Combustible Facade Evaluation


The fire safety of facades has come into heightened focus following several devastating high-rise building fires around the world. For existing structures, materials and construction methods are often unknown, leaving unanswered questions about the fire resistance and flame spread characteristics of an occupied building. Our professionals are capable of analyzing existing conditions and testing facade materials to determine whether the exterior wall construction includes combustible materials. If so, we can determine how the safety of the building might be improved and develop practical solutions.

In addition to air, water, and thermal issues—common concerns for the overall health and safety of building occupants—the fire resistance and flame spread characteristics of exterior wall assemblies must be considered in building design. Our fire protection engineers, architects, and materials scientists employ an integrated team approach and bring cutting-edge technology to fire safety, working with clients to find the appropriate solution for their building enclosure issues.

To the extent desired by the building owner or required by building codes, the fire safety risks posed by combustible facades may be mitigated without the need for complete removal and replacement of the exterior cladding. Materials can be tested and identified to help create a comprehensive life safety plan, using new technologies as part of the approach. We perform detailed and comprehensive analyses of the materials, systems, operations, and maintenance practices in existing buildings to develop sound fire protection strategies. Our professionals are also experienced in evaluating the performance and suitability of curtain wall assemblies for mitigating fire spread in new construction.

  • On-site facade investigation with an integrated team of fire protection and building enclosure experts
  • Project documentation review
  • Code compliance review
  • Comprehensive fire safety/risk analysis
  • Development of mitigation strategy
  • Design/peer review for new construction
  • Laboratory testing and analysis
  • Material identification and classification
  • Life safety risk mitigation planning
  • Loss investigation and litigation support
  • Fire protection system testing and analysis
  • NFPA 285 assessment and compliance