Society of Fire Protection Engineers stresses environmental concerns

Integrating sustainable design principles into the built environment is becoming more common in today’s environmentally focused society. These “green” building designs focus on reducing the use of non-renewable resources and minimizing environmental impact.

To call attention to the important role fire protection engineers play in protecting the environment, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) has revised the Canon of Ethics for Fire Protection Engineers. A new Canon has been added that requires fire protection engineers to perform their professional duties in such a manner that respects the environment.

“Design professionals understand the important role fire protection engineers play in protecting people and property from the ravages of fire,” said SFPE Engineering Program Manager Chris Jelenewicz. “At the same time, the contributions they make in protecting the environment are often overlooked.”

Fire protection engineers recognize their work has a direct impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by fire protection engineers are dedicated to the protection of the public’s safety, health and welfare; and the environment.

When designing “green” buildings, one sustainable design approach currently being utilized by fire protection engineers is the use of reclaimed water for fire protection system water supplies. When reclaimed water is used as a water supply for a water-based fire protection system, the fire protection engineer will perform an analysis to identify any concerns with water quality that would affect the proposed systems. This analysis can include examining pipe-corrosion potential and the need for back flow prevention.

Additionally, fire protection engineers have the skills to work with design team members to ensure sustainable design in areas related to natural lighting, building air handling systems, atriums and the testing of water-based fire protection systems.

More SFPE: www.sfpe.org

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