The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) has just released a fire and building safety guide to green construction called “Bridging the Gap: Fire Safety and Green Buildings.” This guide identifies some of the key areas where rapidly growing green building construction issues coincide with building and fire safety needs.
“This guide will give both the fire service and the green construction community a reference point for developing buildings and sites that are not only environmentally sound, but also continue to meet fire safety needs,” said NASFM President Alan Shuman. “This will provide a much-needed reference on issues that impact the life safety of building occupants, emergency responders and the larger community.”
Included are topical areas such as Site Selection and Use, Building Envelope and Design Attributes, and Building Systems and Alternative Power Sources. A key feature of the guide is a series of checklists focusing on plan reviews for commercial and residential occupancies. This document is meant as an introductory guide for fire chiefs and firefighters, building and fire code enforcement officials, architects and anyone involved in building design, plan reviews and construction.
“By working together, we can all ensure that sustainable buildings not only minimize the impact on the environment, but also provide a high level of fire safety,” added Shuman, who is also the Georgia State Fire Marshal. “After all, there is nothing sustainable about a building that burns down. The impact of a fire upon people, the environment and the community is tremendous and, sometimes, irreversible.”
NASFM Fire Safety Guide to Green Construction
A copy of the guide, which was developed for NASFM by Jim Tidwell of Tidwell Code Consulting, with Jack Murphy, as part of a larger program under a Department of Homeland Security Fire Prevention and Safety Grant, can be downloaded at www.GreenBuildingFireSafety.org.