Sustainable Fire Engineering (#SFE)

Beyond Codes – Transformed Design Philosophy & Professional Discipline !

    • Sustainable Fire Engineering

      The creative, person-centred and ethical Fire Engineering response, in resilient built form and smart systems, to the concept of Sustainable Human and Social Development … the many aspects of which must receive balanced and synchronous consideration.
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    • 2015-Tianjin-Fire-Disaster

      SFE’s Aim

      The aim of Sustainable Fire Engineering is to dramatically reduce direct and indirect fire losses in the human environment … to protect the natural environment … and, within buildings, to ensure that there is an effective level of fire safety for all, not just for some !
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    • Fire Safety for All + Firefighters

      Building codes do not protect vulnerable building users in fire emergencies, e.g. People With Activity Limitations (2001 WHO ICF), i.e. frail older people, people with health conditions/disabilities, young children (under 5’s), women in the later stages of pregnancy, etc … or Firefighters.
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    • Environmental Impact

      Fire regularly causes enormous environmental devastation and social disruption.  It is also a significant drag on GDP in all economies, because of the damaging impacts on human health, flora, fauna, soil, air, water, business continuity and branding.  Post-fire refurbishment works are very costly !
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  • SFE 2016 DUBLIN

    Join us at the Dublin Gathering,
    from 29-30 September, to explore Sustainable Fire Engineering.


    Firefighter Safety can so easily begin with Building Design !


    Without a balanced approach to Fire Safety in these high-performance buildings … safety is threatened !


    Find Useful SFE Research Links and Reference Documents.

Sustainable Fire Engineering’s Priority Themes

These Priority Themes lie outside, or beyond, the very inadequate fire safety objectives of current Building Codes & Standards – objectives which do not
protect Society or Fire Engineers’ Clients …

  • Fire Safety for All
    Fire Safety for All

  • Firefighter SafetyFirefighter Safety

  • Protection of PropertyProperty Protection

  • Impossible FiresEnvironmental Impact

  • Innovation & People

  • sustainable designSustainable Design

To Properly Protect Society … the fire safety objectives of next-generation Building Codes & Standards must adequately deal with the following concerns:
In the event of an outbreak of fire at any time in the life cycle of a building …

a) protection of the health, safety and welfare of all building users, most specifically including people with activity limitations … and firefighters,
together with other first response personnel ;
b) minimization of adverse environmental impacts ;
c) protection of property, only insofar as it is relevant to a) and b) above.

More cannot reasonably be expected from Building Codes & Standards.  For these fire safety objectives to be effectively attained … a system of stringent, independent Technical Control must operate.  Self-regulation is no regulation !

Reality – Reliability – Redundancy – Resilience !

To Properly Protect Fire Engineers’ Clients … project-specific fire engineering design objectives, beyond Building Codes & Standards, must deal adequately
with the following additional concerns:

d) sustainability of the human environment (social, built, virtual, economic, etc) – including ‘fitness for intended use’, ‘life cycle costing’ and
‘resilience’ of fire engineering related products, components, systems, etc., fixed, installed or incorporated in the building ;
e) in order to avoid an outbreak of fire at any time in the life cycle of a building … generous commitment to fire prevention measures ;
f) in the event of an outbreak of fire at any time in the life cycle of a building … full protection of property, including business continuity, heritage
protection, etc ;
g) following an outbreak of fire at any time in the life cycle of a building … facility, ease & efficient cost of carrying out effective reconstruction, refurbishment or repair works ;

For these project-specific fire engineering design objectives to be effectively attained … a robust personal Code of Ethics must operate for Fire Engineers, supported by an overt emphasis on Continuing Professional Development.


New CIB W14 Reflection Document on Sustainable Fire Engineering

International Council for Research & Innovation
in Building & Construction (CIB)

CIB W14: ‘Fire Safety’

Working Commission 14 is an international, multi-stakeholder, transdisciplinary, pre-normalization forum for discussion and action,
on research and innovation in Fire Science and Engineering for the design, construction and operation of a
Safe, Resilient and Sustainable Built Environment for All.


#Reality    #Reliability    #Redundancy    #Resilience

A Reflection Document is not an academic or scientific paper, but a document intended to open up a sensitive aspect of fire engineering for wider discussion, re-examination, and re-imagining … to propose a framework for future progress and, if necessary, to posit some immediate solutions.  It is a document
written in a simple, generic language in order to be equally accessible to diverse design disciplines and interested groups.

This will be the third Reflection Document issued within CIB Working Commission 14: ‘Fire Safety’.  The first, back in April 2012, dealt with the subject of ‘Structural Reliability & Fire-Induced Progressive Damage’ ;  the second, issued in October 2015, explored Buildings & ‘Fire Incident Human Behaviour, Abilities & Perception’.

The challenging task which faces us at SFE 2016 DUBLIN is to commence the drafting and development of this New CIB W14 Reflection Document …
which is required most urgently.
It will cover the following subject areas and issues:

1. Conceptual Framework for Sustainable Fire Engineering (#SFE) – coherent, comprehensive and capable of adaptation/growth, with specific references
to the SFE Priority Themes … and a necessary Generic SFE Terminology.
2. Strategy for Future SFE Development – identify full range of stakeholders and barriers to future development.
3. Full & Effective Implementation of 2005 & 2008 NIST WTC 9-11 Recommendations – consider more recent patterns of terrorist threat and application beyond original ‘high-risk’ building types specified by NIST. This is an essential prerequisite for a Reliability-based approach to SFE !
4. Cold, Fresh, New SFE Research Agenda – explore research which is actually needed, rather than narrow and/or questionable research which readily attracts funding.
5. Practical & Resilient Implementation of SFE Research Agenda.