A series of tragic events in the United States over the past decade, punctuated by the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, has exposed the vulnerability of public buildings to uncontrolled fires, explosions, and biological attack. While the number of such dramatic events is small, the potential (or actual) losses in terms of life and property can be staggering. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) throughout its history has sought to provide a technical foundation that supports improvements to building and fire codes, standards, and practices that reduce the impact of conventional fires, wind loads, and earthquakes on structures. However, the recent events have caused NIST to broaden the scope of its research and development to include more extreme and unconventional threats to the safety of buildings, their occupants and emergency responders. The new R&D program is described in this paper.
Citation: 2003 International Conference on Fire Science and Fire-protection Engineering
Pub Type: Journals
building fires, building performance, egress, fire research