BRE Global Ltd

Watford, United Kingdom

BRE Global Ltd

Watford, United Kingdom
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2008.4.1.1. | Award Amount: 5.58M | Year: 2009

There is an urgent need to have a confident toxicity measurement methodology that contributes to the existing level of surface transport fire safety, which is the most difficult issue to assess in case of fire. The lack of confidence in the robustness of the existing product toxicity classification forbids its acceptance as a standard which prevent the European industry from common safety rules and consequently competitiveness. Moreover, it is also important to have a holistic approach of fire safety design of vehicle being able to provide more flexible and economic solutions than the current approach. TRANSFEU undertakes to deliver both a reliable toxicity measurement methodology and a holistic fire safety approach for all kind of surface transport (trains, vessels, etc.). It will be based on a harmonized Fire Safety Engineering methodology which will link passive fire security with active fire security mode. This all embracing system is the key to attain optimum design solutions to respect fire safety objectives as an alternative to the prescriptive approach. It will help in the development of innovative solutions (design and products used for the building of the surface transport) which will better respect the environment. In order to reach these objectives new toxicity measurement methodology and related classification of materials, new numerical fire simulation tools, fire test methodology and a decision tool to optimize or explore new design in accordance to the fire safety requirements will be developed. A great effort of dissemination of TRANSFEU results with a significant contribution to European standardization process will also be undertaken. The participation of railway industrials, operators and fire science researchers, professional organisations for railway (UNIFE) and vessels (IMO) and finally standardisation organisations (CEN) demonstrates the great interest of TRANSFEU for the harmonisation of fire safety in all surface transports.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 2.60M | Year: 2010

The project will develop 1) sustainability indicators for buildings, 2) understanding about the needed performance levels considering new and existing buildings, different building types and local requirements, 3) methods for the benchmarking of sustainable buildings (SB) and 4) recommendations for the effective use of benchmarking systems as instruments of steering and in building processes. The work will make use of the existing knowledge of SB assessment and rating systems. However, the project recognises that there are still unsolved issues and areas with no common understanding. These include: a) the integration of social and economic issues with SB assessment, b) consideration of certain environmental aspects as land use, c) defining appropriate performance levels considering both minimal levels and advanced targets, d) consideration of local conditions, different building types, and both new and existing buildings when selecting performance levels, d) selection of benchmarking criteria to be easily adopted in different parts of Europe, e) effective mobilisation of the benchmarking system, f) effective making use of the system in building processes and in building regulation and steering. The work will be divided into 8 work packages: WP1 ensures the effective work progress and the good communication between project members and between the project and the Commission; WP2 establishes the common starting point for the project; WP3 analyses the potential of SB benchmarking systems as an instrument of steering and when used in different phases of building projects, WP4 develops and selects sustainability indicators that describe the environmental, social and economic performance of buildings. WP4 will focus on the development of data validity and reliability for each key indicator. WP5 defines performance levels and benchmarking criteria, WP6 makes recommendations for effective exploitation, WP7 pilots the system, and WP8 disseminates the outcomes with help of the project NETWORK GROUP and with help of powerful organisations of building professionals.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: EeB.ENV.2011.3.1.5-2 | Award Amount: 863.46K | Year: 2011

The overall goal of the call EeB.ENV.2011.3.1.5-2 is to develop a specific guidance document for application to Energy Efficient Buildings and related training material with courses for practitioners in industry and research. This is to be based on and in line with the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook, co-developed by the European Commissions JRC-IES. The concept for this guidance document is based on two core elements: an extensive list of elements that need to be taken into account when dealing with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) within the Energy-efficient Buildings Initiative (EeB PPP) and the solution approaches how to address different issues and an extensive guidance including examples and operational instructions on how to conduct adequate, high-quality LCA studies. To assure acceptance and applicability, a strong and active involvement of all relevant stakeholders is foreseen. The EeBGuide will be prepared in line with the ILCD Handbook and with respect to activities such as: CEN TC 350 standardization work on the sustainability of construction works, Harmonization activities of the Sustainable Buildings Alliance concerning the carbon footprint of buildings incl. activities on sustainable construction, Existing and upcoming EPD programmes with their definitions and specifications. The balanced project consortium features specifically experienced research, consultancy and industry partners and the EC: FRAUNHOFER, PE INT, CSTB, ESCI, BRE and ChS. The expected outcomes of EeBGuide include: A guidance document - based on the ILCD handbook - that is scientifically sound, accepted by practitioners and quality assured (reviewed), Exemplary LCA case studies, including recommendations on how to implement adequate building LCA tools, Broad dissemination among LCA practitioners and industry, & A website, as a central information hub on the operational guidance on LCA within the Energy-efficient Buildings Initiative.

