Analysis, Design & Performance

Full Session with Abstracts

339072-4 - Fire Safety Challenges of Tall Wood Buildings – Results of Compartment Fire Tests

Friday, April 20
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: 102

Recent architectural trends include the design and construction of increasingly tall buildings with structural components comprised of engineered wood referred to by names including cross laminated timber (CLT). The Fire Protection Research Foundation, the research affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), initiated this project to evaluate the contribution of mass timber elements to room/compartment fires with the types of structural systems that are expected to be found in tall buildings. Previous research has shown that timber elements contribute to the fuel load in buildings and can increase the initial fire growth rate, which could result in more severe conditions for occupants, first responders, and property.

This presentation will provide the results of a fire test series undertaken by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to quantify the contribution of exposed timber to natural room fires. The test series included six compartments constructed of CLT with varying levels of encapsulation to the timber walls and ceiling. In addition, two ventilation opening sizes were used during the test series to investigate the impact of ventilation on the fire growth and severity. The data gathered from the tests include heat release, temperature, gas measurements, and charring depth.

Joseph Su

Principal Research Officer and Group Leader
National Research Council Canada

Dr. Joseph Su is a Principal Research Officer and Group Leader at the National Research Council Canada’s Fire Safety Unit. He has over 25 years research experience in combustion chemistry, fire development, fire detection and suppression, fire performance of materials and systems and full-scale fire testing with over 200 publications. He held various leadership positions at NRC, including Director of Fire Research Program (2007-2010), Leader of Active Fire Protection (2004-present). Currently, he serves as the International Convener of ISO/TC92/SC3/Working Group 2 (Generation and Analysis of Fire Effluents). He was a recipient of the 2000 Jack Bono Engineering Communications Award from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

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