Critical Fire Safety Issues When Redeveloping a Building

With increasing awareness in the importance of suitability and the desire to preserve heritage buildings, it is important for a design team to ensure reusing and redeveloping existing buildings will not compromise occupant safety. “Proper planning and investigation prior to proceeding with a project will not only avoid surprises during the construction phase, but also allow the design team to integrate some fire safety systems into the design feature,” says Yen Fang Tu, member of the Institution of Fire Engineers, University of Canterbury. 

Yen will be presenting “Issues to Consider When Redeveloping a Building” at the 2018 SFPE Europe Conference on Fire Safety Engineering, 5-6 February 2018, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

“The presentation will look at the energy consumption for producing various building materials, and the benefit of reusing or redeveloping the existing buildings instead of demolishing them,” Yen says. “I have been involved in a few existing building redevelopments and found passion in such projects. In addition to the benefits of saving on the limited resources we have on this land and saving the planet, these projects also reserve the history of the cities. Once a client told me, ‘My grandfather met my grandmother in this building.’ This is like a cherry on top of the cake.”

Yen is an honors and master’s gradate from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She earned her master’s degree in fire engineering in 2002. She has experience in alternative building design for a range of commercial, retail, residential, industrial, healthcare, exhibition centers, and convectional facilities.

“I hope attendees come away with something from me sharing my experiences, the lessons I have learned, and the important issues to consider when working on reusing or redeveloping an existing building,” she says.

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