Lasvaux S.,Joseph Fourier University | Gantner J.,Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics | Wittstock B.,PE International | Bazzana M.,Joseph Fourier University | And 13 more authors.
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2014

Conclusions and recommendations: This paper can be viewed as a contribution to the ongoing efforts to improve the consistency and harmonisation in LCA studies for building products and buildings. Further contributions are now needed to improve building LCA guidance and to strengthen links between research, standardisation and implementation of LCA in the construction practice.Purpose: The objective of the paper is to discuss the role of a new guidance document for life cycle assessment (LCA) in the construction sector available as an online InfoHub.Methods: This InfoHub derives from the EeBGuide European project that aimed at developing a guidance document for energy-efficient building LCA studies. The InfoHub is built on reference documents such as the ISO 14040-44 standards, the EN 15804 and EN 15978 standards as well as the ILCD Handbook. The guidance document was filled with expertise and knowledge of several experts. The focus was put on providing scientifically sound, yet practical guidance.Results: The EeBGuide InfoHub is an online guidance document, setting rules for conducting LCA studies and giving instructions on how to do this. The document has a section on buildings—new and existing—and a section on construction products. It is structured according to the life cycle stages of the European standards EN 15804 and EN 15978, covering all aspects of LCA studies by applying provisions from these standards and the ILCD handbook, wherever applicable. The guidance is presented for different scopes of studies by means of three study types. For the same system boundaries, default values are proposed in early or quick assessment (screening and simplified LCA) while detailed calculation rules correspond to a complete LCA. Such approach is intended to better match the user needs in the building sector. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Hopkin D.J.,Loughborough University | Hopkin D.J.,BRE Global Ltd | El-Rimawi J.,Loughborough University | Silberschmidt V.,Loughborough University | Lennon T.,BRE Global Ltd
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2011

Timber, like other structural materials such as concrete and steel, has its own Eurocode (Eurocode 5 part 1.2) for the structural fire design of buildings. However unlike other fire parts of the Eurocodes it is not widely adopted due to its inherent limitations. With the exception of a single Annex, the timber Eurocode (EN 1995-1-2) is only applicable to standard fire exposure. Annex A gives guidance on the charring rates of initially un-protected timber members in parametric fires, however in the UK the use of the Annex is prohibited by the national Annex to the code. The concrete and steel industries have undoubtedly benefited from performance based design whereby the structural fire design strategy is centred on a design fire (typically a parametric fire), which is more credible than the standard fire curve. Such an approach has resulted in more flexible, innovative buildings which have been designed based upon fundamental structural mechanics at elevated temperature, using advanced numerical models. At present however the same principals cannot be applied to the advanced fire design of timber buildings due to current limitations in the timber Eurocode. Where advanced calculation procedures are considered by the code (Annex B), much like many of the methods contained therein, the procedures are only applicable to standard fire exposure. The scope of applicability of the code stems from a fundamental problem regarding a lack of understanding of the heat transfer characteristics of timber in natural fires. The thermo-physical properties contained in the code are 'effective' properties. This essentially means that they are calibrated against test results to account for a lack of understanding regarding mass transfer, cracking and ablation both within the timber and char layer. Such calibrations have only been performed on timber members exposed to standard furnace conditions. To attempt to overcome this barrier and extend the scope of thermo-physical properties in the code a study has been undertaken to establish how the conductivity properties of the char layer influence the depth of char in parametric fires. Through calibration of an effective conductivity of the char layer against the parametric charring method contained in Annex A of EN 1995-1-2, it has been possible to establish a relationship between 'heating rate' and the effective conductivity of the char layer, in the heating phase of parametric fires. The modified conductivity model is shown to be applicable to a range of densities and moisture contents of timber and also variations in heating rate and fire load density. The latter is a direct result of the method used in the adaptation of the properties. The modified model is objectively critiqued and proposed further work is discussed in detail. The applicability of the modified model in the cooling phase of fires is also discussed. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Hopkin D.J.,BRE Global Ltd. | Hopkin D.J.,Loughborough University | Lennon T.,BRE Global Ltd. | El-Rimawi J.,Loughborough University | Silberschmidt V.,Loughborough University
Fire Safety Journal | Year: 2011

SIPS are formed from the lamination of two oriented strand board (OSB) facing plates and a highly insulating polymer-based foam such as expanded polystyrene (EPS) or polyurethane (PUR). The resulting lightweight panels are typically used as primary load-bearing compression elements for buildings such as domestic dwellings, apartment blocks, schools and hotels. The regulatory fire performance of SIPS, like many systems, is assessed via a standard fire test. However, it is widely accepted that this is merely a comparative method for determining the relative performance of one product when compared to another; hence, it gives little indication of a components likely behaviour in a real fire. With this in mind BRE Global, with support from the UK Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), have undertaken a research programme to determine the performance of SIPS subject to realistic fire conditions. The research programme exposed four two storey SIP buildings to natural fire scenarios using timber cribs. Two buildings were constructed with EPS core SIPS. The other two were constructed with PUR core SIPS. Each material set was subdivided by passive fire protection specification (PFP). These were specified on the basis of 30 and 60-min fire resistance. The experiments highlighted a number of weaknesses in the system performance of SIP structures with engineered floors. Firstly, where PFP is under specified or poorly installed, collapses of the engineered floor plate are very likely. Mechanisms for fire spread were also identified where fitting details were not appropriately sealed. In addition, there appeared to be little appreciable difference in the behaviour of buildings formed with EPS or PUR core SIPS. Finally, a number of system redundancies and alternative load paths were identified, which prevented total collapse of any of the test buildings. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lennon T.,BRE Global Ltd. | Hopkin D.,BRE Global Ltd. | Hopkin D.,Loughborough University | El-Rimawi J.,Loughborough University | Silberschmidt V.,Loughborough University
Fire Safety Journal | Year: 2010

