Historic Preservation through Fire Protection: Comprehensive Approaches for Life Safety in Historic Structures

Timothy R. Costello, Associate Principal
Kyle C. Normandin, Principal
Nicholas Ozog, Associate Principal

Fires in historic buildings simultaneously present unique risks to occupants and potentially subject the community to immeasurable loss with respect to the contents, character, and historic relevance of the building. Fire protection engineers and preservation architects are challenged with implementing creative solutions so that fire safety measures can be implemented while respecting the preservation goals for the historic character of the building. This is often complicated by demands for compliance with codes and standards developed decades after such buildings were constructed.

In this webinar, WJE fire protection engineers Tim Costello and Nick Ozog, along with WJE historic preservationist Kyle Normandin, outline basic fire protection and life safety objectives commonly addressed during historic preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, reconstruction, and adaptive reuse projects. Assessment and prioritization approaches for fire protection and life safety issues are discussed as well as a process for developing design options so that an integrated plan can be developed in the context of the preservation design objectives for the project. Application of the Fire Safety Concepts Tree are also reviewed as a useful tool for assessing risks, developing and communicating alternatives, and serving as a framework for performance-based design in historic buildings.

By the end of the presentation, you will be able to:

  • Define the fire safety objectives relative to historic preservation and adaptive reuse,
  • Describe the fire safety concepts tree and how this tool can be used for performance-based design,
  • Identify fire protection approaches for historic structures, and
  • Discuss how a comprehensive plan can help meet the design objectives and minimize cost.
more to learn

View this webinar in our interactive audience console to access related resources, submit questions to the presenter, and download a certificate of completion.