Building and Fire Research Laboratory Activities, Accomplishments, and Recognitions.
Building and Fire Research Laboratory Activities,
Accomplishments, and Recognitions.
Beall, K. A.; Hill, J. E.
NIST SP 838-19; 96 p. March 2006.
building technology; fire research; construction;
building materials; fire losses; building performance
The Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) at the
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is
the nation's primary resource for measurements and
standards for the building and fire safety communities.
We strive to be the primary source of critical tools -
metrics, models, and knowledge needed to support
innovation and industrial competitiveness in this sector
of the economy. The industries we serve are huge and
disaggregated. U.S. construction and buildings was a
$1.4 trillion industry in 2004, representing 13% of the
gross domestic product and employing between 5 and 7
percent of the U.S. workforce or 10 million workers.
This value consists of the new facilities put in place
plus significant investments in renovation and
maintenance and repair. During the same period, fire
costs totaled more than $200 billion, equivalent to 2%
of the gross domestic product. These costs include
property losses, injuries and deaths, the cost
of engineering fire safety into today's buildings, and
the operating costs of the U.S. fire services. Our
investments are focused on reducing losses from fire and
potential losses due to terrorism, as well as supporting
the industry to innovate and improve performance of
materials, products, and processes of construction. We
are a leading advocate for the development of
performance standards as a method of enabling
innovation. The development of fundamental understanding
and knowledge and its translation into accurate
performance prediction is critical before effective
performance standards can be put in place. BFRL is
involved in a wide range of scientific, engineering, and
investigative work for the building and fire safety
communities. The time has long passed when any single
organization like ours can act alone and expect to make
a major impact on the numerous issues facing the
industries we serve. We must build an extensive network
and work together to tackle these issues. This will
greatly enhance all our chances for success. I encourage
you to contact us to explore joint work.