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Balanced Fire Safety Design & Resilient Masonry Fire Walls

September 8 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

This program reviews US fire statistics, the Balanced Fire Safety Design concept and the role that passive masonry firewalls play in it. Examples of how today’s building codes have eroded the Balanced Design Concept are shared to provide a better understanding of the crucial role fail-safe, passive masonry fire walls play in today’s fire safety designs. To gain insight into wall assembly and material performance the ASTM E-119 fire test method that is used to qualify and quantify fire walls is reviewed along with the ACI/TMS 216 code requirements for concrete and masonry wall assembly fire resistance ratings.

Credit: 1 AIA LU / 1 PDH / 0.10 CEU

Learning Objective:

  • To become familiar with US fire statistics and trends.
  • To learn what Balanced Fire Safety Design concept is and the role that masonry firewalls play in it.
  • To realize that building codes have eroded the Balanced Design Concept and reduced Design Resiliency by relying more and more upon its active fire safety features.
  • To understand the background of, and gain insight into the loopholes in, the ASTM E-119 Fire Test and that that TWO wall specimens are normally used to pass the test.

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About the Presenter

Kevin Cavanaugh,Cavanaugh & Associates / Arcosa Lightweight / cfiFOAM

Kevin currently chairs ACI/TMS Joint Committee 122 on Energy Efficiency of Concrete and Masonry Systems that is charged with developing national energy code standards and NCMA’s Masonry Communications subcommittee. He has worked for large, multi-national and small, family owned CMU manufacturing companies. He enjoys the people in the concrete and masonry industries and educating owners and architects on masonry’s many benefits.

Kevin earned a BSME at the University of Maryland and interned at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where he first became involved with the concrete and masonry industries. After graduation, Kevin accepted a position as NCMA’s Energy Engineer. After two years, and to better understand what NCMA’s members faced in their markets, Kevin launched his career in technical sales, marketing and product development of lightweight aggregate, concrete masonry and associated concrete and masonry products and systems.


September 8
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
Event Category: