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Full Session with Abstracts

500632-2 - Overcoming Strong Inertia to Integrate Structural Engineers into Structural Fire Protection

Friday, April 26
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Celebration 12-13

Due to recent advancements put forth by ASCE/SEI, now is a great time for structural engineers to get involved with structural fire protection, and lead its implementation in practice. Encouragingly, this area represents one of the most promising opportunities for structural engineers to add value to building design. However, this logical and advantageous integration still faces strong headwinds in the U.S. First, the century-old framework for prescribing structural fire protection has instilled a strong inertia to maintain the status quo among various building stakeholders. Second, the mixture of materials usually required to achieve structural fire protection amplifies competing interests between materials organizations. Third, the necessity for structural fire protection variances on certain projects has proliferated practices over the years which are contrary and harmful to industry advancement in this area. Lastly, the perceived need to compare incompatible aspects of prescriptive and performance-based approaches degrades the incentive to employ the engineering rigor required for a performance-based approach. Notwithstanding these specific challenges, efforts by the ASCE/SEI are paving a bright future for structural engineers that choose to practice and lead in structural fire protection.

Kevin J. LaMalva

Senior Staff II / Fire Safety
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.

Mr. LaMalva joined Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (SGH) in 2007 and is professionally registered as a Fire Protection Engineer and Civil Engineer. He is Chair of the ASCE/SEI Fire Protection Committee, and a member of numerous industry committees that conduct research and develop standards for structural fire safety. His work experience spans many areas of fire safety and structural engineering. He has been awarded the distinction of 2017 ENR Newsmaker for serving the “best interests of the construction industry and the public.”

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500632-2 - Overcoming Strong Inertia to Integrate Structural Engineers into Structural Fire Protection



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