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News & Press: SFPE News

Call for Extended Abstracts for 2018

Thursday, July 20, 2017  
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Fire Engineering Solutions for the Built Environment: The 12th International Conference on Performance Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods

Deadline: October 15, 2017


Call for Extended Abstracts


The application of fire safety engineering to develop innovative and robust fire and life safety solutions for the built environment has expanded considerably over the past 30 years. In many countries, this has been facilitated by the implementation of performance based building and fire codes. The focus on performance has enabled fire protection engineers to more actively participate in the creative design process and work collaboratively with architects and other engineers to achieve the functionality, aesthetics, and cost effective construction solutions sought by developers and owners, along with meeting the fire and life safety objectives of the regulations.


However, in some jurisdictions, performance based codes and fire engineering design methods are being challenged by some as not delivering adequate levels of safety, or are being undertaken by practitioners not having the required competency.


At another level, some countries are still deciding whether to adopt performance based building codes and standards, or continue with prescriptive requirements, as they grapple with professional standards, access to fire protection engineering education, and how best to develop the regulatory and approval systems necessary for sound fire safety solutions.


In either case, it is timely to ask what the future holds for performance-based codes and design methods, and how the building regulatory system and the fire safety engineering profession need to evolve to allay concerns and meet future needs. This is especially important as new construction materials, new technologies, and new societal issues and objectives emerge.


This 12th International Conference on Performance Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods to be held in Hawaii will provide an excellent global opportunity to address current and future trends in building and fire regulatory systems, the contribution of fire protection engineers to innovative design solutions, and the latest developments in fire modelling, risk assessment and analysis in support of those solutions and their approvals.


The conference will also provide a forum for discussion of the issues of fire protection engineering education, professional competence, product certification and inspection, fire safety maintenance and management, verification methods and all the regulatory and administrative provisions needed to ensure that effective fire safety outcomes result from performance based design solutions.


For this important SFPE International Conference, papers are being sought on where the practice of fire safety engineering is today, what new or disruptive technologies or issues will influence the future, and what the future holds for performance based codes and fire safety design methods in addressing current and emerging needs. Representative topics include:

  • How fire and life safety performance of buildings and infrastructure should be measured and approved – Verification methods, QRA, other means.
  • The measures by which fire safety engineers and verifiers (government, peer review, third party) are deemed competent and qualified to undertake and approve innovative / performance based fire safety engineering design.
  • How to develop creative yet robust fire safety strategies for buildings and infrastructure while meeting all regulatory and design objectives – best practice regulatory model??
  • Big data, smart systems, and integration, such as real-time data collection, analysis and visualization of dynamic way-finding for people movement.
  • Tall buildings and evacuation strategies – defend in place, refuge floors, evacuate, use of lifts.
  • Building cladding/facades – the issues of combustibility, fire spread other mitigating options.
  • Disruptive technologies, including BIM, dynamic systems, CLT/LVL, modular construction, new materials.
  • Fire and life safety of detention centers – fixed (e.g., prisons) and temporary (e.g., refugee centers, housing …).
  • Innovative solutions for airports, cruise terminals, and hotels.
  • Fire safety design solutions for persons of all abilities.
  • Performance based design – the developer/owner/user’s perspective.
  • Multi-compartment zone or CFD modelling – competency requirements.
  • Regulatory and administrative frameworks to support sustainability and resiliency objectives.
  • When and where prescriptive codes and design solutions are the most appropriate approaches.
  • Commissioning and on-going fire safety management of major projects.

This conference will be a significant benefit to engineers, designers, regulators, enforcers, insurers, developers, and building owners and managers who have some role in the use or approval of innovative engineering solutions to meet the breadth of regulatory and client needs within the built environment. Participation in this conference will come from entities seeking innovative solutions, professionals involved in the creative process of engineering design solutions, those who are developing fire engineering design methods, professionals involved in translating research into current fire engineering practice, those involved in on-going management of buildings and infrastructure, and entities engaged in regulatory development and enforcement frameworks.


Contributions and conference attendance on a global basis, including from the Asia-Pacific region are encouraged.


Those wishing to be considered to present at the 12th International Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design should submit an extended abstract (minimum four pages, maximum 6 pages, including figures and references) by October 15, 2017. The conference language is English.


As a new approach to the conference, only the extended abstract will be published in the proceedings, so the extended abstract should be complete upon submittal. Acceptance will be based on the completeness of the extended abstract in addressing the requirements identified below. The template for extended abstracts can be found here. Authors whose extended abstracts are accepted are encouraged to expand the content and submit full papers to Fire Technology, the official journal of the SFPE.


The extended abstracts should identify the topic being addressed, the approach or methodology used in addressing the topic, and design implications or results and recommendations. Proper references and citations should be provided. All topics relevant to performance-based codes, the associated regulatory frameworks, performance-based design solutions, and the supporting analysis will be considered.


If an Extended Abstract has been accepted for presentation and publication, but revisions are requested by the Program Committee, the revised Extended Abstract will be due by December 15, 2017. Presentation slides will be due by March 19, 2018.

Peter Johnson, Chair
Brian Meacham, Co-Chair
Brian Ashe
Robert T. Bigtas
David Charters
Bruce Clarke
Samuel Dannaway
Christine Duncan
Charles Fleischmann

Kiyoshi Fukui
J.C. Harrington
Chris Jelenewicz
Fang Li
Mickey Reiss
Patrick van Hees
IJsbrand J. van Straalen
Jose Torero
Victoria Valentine
Joseph Vaughn

Submit Abstract to: Kendall Talbert at no later than October 15, 2017.

Thank you for your interest and support!

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