Full Session with Abstracts
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.