As part of an ongoing research project to investigate the performance in fire of specific types of innovative construction products and techniques (ICPT), BRE Global have carried out large-scale fire tests to determine the response of different floor systems to a realistic fire scenario. The principal objective was to determine the mode of failure of different floor systems to provide information to key stakeholders (particularly the Fire and Rescue Service), which can be taken into account in the dynamic risk assessments that underpin fire fighting operations. This paper presents the results and observations from those fire tests for three floor systems: (i) solid timber floor joists, (ii) I-section floor beams with solid timber top and bottom flanges and an oriented strand board (OSB) web, and (iii) a timber truss incorporating solid timber upper and lower chord members and a pressed steel web member. These reflect the two most common types of engineered floor systems used in the UK and allow for direct comparison with a more "traditional" form of construction. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Hopkin D.J.,Trenton Fire Ltd. | El-Rimawi J.,Loughborough University | Silberschmidt V.,Loughborough University | Lennon T.,BRE Global Ltd.
Journal of Structural Fire Engineering | Year: 2012

Large timber buildings, formed from both light and heavy timber construction, are becoming increasingly common in Europe. Many multiple-occupancy timber buildings, such as apartment blocks, are now constructed to greater heights and in densely populated urban locations. The fire-resistance performance of such timber buildings is generally related to the standard fire test. Alternatively, EN 1995-1-2 may be used to demonstrate fire resistance by means of calculation or numerical modelling. The latter is currently limited to standard fire exposure. In addition, modelling approaches are often avoided as many numerical codes do not normally offer the capability to model timber exposed to fire. The most obvious barrier is incorporating the different tensile and compressive strength/stiffness degradation with increasing temperature. Unlike many other structural materials, it is not possible to define a single relationship between timber Modulus of Elasticity (MoE) and temperature. When timber design is advanced to a 'performance-based' level further complexities will arise. For example, the definition of structure temperatures for non-standard fires is a difficult task, and assessment of strength/stiffness degradation on the basis of temperature alone is not sufficient due to char formation. As a result, when cooling is considered, material properties based upon stress state, temperature and temperature history are needed. To address the above limitations, a number of developments, which can be used with general FEA software, such as DIANA, to design timber structures for fire, are presented. The developments are incorporated via user-supplied subroutines written in FORTRAN code. The routines include code for determining MoE and strength based upon stress state, temperature and temperature history. They are implemented as part of a total strain-based constitutive model. The implementation of the routines is demonstrated using a simple continuous beam. The example is also used to demonstrate how compartmentation provisions and aspects of whole building behaviour can be used to better design large-section timber buildings. Comparisons are made with simple empirical approaches presented in EN 1995-1-2. Extensions to 'performance-based design' using parametric fires are also discussed.

Abbe O.E.,BRE Global Ltd | Grimes S.M.,Imperial College London | Fowler G.D.,Imperial College London
Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Waste and Resource Management | Year: 2011

Depending on the hole size and mud type used in the drilling process, oil well drill cuttings can be a relatively high-volume solid waste stream from drilling operations in the oil and gas exploration and production industry. Current management practices tend to involve thermal treatment followed by landfill disposal. The waste-to-resource conversion approach, however, provides opportunities that are not reflected in the current management system. The drill cuttings waste management decision support tool described in this work allows for the consideration of alternative reuse applications such as in construction materials, oil well reinjection, wetlands restoration, and the manufacture of stable leach-resistant material such as glass ceramics, in a move to divert treated drill cuttings from landfill towards zero waste disposal.

Shipp M.,BRE Global Ltd
Fire Risk Management | Year: 2011

Fire safety engineers make decisions affecting many lives and these design decisions can involve or save large sums of money. The IFE supports the concept and practice of CPD and believes it to be essential to effective performance as a professional fire engineer. All members are encouraged to undertake and record CPD. It is not necessary for an applicant to provide copies of CPD certificates, as more value is placed on a personal record of CPD containing some analysis of the content value and future use of the development activity. The EC rules do not require compulsory CPD, although keeping up-to-date is a requirement of the EC Code of Conduct. The EC Standards - UK-SPEC - state only the requirement for all professionally qualified engineers and technicians to undertake CPD and in addition require all licensed professional engineering institutions to have policies to support CPD.

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