Fire Safety Design Conference Date Announced

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - The Second Conference on Fire Safety Design in the 21st Century will be held June 9-11, 1999 on the campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass. The conference will focus on strategies for bringing innovative performance-based methods into fire safety design and regulatory practice. Participants will include leaders from business, government and academia including building code officials, architects, engineers, building owners and managers, fire officials, attorneys and insurance professionals.

At the first conference, held at WPI in 1991, conferees recommended a national goal to by the year 2000 "make the first generation of an entirely new concept in performance-based building codes available to engineers, architects and authorities having jurisdictionin a credible and useful form". The 1991 conference report also suggested strategies for overcoming a host of social, legal, political, economic and institutional barriers to achieving this goal.

The 1991 conference defined a vision for the future and much progress has been made since that time. The second conference, to be held six months before the end of the millenium, will focus on challenges that lie ahead in the 21st century. "This will be a highly interactive working conference, providing a forum for input from all attendees through panel discussions, breakout groups and group reports", says WPI professor David A. Lucht, Conference Chairman. "Conferees will re-evaluate problems and pitfalls standing in the way of implementing emerging new design and regulatory practices and search for strategies to overcome them".

The conference is co-sponsored by Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), with financial support through a grant to WPI from the National Science Foundation. For more information contact David A. Lucht, Professor and Director, Center for Firesafety Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, 01609; telephone (508) 831-5593 or email: fpe@wpi.edu.