Tree Frog Forestry News

Michael Feigin: Multifamily Builder Launches Fire-Elimination Strategy for Wood Frames

By Jim Parsons
Engineering News-Record
January 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

After fire destroyed AvalonBay’s four-story, 235-unit apartment project in Maplewood, N.J., in 2017, Michael Feigin decided that conventional industry standards and approaches designed to minimize the risks of these relatively rare, yet costly construction-phase fires were not enough. Adopting a goal of “fire elimination,” Feigin, AvalonBay’s EVP and chief construction officer, searched for a combination of practical tools and practices that would provide a greater degree of safety, and in turn reduce the risk of human error. …The result is a multifaceted program that combines traditional fire-suppression measures with new technologies. Along with enhancing site-perimeter security and relocating welding, brazing and other hot-work activities off site, AvalonBay now deploys onsite sensor networks to monitor sudden temperature changes. The company also is collaborating with the developer of a specially formulated, environmentally sound fire inhibitor that can be applied easily to non-fire-retardant wood, which typically makes up about 90% of framing on a multifamily structure.

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