18 - 19 May, 2009, Chicago
The CTBUH’s Fire & Safety Working Group convened for a one and a half day meeting at the offices of Schirmer Engineering on 18th-19th May, to discuss the direction and intended output of the group. Co-Chairs Dan O’Connor and Jose Torero led the meeting that was well attended by 16 members of the Committee from the U.S. and U.K. See a draft working brief.
The following members were present:
Dan O’Connor, Co-Chair, Schirmer Engineering
Jose Torero, Co-Chair, University of Edinburgh
Steve Burchesky, US Life Safety
Neal Butterworth, Buro Happold
Kim Clawson, Goettsch Partners
Matthew Davy, Schirmer Engineering
Russell Gilchrist, Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Josh Greene, RJA Group
Ray Grill, Arup
Jeff Harper, RJA Group
Leo Razdolsky, LR Structural Engineering, Inc.
David Scott, Arup / CTBUH Chairman
Igor Tartakovsky, CB Engineers
Nate Wittasek, Arup
Steven D. Wolin, Code Consultants, Inc.
Antony Wood, CTBUH Executive Director
Neil P. Wu, Exponent
Report on May 2009 Meeting and Initiatives:
To help kick-start the meeting, CTBUH Executive Director, Antony Wood, attended to welcome the Fire & Safety Working Group and provide an overview of CTBUH activities generally. Antony shared his knowledge of the progress of several other CTBUH Working Groups and suggested how the Fire & Safety Working Group could contribute to the goals and mission of the CTBUH. Also in attendance was Chairman of the CTBUH, David Scott. David, who will also be serving as a member of the Fire & Safety Working Group, made a presentation and offered his suggestions regarding three topic areas he believed could become strong areas of focus for the Group. These areas included (i) structural systems performance in fires with an emphasis on building framing connections, (ii) means of escape, and (iii) building facades / curtain walls. Also present from the CTBUH staff was Jan Klerks, Research and Communication Manager. Jan offered his direct assistance to the Fire Safety Working Group in their efforts to gather and disseminate information on the subject areas that would be addressed by the Group.
The Fire & Safety Working Group has a unique mix of members that include those from academia, structural engineers, practicing architects, fire engineers and code applications practitioners. The Co-Chairs believe this cross-mixing of practice areas will bring a diversity of thought and development of best practice ideas, and help push them forward in the development of several new documents useful for designers in the tall building design community.
Two basic projects were collectively agreed upon as the initial focus of efforts for the Fire & Safety Working Group, with two subgroups formed to develop the best practice documents that will result:
Structural Subgroup – this subgroup will be led by Jose Torero and will address structural behavior in fires. Key topics will be (i) fire loading and resulting fire threat exposure, (ii) framing systems, (iii) joints and connections, and (iv) geometrical considerations, such as may occur in atrium buildings. Initially the group plan to compile literature sources key to the topics and issues discussed. The Structural Subgroup did identify a need for additional participation on the Structural Subgroup. Structural engineers practicing tall building design with a special interest in fire & safety are invited to submit their interest and qualifications to participate in this effort, via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency Egress Subgroup – this subgroup will be led by Kim Clawson and will be developing a best practice document to address a wide variety of approaches and elements that may factor into an emergency egress methodology for any given tall building. Preliminarily, the Subgroup has listed (i) elevators, (ii) refuge areas, (iii) stair size and number, (iv) evacuation strategies, (v) evacuation training, and (vi) emergency preparedness plans as items to be addressed.
The path forward for the Fire & Safety Working Group involves further meetings of the Emergency Egress Subgroup during the summer of 2009 in Chicago. The Structural Subgroup will be communicating by email or teleconference internationally as they compile literature and reference materials that will support their efforts. The full Fire & Safety Working Group will be convening for their second meeting on Tuesday, October 20th , two days prior to the CTBUH 2009 Chicago Conference & Awards Dinner.
For more information on the working group and its members, please click here...
If you would like to contact the CTBUH Fire & Safety Working Group, please click here...