In November of 2012, the Foundation conducted a symposium centered on the challenges and tensions around the intersection of fire safety and sustainable building design. Building designers, many of them from Chicago's global sustainable building design community, presented trends in "green" design - ranging from photovoltaic building skins to innovative and energy saving ventilation systems and others. Members of the fire protection community addressed the fire safety challenges of these and other features and also presented the life cycle sustainability benefits provided by fire protection and fire prevention.
It was unique conversation which led to some interesting questions:
Why does the LEED green building rating system not acknowledge the sustainability benefits of fire protection features?
How to we use performance based fire safety design to develop innovative fire protection solutions in tandem with innovation in sustainable design?
How can we continue to evolve fire protection systems to address the challenges of declining resources?
The presentations from the symposium can be found here; look for a report of findings and recommendations in the upcoming months.
We'd welcome your input on these topics and the opportunity to work with you to address them.