In response to the recent Champlain Towers condominium complex collapse in Surfside, Florida, Telgian Engineering & Consulting LLC Regional Practice Leader April Musser recently explored the roles of architectural and structural elements in facility fire protection for STRUCTURE magazine. In the article “Structured for Protection,” she discusses the basics, existing buildings, archaic building materials, fire-resistance-rated building elements, facility lifecycle and the weight of sprinkler water.
“While this collapse was not due to a fire scenario, preliminary news reports indicate that damage to the building structure may have been a significant contributing factor in the collapse,” says Musser. “In this case, one of the prevailing theories includes speculation that the saltwater environment, as well as water damage from failing waterproofing systems, accelerated degradation of the building structure over several decades. In a fire scenario, a facility is subject to extreme environmental conditions such as heat and water in a relatively short amount of time. As a result, the goals of structural fire protection aim to ensure that a building can withstand these conditions throughout the egress period and through the fire-fighting response and overhaul periods.”
Musser has more than 19 years of fire protection engineering experience, including risk assessment, design of detection and suppression systems, and application of performance-based design. She is a Professional Engineer and a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS). In addition, she serves on the NFPA 30 Technical Committee for Flammable and Combustible Liquids and is an active member of both NFPA and SFPE.
A sought-after author, she offers expert insight on a wide range of fire protection topics. In addition to “Structured for Protection,” recent pieces include “5 Important Tasks for Reopening Buildings During COVID-19” for Buildings magazine, “Performance Based Design for Egress and Evacuation” for Gulf Fire magazine and 5 Steps to Incorporate Social Distancing Without Creating Fire Hazards” in Chain Store Age magazine.
Read the article in its entirety here: PDF LINK
Telgian Engineering & Consulting, LLC (TEC) is a full-service global design, engineering and risk mitigation consulting firm providing professional services related to the protection of people, property, information and organizational mission against preventable losses. These include fire protection engineering, strategic / enterprise risk management, security risk consulting, environmental health and safety.
For media interviews with April Musser or additional information, please contact Susan McNeill, firstname.lastname@example.org.