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Major International Conference in Dublin on ‘Sustainable Fire Engineering’

Lessons of 9/11 in New York still not learned.

The Fire Safety Lessons of 9/11 in New York City have still not been learned, and people’s lives are in danger even in the newest buildings around the world. This problematic situation will be highlighted at a major International Sustainable Fire Engineering Conference to be held in Dublin in 2016.

The World Trade Center Towers – destroyed in terrorist attacks on 11th September 2001 with the loss of over 3,000 lives on the day, and many more since because of health conditions, e.g. cancers, among survivors and emergency responders – were built to exacting structural engineering standards for normal conditions, but structural performance during fire conditions was completely overlooked in the design … according to the conference organizer, Mr. CJ Walsh of FireOx International, who is one of the few experts to have examined the 2005 & 2008 NIST 9/11 Recommendations in depth and to have incorporated them into his everyday work.

He added: “Fire-Induced Progressive Damage in buildings is not properly understood, particularly in North America … and has still not been included in building regulations and codes around the world after all this time”. And on another critical Recommendation, he continued: “I see no evidence yet that buildings are being designed so that Fire Evacuation is intuitive, obvious and safe for all users and occupants, including people with activity limitations.”

Mr Walsh also discussed the example of two new, innovative high-rise Green Buildings in Milan, Italy – Il Bosco Verticale – where trees and shrubbery make up most of the external façade of the buildings. “The fire safety hazard there is enormous if, at any time during the long life cycle of those buildings, vegetation maintenance becomes inadequate or fails, and the vegetation dries out. Has sufficient consideration been given to fire safety in this case … and in many other so-called Green Buildings around the world ?” He continued: “And in fire incidents which have actually occurred in Green Buildings, frontline firefighters have faced unusual, life-threatening challenges.”

Over 300 Delegates from around the world are expected to attend the 2016 Sustainable Fire Engineering Conference which will take place at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin from 6-8 April 2016.

The Central Theme of this Benchmark Conference – co-hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University and FireOx International – will be how to marry the demands of sustainable building design, construction and operation with a transformed fire engineering which is fit for purpose in today’s world … fire engineering which can respond, creatively and ethically, to current and reasonably foreseen threats and rapidly changing social and economic needs.

“Unfortunately, a fundamental conflict exists between Sustainable Building Design Strategies and the fire safety approaches adopted in conventional fire engineering”, explained conference organizer Mr. Walsh, who is a registered architect, fire engineer and technical controller. He added: “A wide chasm separates the language and understanding of these two very different design disciplines. As a result, the performance of sustainable buildings can be seriously compromised. If, on the other hand, adequate independent technical control is absent on site, it is the building’s fire safety which will suffer.”

“If Architects are not aware of these issues, either they are working on Utopian Projects not intended for construction, or the fire safety of occupants, users and firefighters in their real buildings is at serious risk !” (CJW)

Conference Delegates will hear from an international panel of expert speakers on the subjects of:

  • Sustainable Fire Engineering: Design, Construction & Operation of Buildings
  • Firefighting in Sustainable (Green, Innovative, Smart) Buildings
  • Fire Incident Human Behaviour, Abilities and Perception
  • Intelligent Passive & Active Fire Protection Measures

This Benchmark Fire Engineering Conference is co-hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University and FireOx International … and is an Approved Regional Sustainable Built Environment Event in the SBE 2016-17 Cycle supported by UNEP’s Sustainable Buildings & Climate Initiative; CIB (International Council for Research & Innovation in Building & Construction); iiSBE (International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment); and FIDIC (International Federation of Consulting Engineers) which will culminate in the World SBE Congress to be held in Hong Kong, PRC, during July 2017.

Abstracts for this important conference must be submitted by 25 September 2015.

Full information about the 2016 Sustainable Fire Engineering Conference in Dublin can be found at: www.sustainable-firengineering.ie


The Aim of Sustainable Fire Engineering is to dramatically reduce all direct and indirect fire losses in the Human Environment (including social, built, economic, environmental, virtual, and institutional) … and to protect and preserve the Natural Environment.

Towards Zero Preventable Fires in the Built Environment !

In essence … Sustainable Fire Engineering heavily front-loads fire prevention and fire protection measures in the built environment … above and beyond the minimal and very limited fire safety objectives mandated by current legislation.

SFE’s Keywords are … Reality – Reliability – Redundancy – Resilience !

SFE Design Solutions are …

  • Adapted to local geography, climate variability and extremes, social need, economy, and culture
  • Reliability-based
  • Person-centred
  • Resilient


1. To initiate discussion and foster mutual understanding between the International Sustainable Development / Climate Change Adaptation / Urban Resilience Communities and the International Fire Science & Engineering Community.

2. To bring together today’s disparate Sectors within the International Fire Science and Engineering Community … to encourage better communication between each and trans-disciplinary collaboration between all.

3. To transform Conventional Fire Engineering into an ethical and fully professional Sustainable Design Discipline which is fit for purpose in the 21st Century … meaning … that fire engineers can participate actively in a sustainable design process, and can respond creatively with sustainable fire engineering design solutions which result in Effective Fire Safety for All in Sustainable/Green/Innovative/Smart Buildings.

4. To launch a CIB W14 Research Working Group VI Reflection Document: ‘Sustainable Fire Engineering Design & Construction’ … which will establish a framework for discussion on the future development of Sustainable Fire Engineering.

For more information please visit sustainable-firengineering.ie

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