ASCE receives funding to develop fire safety procedure

LaMalva previously helped lead the effort for development of Appendix E and is a recognized expert in structural fire protection engineering.
Photo courtesy Pixabay

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) and the Charles Pankow Foundation signed an agreement for a $230,000 research grant to develop, write and publish the procedural guidance to properly execute a performance-based structural fire engineering (SFE) design in accordance with the new ASCE/SEI 7-16 Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures Appendix E industry standard.

The project will employ a scientific and engineering approach using the procedures outlined in ASCE/SEI Manual of Practice Structural Fire Engineering (MOP 138) to quantify the fire exposure and structural behavior of existing building designs during fire. Recognized experts in performance-based design will peer review the design brief and final report, and the final document will be freely available to the public.

The project team is led by principal investigator (PI), Kevin LaMalva, PE, M.ASCE, Senior Staff II/Fire Safety with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. Including the PI, the following collaboration of structural engineering firms and academic advisors created design teams that have been selected to provide regional representation and will serve as Team Leads:

  • Najib Abboud, Ph.D., PE, M.ASCE, senior principal, Thornton Tomasetti, with Thomas Gernay, Aff.M.ASCE, Johns Hopkins University
  • Larry Griffis, PE, F.SEI, M.ASCE, senior principal, Walter P Moore, with Jose Torero, CPEng, CP, M.ASCE, University of Maryland
  • Ron Klemencic, PE, S.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE, chairman and CEO, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, with Erica Fischer, P.E., M.ASCE, Oregon State University
  • Kevin LaMalva, PE M.ASCE, Senior Staff II, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, with Negar Elhami-Khorasani, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE, University at Buffalo

“Our team seeks to demonstrate the benefit of structural engineers serving as integral participants in the field of structural fire protection, which has remained relatively unchanged for a century. Specifically, structural engineers have the ability and tools to deliver more efficient and economical designs while also providing more intrinsically-safe structures to fire,” said LaMalva.

The project is expected to be completed in Oct. 2019.

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