New report released on the environmental impact of fire


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The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), the research affiliate of National Fire Protection Association, recently published a research report on the “Environmental impact of fires in the built environment: Emission factors”.

This study builds on existing emission factors (EFs) for a range of fire conditions and developed new EFs for relevant building materials and has produced a database that can be built upon with future research.

In 2020, the FPRF undertook a study that developed a research road map identifying research needs to be able to quantify the environmental impact of fire from the built environment and its economic consequences, where lack of relevant data concerning emissions was identified as one of several pressing needs.

Following the development of the research road map, the FPRF began follow up research to develop a database of existing emission factors for a range of fire conditions and the development of some new EFs for building materials.

Details of which material have been studied was determined through a combination of factors, including typical materials used to describe buildings in LCA models, materials identified in a separate French research project (funded by the French Ministry of the Environment in the context of the annual funding for INERIS), and a database of prior experiments characterizing a number of existing materials.

A special focus was put on scaling to investigate the predictive capabilities of small-scale test methods for development of EFs for large-scale conditions. The report provides details of large-scale and small-scale experiments conducted at INERIS (France) and small-scale experiments conducted at Lund University (Sweden), in 2019-2020 spanning a period of around 18 months.

In addition to conducting experiments to confirm existing data and develop new data, a database of existing experimental data relevant for the development of EFs has been created containing some 90 products and materials. This database represents the first up-to-date published resource with a collation of emission factors for a broad variety of species to the best knowledge of the authors.

The research report along with the database is available from the FPRF website.

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