PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Columbia, MD, United States, 2013/01/16 - Energetics Incorporated played a key role in assisting the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in developing the “Workshop on Wildland-Urban-Interface Fire Research Needs,” held August 15-16, 2012 in Boulder, Colorado.
The workshop provided a forum for wildland-urban-interface (WUI) experts to discuss challenges, identify research needs, and establish research priorities to improve the fire resistance of WUI communities.
WUI encompasses housing and other structures that are either integrated with or abut wildland vegetation and forest. In the United States, more than 45 million homes in 70,000 communities are at risk of WUI fires, which have destroyed an average of 3,000 structures annually over the last decade. Because the risk for forest fires spreading across the WUI increases1 each year as communities grow and more people build in forested areas, a review of the approaches to mitigating the issue was timely.
Energetics designed and facilitated the workshop, which was attended by professionals in WUI fire behavior, engineered fire protection technologies, ignition-resistant materials, wildfire-resistant design, standard test methods for building materials, fire suppression and response, and WUI building and fire codes, as well as representatives of authorities having jurisdiction.
The workshop team guided the diverse set of stakeholders through a series of key questions designed to identify and prioritize current issues in mitigating WUI fires, ignition prevention ideas, and potential fire resistance improvements through implementation of measurement science in order to develop innovative technological solutions.
From this workshop, Energetics (energetics.com) created a framework document that will guide NIST in pursuing a portfolio of programs that are focused on providing the measurement science needed to enable communities that are exposed to WUI fires to become more fire resistant. The document can also be used by both the public and private sectors to guide policy, research and development, and other decision making relevant to this important area.
1“U.S. Communities Dealing with WUI Fire Fact Sheet (ICC) 1.1.2011,” Headwaters Economics, accessed September 21, 2012, headwaterseconomics.org/.