial applications and development of CBA tool.

34 Findings – Inclusion of fire safety in environmental/sustainability tools Most environmental building level tools cover environmental rather than social issues. Further research needed to introduce social issues relevant to fire safety into tools. Impacts associated with fire and fire protection could be included within environmental building level tools. However, need to obtain and evaluate: –Significance of providing fire protection and safety systems and differences between different approaches. –Benefit of providing additional fire protection beyond regulation. –Significance of fire events in terms of emissions from fire and replacement materials. Including environmental data within existing fire tools may be an alternative; data gathering required.

35 Recommendations – potential further work Potential areas of further work are recommended

36 Potential further research (1) The environmental impact of fire A review of gases released into the atmosphere from a fire and the methods used to estimate the quantities of these A review of solid particulates from fires A review of the origin and quantity of water used by fixed fire suppression systems A review of the origin and quantity of water used for fire service fire- fighting activities A review of contaminants caused by fire-fighting run off

37 Potential further research (2) The environmental impact of fire protection systems Detailed identification of the materials used within fire protection systems Life Cycle Analysis of the data relating to the materials used within fire protection systems A review of the data relating to operational impacts of fire protection systems A review of the environmental damage caused by flame retardants

38 Potential further research (3) Building stock survey and other statistical data Estimate of fire size, extent of damage for all fires in the UK by purpose group Fire load survey Environmental load survey for buildings for contents Property survey of all buildings in the UK

39 Initial model development Development of generic models for different applications for LCA and fires A review of Life Cycle Assessment data A sensitivity analysis using data to determine the priorities of impacts Development of Cost Benefit Analysis method Derivation of various cost components Cost benefit analysis of sprinklers in domestic and residential premises incorporating environmental impact Potential further research (4)

40 Potential further research (5) Pilot (field) studies Pilot study for warehouse input data Pilot study for a selected purpose group input data A study of post-fire refurbishment requirements by purpose group/occupancy and fire size Desk based studies CBA of sprinklers in warehouses incorporating environmental impact for a specific geographical area CBA sprinklers in a selected purpose group incorporating environmental impact for a specific geographical area Quantifying the impact of different fire-fighting and fire protection strategies

41 Concluding remarks Study was commissioned by the previous Government. Since completing this scoping study, aware of more research being carried out in the UK and overseas. However, there remains a great more research to be carried out. In the meantime, BRE Global, commissioned by the BRE Trust, are intending to publish interim guidance for architects and building designers on how to approach the issues for individual building projects.

42 Thank you….. Dr Corinne Williams Principal Fire Consultant Fire Safety, BRE Global T: +44 (0) E: F: +44 (0) W: BRE, Garston, Watford, WD25 9XX, UK


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