Presentation on theme: "Sustainability: Improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco- systems IUCN/UNEP/WWF (1991). "Caring."— Presentation transcript:
Sustainability: Improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco- systems IUCN/UNEP/WWF (1991). "Caring for the Earth: A Strategy for Sustainable Living." Gland, Switzerland.
The structure has to be seen! – I wanted to leave the steel structure exposed but Fire Safety regulations did not allow me to do so – we had to attach fake stained bronze structural elements to approach what I was looking for – every time I think about it I feel like crying! Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Seagram Building, NY, 1958
Fire Safety – Sustainable Infrastructure and Communities José L. Torero BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering The University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
Fire Safety & Sustainability Is Fire Safety part of the concept of sustainability? What are the drivers? What are the issues? How can we address them?
What are the Drivers Minimize general environmental impact Minimize green house emissions Energy conservation Indoor air quality Green Material Selection Recyclability Efficient waste management, etc.
Urban Planners, Architects and Engineers consider these variables Space, geometry & orientation Materials/Fabric Services (lightning, HVAC, etc.) Sensors & Control Management (waste, energy, etc.) Do they consider Fire Safety? NO!
How is Fire Safety Addressed? In a reactive manner When possible by meeting codes and regulations When not, by means of engineering solutions Always an add on to the sustainable solution Limits optimized solutions Adds a cost
Why? Fire Problem is very complicated Professionals and authorities are not always educated to make correct choices There is an erroneous perception that the problem is being managed Fire Safety is thus not a main driver Fire Safety does not contribute to the Green agenda
What does it take to make a building fire safe? We have rules, tools and professionals We can make a building safe But we work in isolation!
How can we integrate fire safety to sustainable development? Requires an understanding of the specific problem Requires an understanding of where we fit in the design process Requires an understanding of the main drivers Requires achieving recognition that our best practises support sustainable development
Fire as Part of Sustainability Fire Safety needs to be included in the Green building certification process Fire is a potential life cycle path of a building – thus preventing a negative outcome should be accounted as a measure towards sustainability The problem is that we do not know how to transmit this message! We respond to the challenges of sustainability – we are not proactive, thus we generally get to the train station when the train has already left!
What goes wrong? The sustainable agenda sets the challenges We then try to solve the problem By the time we learn what is necessary... The challenge is a new one... We have now a new problem!
Example: Material Requirements To achieve energy conservation requirements insulation has to be introduced Flammability requirements imply use of fire retardants Fire retardants change the molecular structure of plastics Induce charring Intumesce Inhibit combustion chemistry
Fire Retardants Fire Engineers made fire retardants an integral part of their strategy We ignored their environmental impact We were called to replace them We had no available technology They were banned without us being able to react The train left the station before we got there!...Plastic manufacturers responded for us
Green Solutions:Nano-Clays Nano-clays migrate to the surface when melting, preventing gaseous fuel generation x x=0 Y O,Y F Y O (0) Y F (0) Pilot ToTo x= O x= F x= CH x= T x= P x=L T(0) P (0)=1 CH = CH (0) VRVR VPVP V CH VTVT
Heat Release Rate Kashiwagi et al., Nature, 2003
The Outcome Fire safety is being challenged The solution proposed is inadequate...we do not have a better solution!
Summary Fire is an integral part of sustainability We do not have resources to respond to the challenge We do not train people to think of fire safety as part of the design of sustainable infrastructure The result: We are not considered part of the sustainability agenda – there is no incentive! We can only respond with limited resources – the train leaves before we get to the station! We have less and less control over the outcome – fire safety is controlled by others!
The Future We need to jump into the sustainability train – provides an incentive for Fire Safety We need to change the way in which we see our profession – from imposing safety to delivering a better/more sustainable infrastructure We need to invest to put us ahead of the curve!