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New Tool Helps ID Combustible Facades

Monday, February 12, 2018

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On Monday (Feb. 5), the National Fire Protection Association announced the creation of EFFECT—an Exterior Facade Fire Evaluation Comparison Tool, which can be used by building owners, facility managers and relevant authorities to determine risk in high-rise buildings with combustible facades.

The tool was created for enforcement authorities and those who manage large portfolios of high-rise buildings. Prior to now, they had lacked such a tool.

Assessment Tool

Combustible exterior wall assemblies remain a concern, and in light of this, the NFPA sponsored research by Arup to develop a risk assessment method that enabled the prioritization of mitigation work.

According to NFPA, EFFECT takes into account the building, the facade and the impact of potential ignition sources. The risk assessment includes two steps:

  • Tier 1 has authorized personnel (such as a building owner) answer a number of questions with pre-defined answers, which serves to inform building ranking within their portfolio.
  • Tier 2 involves a deeper fire risk assessment evaluation of the buildings deemed at risk in Tier 1. Maintenance records, samplings and other information is considered in this tier.

“Keeping communities safe is at the heart of our work and it has become increasingly clear that there is a significant need to help building owners and authorities to risk-assess buildings with combustible facade systems in their portfolios and where necessary, prioritize remediation work,” said Arup Fire Engineering Leader Susan Lamont.

EFFECT is free to access and comes with a user’s guide.


Tagged categories: Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Fire; Passive Fire Protection; Research and development

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