Fire Modeling for Building Design
Computer fire modeling has become an integral part of fire protection engineering and building design. Fire protection engineers now regularly apply computer fire models in support of building design, but a high degree of training, education, and experience are necessary to correctly apply fire models. Common mistakes such as improper selection of model input parameters or boundary conditions, failure to recognize inherent fire model limitations, and application of fire models outside of their realm of validation can lead to under-designed buildings and expose building designers to construction defects actions. In a worst-case scenario, injury or death could result from a fire in a building that was improperly designed using computer fire modeling tools.
For these reasons, it is critical to retain an experienced fire modeler. Reax Engineering's fire modeling lead is Dr. Christopher Lautenberger. A licensed Fire Protection Engineer (Professional Engineer) in California, Chris holds an MS in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley. He has over 13 years of experience developing and applying fire models in support of fire protection design, scientific research, and forensic fire investigation. Lautenberger co-teaches a graduate-level fire modeling course in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.