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Project Brief


NIST Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants

IMPROVING FIRE SAFETY BY ENHANCING THE FIRE PERFORMANCE OF ENGINEERED FLOOR SYSTEMS AND PROVIDING THE FIRE SERVICE WITH INFORMATION FOR TACTICAL DECISION MAKING


Improve fire safety of engineered floor products constructed in longer floor spans by identifying the hazards associated with the fire exposure of a variety of engineered floor products, examining the fire performance of technologies available to protect the engineered floor system products, and assessing potential solutions.

RECIPIENT: Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Northbrook, IL

  • Project duration: 3 Years
  • Total NIST Funding: $1,295,000
Lightweight constructions of wood trusses and engineered lumber in floor designs are increasingly replacing conventional solid joist construction in building structures. While this provides economic and productivity benefits to the construction industry, with assumed status quo in fire safety, under fire conditions these floor systems actually lead to greater risk of structural failure in a shorter time, as compared to traditional dimensional lumber floor systems. This is highlighted by the increasing number of firefighter fatalities due to collapse of these engineered systems under fire conditions. To address and mitigate this critical fire safety problem, the project will identify the hazards associated with the fire exposure of a variety of engineered floor products constructed in longer floor spans and exposed to multiple fire locations, as well as examining the fire performance of technologies available to protect the engineered floor system products, and assessing potential solutions. The knowledge gained through the research will be transferred to the fire service community through web-based educational programs, and it will provide substantiation for code requirements to enhance firefighter and occupant safety. Home builders and manufacturers will also be educated about the significance of fire performance of engineered flooring systems.

Public contact (for project information):

Robyn Flaherty, 847-664-1076
Robyn.R.Flaherty@us.ul.com

NIST Program Office Contact:

Jason Boehm, 301-975-8678
Jason.boehm@nist.gov